When this asylum first opened its doors to the public on April 20, 1874, it was hailed as an institution at the cutting edge
of medical science and the first of its kind in the US, specializing in the application of homeopathic treatment techniques.
Today, homeopathic treatments are of little more than historical interest and the theory behind them has been shown to be conclusively false.
The facility was established on a 250 acre parcel of farmland, which included nearly 50 acres of undisturbed forest.
On opening in 1874, against the original plans, it was decided that the facility would treat women as well as men.
Sixty-nine patients were treated at the hospital during its first year of operation. In 1902, the asylum had a population
of over 1,200, and by 1909 several other structures had been built and the patient population expanded to 2,250.
By the 50th Anniversary of the asylum's opening in 1924, a total of 12,957 patients had passed through its doors.
At 1am in the morning on October 8, 1921, a fire started in the attic of the main building. A night watchman was alerted
by the sound of an automatic sprinkler, and arrived upstairs to find the roof already ablaze. The fire proceeded quickly,
and nearly the entire building was lost to the flames. Fortunately, the building was evacuated successfully, and no one was harmed.
The origin of the fire was never discovered - no visitors had been on that floor the previous day, and the attic was not home to
electrical wiring that might have served as an ignition. A new, fireproof structure was erected on the site of the original, and occupied in 1927.
The facility continued to expand through the years, sprawling across its allotted acreage. It is still operating today,
but solely out of the newer structures that are scattered across the campus. The once grandiose executive building was partially demolished,
with its remaining wing for a time being used to house violent patients. Eventually, this too ceased to be of use, and was left vacant.
Today, it is condemned, and simply stands, rotting, amongst the younger and more monotonous structures it helped to spawn,
a throw-back to a forgotten age of medicine that has been entirely replaced by sterile facades of glass and steel.
Click on the panoramic image to view it enlarged...
- Historical Images -
This location (along with many others) is featured in our book "Forsaken".