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To supplement the rapidly overcrowding asylum at Kalamazoo, the Michigan state legislature established the new Eastern Asylum for the Insane
in 1873 (renamed to the Eastern Michigan Asylum before it even opened), to be located in an eastern part of the state near the growing population center of Detroit, where many of Kalamazoo's patients where coming from. Members for a locating board were selected, and after considering potential sites at Detroit, which did not meet all of the requirements of the propositions, and at Holly, which had the advantage of railway lines running both North/South and East/West. But Holly was felt by the board to being too close in proximity to Flint, the location of the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, since it was a policy of the state to distribute it's institutions. the Board selected the site at Pontiac known as the "Woodward farm" in June, 1874. This site had the advantages of good soil for farming, a raised elevation that insured pleasant views, fresh air, and good drainage, wells would be able to supply ample fresh water, and it was adjacent to a primary railway line.