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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
Carroll County Almshouse and Farm
When Carroll County was created by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in 1837, legislation was also passed to make Westminster the County Seat; to build a courthouse, a jail, a register's office, a clerk's office, and a poorhouse (almshouse).
It was the custom in 19th Century America to house the poor in a building called an almshouse since there was no welfare, housing subsidy, or food stamps as we have today. It was not until 1852 that the County Commissioners decided to borrow funds to build the Almshouse. A contract was made on July 6, 1852, for the purchase of 307 acres at a cost of $17,826 or $58.065 per acre. Records indicate that the Almshouse was built in 1852 and 1853. Public notice was given that paupers would be received on May 23, 1853.
In the early years of the Almshouse, also called the "County Home," the chief position was the "Steward of the Almshouse," who was paid $400 yearly. Other workers included a Teamster at $150, a Fireman at $150, a Matron at $75, a Maid at $84, and a Washwoman at $75 yearly.
At times as many as fifty people lived here. The Steward lived on the second floor and the women on the third floor. The men's dormitory sits at a right angle to the house. Residents who were able helped to work the farm to raise food for themselves.
People other than the poor from Carroll County lived here as well. It was a favorite stop for hobos and tramps. Sometimes the insane or criminals were placed here. Windows were barred in some rooms, and doors were lined with sheets of metal. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
Established in 1922 by Chapter 464, Acts of 1922, Henryton State Hospital
is located in a wooded, steeply sloped rural area in the southeast corner of the County. The facility was established in 1922 as a tuberculosis hospital for the “Negro” population. In July of 1963 the hospital was transferred to the Department of Mental Hygiene and was converted to a special training and habilitation program for severely retarded, ambulatory adults. Admission was handled through Rosewood State Hospital. Occupancy was to be 400 once when conversion was completed. Henryton closed in 1985.
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.
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If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.