Clarks Summit State Hospital

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Clarks Summit State Hospital
Established Sept 29, 1938 (As a PA State Hospital)
Opened 1862
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Peak Patient Population 1,046 in 1947
Alternate Names
  • Clark Summit Poor Farm
  • Hillside Home and Hospital


Clarks Summit State Hospital originated in 1862 when citizens of Providence Township developed a poor farm. As the years passed, the mentally ill were also provided care at the facility. At a later date, the responsibility for the operation of the poor farm was assumed by the City of Scranton, the Borough of Dunmore, and eventually, Lackawanna County. On September 29, 1938 the state took control of the hospital as part of the "Full State Care Act". The legislature (Act #53) assumed responsibility for eight of the thirteen existing county public mental hospitals, the other five hospitals were closed.

By the early 1940's, the Hillside Home and Hillside Hospital were operational in buildings currently named Abington Hall and Newton Hall. The name was changed from Hillside Home and Hospital to Clarks Summit State Hospital on October 1, 1943, when the Department of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, assumed the responsibility to operate and manage state mental hospitals.

By the mid 1950's Clarks Summit State Hospital was serving the residents of Lackawanna County and approximately 150 Luzerne County residents who were transferred in 1947 after the Ransom Home was destroyed by fire. The total hospital population at that time was 1,450 patients.

As newer types of psychotropic medications and other psychosocial rehabilitative approaches were found effective in the treatment of the mentally ill, the census of the hospital declined. The hospital was then assigned the responsibility for various other geographical areas in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Several new buildings were constructed: Hilltop East (originally a tuberculosis ward), Hilltop West (a geriatric building), a Recreation Hall, a Laundry Facility, and a Warehouse.

As the patient population declined, the hospital's Long Term Care Unit was closed in May 1998. Today the hospital has a bed capacity of 265, all of which are designated for adult psychiatric in-patient services.

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Main Image Gallery: Clarks Summit State Hospital

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