Marshall Infirmary

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Marshall Infirmary
Opened 1848
Closed 1964
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Troy, NY
Alternate Names
  • Rensselaer County Lunatic Asylum
  • Marshall Sanitarium


The land upon which the Marshall Infirmary, later renamed Marshall Sanitarium, was located, was adjacent to the lands originally acquired by Benjamin Marshall to be used for a series of textile mills and other water-powered industry along the Poestenkill Creek in Troy, New York. The chain of mills used water power routed along a series of tunnels engineered by Marshall in the 1840s. These textile mills were among the earliest parts of the industrial development of Troy in the early 19th century. Marshall became a wealthy and prominent citizen of Troy in the mid-19th century until his death in 1858. Marshall founded the Marshall Infirmary as a hospital 1848 that included patients who were mentally ill. The Infirmary was incorporated in 1851 and in 1858 Marshall died and his will created a trust to help support the Infirmary.

The first building was built on his estate on Linden Avenue and during the Civil War and later years, additional wings and buildings were added to the Infirmary. During the Civil War, the Rensselaer County appropriated funding to pay the Infirmary to care for the county’s mentally ill patients. About 1900, the name was changed to Marshall Sanitarium. During the Depression years, the Sanitarium had financial difficulties, but survived and continued to operate as an asylum until 1964. The Board of Governors in that year considered the changes in medical care of the mentally ill and the expense of renovating their buildings and acquiring modern equipment. Because the Sanitarium could not afford to modernize their buildings and equipment, the governors decided to close the Sanitarium.