From Asylum Projects
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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
Mississippi State Hospital
Governor AG Brown made the first public proposition to establish a hospital for the insane in 1846. In 1848, the Mississippi Legislature appropriated funds for the original facility, which opened in 1856 at the present site of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. In 1900, the name of the hospital was changed from "Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum" to "Mississippi State Insane Hospital." In 1935, the psychiatric hospital was moved to the community of Howell which was then the site of the state penal colony. Located near the current towns of Brandon, the area was renamed "Whitfield" in honor of Gov. Henry L Whitfield.
When it opened on March 4, 1935, the main hospital and buildings covered the 350 acres it presently occupies. The remainder of the 3,333-acre tract was devoted to general farming, dairying, pastures, orchards and truck farms (i.e., vegetable fields) during the early and mid-1900s. Seventy of the more than 100 buildings on campus were constructed between 1926 and 1935. They were built along a cottage type plan in a colonial design with red brick and white columns and trim. Some were built with a cupola on top. The last original cupola still sits atop the administration building and has become the logo for the hospital. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
Initially it was to be called the State Insane Asylum
; in 1869 the Asylum for the Pauper Insane; and in 1870 the State Asylum for the Incurable Insane. In 1885, to relieve the cities and towns from the burden of supporting their insane poor, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that the State Asylum for the Insane should serve as a receiving hospital for all types of mental disorder, acute as well as chronic, thereby merging the two. By giving over the Asylum to “undesirable” elements, the poor, the incurable, and the foreign born, the upper and middle classes thus restricted their own ability to use it. Therapy was second to custody.
The following nearly thirty minute video on Glenwood State School
created by Ray Stewart of WOI-TV Ames, Iowa along with Iowa State University. It is part of the "In Our Care," a 13 week series of documentaries filmed inside Iowa's state institutions. The series won the 1952 National Sylvania Television Award for Production Excellence. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is responsible for uploading it to YouTube.
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Asylum News (news you can edit!)
January 27, 2014 A kinder approach: Former Allentown State Hospital CEO is recognized for reducing restraint tactics
- The former CEO walks on the roof of the Allentown State Hospital. He is armed with his high-definition camera and decades of memories to provide context to what he sees. Each step on the roof frames a new perspective of the hospital he helped to transform. The rooms in the former psychiatric center are empty. It has been three years since the hospital closed. For Greg Smith, it is easy to reminisce. He can fill in the blanks, but there aren't many signs of what used to happen at the 100-year-old campus.
January 27, 2014 Taunton State Hospital again faces closure
- The state's plan to close the inpatient unit at Taunton State Hospital reflects a philosophical shift that emphasizes community-based services over institutional care, a mental health official said Friday. For the third straight year, the state is proposing to move all inpatient beds from Taunton State Hospital to the new Worcester Recovery Center. In each of the past two years, the state faced staunch local opposition. As a compromise struck in the Legislature, 45 beds currently remain at Taunton State, which used to have about 170.