Oldest Three Continuously Operating Psychiatric Hospitals
in the United States
1. Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia
The Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg opened in 1773 and is still in operation as a psychiatric hospital. It is the oldest psychiatric hospitalin the United States.
2. Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville,
Maryland is a free-standing psychiatric hospital that was chartered in 1797, opened in 1798, and has remained in continuous operation ever since. It was founded as a dual purpose hospital (general and psychiatric) and stopped accepting any patients with non-psychiatric illnesses by the 1830’s. The hospital has been in continuous operation since 1798 and is the second oldest psychiatric hospital in the United States.
3. Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky
Kentucky is a state psychiatric hospital that opened as an asylum in 1824. Its first medical superintendent was appointed 20-years later, in 1844.It is currently the third oldest psychiatric hospital in the country.
Note: The Pennsylvania Hospital.The Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA was chartered in 1751 and opened in 1752. However, while it provides psychiatric services, it is not a psychiatric hospital.The Pennsylvania Hospital was founded as a general hospital that accepted patients with mental illnesses, as well as patients who had physical illnesses. In 1841 a hospital that was to become known as “The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital” split off from the main hospital, which continued to operate as a general hospital in its original location in central Philadelphia. The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital was housed a large “Kirkbride style” building that situated on a large farm west of the city. Unlike Spring Grove, which was originally a dual purpose facility that began to provide care and treatment exclusively to persons with mentally illnesses, the Pennsylvania Hospital remained a general hospital with associated psychiatric services. The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital closed in 1997. Because of its direct link to the c. 1752 Pennsylvania Hospital, the c. 1841 Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital was considered by some to be the oldest psychiatric hospital in the country. However, its closure in 1997 resolved the question. The still extant Pennsylvania Hospital is the oldest hospital in the United States, but it is not a psychiatric hospital.
List of Institutions for the Mentally Ill in the United States, with Date of Opening.
(FromOne Hundred Years of American Psychiatry, Columbia University Press, 1944.)
|1. Eastern State Hospital, Williamsburg, Virginia
|2. Spring Grove State Hospital, Catonsville, Maryland
|3. Eastern State Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky
|4. Manhattan State Hospital, New York City
|5. Western State Hospital, Staunton, Virginia
|6. South Carolina State Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina
|7. Worcester State Hospital, Worcester, Massachusetts
|8. Columbus State Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
|9. Boston State Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
|10. Brooklyn State Hospital, Brooklyn, New York
|11. Central State Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee
|12. Augusta State Hospital, Augusta, Maine