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Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital |+|
The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane, also called the Ontario Hospital and later the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, was initially intended to be an asylum for ‘inebriates’. However there was more need for beds for the mentally disturbed and this became its sole concern. The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane began operation in 1876 on 529 acres of land with 202 patients. The two closest asylums were Toronto and London. The first structure, the Barton Building, opened in 1876 with Dr. R. Bucke, internationally known for his humane treatment of the mentally ill, as the first Medical Superintendent. The hospital grew quickly to meet the expanding health needs of the province. |+|
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|−|Until well into the 20th century it was accessible only by a dirt road and was therefore quite isolated. However it was largely self-sufficient with the farm, on which the hospital stood, providing all the necessary food. Cattle, chickens and pigs as well as fruits and vegetables all came from the farm. It had its own bakery, butcher's shop, greenhouse, root cellar, milk-processing house, tailor's shop, sewing room, upholstery shop, fire hall, power house, a fleet of vehicles, skating and curling rinks, a bowling green, tennis courts and chapel. In 1890 it housed 915 patients and employed 119 people. The Asylum Ball was an annual event in the Hamilton community for many years. Its guest list was a who’s who of Hamilton society. [[ Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Elgin State Hospital
On December 28,1869, the Board of Trustees met to examine the nine plans that had been submitted from various architects for the new asylum. The Board had enlisted the aid of two prominent superintendents to act as advisers. One was Dr. Andrew McFarland, M.D., the Superintendent of the state hospital in Jacksonville. The other was Dr. Richard J. Patterson, M.D., former superintendent of state hospitals in Indianapolis, Indiana and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Interestingly, the building design of the Jacksonville hospital was largely based on that of the Indiana State Hospital, and is an example of the increasingly common practice of copying designs from one hospital for use at another.
The original name of the Elgin Mental Health Facility (its current name) was The Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The doors opened in 1872, however, construction of additional buildings continued until 1874. A rumor circulated for year, and still exists that the State of Illinois approached the City of Elgin with plans to construct a mental institution and a college and offered Elgin one or the other. As the rumor goes, Elgin took the mental institution, De Kalb took Northern Illinois University. As Elgin Historian and celebrated Elgin History author, Bill Briska points out the rumor, "...is totally false" He goes on to state that, "The state hospital was founded in 1869 and the college in 1892. (there are) No connection between the events". Click here for more...