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It took Massachusetts until 1833 to establish its first "lunatic system" located in Worcester. By 1851 it had grown so dangerously overcrowded that the Legislature appropriated $100,000 for the construction of a new hospital. The Legislature appointed a commission to choose the site and oversee its construction. Interestingly, many communities across the state petitioned to have the institutions located in their towns. After a lengthy search the commission chose the City of Taunton
who had raised $13,000 to buy a one hundred and fifty-four acre farm situated in the north of town.