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The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
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Dayton State Hospital
The Dayton State Hospital was first occupied September, 1855, with a capacity of 162, known as the Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum. In the year 1875, it was changed to Western Ohio Hospital for the Insane; in 1877, to the Dayton Hospital for the Insane; in 1878, to the Dayton Asylum for the Insane; and in 1894, to the Dayton State Hospital and was located on a hill southeast of the city of Dayton.
The main building was built to the Kirkbride plan, consisting of the administration building, four stories in height, and the wards on either side three stories in height. The original building contained six wards, three on either side of the administration building, with a capacity of 164 patients. In 1861, the capacity of the Hospital was increased to 600 by the addition of six wards on each side. In 1891, it was again enlarged by the addition of congregate dining rooms, one on each side, which increased the capacity 170, giving a total capacity of 770. The Hospital had a frontage of 940 feet, and is uniformly three stories in height, except the administration building, which is four stories and surmounted by a cupola.
The Dayton State Hospital stood empty for many years, replaced by more modern facilities. While, in the mid-1980s, plans were being made to renovate the buildings and convert them into apartments for retirees, there was a fire in the old administration building and the cupola was destroyed. The damage to the rest of the administration building was comparatively minor and the plans to convert the buildings became a reality. But many mourned the loss of the cupola, a Dayton landmark for more than a century. Click here for more...
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In this space you normally would see our forum. This had been a hold over from earlier days before we had a Facebook page. Just prior to our server issues regular users had been barely using the forum with the majority of new posts from anonymous users asking genealogy questions or spammers. The old forum software does not work with our new version while the new forum software does not carry over old comments to the new forum. As a result, the forum will be discontinued in favor of our Facebook page. If you have questions or comments you can ask them there.
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If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.