Columbia County Asylum

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Columbia County Asylum
Established 1858 and 1885
Construction Began 1858 with additions in 1867 and 1878.
Opened 1859
Closed 1971
Current Status Demolished
Location Wyocena, WI
Alternate Names
  • The County Insane Asylum and Poor Home at Wyocena,
  • Exchange Hotel


The Columbia County Asylum was voted for in Nov. of 1858 as prior to the creation of a county asylum each town was left to take care of the mentally ill. In December of 1858 the old Exchange Hotel and 1 acre of land were bought for use as the Columbia County Asylum and poor house. First housed in this reused hotel, the site was known as the County Insane Asylum and Poor Home at Wyocena.

Brick additions were added to the old Exchange hotel in 1867 and 1878 but by the 1885 the building was not suitable to house all of the poor and insane so a separate insane asylum was opened. This building was to become known as the Columbia County Asylum.

Images of the Columbia County Asylum[edit]