Featured Article Of The Week
Tacoma State Hospital
In accordance with an act of the Territorial Legislature, entitled "An Act to Authorize the Purchase of the Government Buildings at Fort Steilacoom for an Insane Asylum," approved December 2. 1869, a Board of Commissioners, consisting of the Governor, Territorial Secretary and Territorial Auditor, purchased the buildings from the federal government on the 15th of January, 1870, for the sum of $850. Section 4 of this act provided that the buildings should be turned over to the commissioners for the care and custody of insane and idiotic persons, to be prepared and used by them as an insane asylum, at the expiration of the contract with Huntington & Sons on July 15, 1871.
In the meantime a contract was made by the territorial authorities with Hill Harmon, of Olympia, to clothe and to keep the insane for a period of five years, dating from August 19, 1871, at 91 cents per diem. After the necessary alterations of the buildings to adapt them to the purpose intended had been made 21 patients were transferred from Monticello on August 19, 1871, and Fort Steilacoom was formally opened as an insane asylum. Dr. Stacy Hemenway was appointed by the commissioners as resident physician.
From a report of the contractor to the Governor of Washington Territory, dated September 30, 1871, it was learned that the asylum building was 152 feet long and 54 feet wide, and was divided into two wards, one for males and one for females. The male ward was 96 feet long and 44 feet wide, containing a central hall and 20 rooms, 10 on each side. Under the same roof was a bathroom supplied with hot and cold water, a water closet and wardrobe. The central hall was 96 feet long and 14 feet wide, having one large window at each end and two skylights. On each side of this hall were 10 rooms, each 18 feet in length by 9 feet in width. These rooms, together with the central hall, accommodated about 40 patients. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
The first buildings were erected
in 1890 and consisted of a central administration building, with a wing on each side and a rear wing for the kitchen, engine room and laundry. The entire plant was made of brick, with a granite foundation, lathed and plastered inside. Each wing was three stories high and accommodated 150 patients.
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Asylum News (news you can edit!)
February 7, 2016 Clarinda struggles to fill former hospital
- The 128-year-old former mental health institute in the small southwest Iowa city of Clarinda isn’t your typical real estate opportunity, and so far no one is rushing to move in. More than seven months after the state closed the Clarinda Mental Health Institute, much of the sprawling building remains empty, including entire floors that haven’t been used in decades.
February 1, 2016 Efforts continue to preserve other parts of former Peoria State Hospital grounds
- Christina Morris happily remembers Sunday morning breakfasts with her grandparents, followed by visits to the peaceful cemeteries on the grounds of the Peoria State Hospital, where some family members are buried. “My interest with the state hospital started when I was about 7 years old,” Morris said in a recent interview. “When I would come onto the grounds (my grandfather) would say that this was a place of special people. (By special) I thought he meant giants, because these buildings were so big and beautiful and immaculate to me. I just was enamored by how beautiful it was.”
January 7, 2016 That Time The United States Sterilized 60,000 Of Its Citizens
- Not too long ago, more than 60,000 people were sterilized in the United States based on eugenic laws. Most of these operations were performed before the 1960s in institutions for the so-called “mentally ill” or “mentally deficient.” In the early 20th century across the country, medical superintendents, legislators, and social reformers affiliated with an emerging eugenics movement joined forces to put sterilization laws on the books.
January, 6, 2016 Pa. hires firm to develop plan for Harrisburg State Hospital site
- Harrisburg, PA-The state has hired a Lancaster planning company to help it figure out what to do with the former Harrisburg State Hospital, which closed 10 years ago. Since closing in 2006, the hospital complex has housed state workers from the state police, Department of General Services and the Department of Human Services. It is now part of the larger DGS Annex property, which encompasses 303 acres across Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township.