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Both the Greystone and Athens Kirkbride buildings are in danger of being partially or completely demolished.
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Mission Statement

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The Mission

The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.

The Statement

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

Osawatomie State Hospital


Osawatomie State Hospital The first territorial legislature in 1855 passed an act providing for the appointment of guardians for persons of unsound mind, and in 1859 the provisions of the law were extended to include habitual drunkards. Guardians of such persons were required to assume the management of any estate owned by the ward, and to report to the proper judicial authorities at stated times. The first step toward the erection of an asylum for the insane of Kansas was the passage of the act of March 2, 1863, naming William Chestnut of Miami county, I. Hiner of Anderson county, and James Hanway of Franklin county as commissioners "to determine the location of the State Insane Asylum of the State of Kansas." The commissioners were somewhat restricted in the selection of a site, the act confining them to "some point within the township of Osawatomie township, in the county of Miami." It was further provided that a tract of land, not less than 160 acres, should constitute the site of the proposed institution, and that title to this land should be secured by donation. No appropriation was made for the erection of buildings until after the location was selected and approved.

On Oct. 17, 1863, the commissioners reported as follows: "We, the undersigned appointed commissioners to locate the state insane asylum, met at Osawatomie, Kan., on the 7th day of October, A. D., 1863, and selected the southeast quarter of section 2, township 18, range 22, for the reason that this was the only eligible site where a proper title could be obtained with the means at command of the township, and other material advantages for the establishment of such an institution." Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

A site in Dixon was chosen and construction began under the supervision of the Board of Administration which had succeeded in 1909 to the responsibilities of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities. The colony opened on May 1, 1918. Since the Board of Administration had been abolished by the Civil Administrative Code of 1917, the new institution came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Welfare.

Recent Message Board Posts

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Where are the Records Kept? 7 1240 Thu 21st 7:35 am -
Search for former patient info... 1 23Last 58 13376 Wed 20th 7:19 pm -
Riverview Hospital (Coquitlam)... 15 8127 Mon 18th 3:30 pm -
in search of JAMES WILLSON MAN... 0 21 Mon 18th 12:57 am -
A Resident at Rome NY State Sc... 1 2 17 3339 Sat 16th 10:21 pm -
Arizona Mental Hospital 2 289 Sat 16th 2:28 am -
Burn Brea Hosp 0 34 Thu 14th 1:22 pm -
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Traverse City State Hospital, ... 1 23Last 34 9689 Fri 8th 6:11 pm - Klarnetisto
Request family history at Clar... 1 75 Thu 7th 12:30 am -
Columbus State Hospital 12 2414 Wed 6th 6:25 am - Squad546
Illinois Resources 2 385 Wed 6th 6:08 am - Squad546
Harlem Valley State Hospital, ... 2 790 Tue 5th 3:27 am -
Student at North Dakota State ... 0 78 Thu 31st 1:36 am -
Family History Request Kankake... 1 23Last 40 7722 Wed 30th 1:15 am -

Featured Video

The following video entitled "Greystones Last Stand - Extended Preview" was created by Antiquity Echoes.

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Asylum News   (news you can edit!)


BERLIN, VERMONT – The nearly complete $38 million Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital is a state-of-the-art mental health facility that feels all but institutional.

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.

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