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Featured Article Of The Week

Mendocino State Hospital


Mendocino State Hospital, originally the Mendocino State Asylum for the Insane, was established in 1889 (Statutes 1889, Ch. 23). By that law the Governor was authorized to appoint a board of directors of five members for a term of four years to select the site and to manage the institution. In October 1890, contracts were let out for the construction of the male ward building, connecting corridor, kitchen building, laundry, bakery, and the boiler and engine house. The contract for these buildings was for $182,520. On the 26th of January, 1891, contracts were let out for the female building for $89,025,. Three months later, in April 1891, construction began on the hospital. Additional funds were allocated for completion of mentioned buildings, including $60,000 for construction of the administration building.

In 1893, the hospital was renamed as the Mendocino Asylum (Statutes 1893, Ch. 64). With the Insanity Law of 1897, the hospital took on the name of Mendocino State Hospital. The Insanity Law created the State Commission on Lunacy which was given authority to see that all laws relating to care and treatment of patients were carried out and to make recommendations to the Legislature concerning the management of hospitals for the insane. The 1897 law provided that each hospital should be controlled by a board of managers of five members appointed by the Governor for four year terms. On December 12 1893, the Hospital was finished and opened to patients, receiving 60 from Napa State Hospital this same day. Two days later 60 more arrived from Stockton State Hospital and on March 25 30 from Agnews State Hospital, bringing the population to 150. Click here for more...