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In 1902, the Louisiana Legislature created a facility to house and treat the mentally ill. The facility operated under several names since its opening in January 1906, but was later known as Central Louisiana State Hospital
. At its peak in 1959, the hospital housed over 3,000 patients, but in recent years, patient numbers at Central dwindled to 246 in 1995 to 120 being cared for today. The hospital campus is over 400 acres. The hospital grounds also include the Civil War-era Fort Randolph.