Editing Eastern State Hospital

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search

Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits. If you log in or create an account, your edits will be attributed to your username, along with other benefits.

The edit can be undone. Please check the comparison below to verify that this is what you want to do, and then save the changes below to finish undoing the edit.
Latest revision Your text
Line 1: Line 1:
<div style="font-size:85%; text-align:left;">If you were looking for Eastern State Hospital in Kentucky, [[Eastern State Hospital Lexington|click here]]</div>
 
<div style="font-size:85%; text-align:left;">If you were looking for Eastern State Hospital in Oklahoma, [[Vinta State Hospital|click here]]</div>
 
<div style="font-size:85%; text-align:left;">If you were looking for Eastern State Hospital in Washington, [[Eastern Washington State Hospital|click here]]</div> <!-- Please keep this at the very top of the page and also please do not change or remove this, thanks! -->
 
 
{{infobox institution
 
{{infobox institution
 
| name = Eastern State Hospital
 
| name = Eastern State Hospital
| image = Virginia Eastern Lunatic Asylum 1773.jpg
+
| image = Administration2.JPG
 
| image_size = 250px
 
| image_size = 250px
 
| alt = Eastern State Hospital
 
| alt = Eastern State Hospital
 
| caption =  
 
| caption =  
| established = 1771
+
| established =
 
| construction_began = 1773/1935(Current location)  
 
| construction_began = 1773/1935(Current location)  
 
| construction_ended =
 
| construction_ended =
Line 15: Line 12:
 
| demolished =
 
| demolished =
 
| current_status = [[Active Institution|Active]]
 
| current_status = [[Active Institution|Active]]
| building_style = [[Pre-1854 Plans]] (Original)<br>[[Cottage Planned Institutions|Cottage Plan]]
+
| building_style = [[Cottage Planned Institutions|Cottage Plan]]
 
| architect(s) =
 
| architect(s) =
 
| location =
 
| location =
 
| architecture_style =
 
| architecture_style =
 
| peak_patient_population =
 
| peak_patient_population =
| alternate_names =<br>
+
| alternate_names =
*Public Hospital For Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds
+
Eastern Lunatic Asylum  
*Eastern Lunatic Asylum  
 
 
}}
 
}}
  
==History==
 
 
In 1771, contractor Benjamin Powell was appointed to began construction on the public hospital. The public hospital was a two-story brick building south of Francis Street. A fire in 1885 destroyed the original 1773 hospital building, which included a central hall leading to the keeper's quarters and the patient cells. A central staircase led to the room in which the court of directors held their meetings, as well as to more patient accommodations. Before he was finished, Powell was also directed to add outdoor "yards for patients to walk and take the Air in" and to "put a fence around the lot." The first patient was admitted to the public hospital on October 12th, 1773. The hospital's maximum capacity was 24 patients, a number that was not reached until the early 1800s.
 
In 1771, contractor Benjamin Powell was appointed to began construction on the public hospital. The public hospital was a two-story brick building south of Francis Street. A fire in 1885 destroyed the original 1773 hospital building, which included a central hall leading to the keeper's quarters and the patient cells. A central staircase led to the room in which the court of directors held their meetings, as well as to more patient accommodations. Before he was finished, Powell was also directed to add outdoor "yards for patients to walk and take the Air in" and to "put a fence around the lot." The first patient was admitted to the public hospital on October 12th, 1773. The hospital's maximum capacity was 24 patients, a number that was not reached until the early 1800s.
  
Line 32: Line 27:
 
In 1841, the name of the public hospital was changed from The Public Hospital For Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds to Eastern Lunatic Asylum, carrying with it the connotations of a sanctuary for the mentally ill. Also in that year, a third story was added onto the main building. The gaol-like positions of superintendent and matron were replaced with the position of superintendent. The superintendent was a resident, full-time doctor and head administrator to the hospital. The superintendent in 1841 was John Minson Galt II, who made sweeping changes in the management and care of patients. At his death in May of 1862, the hospital housed between 200 and 300 patients in its 7 buildings.
 
In 1841, the name of the public hospital was changed from The Public Hospital For Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds to Eastern Lunatic Asylum, carrying with it the connotations of a sanctuary for the mentally ill. Also in that year, a third story was added onto the main building. The gaol-like positions of superintendent and matron were replaced with the position of superintendent. The superintendent was a resident, full-time doctor and head administrator to the hospital. The superintendent in 1841 was John Minson Galt II, who made sweeping changes in the management and care of patients. At his death in May of 1862, the hospital housed between 200 and 300 patients in its 7 buildings.
  
In the 1850s, Superintendent Galt suggested a day-patient approach similar to the town of Geel (present-day Germany), where patients went into town and interacted with the community during the day and returned to the hospital at night to sleep. The Court of Directors rejected this proposal. The idea was a century ahead of its time and re-emerged as de-institutionalization in the 1900s. However, Dr. Galt did carry out an experiment with de-institutionalization in Williamsburg that lasted for a decade. Convalescing patients who behaved well and had good self-control (approximately half of the 280 patients at the time), had the freedom of the town at all times during the day. The townspeople were also encouraged to visit and socialize with patients still confined to the hospital grounds. Many of these changes were a part of a new era called "moral management," brought about due to a change in social perception of mental illness.
+
In the 1850s, Superintendent Galt suggested a day-patient approach similar to the town of Geel (present-day Germany), where patients went into town and interacted with the community during the day and returned to the hospital at night to sleep. The Court of Directors rejected this proposal. The idea was a century ahead of its time and re-emerged as deinstitutionalization in the 1900s. However, Dr. Galt did carry out an experiment with deinstitutionalization in Williamsburg that lasted for a decade. Convalescing patients who behaved well and had good self-control (approximately half of the 280 patients at the time), had the freedom of the town at all times during the day. The townspeople were also encouraged to visit and socialize with patients still confined to the hospital grounds. Many of these changes were a part of a new era called "moral management," brought about due to a change in social perception of mental illness.
  
 
Many changes to Eastern State Asylum occurred at this time. The asylum, as well as the surrounding area, was captured by Union troops on May 6th of 1862. John Minson Galt II, superintendent for 21 years, also died that month. With the capture of the city, all but one of the white attendants had fled. The 252 patients had been left, locked in their apartments to starve. The remaining attendant, Sommersett Moore, handed the keys to the hospital to the Union army and saved the lives of the patients.
 
Many changes to Eastern State Asylum occurred at this time. The asylum, as well as the surrounding area, was captured by Union troops on May 6th of 1862. John Minson Galt II, superintendent for 21 years, also died that month. With the capture of the city, all but one of the white attendants had fled. The 252 patients had been left, locked in their apartments to starve. The remaining attendant, Sommersett Moore, handed the keys to the hospital to the Union army and saved the lives of the patients.
Line 38: Line 33:
 
A great many changes occurred during the next 23 years, to both the administration of the hospital, and to the size of its population. Superintendents did not always have the full support of their staff or the Court of Directors, and the hospital did not always receive adequate financial support. In 1876, fire destroyed one of the asylum buildings. One superintendent, Dr. Harvey Black, was inspired by Dr. Galt's manuscripts to try and deinstitutionalize some of the 400+ patients at the hospital in the late 1880s. He was fired by the court of Directors and replaced by Dr. Richard Wise, whose goal was to find space within Eastern State Asylum for as many "unfortunates" as possible. Under his supervision, the population of the hospital rose from 323 to 447 patients. At this time, there were 10 buildings on the Eastern State Asylum property. A few of the therapeutic activities introduce by Galt still continued, but for the most part the hospital became a long-term care facility for the chronically ill.
 
A great many changes occurred during the next 23 years, to both the administration of the hospital, and to the size of its population. Superintendents did not always have the full support of their staff or the Court of Directors, and the hospital did not always receive adequate financial support. In 1876, fire destroyed one of the asylum buildings. One superintendent, Dr. Harvey Black, was inspired by Dr. Galt's manuscripts to try and deinstitutionalize some of the 400+ patients at the hospital in the late 1880s. He was fired by the court of Directors and replaced by Dr. Richard Wise, whose goal was to find space within Eastern State Asylum for as many "unfortunates" as possible. Under his supervision, the population of the hospital rose from 323 to 447 patients. At this time, there were 10 buildings on the Eastern State Asylum property. A few of the therapeutic activities introduce by Galt still continued, but for the most part the hospital became a long-term care facility for the chronically ill.
  
After the Civil War, there was an increasing lack of confidence in the ability of science to cure mental illness. Though mental illness was believed to be hereditary or of physical nature, the problem of its cure defied scientific solution. The hospital became crowded with the chronically mentally ill, and the number of patients successfully cured declined. Admission to the hospital was on a first-come, first-serve basis, regardless of chances for successful treatment. During the era of custodial care, the goal became not to cure mental illness, but to provide a comfortable environment for the mentally ill, separate from society. Recreational activities such as dances, steamboat excursions, and tea parties were offered to patients, as well as magic lanterns, a stereopticon viewer, and checkerboards. The use of restraints, in the forms of straight-jackets and Utica cribs (mesh boxes to confine the violent and unruly), were also reintroduced during this time.
+
After the Civil War, there was an increasing lack of confidence in the ability of science to cure mental illness. Though mental illness was believed to be hereditary or of physical nature, the problem of its cure defied scientific solution. The hospital became crowded with the chronically mentally ill, and the number of patients successfully cured declined. Admission to the hospital was on a first-come, first-serve basis, regardless of chances for successful treatment. During the era of custodial care, the goal became not to cure mental illness, but to provide a comfortable environment for the mentally ill, separate from society. Recreational activities such as dances, steamboat excursions, and tea parties were offered to patients, as well as magic lanterns, a stereopticon viewer, and checkerboards. The use of restraints, in the forms of straightjackets and Utica cribs (mesh boxes to confine the violent and unruly), were also reintroduced during this time.
  
 
On June 7th in 1885 on a Sunday evening, a fire destroyed the original 1773 hospital building. The nearest fire engine at the time was in Richmond, some 50 miles away. Students from the nearby College of William and Mary came to the assistance of the hospital staff to help put out the fire. By the time the fire was out, five other buildings in the asylum complex had burned down. The fire left two patients missing (presumed dead) and 224 other patients displaced. Electrical wiring for lighting, one of the improvements made to Eastern State Asylum during the superintendence of James D. Moncure, was suspected of sparking the blaze.
 
On June 7th in 1885 on a Sunday evening, a fire destroyed the original 1773 hospital building. The nearest fire engine at the time was in Richmond, some 50 miles away. Students from the nearby College of William and Mary came to the assistance of the hospital staff to help put out the fire. By the time the fire was out, five other buildings in the asylum complex had burned down. The fire left two patients missing (presumed dead) and 224 other patients displaced. Electrical wiring for lighting, one of the improvements made to Eastern State Asylum during the superintendence of James D. Moncure, was suspected of sparking the blaze.
Line 52: Line 47:
  
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
File:Virginia Eastern Lunatic Asylum 1773.jpg
+
File:Building27.JPG
File:Virginia Eastern Lunatic Asylum 1884.jpg
 
File:Administration2.JPG
 
 
File:Builing11.JPG
 
File:Builing11.JPG
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 
==Books==
 
*''Disordered Minds - The First Century of Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, 1766-1866'', by Norman Dain
 
*''Quest For A Cure - The Public Hospital In Williamsburg, Virginia, 1773-1885'', by Shomer S. Zwelling
 
 
==Cemetery==
 
The Eastern State Hospital Cemetery is but a short distance from the original Hospital location. Patients who died were buried here, but all were laid to rest on unmarked graves, thus the cemetery for the most part is just a piece of well kept land. It has wrought fence on the front of the cemetery, and immediately upon entering the gate there is a monument area that was erected in 1986, consisting of five granite stones with the theme "CELEBRATING THEIR DIGNITY".
 
 
The following words are inscribed in one of them:"We erect this monument in memory of those persons whom we have known, loved and served through the years. While living they knew the suffering of inner pain, confusion and despair. Now they are at peace in the hands of God where no torment will ever touch them again".
 
 
On the other four stones, the names of all laid to rest are inscribed, over 1,200. They are not alphabetized nor does it show any dates. There are only about half a dozen old stone markers in the cemetery, and on the last few years, simple stones with names and dates are noted by the fence area.
 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
  
 
[[Category:Virginia]]
 
 
[[Category:Active Institution]]
 
[[Category:Active Institution]]
 
[[Category:Cottage Plan]]
 
[[Category:Cottage Plan]]
[[Category:Pre-1854 Plans]]
+
[[Category:Virginia]]
[[Category:Institution With A Cemetery]]
 
[[Category:Past Featured Article Of The Week]]
 

Please note that all contributions to Asylum Projects may be edited, altered, or removed by other contributors. If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then do not submit it here.
You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource (see Asylum Projects:Copyrights for details). Do not submit copyrighted work without permission!

To edit this page, please answer the question that appears below (more info):

Cancel | Editing help (opens in new window)