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In 1850, Dorothea Dix persuaded the General Assembly to appropriate money for a state-run psychiatric hospital in Raleigh. By 1875, an estimated 700 North Carolinians were classified as “insane” and not receiving proper care. One hospital thus proved insufficient to meet the needs of the State’s mentally ill. Therefore, on March 20, 1875, the General Assembly voted to provide $75,000 to establish a second state hospital . Four western North Carolina cities, Statesville, Hickory, Asheville, and Morganton, competed to become the home for the institution that was to be known in its early years as the Western North Carolina Insane Asylum. Morganton was selected. |+|
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|−|Gifts and purchases resulted in 263 acres being acquired by the State in 1875. Work began almost immediately. As an economy measure, 50 convicts were released from penitentiaries and brought to Morganton to help make bricks for the hospital’s first building. The brick contractor was responsible for the feeding, safekeeping, and return of the convicts. Realizing that the building under construction would not provide adequate space and due to insufficient funding to expand its size, the General Assembly appropriated an additional $60,000 in 1877 for another wing. Five years later, in December 1882, the Avery Building and its south wing were completed. Dr. Patrick Livingston Murphy was hired as the first superintendent, a position in which he served for 25 years. [[ Broughton Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Richmond State Hospital
The site for the Eastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane, now known as Richmond State Hospital, of approximately 307 acres, was purchased in 1878. Construction started in 1884 and was completed in 1890. While the Indiana legislature had authorized the establishment of a "hospital for the insane" as early as 1827, the doors of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane (later re-named Central State Hospital) did not open until 1848.
At Richmond, between 1887 and 1890, three of the completed buildings were occupied by "The School for Feeble Minded Youth." In 1890, these patients were transferred to what is now known as the Fort Wayne Developmental Center. The buildings were refurbished and the hospital formally opened on July 29, 1890, with the first patient admitted on August 4, 1890.
The hospital buildings were constructed on the cottage plan in order to prevent any "disastrous conflagration," and provide for immediate evacuation of a small number of persons in case of fire. There are many interesting architectural details in the older buildings, including exterior cupolas, interior detailing such as intricate railings and stained glass. Click here for more...