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Pennhurst State Hospital
The Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feebleminded and Epileptic was founded by legislative acts of May 15, 1903. Primarily designed as a training school for the feebleminded, it became, through change in the legislative act, a custodial institution as well. Consequently two distinct sections are maintained: one for such epileptic and feeble-minded as require custodial care, and the second for the training of feeble-minded children.
The buildings are erected on a modification of the cottage plan, grouped closely together and connected by corridors. They are two stories in height, of brick and terra cotta, with granite trimmings, and fireproof throughout. They are so arranged as to provide a large number of small rooms occupied by from two to three beds, a few small dormitories with from eight to ten beds, and a large day exercising room.
The patients were fed in a general dining room, with the exception of the "low grades" who were housed in a separate building. Initially, a large percentage of patients were admitted voluntarily. Up to March, 1912, no female patients were being received. Click here for more...