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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

Farmington State Hospital


Received it's first patients in 1903. The state budgeted $150,000 to build the hospital itself and in 1901, an additional $120,000 went for new buildings and equipment. Five cottages were built for patients and from 1901 to 1902 a dining room, kitchen, power house, barns, laundry, ice plant, the folk building (set aside for nurses, attendants and recreation), an administration building, the Hall building, the superintendents' residences and the Harrison Building, a receiving building and acute care hospital, were constructed. Dr. William Hall admitted the first three patients in 1903 and by 1904, the population stood at 332. By 1907, 795 patients were housed at the hospital. By 1922, the hospital was so crowded the superintendent's home was converted to housing for women patients. In 1925, the Hyde Building was built and the Folk Building was converted to house female patients. Another milestone was marked in 1925 when Dr. Emmett Hoctor took over as superintendent of Farmington State Hospital, then known as State hospital Number 4.

In 1931, the diathermy machine was introduced to treat paresis, a form of paralysis. Before, physicians had induced a high fever in paretic patients by injecting them with malaria germs. While the malarial fever did help some patients, the danger of dying of malaria outweighed the benefits. When penicillin was discovered, it replaced the diathermy machine, chiefly because it was dramatically effective for treating syphillis, the major cause of paresis. In 1932, the hospital established its first community-based treatment center when it set up a clinic for mental health education and consultation in the New Madrid County Courthouse. Other clinics were set up in Mississippi and Scott Counties and today clinics can be found in Sikeston, Cape Girardeau, Kennett and West Plains. On June 6, 1940, Dr. Paul Schrader performed the first lobotomy. In the first months of 1940, 64 major lobotomies were performed at the hospital. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

NevadaMO PC (2).JPG
Nevada State Hospital was established in 1885, it was the third asylum in Missouri. The first building to be built was the distinctive Kirkbride main building. Yet over the years the building lost most of it's distinctive features and ornamentation. In 1991 Nevada State Hospital closed and transitioned its operations to a Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program known as Southwest Missouri Mental Health Center.

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Featured Video

Two old movies found at the University of Kentucky and a 3rd that had been held at Eastern State Hospital Lexington and recently converted to digital format.

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