Outwood State Hospital and School

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Outwood State Hospital and School
Established 1919
Construction Began 1920
Opened 1922
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Dawson Springs,KY
Peak Patient Population 375
Alternate Names
  • U.S. Veteran's Hospital #79
  • Outwood Hospital
  • Outwood Sanatorium
  • Outwood Developmental


March 13, 1919 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Kincheloe Bill providing for the establishment of a federal sanatorium at Dawson Springs, to be operated as a public health hospital for discharged sailors, marines & soldiers. Soon after the bill was signed, construction begun on the acquired 5,000 acres. The hospital was completed & dedicated February 22, 1922. The facility consisted of 27 buildings, all constructed of hollow-tile with concrete basements and floors & finished on the outside with stucco. Years later the name was changed to Outwood Hospital. At it's peak, it housed almost 400 patients with about 300 employees. The facility operated as a tuberculosis sanatorium for many years & closed July 1962. It was then transferred over from the veterans administration to the state department of mental health. Outwood housed mainly developmentally disabled from western Ky. Today most of the original buildings have been demolished & only a few remain.