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Norwich State Hospital
Experts in the psychological field would never have predicted we would medicate people rather than have them in controlled environments. The Norwich State Hospital opened its doors in 1904 to the insane with ninety-five patients in one building on over 100 acres.
One of the hospital’s first superintendents believed that mechanical restraint of patients was preferable to medication and believed in hydrotherapy as a treatment measure. The Board of the hospital quickly realized the population was exceeding what was safe. In 1905, two patient buildings were built with a third opening in 1907.
Thirteen buildings were erected for patients during the next eight years and in 1913 with a population of 998, an administration building, three cottages for physicians, a carpenter and maintenance shop, a main kitchen, garage, laboratory, staff house, and an employees’ club house had been erected and the inebriate farm and the Colony had been established.
Seven new buildings were built between 1920 and 1930 and another building was purchased for patients’ use. In 1929, the hospital peaked with 1,115 patients while in 1930 the average daily census reached 2,422. At this point, in addition to new patient facilities, two more cottages were erected for physicians, a female employees’ home, a paint shop, a greenhouse, a superintendent’s residence, and two garages were built. Click here for more...
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After the site was chosen
building operations progressed sufficiently to permit the corner-stone of the Hospital to be laid June 20, 1867. On May-day, 1868, the center and one wing of the main building were ready for the accommodation of patients. During the succeeding six years the other three wings were added, and in 1874 the Hospital was considered to be complete, having beds for 450 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.