1864 Suffolk County Poor House

“There is no county house or lunatic asylum in Suffolk county. The custom is to send all troublesome lunatics either to the New York State asylum at Utica, or to the asylum at Brattleboro, in Vermont. The investigation was not pursued to find the number of insane in private families; nor is the number that the county supports stated; probably it is small. It is a wise plan the authorities pursue.”

SOURCE: Documents of the Assembly Of The State Of New York, Eighty-Eighth Session, 1865, Volume 6, Nos. 199 to 112 Inclusive, Albany: C. Wendell, Legislative Printer, 1865, Pages 218.

New York State County Poor Houses.

Kings Park State Hospital & Cemetery

On January 1, 1891, the farm colony at St. Johnland was renamed, Kings Park. On July 1, 1895, the Kings County Lunatic Asylum at Flatbush and Kings Park became the Long Island State Hospital. After 1895, Kings Park State Hospital served the counties of Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk.

1916 Kings Park State Hospital.
1851 Kings County Lunatic Asylum at Flatbush, New York.
The Lost Kirkbrides: Brooklyn State Hospital.
Erasing the Past at the Ghost Hospital – New York Times.
Kings Park Psychiatric Center – OPACITY
KINGS PARK-STORIES FROM AN AMERICAN MENTAL INSTITUTION – A Groundbreaking New Documentary – Lucy Winer.
Kings Park Psychiatric Center’s Building 93 – AbandonedNYC – Will Ellis.

VARIOUS ARTICLES ABOUT KINGS PARK STATE HOSPITAL:
“Besides the regularly organized institutions, there are two asylums for the insane poor, which, as they are separate from the other almshouse departments, and receive a pretty large number of patients, claim attention in this place. During the last fifteen years, the insane in the Almshouse of King’s County, New York, the county which embraces the city of Brooklyn within its limits, have occupied a building erected especially for their accommodation, disconnected from the other edifices of the establishment, and at some distance from them. It is at Flatbush, and is called the King’s County Lunatic Asylum. The report for the fiscal year ending with the 31st of July, 1854, is signed by Dr. E. S. Blanchard, the resident physician.

Patients in the asylum at the beginning of the year: Men 74; Women 113; Total 187.
Admitted in the course of the year: Men 59; Women 78; Total 137.
Whole number in the course of the year: Men 133; Women 191; Total 324.
Discharged cured: Men 41; Women 81; Total 122.
Died: Men 14; Women 10; Total 24.
Remaining, July 31, 1854: Men 78; Women 100; Total 178.

Died of peritonitis, 4; phthisis, 3; cholera, 3; empyema, 3; diarrhoea, 3; exhaustion, 2; marasmus, 2: epilepsy,2; “typhoids,” 1; softening of the cerebellum, 1. But two patients in the course of the year were subjected to mechanical restraint. One of these had the suicidal propensity, the other was labouring under violent mania. Of the 178 patients remaining in the asylum at the close of the year, 134 were foreigners. It appears that some pay-patients are received, the expenses of 16 of those who were in the asylum during the year having been defrayed by their friends.

At the time this report was written, a new edifice, to be occupied by the insane, was in progress. It “is erected on the county farm, on a beautiful site, and commands many delightful views of the surrounding country. When finished, it will compare favourably with any other institution of a similar nature in the world. It is 250 feet in its extreme length, 84 feet in its extreme breadth, and the height to the top of the dome is 86 feet. The halls and dormitories present a light and airy appearance. The rooms are 7 by 11 feet. The height of the ceilings ranges from 14 to 10 feet. Each room is lighted by a large window, on the outside of which there is a light iron guard frame. The whole building will be heated by steam,” the radiating pipes being in an air-chamber in the cellar. “The entire structure is of brick, trimmed with stone. This establishment was opened on the 1st of November, 1855, under the medical care of Dr. Robert B. Baiseley. Although it was intended for but about 150 patients, yet, ever since it was opened, the actual number present has been as high as from 190 to 200.”
SOURCE: The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Edited by Isaac Hays, M.D., Volume XXXIII, Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea, 1857, Pages 164-165.

Kings county and New York county provide for their insane under special statutes. The former county provides for 800 or 1000 insane and the latter for over 1,700. On Ward’s island is situated the State Emigrant Insane Asylum which provides for the insane emigrants for the term of five years from the time of their landing in this country. This asylum furnishes accommodations for about 200 patients. The annual expense per patient in this institution is $150. The per capita cost of building $1,138 and the total annual cost, $22,500. There are upward of 500 patients in private asylums so that the insane population of New York state is probably not far from 7,000 or 8,000 at the present time. . .

The annual expense per patient in the two New York county institutions is in the New York City Asylum for the insane $92.89, and for the New York Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s island $73.84. The annual expense per patient in the Kings County Lunatic Asylum, situated at Flatbush, L. I., is $120. The total annual cost for these three county institutions for the insane is as follows: New York City Asylum for the insane, Ward’s island, $53,504 ; New York Lunatic Asylum, Blackwell’s island, $89,420 ; Kings County Lunatic Asylum, Flatbush, $92,400. . .”
SOURCE: Proceedings of the Conference Of Charities, Held In Connection With The General Meeting of the American Social Science Association, Detroit, May 1875, Tolman & White Printers, Boston, Mass., October 1875, Page 56.

“In 1885, the decision was made to purchase eight hundred seventy-three acres of farmland out on a rural stretch of north central Long Island in order to build a farming colony that would act as an annex for the hospital. Three temporary wooden structures were built on that land, until proper facilities could be later erected. These structures were located in the small village of St. Johnland, a part of Smithtown, which is located in Suffolk County, New York. The three temporary structures were used to house the first fifty-five patients of this new hospital annex.”

“In 1891, the town of St. Johnland changed its name to Kings Park. Many believe the name derived from the Kings County connection with the hospital, but that is not the case. The name actually came from the Long Island Railroad Station located on Indian Head Road, which had only changed its name when the St. Johnland Society complained about the railroad using its name without permission. The railroad station was renamed Kings Park Station and the town changed its name soon afterwards for the same reasons. By 1895, the asylum was taken over by the state, after complaints of corruption became rampant. It wasn’t until the year 1900 when it also took on a new name, as it became known as the Long Island State Hospital at Kings Park. Only five years later the name of the hospital was changed, again. This time it was named Kings Park State Hospital, which is the name it would maintain for many years to come, until the mid-1970s when it would eventually become the Kings Park Psychiatric Center.”
SOURCE: No Hope For The Hopeless At Kings Park by Jason Medina, Tribal Publications, Inc., Yonkers, New York, 2013, Pages 334-335.

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