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Kings Park State Hospital
The Kings Park Psychiatric Center was established in 1885 by Kings County in nearby Suffolk County, prior to the merging of Kings County with Queens County, New York County, Richmond County, and the Bronx County, to form the famous New York City. The official name of the hospital in its first ten years was the "Kings County Asylum," taken from the name of the county that Brooklyn occupied. The hospital was revolutionary at the time in the sense that it was a departure from the asylums of folklore, which were overcrowded places where gross human rights abuses often took place. The asylum, built by Brooklyn to alleviate overcrowding in its own asylums, was a "Farm Colony" asylum, where patients worked in a variety of farm-related activities, such as feeding livestock and growing food, as this was considered to be a form of therapy for the mentally ill at the time.
Eventually, overcrowding became a problem in the Kings County Asylum, the very thing that it was trying to relieve. New York State responded to the problem in 1895, when control of the asylum passed into state hands, and it was subsequently renamed the Kings Park State Hospital. The surrounding community, which had previously been known as "St. Johnland," adopted the name "Kings Park," which it is still known as today. Click here for more...