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The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
Featured Article Of The Week
Ypsilanti State Hospital
During the 1920s the necessity for an additional state hospital became apparent. The combined capacity of the existing state hospitals was 1,900 beds short of what was considered adequate. In 1929 Governor Green proposed that a fifth state hospital be developed. The first appropriation of $1.5 million for the fiscal year ending 1930 was passed. Ypsilanti was chosen because of it's population density and proximity to the University Center in Ann Arbor as well as it's availability of land. Purchase of the 1,209 acres was begun in 1929.
On June 16, 1930 the breaking of ground was underway. The following year the Legislature formalized the name and function for the institution. The architectural firm of Albert Kahn designed the buildings and contracts were let out for construction work to 35 separate companies. Construction work was pushed at what was described as a "miracle pace".
The first patients were admitted one day short of the 1 year mark since the groundbreaking. At the time of the formal dedication, July 28, 1931, the physical plant consisted of the receiving hospital and administration building ("A" building), C-1 and C-2 blocks with combined facilities for approximately 900 patients; the unit containing 6 apartments ("J" building); dormitory and apartments for employees (K-1); powerhouse, warehouse & the superintendents quarters. All main buildings to which patients would have need of access were connected by underground tunnels. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
Jackson County’s poor house/farm
became one of the first created in the earliest days of Michigan statehood. Generation after generation of poor souls lived there. Some were blind, deaf or insane, and others just homeless for a variety of reasons. The 1881 “History of Jackson County” documented that 33 people — equal numbers of men and women — lived there then. The men worked about the farm and in the garden, barn and wood pile. The women performed household duties. Fire destroyed the original poor house about 1886 and a new wooden frame building with a brick exterior was built a year later.
The following is an October 2020 lecture presentation for the Wayne Historical Society. A short historical review of the history of the County House later known as Eloise Asylum.
Recent Message Board Posts
In this space you normally would see our forum. This had been a hold over from earlier days before we had a Facebook page. Just prior to our server issues regular users had been barely using the forum with the majority of new posts from anonymous users asking genealogy questions or spammers. The old forum software does not work with our new version while the new forum software does not carry over old comments to the new forum. As a result, the forum will be discontinued in favor of our Facebook page. If you have questions or comments you can ask them there.
Asylum Projects Facebook Page
If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.