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Welcome to Asylum Projects,
A historic asylum wiki anyone can edit.
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Mission Statement


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The Mission

The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.

The Statement

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

Columbus State Hospital


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The "Lunatic Asylum of Ohio" was organized by Act of the Thirty-fourth General Assembly, passed March 5, 1835, and Samuel Parsons, William M. Awl and Samuel F. Maccracken were appointed directors. These Directors selected a tract of land about one mile east and north of the State House, in Columbus, comprising thirty acres. This tract fronted south on what is now East Broad street, and the western boundary was near what is now Washington avenue. During the next three years they erected a building on these grounds, at a cost of about sixty-one thousand ($61,000) dollars. The institution accommodated one hundred and twenty patients, and was the first institution for the treatment of the insane organized west of the Alleghenies. On May 21, 1838, William M. Awl, M. D., of Columbus, was elected Medical Superintendent by the Trustees, and the first patient was received on November 30 of that year.

The building was two hundred and ninety-five feet in length and contained one hundred and fifty-three single rooms. The Directors apologized for the apparently extravagant size by saying that it would be required in a few years. Yet it was the only asylum the state then had. Now—1900-1—the state has accommodations for more than seven thousand five hundred patients in the several "State Hospitals" at Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Longview, Massillon and Toledo, and every institution is crowded to its full capacity. Dr. Awl was in charge as Superintendent until 1850, a period of twelve years, when he was succeeded by Samuel H. Smith, M. D. He was succeeded in 1852 by E. Kendrick, M. D., and he by George E. Eels, M. D., in June 1854. On August 1, 1855, Dr. Richard Gundry, who later became so prominent in the care of the insane in Ohio and the United States, was appointed Assistant Physician. In July, 1856, Dr. R. Hills, of Delaware, was appointed Superintendent. He held the position for several years, and was succeeded by Dr. William L. Peck. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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The Dayton State Hospital was first occupied September, 1855, with a capacity of 162, known as the Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum. In the year 1875, it was changed to Western Ohio Hospital for the Insane; in 1877, to the Dayton Hospital for the Insane; in 1878, to the Dayton Asylum for the Insane; and in 1894, to the Dayton State Hospital and was located on a hill southeast of the city of Dayton.

Recent Message Board Posts

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Lucille Rose Cuccia 1 16 Mon 20th 6:01 pm -
Looking for patient info from ... 1 23Last 47 13770 Sat 18th 2:26 am -
Wisconsin Insane Asylum patien... 1 2 23 3516 Sat 18th 12:58 am -
Patient: Adelard Bellerose Dan... 1 63 Tue 14th 7:32 pm -
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Helen Kate Boylon, Pittsburgh ... 0 49 Tue 14th 3:38 am -
Clarinda SH is not a Kirkbride 1 23Last 80 29604 Sat 11th 4:45 pm - M-Explorer
Traverse City State Hospital, ... 1 23Last 77 44131 Sat 11th 11:30 am -
Coldwater MICH. State Home 190... 6 1298 Thu 9th 2:20 pm - Evilavatar
Springfield Hospital Center, S... 4 2039 Wed 8th 7:06 pm - Evilavatar
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lore the tv series 1 58 Wed 8th 5:46 am - M-Explorer
Anything New? 8 748 Wed 8th 5:45 am - M-Explorer
Looking for a patient that was... 2 1150 Sun 5th 10:46 pm -
records for NOrth Enid Institu... 0 77 Thu 2nd 11:27 pm -

Featured Video

The following nine minute clip produced by S. Weber and entitled "Searching for the Lost Buildings of the Kings Park State Hospital" talks about the buildings that were razed on the Kings Park State Hospital campus during its operating years.

Upcoming Events Calendar

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v3.8.4 (9/15/2009) about...

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.







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