Elgin State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
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On December 28,1869, the Board of Trustees met to examine the nine plans that had been submitted from various architects for the new asylum. The Board had enlisted the aid of two prominent superintendents to act as advisers. One was Dr. Andrew McFarland, M.D., the Superintendent of the state hospital in Jacksonville. The other was Dr. Richard J. Patterson, M.D., former superintendent of state hospitals in Indianapolis, Indiana and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Interestingly, the building design of the Jacksonville hospital was largely based on that of the Indiana State Hospital, and is an example of the increasingly common practice of copying designs from one hospital for use at another. |+|
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|−|The original name of the Elgin Mental Health Facility (its current name) was The Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The doors opened in 1872, however, construction of additional buildings continued until 1874. A rumor circulated for year, and still exists that the State of Illinois approached the City of Elgin with plans to construct a mental institution and a college and offered Elgin one or the other. As the rumor goes, Elgin took the mental institution, De Kalb took Northern Illinois University. As Elgin Historian and celebrated Elgin History author, Bill Briska points out the rumor, "... is totally false" He goes on to state that, "The state hospital was founded in 1869 and the college in 1892. (there are) No connection between the events". [[ Elgin State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Napa State Hospital
In 1872, a site was selected and work began for the erection of the 500-bed, four-story, Gothic-style hospital building. The hospital originated due to overcrowded conditions at the Stockton Asylum, the first State Hospital. The doors of the unfinished entrance of Napa State Hospital opened on Monday, November 15, 1875, to the first individuals, two San Franciscans.
Initially, 192 acres of land were purchased for $11,506 from Don Cayetano Juarez. These acres were part of the Mexican Land Grant, Rancho Tulocay, received from General Mariano Vallejo. Additional land was acquired over the years bringing the total to over 2,000 acres. The land extended from a wharf on the Napa River to the eastern edge of Skyline Park, allowing for the development of dairy and poultry ranches, vegetable gardens, orchards and other farming operations necessary to make the hospital as self-sufficient as possible. Farming operations ceased in the late 1960's. Napa Valley College, Kennedy Park and Skyline Wilderness Park now occupy most of this land.
The population peaked in 1960 with over 5,000 individuals in residence and then steadily declined with the arrival of psychotropic medications and the development of county based programs. Treatment programs for developmentally disabled residents were operant from October 1968, to August 1987, and from October 1995, to March 2001. Click here for more...