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In 1883, Indiana's Legislature authorized funding for the construction of a new facility in Evansville to treat mentally ill patients. A secluded, densely wooded farm on Newburgh Road (now Lincoln Avenue), then three miles outside of the city, was selected as the site, and on Oct. 30, 1890, the new hospital admitted its first two patients. Known in its early years as Woodmere ("tranquility in the forest") and since 1927 as the Evansville State Hospital
, the hospital's gardens, poultry farm, livestock and orchards, spread out over nearly 900 acres, made it self-sufficient.