Old western state mental hospital is one of the eeriest places in all of washington state. Along the way, some gruesome secrets were discovered. In its early days, the facility was a resortstyle asylum. The wsh staff library soon gained a national reputation for its research collection that focused on all aspects of psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work and. Top 10 horrifying mental asylums in the united states youtube. Events that took place at a closed down mental asylum in rural washington state in 1956, and the investigation that insued. Western state school and hospital, later known as western center, was a state run mental hospital and reform school near canonsburg, pennsylvania. It operates three state psychiatric hospitals and the office of forensic mental health services that deliver highquality services to adults and children with complex needs. In each of the following decades numerous outbuildings were constructed. History of hospitals patient at the philadelphia hospital philadelphia general hospital receiving eye treatment, 1902 the evolution of hospitals in the western world from charitable guesthouses to centers of scientific excellence has been influenced by a number of social and cultural developments. Army established fort steilacoom on august 22, 1849, to claim the land and to protect settlers. Joseph dejarnette, who was also the director of the nearby western state hospital the sanitarium was a private unit for middleincome patients. The 2020 haunted old western state mental hospital has been known to scare. The hospital continues to operate today as a treatment hospital, far from its origins as a state mandated.
The effort got a boost in 2004, when a state law preventing disclosure of the names of deceased former mental patients was changed, thanks to lobbying by a similar cemetery group at western state. Below, see his eerie photos of abandoned mental hospitals all over the us. Established in 1909, the hospital was a selfsufficient facility with a number of production buildings including a 700acre farm. Kalamazoo psychiatric hospital kalamazoo public library. In 1962, renamed western state school and hospital, a hospital was added for the mentally handicapped and opened its doors on the campus. Of the hundreds released on staff recommendation, only 0. In a 1949 investigative series, the seattle postintelligencer reported that only 15 graduate nurses were on the staff, assisted by 23 student. No matter, the contributions to the world of mental health and treatment, to our city and to our wider community, we are forever indebted to the kalamazoo psychiatric hospital. The washington territory purchased the fort with the intent of turning it into a hospital for the insane. Instead of making these facilities bigger, the state decided to build a third mental institution. Oct 31, 2017 in the 1950s, it began to shut down its wards, including the mental hospital.
Frances farmer, western state hospitals famed actress. I had intended to visit the old fort property and the hospital grounds across the street from the park, however the rains came. All branches and facilities of the washington state archives are closed to the public until at least may 31st. The western state hospital staff and patients libraries opened in 1950, and became part of the washington state librarys institutional services libraries ils in the early 1970s. November 05, 2007, central library, 60 minutes 6 segments. Western state hospitaltacoma in tacoma, wa rankings. Walter freeman to demonstrate his new transorbital lobotomy procedure at western state hospital in lakewood, washington on july 11, 1949. Jan 20, 2016 this creepy asylum in washington is still standingand still disturbing the northern state mental hospital in sedrowoolley has an absolutely fascinating history. Fort steilacoom was closed in 1868 and became the site of the western state hospital, a psychiatric facility. Data sets include the comprehensive hospital abstract reporting system chars, the inpatient discharge database that describes each individual patients hospital stay. Western state hospital is located on 264 acres on the original site of fort steilacoom, amid 100 year old stately lined avenues, near the town of steilacoom and the city of lakewood. Shanklin administers electric shock and anesthesia in preparation for dr. In addition, the hospital must have on staff at least a mental health professional, psychiatric nurse, social worker, and an occupational therapist.
In december 1885 the site commissioners chose the farm of paul t. The new hospital, now called eastern state hospital, remains in operation today. I waited until dark to go in, after leaving my car outside of the park, which closes at night. A guide to the records of western state hospital, 18252000. We believe in the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of the individual and their potential to participate in the development of treatment which is respectful and reflective of the.
Stuart, a professor at university of new mexico who had been an employee of western state school and hospital during the 1960s, wrote a book based on his experiences. Child study and treatment center is washington s state psychiatric hospital for children and youth up to the age of 18. By any measure, western state hospital in the 1940s was a dismal place. Hospital and patient data main page washington state. A guide to the records of western state hospital, 1825. Western state hospital is a psychiatric hospital located at 9601 steilacoom. Payne turned his photographic journey into a book titled asylum. At various times during its existence, it was also known as the pennsylvania reform school, youth development center of canonsburg and the house of refuge.
Northern state hospital farm sedrowoolley, washington. Frances farmer was western state hospitals most famous patient, an upandcoming actress born in seattle wash. The history of the hospital tells stories of frontal lobotomies. The hospital was renamed western state hospital in 1894. Washington state mental hospital under fire after escapes. This creepy asylum in washington is still standingand still disturbing. Introduction to the history of northern state hospital old timers used to say that sedrowoolleys economy in the first half of the 20th century sat on a fourlegged stool. It was originally fort steilacoom asylum in 1871, but the building dates back to 1849 when it was part of the fort steilacoom army post. All board records created prior to 1937 are specific to western state hospital, while those created after 1937 include information on all of the staterun.
Inside, they found mummified amputated limbs and brain tissue samples that were left behind from when the hospital was abandoned. Western state hospital continues to serve the mental health needs of virginias citizens. The hospital is still functioning today, but is currently treating patients using psychotropic drugs, counseling, and behavior modification therapies instead of the older practices that had been used. The hospital was renamed western state hospital in 1889 when washington became a state. Western state hospital is a psychiatric hospital located in lakewood, washington. Western state hospital historic patient cemetery all branches and facilities of the washington state archives are closed until at least may 5th. Western state hospital psychiatry is a group practice with 1 location. The state hospital board became the state mental health and mental retardation board in 1973, and then the state mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services board in 1987. He served until august 5, 19 when he resigned and was succeeded by dr. Western state hospital staunton, virginia hospital. States 5 spookiest old asylums still standing today. Oct 26, 2010 the hospitals rules and regulations, published in book form, expressly prohibited violence or harsh treatment, and stated employees must avoid any exhibition of temper and never scold or threaten. Contact the national suicide prevention lifeline at 18002738255 trs.
The hospital serves the most western 34 counties in kentucky. Hart lies in a cemetery with 3,200 other people, all patients of western state hospital between 1876 and 1953. The health care authority hca provides funding and oversight for mental health services for people enrolled in apple health medicaid. Radical culture change needed at western state hospital. Abandoned dejarnette sanitarium staunton, virginia. The dejarnette sanitarium was founded in 1932 by dr. Apply to custodian, human resources specialist, counselor and more.
Hospital legacy shrouded in mystery, controversy lori. Northern state ghost town washington trails association. Old western state mental hospital lakewood, wa youtube. Over 7,500 sterilized by virginia the washington post. The history of the hospital tells stories of frontal lobotomies, mental wards that. Western state hospital, pierce county, washington genealogy. In the book, stuart describes the history of abuse and neglect that the reform school at morganza had become known for. Hospitals in washington western state hospital is a psychiatric hospital located at 9601 steilacoom boulevard sw in lakewood, washington.
As a result of these scandals, the vast increase in scientific and medical understanding of mental illnesses and the methodologies of effective treatment thereof, the hospital has undergone numerous transitions in the past century. Jun 25, 2015 the new hospital, now called eastern state hospital, remains in operation today. Western state hospital washington, lakewood, washington. Abandoned dejarnette sanitarium staunton, virginia atlas. The new hospital, called the insane asylum of washington territory, opened. Mental health services washington state health care authority. She shares the ground with a civil war veteran and the founder of the city of des. Administered by the washington department of social and health services dshs, it is a large facility with 806 beds, and washingtons secondoldest stateowned enterprise after the university of washington. The hospital mission is to promote recovery and wellbeing in partnership with those served. Records documenting the administration of western state hospital from its beginnings, with some isolated records extending into the 1990s.
Although western state hospital wsh had plans to construct a new center for forensic services cfs, those plans were expedited after the 2001 tacoma area earthquake caused the whole top floor of the former legal offender unit lou to shift. A new exhibit at the national building museum explores the links between architecture and mental health. Western state, one of the oldest and largest state psychiatric hospitals west of the mississippi, was the first in the u. Established in 1909, the northern state hospital for the mentally ill was a sprawling and remarkably selfsufficient facility with a number of production facilities including a 700acre farm. Wsh is one of two stateowned psychiatric hospitals for adults in the state of washington. Established in the department of the treasury as the marine hospital service under provisions of an act of july 16, 1798 1 stat. Western state hospital cemeterys unmarked graves are named. Fort steilacoom served as a military post from 1849 to 1868 when the federal government abandoned it.
In 1972, excavation of the original building began and in 1985, a replica, known simply as the public hospital, opened as a museum in colonial williamsburg where visitors can see examples of patients cells and learn about early treatment of mental illness. Army post of fort steilacoom from the federal government and converted the buildings into the insane asylum. Western state hospital, near tacoma, works to transition patients gradually into the community. For more information, please visit our page regarding the closure. All board records created prior to 1937 are specific to western state hospital, while those created after 1937 include information on all of the state run. Western state hospital staunton, virginia hospital facebook. Oct 29, 20 documentary based on book northern state hospital released in 20. All referrals for admissions come from one the four community mental health centers serving in the four regions of western kentucky. Western state hospital is situated 840 feet northeast of western state hospital.
All referrals for admissions come from one the four community mental health centers serving in. State medical records examined by a washington post reporter last night, however, showed that 6,080 persons in the state mental institutions had been sterilized by mid1952 20 years before the. Across from what today is now called western state hospital is old western state mental hospital and it holds some horrible history and stories. Photos of abandoned mental hospitals business insider. Back in 1909, washington had two mental hospitals getting overcrowded. Mary mcgoffins book illuminates the history of northern state hospital. Also included are financial records such as auditors books, budget files, farm production. Data are distributed as raw data sets, statistical tabulations, webpages and through printed reports, including washington state charity care in washington hospitals.
Washington, or for anyone interested in the way mental patients were cared for in this. Eastern state hospital medical lake, washington hospital. Apr 17, 2020 western state, one of the oldest and largest state psychiatric hospitals west of the mississippi, was the first in the u. More than 2,700 patients 500 more than the official capacity were crammed into its antiquated wards. Western state hospital jobs, employment in lakewood, wa. Institutions, department of western state hospital state institutions, western state hospital. Krem according to state records obtained by the associated press, between 2010 and 2014, employees reported more than 700. The northern state mental hospital in sedrowoolley has an absolutely fascinating history. History of hospitals nursing, history, and health care. Western state hospital is a psychiatric hospital located at 9601 steilacoom boulevard sw in. It was renamed western washington hospital for the insane and the main ward was completed in 1887. The youth development center was eventually phased out of existence, and the mental hospital, eventually named western center, utilized some the former reformatory buildings. Western state school and hospital, later known as western center, was a staterun mental hospital and reform school near canonsburg, pennsylvania.
Currently, western state hospital psychiatry specializes in general practice, neurologist and psychiatry with 2 physicians. It is best known as an institution serving people with intellectual disabilities. It had terraced gardens where patients could plant flowers and take walks, roof walks to provide mountain views, and many architectural details. An undated photo shows western state hospital in lakewood, washington. Western state mental hospital tennessee encyclopedia. The records consist of either bound volumes or file folders. Redpath practiced at western washington hospital for the insane, later to be renamed without the for the insane. The personal worth and dignity of every individual is highly regarded in an environment where diversity, culture, and. Once the largest facility for mentally ill people in washington state, northern state mental hospital was a town unto itself. Radical culture change needed at western state hospital originally published april 9, 2016 at 4. Established 1871 western state hospital is located on the site of historic fort. The first leg was the logging industry, the second was agriculture, the third was skagit steel, and the fourth was northern state hospital, four miles northeast of town.
Western state in steilacoom, and eastern state in medical lake, near spokane. Records images family tree genealogies catalog books research wiki. In 2006, during a training exercise, marines uncovered a freezer in the morgue. About private and psychiatric hospitals washington. Administered by the washington department of social and health services dshs, it is a large facility with 806 beds, and washington s secondoldest state owned enterprise after the university of washington. At the end of the parks parking lot, there is a path, which wound through heavy woods lucky i brought a flashlight. Western state hospital is like going into hell the spokesman. The center engages families and community teams to.
At the same time, a resident physician was hired to provide psychiatric treatment. Five private psychiatric hospitals are licensed in washington state. History western state hospital was founded in january 1825 by an act of the general assembly becoming the second mental health facility for the commonwealth of virginia. Most of the 1950s are missing and are probably lost includes records pertaining to patient admission, treatment methods, the hospital farm, population movement, staff, and deaths of patients. Western state hospital is a state psychiatric hospital which is licensed and operated by the virginia department of behavioral health and developmental services. Western state mental hospital, located near bolivar, was the last state mental hospital to be constructed and habitually the one least funded. This time of her life was documented in the 1978 book shadowland by.
Established 1871 western state hospital is located on the site of historic fort steilacoom. Records of the public health service phs, 19121968. It had terraced gardens where patients could plant flowers and take walks, roof walks to provide mountain views, and many architectural details to create an atmosphere that would aid in the healing process. Wsh is located in the city of lakewood, washington, which is seven miles south of tacoma. Behind tall brick walls and secure windows, hundreds of patients at washington states largest psychiatric hospital live in conditions that fail. Western state hospital is an acute care adult psychiatric facility operated by the commonwealth of kentucky. An old mental institution, and its cemetery, might get a. In 1911 the hospital was separated from the western hospital and quickly became the largest in the state. In 1770, the public hospital for persons of insane and disordered minds was established in willamsburg virginia, and was the first public institution devoted to treating the mentally ill in the u. Institutional library services washington state library. Western state hospital is a state psychiatric hospital which is licensed and operated by the virginia. Today 2012 the fort steilacoom museum is also located on the site. Western state hospital wsh is one of the largest inpatient psychiatric hospitals west of the mississippi with more than 800 beds and 2,200 employees. To provide safe and effective individualized treatment in a recovery focused environment.
Western state hospital center for forensic services. The hospital was established in 1909 after the overcrowded conditions at western state hospital came under public criticism. Western state hospital is a psychiatric hospital located at 9601 steilacoom boulevard sw in lakewood, washington. The records of the western state hospital document many facets of the institutions operational history, patient life.910 815 582 487 291 1034 308 869 574 37 1422 575 962 583 1286 1132 1062 818 1217 804 1379 142 205 416 1423 229 339 1529 294 918 454 858 657 597 257 526 859 942 1080 861 830 1491 685 1468 1318