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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
Toledo State Hospital
Designed by prominent Toledo architect, Edward O. Fallis, the Toledo Asylum for the Insane opened for occupancy in 1888, with Dr. Henry A. Tobey as superintendent. It was built on 150 acres of land located at the corner of Arlington and Detroit Avenues, and its design was based upon the cottage model which was a revolutionary concept at the time. There were thirty four buildings, twenty of which were pavilions or “cottages” that housed the “less extreme cases” of insane individuals, while six buildings--two infirm wards, two hospitals, and two strong wards--housed those considered more “critically insane” or “incurable.” The grounds also featured man-made lagoons, an administration building, a farm, an auditorium, a greenhouse, and a chapel. The maximum capacity of the entire project could house 1,800 patients.
The “cottage system,” as it became known, was conceived by General Roeliff Brinkerhoff, the founder of the Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society, who believed in abolishing the use of mechanical restraints in the treatment of the insane, and housing them in cottages to allow them the feelings of self-worth and independence while under the care of the state. The Mission Statement and Philosophy of the Asylum read, “To many the subject of caring for the insane is…a mystery. The secret of their care and keeping them contented is to have them lead as normal a life as possible, with good clean, healthy surroundings, plenty of nourishing food, and fresh air.” The Asylum began moving patients off of the property in the early 1970s, and the buildings were destroyed in the early 1990s. Northwest Ohio Psychiatirc Hospital (NOPH), located on the same site, is the current treatment center and psychiatric hospital in Toledo and is owned and operated by the state of Ohio. Click here for more...
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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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