Which ‘Wich is Which, Part I

 

In October, 1904 when the hospital first opened, it held ninety-five patients and was a single building. The facility quickly outgrew its meager beginnings, and by fall of 1905, it held 151 patients and had expanded its housing by adding two additional buildings. In 1907, a third patient building was opened, and over the next eight years, there would be the addition of thirteen structures to the grounds. The hospital began to branch out, no longer creating housing intended only for patients, but for hospital physicians, a laboratory, an employees club, a main kitchen and various other structures to support the every-day workings of the hospital. Like most mental hospitals at that time, it was self-sufficient, and a barn, two garages, a paint shop and a greenhouse were also added. By the end of the 1930s, over twenty buildings had been added to the grounds.

By 1955, patient population was at an all-time high of 3,186. At its peak, over thirty buildings and nine hundred acres with a network of tunnels for utilities, and patient/staff transportation. This state hospital was a mental health facility initially created for the mentally ill and those found guilty of crimes by insanity. Throughout its years of operation, however, it also housed geriatric patients, chemically dependent patients and, from 1931 to 1939, Tubercular patients. One building was used as a maximum security forensic ward until its closure in 1971

Her doors closed in 1996

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