Winnebago State Hospital

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search
Winnebago State Hospital
Construction Began 1871
Opened 1873
Current Status Active
Building Style Kirkbride Plan (Demolished)
Architect(s) Stephen Vaughn Shipman
Location Oshkosh, WI
Alternate Names
  • Winnebago Mental Health Institute
  • Northern Asylum for the Insane


On the west central shore of Lake Winnebago, just north of the city of Oshkosh, lies a promontory called Asylum Point. Its surrounding waters are identified as Asylum Bay. For 125 years, the Bay has sheltered the facility which has been known as the Northern Asylum for the Insane; the Winnebago State Hospital; and Winnebago Mental Health Institute. Although its waters have been by no means always tranquil, the Institute has, throughout its history, provided many troubled individuals with a sanctuary, a refuge, and a safe place to prepare for re-entry into a turbulent world.

Winnebago Mental Health Institute (WMHI) is located on the scenic west shore of Lake Winnebago, four miles north of Oshkosh. The purchase price for the original 338 acres of land was $26,000. Construction of the Northern Hospital for the Insane (now WMHI) began in 1871. The first patient was admitted on April 21, 1873. The original building was completed on November 11, 1875, with the capacity of 500 beds.

The Kirkbride was demolished in 1966/67 to make way for newer buildings.

Images of Winnebago State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Winnebago State Hospital



The J. Farrow Museum is dedicated to Mrs. Julaine Farrow (1917-1991), who was a Registered Nurse at Winnebago Mental Health Institute for 36 years...What started as a two room exhibit has grown to ten rooms. The Museum chronicles the contributions of the early pioneers in the treatment of the mentally ill; it has pictures dating to 1875 as well as furniture and a variety of displays.

  • Location & Hours

4150 Sherman Road
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 235-4910

February thru October
(Thursdays) 1pm – 3:30pm