The Ramblings of a Mad Woman

When I first started this blog, I did it in order to help other people find their forgotten ancestors. I persuaded my State Senator, Joe Robach, to draft legislation in 2011 that would allow for the release of patient names, dates of death, and location of graves to the public, which he introduced to the New York State Legislature. It first appeared on March 23, 2012 as S6805-2011. On January 8, 2014, it was reintroduced as S2514-2013.

There are at least 17 former New York State Hospitals / Insane Asylums that have been renamed, closed, demolished, or turned into New York State Prisons. The cemeteries located on former NYS Hospitals are filled with anonymous, unmarked graves. Willard alone has close to 6,000. Some of these former State Hospitals, such as Buffalo and Rochester, used city or county cemeteries and they are filled with the nameless as well. How many? I do not know. How long will it take to give these people the dignity in death that they deserve? When will they be allowed to rest in peace? When will they be remembered as fellow human beings who were on the same earthly path as everyone else before their lives and their freedom were taken from them? What else do I have to do to get the attention of the Governor and Assembly members to release the names of former patients who lived and died in these warehouses? The Department of Health and Human Services declared last March that patient medical records may be released to the public after 50 years of a patient’s death. Now we have to ask for another bill to be drafted and introduced to the Senate again in order to allow New York State to release medical records. After seven years on this journey, I am tired and just don’t have the desire to fight anymore.

Before I began my research on Willard and the other New York State Hospitals and Custodial Institutions, I considered myself to be normal, whatever that means. All kinds of interesting things happened to me and I wondered, why? I lost my job, went through menopause, osteoarthritis, and a neurological problem that I have always had, had become progressively worse. Depression is one of those “Mental Illnesses” that I never thought of as a “Mental Illness.” I thought that depression was a normal human emotion that one experiences when subjected to trauma or pain in any of its various forms. I would not have believed that I was “Mentally Ill,” until my neurologist, who I no longer go to, informed me that I have delusional thinking and I’m paranoid because I believe that I can no longer protect myself if I needed too like being able to run from a dangerous situation. This came from a 30 something year old man in perfect health who stands over 6 feet tall. I’m 57 years old, stand 5 feet 2 inches tall, and have Familial or Essential Tremors in my head and my right hand. My thinking is based on facts, not delusions. I thought that doctors were above this archaic type of thinking but I was wrong. Many men, even doctors, still don’t get it.

The reason why I am relating my story is that I am sure that had I lived one hundred years ago with these same progressive diseases, I would have been locked up! I would not have believed that a doctor would ever say such things to me and I can only imagine what must have happened to my great-grandmother, Maggie, who died at Willard State Hospital 86 years ago. If you wonder why people do not seek help, my little story is why they don’t. Am I labeled? I don’t know. It is frightening when you realize that you’re not feeling like your normal self, and seek help, and this is what a doctor says to you. Maybe we all need to be a little more aware of who is crazy and who is normal and realize that the people buried in those anonymous, unmarked graves were human beings like me, and you, just trying to make their way in life. Please write or call your New York State Senator so that this bill will become a law. Thank you!

THEY’RE BURIED WHERE? by Seth Voorhees

About these ads

2014 St. Lawrence State Hospital Preservation Society

Here is another wonderful genealogy resource for those who are looking for loved ones who lived and died at St. Lawrence State Hospital in Ogdensburg, New York. Please take a moment to visit their website. 

St. Lawrence State Hospital Preservation Society

St. Lawrence State Hospital Preservation Society

St. Lawrence State Hospital Preservation Society - Our Mission

“The historical structures of the St. Lawrence State Hospital are worth being memorialized, not dismantled, though their destruction is most likely inevitable. They stand now with windows broken, paint peeling, and frames crumbling. The St. Lawrence State Hospital Preservation Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, store, and disseminate anything historically related or relevant to the hospital, whether it be New York State Assembly documents, plans and drawings, reports, or personal accounts. Countless hours already have been spent gathering much of this information, which is, in turn, available to you here, on the Society’s official website. And countless more hours are still to be spent before this work is complete. It has been a long and often difficult process, and it has only just begun. We’re hoping that as more people become interested in this research and take up the challenge to help preserve it, information that we might never have expected will come to light, furthering this cause.”

St. Lawrence State Hospital-Grave Markers & Casket

St. Lawrence State Hospital-Grave Markers & Casket

St. Lawrence State Hospital Photo Gallery

In Memoriam

2014 Glass Photo Negatives Discovered in Binghamton’s Historic Asylum

TREASURES OF THE TIER by Roger Luther is a column about Historic Locations in New York’s Southern Tier. Roger has also created nysAsylum a website that has countless photographs and historical information on Binghamton, Buffalo, Utica, and Willard State Hospitals.   

Camera-Roger Luther

Camera-Roger Luther

The discovery of these rare, historical photographic dry plates tells us a few things. One, photographs do indeed exist of patients who lived and died at Binghamton State Hospital over one hundred years ago. It also tells us that the New York State Office of Mental Health never took the time to save and preserve these important artifacts and didn’t give a hoot about them until the finding was brought to their attention. As usual, now they are very concerned. I believe the burial ledger was also found among the piles of dirt, dust, and pigeon poop. It will be interesting to see if the OMH will let these photographs be released and viewed by the public, or if they will come up with some lame excuse as to why we are not allowed to view them. Thank You, Roger Luther and the volunteers of the Broome County Historical Society and the Greater Binghamton Health Center, for meticulously scanning, restoring, and preserving these historical artifacts!

Materials-Roger Luther

Materials-Roger Luther

The following article “Windows Into The Past-Thousands of Glass Photo Negatives Discovered in Binghamton’s Historic Asylum” by Roger Luther is reprinted with permission. Please click on the RED link below to view more photographs. Sorry friends, there are no photographs of patients.

Photographic Dry Plates-Roger Luther

Photographic Dry Plates-Roger Luther

“Sarah was led from her ward to a nearby building. Entering a small room she sat motionless in a chair facing a large strange-looking wooden contraption. In a flash, her photograph was taken. The man behind the camera told her to turn her head to the right and then… another flash. While Sarah was led away, the photographer removed a large wooden frame from the camera and inserted another for his next subject.

Later in his darkroom, a 5×7-inch glass plate was carefully removed from its wooden frame and washed in chemical baths revealing two black & white negative images of Sarah’s face and profile. The photographer then scribed Sarah’s name and a number on the back of the glass plate and placed it in a box with several others.

That was one hundred years ago, and according to the U.S. Census of 1900, at that time Sarah was listed along with 1,388 others as a patient at Binghamton State Hospital.

A century after her photograph was taken, preparations were being made to rehabilitate the long-vacant Main Building, known as the Castle, on the campus of the former Binghamton State Hospital. A small team of volunteers representing the Broome County Historical Society and the Greater Binghamton Health Center, took on the task of removing items of historical significance from the building, then relocating them to a controlled environment and cataloguing each of the artifacts. Early in the process an amazing discovery was made. A door at the back of the old asylum chapel opened into a small room piled high with various items and debris. Photographs, books, documents, and a variety of other items were mixed with pieces of fallen ceiling plaster, decomposed pigeon parts, and a thick mixture of dirt and dust.

Like excavating an archeological site, layer by layer the material was carefully removed. At one point a small stack of dusty glass plates was uncovered, each measuring 5×7 inches. Holding one of the plates up to a window, a negative image on the glass could be seen. These glass plates were in fact hundred-year-old photographic negatives. Soon, more plates were uncovered in a broken cardboard box, and the dig continued. At the bottom of the pile several more boxes were found. Ultimately, hundreds of glass plates were discovered scattered throughout the room, some broken, some cracked, and most covered with a layer of dirt and plaster dust. Finally a path was cleared to the back of the room where a tall wooden cabinet stood. The cabinet door was pried open and there it was… the mother lode. Over the next several days over 5,000 glass dry-plate photo negatives were removed from the room.

After relocating the glass plates to a controlled environment, a plan was established to carefully clean the plates and then package them in protective acid-free archival material. The next step would be to digitally scan and catalogue each image – an ongoing effort that continues to this day.

Taken over an approximate 25-year period during the early 1900’s, the photos show life at the StateHospital as it was in the earliest years. Subject matter includes hospital staff, buildings, farms, medical charts, and events – but by far, most of the photos are of patients.

As stated in the 1892 Annual Report of the Trustees of Binghamton State Hospital, “it is very desirable to preserve with the records of cases treated in the hospital, photographs of the individual patients.” The report goes on to say that “the modern dry-plate methods of photography are so simple that they are easily managed… the sum we should require to purchase the apparatus necessary would be $300.” Soon after that a camera was procured, and in 1894 one of the nurses at the hospital, Fred W. Ernie, took on the task as photographer along with his other responsibilities.

The trustees could not have known how significant their decision would prove to be. Thanks to their foresight, images were recorded representing thousands of lives-once-lived. Images, that according to Mark Stephany, Director of the Greater Binghamton Health Center, “restore a level of dignity to people long forgotten.”

Today, the images would be invaluable as a resource for historians and those researching family history, however, issues regarding possible public access cannot be addressed until the restoration and scanning effort has been completed. As stated by Darby Penney, co-author of The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic, “the discovery, rescue and conservation of this collection of 5,000 images from Binghamton State Hospital is an incredible feat of preservation and an invaluable contribution to the historical record.”

What happened to Sarah? Nearly 30 years after her listing on the 1900 census, while still a patient at the StateHospital she died and was buried in the hospital cemetery, her grave marked only by a number. But her story does not end there. Construction of an interstate highway in 1961 cut directly through the cemetery forcing the relocation of 1,504 of its nearly 4,000 graves to a nearby field. According to records released by the Department of Transportation at the time, Sarah’s grave was among those moved. Today the relocated cemetery appears as a large empty field, its numbered stone grave markers having long ago settled below ground.

Sarah’s existence, like many of the others on that census list, was one of obscurity. But unknowingly, she and the other patients left their mark for posterity. Like a century-old Facebook, the discovery of this 100-year old time capsule has brought their images to light – and as these faces from the past are being restored and preserved, so to is the dignity of people long forgotten.”

BINGHAMTON STATE HOSPITAL-Main Building-Removal of Artifacts.

Middletown 1896 & Today

Here are some wonderful photographs from the Twenty Fifth Annual Report of the Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital at Middletown 1896
I apologize to everyone for removing the “today” photos of Middletown. Although I had the photographer’s name on each of the 10 photos I displayed, gave credit and praise, included the link to the website, the photographer did not approve. I have deleted all photos, credits, and links to the photographer’s website.

Entrance to Middletown 1896

Entrance to Middletown 1896

Middletown 1-1896

Middletown2-1896

Middletown2-1896

Middletown3-1896

Middletown3-1896

Middletown4-1896

Middletown4-1896

Middletown5-1896

Middletown6-1896

Middletown6-1896

Middletown7-1896

Middletown7-1896

Middletown8-1896

Middletown9-1896

Middletown9-1896

Middletown10-1896

Middletown10-1896

A Visit To The Museum Of disABILITY History 11.11.2013

Yesterday, I visited The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, New York. I finally got to meet David Mack-Hardiman, Director of Training, People Inc., who gave me a tour of the museum, and Douglas V. Farley, Museum Director. I was very impressed with all the displays! This museum has so much to offer including Educational Resources, Activities, Traveling Exhibits, Cafe, and Museum Store. Please visit the museum if you have the chance!

Monument For The Forgotten

Monument For The Forgotten

My favorite exhibit, “The Monument For The Forgotten” was the vision of David Mack-Hardiman, created by Brian NeslineFaces of Buffalo, “featuring thousands of individual grave markers woven into a mosaic tapestry image of a large stone monument.” I need to acknowledge the selfless work that David and People Inc. have done over the past few years. David and his team go into these unmarked cemeteries, clear the brush away, mow the lawns, and raise and clean each marker. Some graves are flat, numbered markers while others, as in the case of a few New York State Custodial Institutions, have the names inscribed. This back-breaking work is done by volunteers! God Bless Them!

Monument For The Forgotten 2

Monument For The Forgotten 2

Mission: The Museum of disABILITY History advances the understanding, acceptance, and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum’s exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery.

Vision: The Museum seeks with, and on behalf of, individuals with developmental and other disabilities, a higher level of societal awareness and understanding, and a change in attitudes, perceptions and actions that will result in people with disabilities having the greatest possible participation in their communities.”

Museum Of disABILITY History

Museum Of disABILITY History

“Established in 1998 by Dr. James M. Boles, president and CEO of People Inc. (Western New York’s leading non-profit human services agency) the Museum of disABILITY History has steadily expanded over the years and, in late 2010, moved to a brand new location (pictured above). The Museum of disABILITY History is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum’s exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery. The Museum of disABILITY History is a project of People Inc. and is chartered by the New York State Department of Education Board of Regents. People Inc. exists so that individuals with disabling conditions or other special needs have the supports they need to participate and succeed in an accepting society. As noted throughout the site, this project has been developed with the generous support of People Inc. and the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation. We are truly thankful for their participation in this worthwhile effort.”

M 01

M 01

M 02

M 02

M 03

M 03

M 04-Straight Jacket

M 04-Straight Jacket

M 05

M 05

M 06

M 06

M 07

M 07

M 08

M 08

M 09

M 09

M 10

M 10

M 11

M 11

Lin and David Mack-Hardiman

Lin and David Mack-Hardiman

1915 State Charities Aid Association News

The State Charities Aid Association, S.C.A.A., was founded in 1872. The S.C.A.A. inspected all charitable institutions that included all New York State Hospitals, Custodial Institutions for the Feeble-Minded, Prisons, Tuberculosis Hospitals, County Poor Houses, Polio Clinics, Houses of Refuge, and Orphanages. Charity Organization Societies (COS), were part of the “scientific charity movement” that began in the late nineteenth century. S.C.A.A. News, Volumes 3-11, 1915 through 1923 is a TREASURE TROVE of information and photographs!

SCAA 01

SCAA 01

SCAA 02

SCAA 02

SCAA 03

SCAA 03

SCAA 04

SCAA 04

SCAA 05

SCAA 05

“Brief Facts About State Charities Aid Association:

The object of the State Charities Aid Association, which is a voluntary body of citizens of New York State, is to improve conditions in public institutions and to promote public health and child care.

It is an incorporated body, State-wide, but without State aid.

Its budget is about $329,000 a year, and is met by voluntary contributions.

It has 12,000 members; it has local committees in every county. Its volunteer visitors visit and inspect all public institutions. The Association employs abut 95 persons in its Central Office, and about 20 in the field. It devotes itself to the following objects:

Finding homes for destitute or orphaned children.

Assisting mothers with babies.

Preventing mental disorders and securing better care for the mentally sick and defective.

Visiting public institutions in order to improve conditions, to promote with welfare and comfort of patients and inmates.

Helping to provide suitable occupations for sick persons in hospitals and institutions.

Assisting in securing wise laws about public health, care of the sick, institutions, and the expenditure of public funds for these purposes.”
SOURCE: S.C.A.A. News, Published Monthly by The State Charities Aid Association, 105 East 22nd Street, New York, N.Y., Volume X, No. 9, June, 1922, Page 13.

1872 Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler – The State Charities Aid Association.

SCAA 06

SCAA 06

SCAA 07

SCAA 07

SCAA 08

SCAA 08

SCAA 09

SCAA 09

SCAA 10

SCAA 10

SCAA 11

SCAA 11

SCAA 12

SCAA 12

SCAA 13

SCAA 13

SCAA 14

SCAA 14

1893 State Hospital Cadavers

For those of you looking for ancestors buried in Anonymous Graves at Unmarked State Hospital and Custodial Institution Cemeteries, you may never find them.

Chapter 661, Laws 1893. Sec. 207. CADAVERS.
The persons having lawful control and management of any hospital, prison, asylum, morgue or other receptacle for corpses not interred, and every undertaker or other person having in his lawful possession any such corpse for keeping or burial may deliver and he is required to deliver, under the conditions specified in this section, every such corpse in their or his possession, charge, custody or control, not placed therein by relatives or friends, in the usual manner for keeping or burial, to the Medical Colleges of the State authorized by law to confer the degree of Doctor of medicine and to any university of the State having a medical preparatory course of instruction and the professors and teachers in every such college or university may receive any such corpse and use it for the purpose of medical study. No corpse shall be so delivered or received if desired for interment by relatives or friends within forty-eight hours after death, or if known to have relatives or friends; or of a person who shall have expressed a desire in his last illness that his body be interred, but the same shall be buried in the usual manner. If the remains of any person so delivered or received shall be subsequently claimed by any relative or friend, they shall be given up to such a relative or friend for interment. Any person claiming any corpse or remains for interment as provided in this section may be required by the persons, college, university or officer or agent thereof, in whose possession, charge or custody the same may be to present an affidavit stating that he is such relative or friend, and the facts and circumstances upon which the claim that he is such relative or friend is based, the expense of which affidavit shall be paid by the persons requiring it. If such person shall refuse to make such affidavit, such corpse or remains shall not be delivered to him but he shall forfeit his claim and right to the same. Any such medical college or university desiring to avail itself of the provisions of this section shall notify such persons having the control and management of the institutions and places heretofore specified, and such undertakers and other persons having any such corpse in their possession, custody or control in the county where such college or university is situated, and in any adjoining county in which no medical college is situated, of such desire, and thereafter all such persons shall notify the proper officers of such college or university whenever there is any coipse in their possession, custody or control, which may be delivered to a medical college or university under this section, and shall deliver the same to such college or university. If two or more medical colleges located in one county are entitled to receive corpses from the same county or adjoining counties, they shall receive the same in proportion to the number of matriculated students in each college. The professors and teachers in every college or university receiving any corpse under this section shall dispose of the remains thereof, after they have served the purposes of medical science and study, in accordance with the regulations of the local board of health where the college or university is situated. Every person neglecting to comply with or violating any provision of this section, shall forfeit to the local board of health where such non-compliance or violation occurred, the sum of twenty-five dollars for every such non-compliance or violation, to be sued for by the health officer of such place, and when recovered to be paid over, less the costs and expenses of the action, to such board for its use and benefit.”
SOURCE: Contributions From The Pathological Institute Of The New York State Hospitals, Volumes I and II, 1896-1897, State Hospital Press, Utica, New York, 1898, Pages 127-128.

1893 New York State Asylum Directory

CHAPTER 32.
ASYLUM DIRECTORY.

STATE HOSPITAL SYSTEM.

UTICA STATE HOSPITAL – Utica, Oneida County.
G. Alder Blumer, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
One mile from the New York Central, the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and the Ontario and Western railway stations. Accessible, every fifteen minutes, by New York Mills or Whitesboro electric cars. Stop at Cross or Jason streets. Telephone, No. 118.

WILLARD STATE HOSPITAL – Willard, Seneca County. 
Theodore H. Kellogg, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Accessible, from the east, by New York Central and Hudson River railway (Auburn branch from Syracuse to Geneva); from the west, via New York Central and Hudson River railway, from Rochester (Auburn branch) to Geneva, or via Philadelphia and Reading railway (Lehigh Valley division); from the north, Lyons to Geneva, via Philadelphia and Reading railway (Lehigh Valley division) and Fall Brook railway, from Geneva, via steamers of the Seneca Lake Steam Navigation Company, or by Philadelphia and Reading railway (Lehigh Valley division); from the south, via the Philadelphia and Reading railway (Lehigh Valley division), or by Seneca Lake Steam Navigation Company. Local telephone.

HUDSON RIVER STATE HOSPITAL – Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County.
C. W. Pilgrim, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
The hospital is located two miles north of the New York Central railway station at Poughkeepsie. Carriages may be procured at the station, and a public conveyance runs regularly to and from the hospital, connecting with the principal trains. The hospital may also be reached by the West Shore railway ferry from Highland station to Poughkeepsie, and by the Philadelphia, Reading and New England railway (Poughkeepsie Bridge route). Conveyances may be procured from Parker avenue station. Telephone call, “Hudson River State Hospital.”

MIDDLETOWN STATE HOMEOPATHIC HOSPITAL – Middletown, Orange County.
Selden H. Talcott, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Middletown is sixty-six miles from New York city, and may be reached by the following railways: New York, Lake Erie and Western; New York, Ontario and Western, and New York, Susquehanna and Western. The hospital is reached by several omnibus lines. Public carriages may also be had at the station. Telephone No. 41.

BUFFALO STATE HOSPITAL – Buffalo, Erie County. 
J. B. Andrews, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
The institution is three and a half miles from the New York Central railway station, and is accessible by street cars, namely trolley line on Niagara street, trolley line on Main street, of horse cars through Elmwood avenue. Telephone No. 1235 D.

BINGHAMTON STATE HOSPITAL – Binghamton, Broome County.
Charles G. Wagner, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Located on the lines of the Erie, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and Delaware and Hudson railways. Electric cars leave corner of Court and Washington streets, near all railway stations, every fifteen minutes, between 6 A. M. and 10 P. M. Telephone No. 553.

ST. LAWRENCE STATE HOSPITAL – Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County. 
P. M. Wise, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Located three and one-half miles from center of Ogdensburg, on the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg and Central Vermont railways. Accessible by omnibus from Seymour house, four times daily. Public carriages may also be obtained at railway stations. Telephone call, ” State Hospital.”

ROCHESTER STATE HOSPITAL – Rochester, Monroe County. 
E. H. Howard, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Two miles from railway stations. Accessible by electric cars of the South and Lake avenue line. Telephone No. 124 I.

MATTEAWAN STATE HOSPITAL – Matteawan, Dutchess County.
(For insane criminals only.)
Post-office and railroad station, Fiskill-on-the-Hudson.
H. E. Allison, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Fifty-eight miles from New York city, on the New York Central and Hudson River railway. It is also accessible by the West Shore railway and the Erie, to Newburg; thence by ferry to Fiskill-on-the-Hudson. The institution may be reached by an electric railway, which runs within three-quarters of a mile from the Hudson River railway station; also public conveyances at the station. Telephone call, “State Asylum.”

EXEMPTED COUNTY SYSTEM.

NEW YORK CITY ASYLUMS FOR THE INSANE.
A. E. MacDonald, M. D., General Superintendent New York City Asylums.
Post-office address, Station F, New York city.
All official communication with regard to the New York City Asylums for the Insane, should be addressed to the general superintendent. Ferry tickets and railroad tickets (at reduced rates, to those entitled to same) and permits for admission can be obtained only at the office of the Department of Public Charities and Correction, 66 Third Avenue, cor. Eleventh street.

WARD’S ISLAND ASYLUM.
W. A. Macy, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Accessible by department boats, from foot of East Twenty-sixth street, 10.30 A. M.; also by steam ferry, on even hours, from foot of 115th street. Telephone, 420-18.

BLACKWELL’S ISLAND ASYLUM.
E. C. Dent, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Accessible by department boat from foot of East Twenty-sixth street 10.30 A. M.; also by ferries from foot of Fifty-second and Seventy-eighth streets, running hourly. Telephone 1028-18.

HART’S ISLAND ASYLUM.
Geo. A. Smith, M. D., Acting Medical Superintendent.
Accessible by department boats from foot of East Twenty-sixth street 11.30 A. M.

CENTRAL ISLIP ASYLUM – Central Islip, Long Island.
(Branch of New York city asylums.)
H. C. Evarts, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Accessible by trains on the Long Island railway; surface and elevated roads from Grand Central station to Thirty-fourth street ferry, connecting with Long Island City station of Long Island railway. No telephone. Telegraph Central Islip, L. I.

KINGS COUNTY LUNATIC ASYLUM – Flatbush, Long Island.
W. E. Sylvester, M. D., General Superintendent.
Three miles from Brooklyn; accessible by street car from East Twenty-third street and Fulton ferries. Telephone No. 68, Flatbush. All official communications with regard to the Kings County Asylums should be addressed to W. E. Sylvester, M. D., General Superintendent, Flatbush, L. I.

KINGS COUNTY FARM – Kings Park, Long Island.
(Branch of Kings County Lunatic Asylum).
Oliver M. Dewing, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Forty-five miles from New York city; accessible by trains on the Long Island railway; surface and elevated roads from Grand Central station, New York, to Thirty-fourth street ferry, connecting with Long Island City station of the Long Island railway; also from Flatbush avenue station, via Jamaica, Long Island railway. No telephone. Telegraph, Kings Park, one mile distant.

LICENSED PRIVATE ASYLUM SYSTEM.

BLOOMINGDALE ASYLUM – One Hundred And Seventeenth Street, New York City. Between Amsterdam avenue and Boulevard.
S. B. Lyon, M. D., Medical Superintendent.
Accessible by Boulevard cars, or Elevated railway, to One Hundred and Fourth street and Amsterdam avenue cars. Number of patients 300. This institution receives and treats, gratuitously, a small number of indigent insane of New York city, and receives a considerable number of acute and hopeful cases, which pay only part of their expenses. It will be removed to “White Plains before October, 1894. Telephone No. 714, Harlem, New York City.

PROVIDENCE RETREAT – Buffalo, Erie County.
Under the charge of the Sisters of Charity.
Floyd S. Crego, M. D., Consulting Physician.
Harry A. Wood, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Located on Main street, corner of Steele. Distance from Union railway station, four miles. Accessible by electric street car line. Number of patients limited to 125. Minimum rate for care and treatment of private patients, six dollars per week. Telephone No. 791, M.

MARSHALL INFIRMARY – Troy, Rensselaer County.
J. D. Lomax, M. D., Physician in Charge.
One mile from Union Railway station. Accessible by electric street car, from Congress street. Number of patients limited to 130. Minimum rate for care and treatment of private patients, five dollars per week. Telephone call, “Marshall Infirmary.”

LONG ISLAND HOME – Amityville, Long Island.
O. J. Wilsey, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Thirty-two miles from New York. Accessible by Montauk division of Long Island railway; ferry from East Thirty-fourth street, New York. Only a short distance from railway station. Number of patients limited to 114. Minimum rate ten dollars per week. No telephone.

BRIGHAM HALL HOSPITAL – Canandaigua, Ontario County.
D. R. Burrell, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Situated on Bristol street, one mile from the New York Central and Northern Central railway station. Accessible by public carriages, always to be found at the station. Number of patients limited to seventy-eight. Minimum rate, ten dollars per week. Telephone No. 35, or “Brigham Hall.”

ST. VINCENT’S RETREAT – Harrison, Westchester County.
H. Ernst Schmid, M. D., Attending Physician, White Plains.
John J. Lewis, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Under management of the Sisters of Charity; for women only. Fifty minutes from New York on the New York and New Haven railway. Trains leave the Grand Central station, New York city, for Harrison, every hour from 9 A. M. to 7 P. M. Number of patients limited to sixty. Minimum rate, $10 per week. All official communications should be addressed to the physician in charge. Telephone No. 30, White Plains.

WALDEMERE – Mamaroneck, Westchester County.
E. N. Carpenter, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Forty minutes from New York on the New York, New Haven and Hartford railway. Trains leave Grand Central station, New York, every hoar for Mamaroneck. Waldemere is one mile from station, where public carriages may be found. Number of patients limited to eighteen. Minimum rate, $25 per week. No telephone.

SANFORD HALL – Flushing, Long Island.
J. W. Barstow, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Willett S. Brown, M. D., Assistant Physician.
Institution situated about one-half mile from Long Island railway station and accessible by public carriage. Going from Brooklyn, take Greenpoint or crosstown street car to Long Island City, thence on Long Island railway. Number of patients limited to thirty-six. Minimum rate, $25 per week. Telephone, Flushing 17 A.

BREEZEHURST TERRACE – Whitestone, Long Island.
D. A. Harrison, M. D., Physician in Charge.
John A. Arnold, M. D., Assistant Physician.
Accessible from New York city from East Thirty-fourth street ferry, via Long Island railway. Trains run every hour to Whitestone; time, thirty minutes. May also be reached by driving, via East Ninety-ninth street ferry to College Point, from which place it is about one and one-half miles. Going from Brooklyn, take the Greenpoint or crosstown street car to Long Island City. In taking patients from Brooklyn it is better to drive, as it only requires a little more than one hour via Grand street to Newtown, thence through Flushing to Whitestone. Number of patients limited to nineteen. Minimum rate, $20 per week. No telephone.

DR. WELLS’ SANITARIUM FOR MENTAL DISEASES.
945 St. Maek’s Avenue, Brooklyn.
Between Kingston and Albany avenues.
T. L. Wells, M. D., Physician in Charge.
The Sanitarium may be reached by the Bergen street car line, the Atlantic avenue railway or elevated railway from Brooklyn bridge. Stop at Albany avenue station of elevated road. Number limited to sixteen women patients. Minimum rate $10 per week. Telephone No. 69, Bedford.

DR. PARSONS’ HOME.
Sing Sing, Westchester County.
R. L. Parsons, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Location, one mile from New York Central station. Public carriages may be hired at the station. Number limited to twelve. Minimum rate, $75 per week, which includes all extras. No telephone.

DR. CHOATE’S HOME.
Pleasantville, Westchester County.
G. C. S. Choate, M. D., Physician in Charge.
One mile from Pleasantville station on Harlem railway, and two miles from Whitsons station of New York and Northern railway. New York Central trains stop at Tarrytown, six miles distant. Pleasantville is thirty miles north of New York city. Number limited to ten. Minimum rate, $75 per week, including all extras. No telephone communication.

DR. COMBES’ SANITARIUM.
Wood Haven, Long Island.
H. Elliott, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Best reached by Brooklyn elevated trains, from Brooklyn bridge, or East Twenty-third street ferry to Ridgewood, thence by Richmond Hill surface car to Flushing avenue, Wood Haven. Sanitarium two minutes walk to the right. Also easily accessible from Brooklyn, by carriage, via Myrtle avenue, to Flushing avenue, Wood Haven. One mile from Wood Haven Junction station, on the Long Island Railway. Number of patients limited to thirty-four. Minimum rate $10 per week. Telephone No. 7,1, East New York.

GLENMARY – Owego, Tioga County.
(Homeopathic.)
J. T. Greenleaf, M. D., Physician in Charge.
E. E. Snyder, M. D., Consulting Physician.
Three-fourths of a mile from railway stations, where public carriages may be obtained. Accessible by New York, Lake Erie and Western and by Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railways, and Southern Central Division, Lehigh Valley railway. Number of patients limited to fifty. Minimum rate, ten dollars per week. Telephone call, ” Glenmary.”

FALKIRK – Central Valley, Orange County.
James F. Ferguson, M. D., Physician in Charge.
David H. Sprague, M. D., Associate Physician.
One mile from Central Valley station, on Newburg branch of New York, Lake Erie and Western railway, forty-seven miles from New York city. Number of patients limited to thirty-four. Minimum rate, twenty dollars per week. Telephone, “Falkirk.”

VERNON HOUSE – Bronxville, Westchester County.
William D. Granger, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Post-office and telegraph, Bronxville. Accessible by the New Haven railway, to Mt. Vernon, or by Harlem railroad to Bronxville. Public carriages may be obtained at railway station. Number of patients limited to sixteen. Minimum rate, thirty-five dollars per week. No telephone.

THE PINES – Auburn, Cayuga County.
Frederick Sefton, M. D., Physician in Charge.
Accessible by the Auburn branch of the New York Central and Hudson River railway, and the Southern Central division of the Lehigh Valley railway. A little over three hours by rail from Rochester, four from Albany and Buffalo, seven from New York city. Number of patients limited to twelve. Minimum rate, twenty dollars per week. Telephone No. 261.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the Department of Mental Hygiene, State Commission In Lunacy, Fifth Annual Report, October 1, 1892, to September 30, 1893, Transmitted To The Legislature April 27, 1894, Volume 5, Part VII., Chapter 32, Asylum Directory, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer 1894, Pages 675 – 685.

Rochester State Hospital – Rochester, NY

Rochester State Hospital, formerly Monroe County Insane Asylum
Rochester, Monroe County, New York
1600 South Avenue

The history of the Rochester State Hospital is a little confusing because the lines blur between the Alms House and the Insane Asylum which would later be known as the Rochester State Hospital. Four structures stood on the same tract of land, facing South Avenue, between Elmwood and Highland Avenues, in the Town of Brighton. None of these structures remain. The original Monroe County Poor House or Alms House was built in 1826. The Work House was built in 1853 at the cost of $22,707.60 and contained ninety-two cells for men, women, and occasionally children. In 1865 and again in 1868, fires broke out and the buildings were replaced. In 1869, new brick buildings were constructed. At some point the Work House was renamed, the Penitentiary. Before county “Insane Asylums” the “insane” were kept in jails and county poor houses, separated from the other inmates and usually in chains or handcuffs. The first buildings of the Monroe County Insane Asylum were opened in the spring of 1857. It is at this point that the lines become blurred because the official year of the opening of the asylum is 1863.

According to W.H. McIntosh: In 1856, “there were thirty-seven insane confined in thirteen cells [in the alms house]. These cells were low, unventilated, and unwholesome, and in dimensions but four and a half by seven feet. In this small space were crowded as many as four persons, some of whom, wild and raving, were chained and handcuffed. There was no out-yard, and no guards to stoves to prevent self-inflicted injury. It was resolved to erect a permanent and convenient building especially for the insane. It was constructed at a cost of somewhat over three thousand dollars, during 1856 and 1857.” (1) The Monroe County Insane Asylum opened in the spring of 1857 to accommodate forty-eight people and was under the supervision of Colonel J.P. Wiggins and wife. An additional wing to house the superintendent and employees was completed in October 1859 at a cost of $26,791.57. Because of the lack of room, several patients still remained in the Poor House. In 1870, an additional wing was constructed to accommodate twenty-five more patients. In 1871, the number of inmates rose to one hundred. In 1872 an entirely new, main building was constructed with forty-one rooms at the cost of $18,000, and with various improvements close to $50,000. Dr. M.L. Lord was the warden and physician beginning in 1868.

According to the 1872 Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monroe: “Your Committee in tracing back the history of Monroe County Insane Asylum to 1863, when, by an act of the Legislature, it was made a separate institution from the County Alms House, find that the whole number of inmates supported at that institution during the year was sixty-three. The number of inmates now in that institution have increased to 137, and has more than doubled during the last nine years…” (3, page 18).

The Alms House – In 1860, a building, “was set apart for the infirm old men.” (1) George E. McGonigal was the Superintendent, and Dr. Azel Backus was the physician. On February 28, 1872, a building committee was appointed for a new almshouse to be built at the cost of $59,600. “The almshouse was located midway between the insane asylum and the penitentiary, and fifty feet south. The architect employed was J.R. Thomas. The entire cost of the work was $72,948.44.” (1) In late 1872, the new Monroe County Alms House was completed and opened. It was built in front of the old and at some point thereafter, the original poor house was torn down.

The Insane Asylum – The State of New York purchased the land and the buildings of the Monroe County Insane Asylum for $50,000 bringing it into the State Care system. On July 1, 1891, it was renamed, Rochester State Hospital. Dr. Eugene H. Howard was the first Superintendent and served in that position for several years. (2) The Rochester State Hospital was torn down in the 1960s to make way for The Al Sigl Center. Rochester State Hospital faced South Avenue, the address was 1600 South Avenue. The Al Sigl Center faces Elmwood Avenue, the address is 1000 Elmwood Avenue.

So it appears that in 1857 a separate building was constructed for the sole purpose of becoming the Monroe County Insane Asylum. In 1863, by an act of the New York State Legislature, the asylum was officially separated from the alms house. In late 1872, the NEW Alms House was opened. In that same year, an entirely NEW main building was constructed for the Insane Asylum complete with a Mansard Roof. If you look at the sketch of these three buildings (W.H. McIntosh’s book of 1877), you can see that all three are separate but they stand side by side, three in a row: Far left, Penitentiary; Center, Alms House; Far right, Insane Asylum.

Work House, County Infirmary, Insane Asylum 1877

Work House, County Infirmary, Insane Asylum 1877

There is an interesting map that was drawn in 1984 during an excavation of Highland Park that shows the footprints of the original wood frame and brick buildings. At this time, the remains of approximately 900 people were discovered. (4) In April 2013, while researching the history of the poor house and the asylum, I came across the “Chaplain’s Report” from 1872 which stated that the unmarked cemetery, “familiarly known as the ‘bone yard,” was “an enclosed lot of the public farm in the rear of the penitentiary.” (3) This cemetery was located behind the old Penitentiary and was used to bury the inmates of the Penitentiary, Alms House, and Insane Asylum from 1826 until January 8, 1873 when the County Board of Supervisors directed the Superintendents of the Penitentiary and of the County Poor, “to discontinue the burial of paupers or criminals in the old burying ground attached to the penitentiary, and to have the remains of all such interred in Mount Hope cemetery.” (3) The county board of supervisors of 1872 were well aware that this cemetery existed but apparently, it was never recorded. Perhaps the document concerning this cemetery hasn’t been discovered yet. The Remember Garden in Highland Park marks the location of this long forgotten cemetery.

Map of Penitentiary, Poorhouse, Asylum

Map of Penitentiary, Poorhouse, Asylum

305 bodies were interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in 1985. The remaining bodies (approximately 600) (4) were left in the ground at Highland Park. The picture below shows a man preparing the ground for the monument that was or will be placed in memory of these original inmates. There is NO monument in Mount Hope Cemetery for the inmates of The Monroe County Insane Asylum / Rochester State Hospital, most of whom were buried in anonymous, unmarked graves in Section Y. If bill S2514-2013, which was introduced to the New York State Legislature by Senator Joseph Robach, becomes a law, then these people will no longer be anonymous.

Mount Hope Cemetery 11.2011

Mount Hope Cemetery 11.2011

“Work is now underway to install a monument in memory of the 305 Rochester poor house remains now interred in Mount Hope Cemetery. From the picture you can determine that the monument is in Section Y at the far west end. Note the Civil War plot, the Fireman’s monument and the Steam Gauge and Lantern Co. monument in the background. In July, 1984 when terracing land for a Highland Park addition, a bulldozer unearthed some human remains near the SE corner of Highland and South Ave. Investigation proved these burials were very old. It is believed they are from the Rochester poor house. The burials were not marked and the people were interred in the most simple wooden coffins. These remains underwent an examination prior to their reburial in Mount Hope Cemetery.” 11/2011

I have transcribed the earliest records: Names: Monroe County Poorhouse, Asylum, Penitentiary, Other Charities 1838 to 1860. If you believe that your ancestor was an inmate who lived and died at The Monroe County Insane Asylum / Rochester State Hospital you can search for them at the Rochester – Mt. Hope Cemetery Records online. Here is a brief description of what you will see if you decide to search the records for yourself: Under the heading “Residence,” a street name will be given with no specific address; or it will list the place where the person died such as: Insane Asylum, Asylum, County House, Jail, etc. (Be aware that there was an Asylum Street in the City of Rochester that as far as I know, had no connection with the Monroe County Insane Asylum). About 1891, you will start to see the words “Rochester State Hospital” under “Residence.” At some point in the 1900s, instead of listing the place of death as Rochester State Hospital the address has been given instead as “1600 South Avenue.” In some instances, the family of the deceased claimed the body and buried them in the family plot. In the case of pauper and indigent insane, the hospital buried them in unmarked, anonymous graves at Mount Hope Cemetery. Some unclaimed bodies were donated by state hospitals to state medical colleges for the advancement of medical science in which case no grave will be found.

SOURCES:

1 – McIntosh, W.H., History of Monroe County, New York; With Illustrations Descriptive Of Its Scenery, Palatial Residences, Public Buildings, Fine Blocks, and Important Manufactories, From Original Sketches By Artists Of The Highest Ability. Philadelphia: Everts, Ensign & Everts, 1877, Pages 45-47, Transcribed by L.S. Stuhler.

2 – Hurd, Henry Mills; Drewry, William Francis; Dewey, Richard; Pilgrim, Charles Winfield; Blumer, George Adler, The Institutional Care of the Insane in the United States and Canada, The John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 1916, Pages 199-200, Transcribed by L.S. Stuhler.

3. – Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monroe, for 1872, Rochester, N.Y., Steam Press of Curtis, Morey & Co., Union And Advertiser Office, 1872, Pages 18, 211, 212.

4. – Steckel, Richard H. and Rose, Jerome C., The Backbone of History: Health and Nurtrition in the Western Hemisphere, Cambridge University Press, 2002, Page 162.

Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery - The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery are a wonderful group of knowledgeable volunteers who will help you locate your loved one and provide you with all the information you need to locate the grave.

Facebook – Friends of Mt. Hope

USGenWeb Monroe County, NY – Mt. Hope Cemetery Tombstone Transcriptions

Records of the Rochester State Hospital

Photographs of Memorial to Residents of Almshouse, Insane Asylum & Penitentiary by L.S. Stuhler

History of Mount Hope Cemetery – McIntosh 1877

Rochester History – Life and Death in Nineteenth Century Rochester by Ruth Rosenberg-Naparsteck, pages 12 – 22.

1872 “Bone Yard” – The Remember Garden – Rochester, NY by L.S. Stuhler

1873 Monroe County Poor House

The Willard and Rochester State Hospital Connection by L.S. Stuhler

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO They’re Buried Where? by Seth Voorhees

The Inmates Of Willard 1870 to 1900  A Genealogy Resource by L.S. Stuhler

Creedmoor State Hospital & Cemetery

Creedmoor State Hospital, Long Island, New York
The Lost World Of Creedmoor Hospital – New York Times
Fear And Brutality In A Creedmoor Ward – New York Times
Inside Creedmoor State Hospital’s Building 25 – AbandonedNYC
Creedmoor Psychiatric Center – Wikipedia

“REPORT OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS, October 30, 1912.
To the State Hospital Commission, Albany, N. Y.:

Gentlemen. – We respectfully present the annual report of the Board of Managers of the Long Island State Hospital for the year ending September 30, 1912. The operations of the hospital during the year have been described in sufficient detail in the report of the Superintendent, which we adopt and present as part of our own…..The beginnings of the development of the Creedmoor property have been made with some success and a promise of much larger achievement. The report of the Superintendent gives details. Plans for an institution with a capacity of over 2,000 have been presented to the Board by the State Architect, discussed at length and finally adopted. It is earnestly hoped that definite action to carry them out may be made possible by legislative appropriation. The necessity for such provision is apparent to all who have given even slight study to the problem of the metropolitan insane. We are gratified that the need of thorough rehabilitation of the present hospital has been recognized by the Commission to the extent that the report of the Superintendent shows; and that in addition, appropriations are being considered for further alterations in the buildings and the erection of several new ones.

Respectfully submitted, A. E. ORR, President, Board of Managers of the Long Island State Hospital.

CREEDMOOR – The land and premises situated at Creedmoor in the town of Queens, thirteen miles distant from the main hospital, acquired by legislative act of 1908, have continued subject to the control of the Commission and the board of managers of the Long Island State Hospital. This property originally comprised 192 (200) acres, but at a time when it was decided to sell this land and acquire a new site, nearly seven acres for roadway purposes were sold to the Long Island Motor Parkway, Incorporated, for $18,942. This money was reappropriated by the Legislature for the alteration of the existing buildings and for new construction generally. The roadway passes through the grounds diagonally in a northeasterly direction, and for the most part through the wooded, upland portion of the premises. It is below grade and properly protected by a fence and an overhead crossing. The parkway would not seriously interfere with the erection of new buildings for hospital purposes in the level area southeast therefrom, and some preliminary steps have been taken and are still under way to plan for such buildings, since the difficulty of acquiring a new site on Long Island is fully recognized by the Commission and the Managers. In April, 1912, the Governor signed, among other items in the Omnibus Bill, an appropriation of $50,000 for the commencement of the erection of buildings, including a railroad switch, power house and farm cottages.

As soon as a suitable block plan for a hospital is approved, the expenditure of moneys already appropriated will be made, since it is necessary to first decide upon a general hospital scheme before the installation of a railway, system of sewage disposal and other initial steps can be properly gotten under way. In the meantime, however, the property has been put to use to the extent of colonizing it with thirty-two patients. This was done early in the summer. The patients have been located in one of the twelve regimental buildings, and the necessary money to put this building in order was taken from the special legislative appropriation as a result of the sale of the strip of land. Patients have been employed daily at farm work, and the area of farm land under cultivation has been somewhat over forty acres. Care has been observed in the selection of the patients who have resided at Creedmoor, and no complaint has resulted from their presence in the neighborhood. There is no reason why the colony system cannot be enlarged. There are sufficient buildings to accommodate two hundred or more patients conveniently. On the following page is shown a view of the building at Creedmoor which is occupied by patients.”

Long Island State Hospital - Creedmoor

Long Island State Hospital – Creedmoor

SOURCE: Annual Report of the Long Island State Hospital to the State Hospital Commission For the Year Ending September 30, 1912, Albany, J.B. Lyon Company, Printers, 1913, Pages 6, 16, 17.

Creedmoor. A tract of land in east central Queens, one mile (1.6 kilometers) north of Queens Village and centered on Braddock Avenue and old Rocky Hill Road (now Braddock Avenue), named for the family that farmed there. The name is used only locally and does not refer to any village or settlement, past or present. Conrad Poppenhusen of College Point ran a railroad through the area parallel to Braddock Avenue in 1871 and donated some of the surplus land to the National Rifle Association for use by the National Guard, which opened firing ranges in 1873. The growth of Queens Village from the 1890s and the hazards connected with the firing ranges led to the eviction of the National Guard in 1908. In 1910 the tract became the site of a large state mental hospital.”

Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. State mental hospital on Winchester Boulevard near Queens Village, built on land originally owned by the Creed family. It opened in 1912 as a “farm colony” for the Brooklyn Psychiatric Center in facilities formerly used as barracks for the National Guard. With the construction of new buildings in 1926, 1929, and 1933 Creedmoor became a separate state hospital. Although its nominal capacity was 3,300 patients, there were 6,000 patients by the 1940s, and overcrowding was exacerbated by staff shortages and limited funds. During these years various new treatments for mental illness were introduced at Creedmoor, including hydrotherapy, insulin therapy, electroshock therapy, and in a few cases lobotomy. A more important innovation was the introduction of antidepressant and tranquilizing drugs, which became widely used in the state mental health system in 1955. At Creedmoor the new drugs meant quieter wards, fewer injuries to staff members and patients, and a dramatic increase in the number of patients who could manage daily life in the community. As a result the number of inpatients at the hospital declined to 1,100 by 1991, while outpatient services and residential placements were expanded in keeping with the new policy of deinstitutionalization. When it became clear during the late 1980s that many of the homeless in New York City had urgent psychiatric needs, Creedmoor established a special impatient program of psychiatric rehabilitation intended specifically for the homeless. The Living Museum, presenting art by patients, was founded by Bolek Greczynski in 1984 in the hospital. In 2001 the city sold part of the mental hospital to residential developers and used another portion to develop three schools and athletic fields.”
SOURCE: The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition, Kenneth T. Jackson, Lisa Keller, Nancy Flood, Yale University Press, 2010.

Brooklyn State Hospital, Brooklyn.
The institution is very greatly overcrowded, but it is hoped to obtain relief at an early date. There is under construction, and to be soon completed, a reception hospital and a building for the care of the chronic type of patients. The reception hospital will accommodate about 150 patients, while the building for the chronic type will accommodate 450.

Foundations for a new store house and cold storage building have been laid. A large number of repairs have been accomplished during the last year. The domes of the main building have been renewed and painted. A large quantity of flooring has been laid and a number of the wards have been repainted.

A number of cottages at Creedmoor are being remodelled and made ready for occupancy, and it is expected shortly to house at least 150 patients at this branch.

This hospital has been visited during the year by the State Finance Committee, the State Hospital Development Commission and the State Hospital Commission, and it is the concensus of opinion that the present old building should be razed and new ones built. There is planned a new and modern psychopathic hospital that will accommodate the needs of this portion of Greater New York.

When plans have been consummated, this site will accommodate about 2,100 patients, while at Creedmoor plans are in contemplation for about 2,500 patients.

The medical service is very active at this institution. At least 51 per cent of the cases admitted are of the feeble and exhausted type, or of the very acute maniacal type, and are brought in on stretchers. Those who are physically able are sent to Kings Park. The admissions here during the year were 626. Beginning July 1st, we organized a school for male patients and a male instructor was appointed. It is hoped to obtain very beneficial results from the re-education of certain cases.

In August, 1916, a social worker was appointed who has been of great benefit to the institution and to the paroled patients. She visits all patients who are paroled, attends the clinics, inspects environmental conditions, obtains positions for recovered patients, and assists in obtaining proper histories for the physicians. Three outdoor clinics are held weekly, one at the Brooklyn State Hospital, one at the Williamsburg Hospital on Saturdays; and one at the Long Island College Hospital on Fridays. These clinics are of great value, as it is through them that information is spread that is of great use to the general public. The present census is 925; the certified capacity is 637, and 70 patients are on parole.

At the east of the institution there is an old potters’ field which has been used for years for the burial of the poor of Kings County. This land was turned over to the state two years ago, and it is now proposed to construct buildings on this area. Therefore the Charities Department of the City of New York was requested to remove the bodies buried there by that department during the last two years, and several hundred bodies were taken away during the summer.
SOURCE: The American Journal of Insanity, Volume 74, 1917, Pages 353-354.

BROOKLYN (Brooklyn State Hospital)
An investigation of the sanitary conditions of the Brooklyn State Hospital at Brooklyn was made by Mr. C. A. Howland, assistant engineer in this Department on August 15, 1919. Previous examinations of the sanitary condition of this institution were made by this Department in 1915, (see page 906 of the 36th Annual Eeport) and in 1917 (see page 642 of the 38th Annual Report).

Location: The main institution is situated in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City, while Creedmoor Farm is located north of the village of Creedmoor close to the eastern boundary of Queens borough.

Site of institution: The hospital is situated in Brooklyn on Clarkson avenue just east of the Kings County Hospital. Although the grounds of the institution in Brooklyn are somewhat flat they are apparently well drained. At Creedmoor the farm land, much of which is under cultivation, is also flat but appears to be well drained.

Area of grounds: 25 acres in Brooklyn; 195 acres at Creedmoor; total, 220 acres.

Number of occupied buildings: 14 (2 practically complete but not occupied, one in course of construction).

Capacity: 343 men, 457 women, 305 employees; total, 1,105.

Present population: 441 men, 603 women, 206 employees; total, 1,252.

Class of inmates: All classes of insane except the criminal insane.

Water supply: The water supply for the main institution in Brooklyn is obtained from the Flatbush Water Company while the water supply for the Creedmoor farm is obtained from the Jamaica Water Supply Company.

Milk supply: The milk for the main institution in Brooklyn, which amounts to about 400 quarts of fluid milk, grade B, pasteurized, and 40 quarts condensed milk, are purchased per day from the Delancy Milk and Cream Company of Brooklyn. At Creedmoor farm the milk supply is obtained from a herd of five cows. The cow barn in which the milking is done is an old wooden structure which was not in a satisfactory sanitary condition at the time of the inspection.

Sewerage and sewage disposal: The sewage and storm water of the institution in Brooklyn is discharged through combined tile and brick sewers ranging in size from 6 to 18 inches into the sewerage system of the city of Brooklyn. At Creedmoor the sewage is at present discharged into two large cesspools located about 300 feet northwest of the building. A sewage disposal plant which will treat the sewage from the hospital to be ultimately constructed at Creedmoor is in the course of construction. This disposal plant will consist of Imhoff tanks, siphon chamber and sand filters, of which the inlet chamber, Imhoff tank and siphon chamber have been completed.

Refuse disposal: The garbage of the institution is fed to pigs at the Creedmoor farm. The garbage not suitable for feeding is disposed of in the institution incinerator. At the time of the inspection it was found that the piggery was not in a satisfactory condition and the engineer was informed that a new piggery is to be constructed. It was found that the barrels in which the garbage is stored at the institution were in some cases without covers. Rubbish, such as broken crockery, etc., is removed by the city street cleaning department. Waste paper is baled and sold and similar disposal is made of the rags. Combustible refuse is collected twice daily and burned in an incinerator of the Morse-Boulger Destructor type.

As a result of this examination the following recommendations were made in regard to the improvement of certain insanitary conditions found at the institution.

Recommendations:
1. That the garbage receptacles be kept covered at all times.
2. That a modern piggery of proper design and construction be built as soon as possible.
3. That every precaution be taken in the handling of the milk at the Creedmoor farm in order to prevent the communication of disease by this means and that a plant for the pasteurization of the milk be installed as soon as practicable.
4. That the sewage disposal plant for Creedmoor be completed according to the plans approved by this Department and be put in operation as soon as possible.
SOURCE: State of New York, Fortieth Annual Report of the State Department of Health for the Year Ending December 31, 1919, Volume II, Report of Division of Sanitary Engineering, Albany: J.B.Lyon Company, Printers, 1920, Pages 421-422.

I’m not sure if Creedmoor State Hospital had a cemetery, they may have used a public cemetery. As far as I know, there is no group for this cemetery.

I have created a page for each state hospital and custodial institution cemetery that I know of in the hope that some group: historical societies, former patients, concerned citizens, may be interested in forming their own cemetery restoration, beautification group in order to memorialize and honor the people buried in anonymous, unmarked graves. Of course, we need the names of these people to be released in order to memorialize them properly.

What you would need to do first is to find the forgotten cemetery, take photographs (which I would be more than happy to post), and organize your own group. You can also leave comments on this page in order to get more people involved. This isn’t something that can be accomplished in a few weeks, this will take dedication, an ongoing commitment, and lots of time.

Send your cemetery photographs to: lsstuhler@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO They’re Buried Where? by Seth Voorhees

More Information To Come!