From Asylum Projects
Both the Greystone
Kirkbride buildings are in danger of being partially or completely demolished.
Please click on the link above for more information and to see how you can help.
The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
Featured Article Of The Week
Florida State Hospital
The Florida State Hospital, established in 1876, is located at Chattahoochee in the panhandle of Northwest Florida. It is on the site of an old United States Arsenal, which was built in 1834, just below the junction of the Flint and the Chattahoochee River, to command the ships on the Apalachicola River.
Florida State Hospital was originally a Federal Arsenal, built by the U.S. Army to be used as an arms depot during the second Seminole Indian War. It was used by the Freedman's Bureau from 1865 to 1868, and then served as the state's first penitentiary. Two of the original buildings still remain; the Officer's Quarters, which now serves as the Florida State Hospital Administration Building, and a Powder Magazine, which is currently being restored for eventual use as a museum and conference center.
The facility remained Florida's only state mental institution until 1947 and continues today to be the largest of a statewide system of treatment centers for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. It is listed on the National Historic Registry. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
Mrs. Catherine Winslow, the first woman employed at the Maine Insane Hospital
, was appointed matron when the asylum opened in 1840. The asylum was the product of a collaborative effort between the state and two private citizens, Reuel Williams of Augusta (married to Sarah Cony) and Benjamin Brown of Vassalborough. While early mental health institutions may fall far short of present-day standards for treatment for mental illness, the establishment of such places in the early nineteenth century was based, in part, on reforming care for the mentally ill.
Upcoming Events Calendar
Asylum News (news you can edit!)
January 27, 2014 A kinder approach: Former Allentown State Hospital CEO is recognized for reducing restraint tactics
- The former CEO walks on the roof of the Allentown State Hospital. He is armed with his high-definition camera and decades of memories to provide context to what he sees. Each step on the roof frames a new perspective of the hospital he helped to transform. The rooms in the former psychiatric center are empty. It has been three years since the hospital closed. For Greg Smith, it is easy to reminisce. He can fill in the blanks, but there aren't many signs of what used to happen at the 100-year-old campus.
January 27, 2014 Taunton State Hospital again faces closure
- The state's plan to close the inpatient unit at Taunton State Hospital reflects a philosophical shift that emphasizes community-based services over institutional care, a mental health official said Friday. For the third straight year, the state is proposing to move all inpatient beds from Taunton State Hospital to the new Worcester Recovery Center. In each of the past two years, the state faced staunch local opposition. As a compromise struck in the Legislature, 45 beds currently remain at Taunton State, which used to have about 170.