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Welcome to Asylum Projects,
A historic asylum wiki anyone can edit.
2,188 articles and counting
We need your help!
Overview · Editing · Help · How To Upload Images

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Both the Fergus Falls and Athens 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.


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

Madison State Hospital


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On Feb. 21, 1905, the Indiana legislature passed a bill to construct a mental institution in southeastern Indiana. A commission named for the purpose chose Madison as the site of the institution. It was built mostly on land purchased from Henry and Ford Hitz at $100 per acre, atop the hills overlooking the Ohio River. The first patients were accepted at the new Southeastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane on Aug. 23, 1910. The approximately 600 patients were transported here from Central State Hospital in Indianapolis by train. Guards who stood watch over them carried shotguns loaded with rock salt.

There were 30 two-story buildings with 20 to 70 beds each to house the patients, with the buildings being placed in a symmetrical pattern with administration and service buildings in between. Men’s buildings were on one side of the grounds, women’s buildings on the other. Heretofore, mental patients had been “warehoused” in huge buildings. But the new, enlightened view of “moral treatment” current in the early 20th century was that disturbed minds could be restored to sanity in a beautiful, peaceful and accepting environment such as the new state hospital offered, with its breathtaking view of the Ohio River Valley. The breaking up of the patients’ housing into smaller buildings, known as the cottage plan, also was aimed at more humane treatment of the mentally ill and at trying to restore them to sanity. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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Central State Hospital was brought into existence by an Act of the 1844-1845 Indiana General Assembly which provided for "the procuring of a suitable site for the erection of a State Lunatic Asylum." The property, consisting of 160 acres of farmland belonging to N. Bolton, was selected due to its proximity to the State Capitol. Purchased at the rate of $33.125 per acre, the property passed to the State of Indiana on August 29, 1845.

Recent Message Board Posts

Hello,

In this space you normally would see our forum. This had been a hold over from earlier days before we had a Facebook page. Just prior to our server issues regular users had been barely using the forum with the majority of new posts from anonymous users asking genealogy questions or spammers. The old forum software does not work with our new version while the new forum software does not carry over old comments to the new forum. As a result, the forum will be discontinued in favor of our Facebook page. If you have questions or comments you can ask them there.

Asylum Projects Facebook Page
If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.

Featured Video

Filmed in full collaboration with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the documentary features interviews with current and former patients at Rampton Hospital, as well as members of staff and a carer. The programme aimed to go some way towards demystifying the work of the Hospital – as well as portraying an honest and unbiased account about the need for high secure care.

Upcoming Events Calendar

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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.