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Colorado State Hospital
The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo opened as the Colorado State Insane Asylum on October 23, 1879 on 40 acres of land in northwest Pueblo donated by George M. Chilcott, Colorado's first United States senator. On that date, 11 patients were admitted, nine males and two females from 12 different counties of the state. In 1917, the insane asylum was renamed the Colorado State Hospital. By 1923, the census the hospital climbed to 2,422 and continued to grow until 1961 when the hospital had nearly 6,000 patients. Like many state psychiatric hospitals at that time, it was a self-contained city, providing all the patients' needs within 300 acres of land on the main grounds and 5,000 acres at the dairy farm.
By 2005, however, the patient census declined to less than 450 patients, a result of the development of medications specifically for mental disorders, and a change in the philosophy and treatment of the mentally ill. The sign at the entrance still reads "Colorado State Hospital" although in 1991 the Colorado Department of Human Services psychiatric facilities names were changed to Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo and Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan. Click here for more...