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Central State Hospital Louisville
Central State Hospital was a 192-bed adult psychiatric hospital located in eastern Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky. In 1869, 200 acres were purchased by the Kentucky State Legislature from the descendants of renown frontiersman Issac Hite to establish a "State House of Reform for Juvenile Delinquents." This was located on the outskirts of what would become Anchorage, Kentucky. In 1873, due to overcrowding at both of Kentucky's mental hospitals, the House of Reform was converted into the Fourth Kentucky Lunatic Asylum, with Dr. C.C. Forbes as its first Superintendent. The following year an act of the legislature renamed it the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum. In late 1887, it received its own post office, called simply "Asylum". The following year its name was changed to "Lakeland", and the institution was commonly referred to as "Lakeland Hospital" or "Lakeland Asylum". By 1900, its official name had been changed to the Central Kentucky Asylum for the Insane. By 1912 it was known as Central State Hospital. Comparable institutions are Eastern State Hospital at Lexington in Fayette County and Western State Hospital at Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky. All three were administered by the Board of Charitable Organizations.
The secluded, rural setting was typical of such facilities in the late 19th century, as such an environment was thought to be beneficial for recovery from mental illness. However, not all patients had mental disorders - some suffered from brain damage, mental retardation or were simply poor or elderly. The early years of the 1880s were marked by repeated allegations of patient abuse. Click here for more...