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Medfield State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
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Medfield State Hospital was founded by an act of the State Legislature in 1892. The property consisted of several hundred acres and twenty two buildings. Over the years the buildings and land were increased until it reached its maximum size of some fifty eight buildings and nine hundred plus acres. |+|
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|−|The Hospital has had as many as 2,200 patients on the property and a staff of in the range of 500-900 persons. It was in effect, a self contained community with a population at the time rivaling the size of the Town of Medfield. The facility supplied its own power, heat, water, sewage system, and raised its own livestock and produce. Medfield State Hospital claimed to be the first mental health hospital to be built on the “cottage plan” with individual buildings to allow for better light ventilation, easier classification, and to create a more homelike environment. |+|
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|−|During the Kennedy Administration, in the early 1960s, Congress passed a law requiring that all mental health patients in the United States be housed or hospitalized in the least restrictive environment possible. In the early seventies, as a result of this law, patients, guardians, and parents of patients filed a class action suit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to require the DMH to conform with the federal law. In 1974, a federal court consent decree was entered into by the DMH resulting in the relocation of most mental patients from isolated mental institutions to community based halfway houses and hospitals. A result of this decision has been to reduce the number of patients at Medfield to approximately 200. It has also set in motion DMH’s plan to eventually dispose all or part of the Medfield facility, along with seven other similar institutions across the State. [[ Medfield State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Featured Article Of The Week
Spencer State Hospital
In 1885, the state legislature began hearings on the need for a Second Hospital for the Insane. The first hospital for the insane was built at Weston in 1859. Because of overcrowded conditions, it was determined that a second facility was needed. They appointed a commission to choose several sites and present their findings at the next session in 1887. John G Schilling, a Spencer attorney, was among the members of the commission.
One of the factors that would determine the final selection of a site was the willingness of the county government to purchase the necessary land and donate it to the state free of charge. Roane County was enthusiastic with the prospect of obtaining the hospital. The Roane County Court immediately issued an order stating that they would indeed be willing to meet this requirement.
The decision on the hospital's location was not made until the legislative session of 1887. Spencer was eventually chosen as the site of the new hospital. The legislature approved an appropriation of $10,000 to begin construction. The county was now required to provide the land for the facility. On February 10, 1888, the county court purchased 184 acres of land from William R. Goff for the sum of $9,200. Goff, after receiving this large sum of money began looking for a safe repository for his money. Goff and several other citizens joined together to form the Bank of Spencer. It opened for business in March 1891. The county's first bank was designated to handle the funds for the construction of the new hospital. It also later handled the state hospital's regular transactions. The building was 1/4 mile in length. Click here for more...