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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

Colorado State Hospital


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The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo opened as the Colorado State Insane Asylum on October 23, 1879 on 40 acres of land in northwest Pueblo donated by George M. Chilcott, Colorado's first United States senator. On that date, 11 patients were admitted, nine males and two females from 12 different counties of the state. In 1917, the insane asylum was renamed the Colorado State Hospital. By 1923, the census the hospital climbed to 2,422 and continued to grow until 1961 when the hospital had nearly 6,000 patients. Like many state psychiatric hospitals at that time, it was a self-contained city, providing all the patients' needs within 300 acres of land on the main grounds and 5,000 acres at the dairy farm.

By 2005, however, the patient census declined to less than 450 patients, a result of the development of medications specifically for mental disorders, and a change in the philosophy and treatment of the mentally ill. The sign at the entrance still reads "Colorado State Hospital" although in 1991 the Colorado Department of Human Services psychiatric facilities names were changed to Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo and Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center (“LMYSC”), known to all who reside or work there as “The Hill,” has served the state of Colorado as a forward thinking youth corrections program for more than a century. On February 12, 1881, Governor Pitkin enacted enabling legislation to create a humane and progressive rehabilitative school for incorrigible young men between the ages of 7 and 16.

Asylum News   (news you can edit!)

February 7, 2016 Clarinda struggles to fill former hospital

The 128-year-old former mental health institute in the small southwest Iowa city of Clarinda isn’t your typical real estate opportunity, and so far no one is rushing to move in. More than seven months after the state closed the Clarinda Mental Health Institute, much of the sprawling building remains empty, including entire floors that haven’t been used in decades.

February 1, 2016 Efforts continue to preserve other parts of former Peoria State Hospital grounds

Christina Morris happily remembers Sunday morning breakfasts with her grandparents, followed by visits to the peaceful cemeteries on the grounds of the Peoria State Hospital, where some family members are buried. “My interest with the state hospital started when I was about 7 years old,” Morris said in a recent interview. “When I would come onto the grounds (my grandfather) would say that this was a place of special people. (By special) I thought he meant giants, because these buildings were so big and beautiful and immaculate to me. I just was enamored by how beautiful it was.”

January 7, 2016 That Time The United States Sterilized 60,000 Of Its Citizens

Not too long ago, more than 60,000 people were sterilized in the United States based on eugenic laws. Most of these operations were performed before the 1960s in institutions for the so-called “mentally ill” or “mentally deficient.” In the early 20th century across the country, medical superintendents, legislators, and social reformers affiliated with an emerging eugenics movement joined forces to put sterilization laws on the books.

January, 6, 2016 Pa. hires firm to develop plan for Harrisburg State Hospital site

Harrisburg, PA-The state has hired a Lancaster planning company to help it figure out what to do with the former Harrisburg State Hospital, which closed 10 years ago. Since closing in 2006, the hospital complex has housed state workers from the state police, Department of General Services and the Department of Human Services. It is now part of the larger DGS Annex property, which encompasses 303 acres across Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township.



  • For admins: This is the to do list of things that need to be done. Add things/reorganize it as you guys think of something.