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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

Edgewood State Hospital


Edgewood State Hospital was a tubercular/psychiatric hospital complex that formerly stood in Deer Park, New York, on Long Island, New York, USA. It was one of four state mental asylums built on Long Island (the others being Kings Park, Central Islip, and Pilgrim), and was the last one of the four to be built.

The hospital was built in the early 1940s, believed to be a Works Progress Administration-funded project. It consisted only of ten buildings (including its massive, prominent 13-story main building), making it the smallest of the four as well (although it was planned to be a larger complex, those plans never made it past paper). The facility was commandeered by the War Department after the United States entered World War II. The War Department completed its construction for use as a psychiatric facility for battle-traumatized soldiers. Its entire campus (in addition to three buildings from nearby Pilgrim State Hospital and numerous temporary structures) was used as "Mason General Hospital" by the department.

When the war ended, the hospital was transferred back to New York State, where it essentially operated as the tubercular division of Pilgrim for a few years. In 1946 film director John Huston was assigned by the U.S government to film a documentary film about recovering soldiers in the hospital for propaganda purposes, the film was called "Let There Be Light". Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

NY state responded by making plans for a third so-called farm colony, what was to become the Pilgrim State Hospital, named in honor of the former New York State Commissioner of Mental Health, Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim.

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Featured Video

The following twenty minute 1936 video entitled "On The Front Lines" was about the major scourge of the time, tuberculosis, and features Waverly Hills Sanitarium for most of its hospital scenes.

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