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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
Richmond State Hospital
The site for the Eastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane, now known as Richmond State Hospital, of approximately 307 acres, was purchased in 1878. Construction started in 1884 and was completed in 1890. While the Indiana legislature had authorized the establishment of a "hospital for the insane" as early as 1827, the doors of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane (later re-named Central State Hospital) did not open until 1848.
At Richmond, between 1887 and 1890, three of the completed buildings were occupied by "The School for Feeble Minded Youth." In 1890, these patients were transferred to what is now known as the Fort Wayne Developmental Center. The buildings were refurbished and the hospital formally opened on July 29, 1890, with the first patient admitted on August 4, 1890.
The hospital buildings were constructed on the cottage plan in order to prevent any "disastrous conflagration," and provide for immediate evacuation of a small number of persons in case of fire. There are many interesting architectural details in the older buildings, including exterior cupolas, interior detailing such as intricate railings and stained glass. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
On Feb. 21, 1905, the Indiana legislature passed a bill
to construct a mental institution in southeastern Indiana. A commission named for the purpose chose Madison as the site of the institution. It was built mostly on land purchased from Henry and Ford Hitz at $100 per acre, atop the hills overlooking the Ohio River. The first patients were accepted at the new Southeastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane on Aug. 23, 1910. The approximately 600 patients were transported here from Central State Hospital in Indianapolis by train. Guards who stood watch over them carried shotguns loaded with rock salt.
The following sixth-eight minute documentary entitled "If these walls could talk stories behind Toronto's psychiatric patient built wall" is about the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. It was created by Toronto filmmakers Naomi Berlyne and Sibyl Likely.
Recent Message Board Posts
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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If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.