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The Vermont State Hospital
for the Insane was built in 1890 in Waterbury, Vermont, in response to overcrowded conditions at the Vermont Asylum for the Insane in Brattleboro (Brattleboro Retreat after 1898), Vermont's first and only facility for the care of the mentally ill. Originally built for "the care, custody, and treatment of insane criminals of the state," the Waterbury State Hospital eventually became the temporary or permanent shelter for Vermonters with mild to severe mental disabilities and others who had been committed for epilepsy, depression, alcoholism, or senility. Throughout its history, methods of patient diagnosis and treatment varied according to the philosophy of the superintendent.