Woodville State Hospital
|Woodville State Hospital|
|Established||1939 (As a PA State Hospital)|
|Building Style||Cottage Plan|
|Architect(s)||Howard Sterling & Thomas B. Garman|
|Peak Patient Population||3,200|
Originally founded as the Allegheny County Home for the Poor in 1854, the hospital was owned and operated by the county government until May 31, 1939 when it was taken over by the state of Pennsylvania along with 11 other county owned mental hospitals. When the state took control of the hospital the Allegheny County Institutional District continued to manage the "poor" section of this facility. This arrangement continued until 1958 when the state assumed complete control of all administrative duties. In 1983 the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare proposed closing the hospital, but instead closed the much smaller Dixmont State Hospital in 1984. The hospital was finally closed by the state in 1992. At the time of it's closing the hospital still cared for 460 patients. Each patient was evaluated and either sent to Mayview State Hospital or were put into community care programs. Soon after the closing many of the hospital buildings were torn down as land was divided up and sold. PennDot was the first to build on the former hospital property. Their new 4 million dollar District 11 Headquarters, built on the front lawn of the hospital, was completed the same year the hospital closed. PennDot received scrutiny for spending money on a new building rather than using hospital buildings for it's new headquarters. Former hospital land is also home to a school, shopping mall, and residential developments. As of 2009 the only remnant of the hospital is the power plant smoke stack.
The cemetery remains in a wooded area of the property. A memorial, erected in 1987, stands at the entrance to the cemetery, showing the dates of the cemetery as 1867-1949. The graves do not have names, but are numbered with markers approximately 10" tall, in neat rows in numerical order. We found up to 692 graves numbered this way. The Pennsylvania State Archives holds 1920 diagram of burial plot locations of deceased patients in the cemetery of the Allegheny County Home for the Insane and Tuberculosis Sanitarium, including first and last name of patients. One hundred and ninety-six burial plots are labeled with their plot number and the name of the person buried there. Additionally, the Collier Township webpage has gathered a list of graveyard numbers, patient name and number, and location on the 1920 census. One grave also has the tombstone of John Nayder - 1868-1932. One additional marker contains initials only of TNDW and CH. All of the photos were taken in March 2008.  
Images of Woodville State Hospital
Main Image Gallery: Woodville State Hospital
- The following is a six minute video showing the hospital cemetery.
Links & Additional Information