I loved working there. A Merrill Piano from Boston, in the Recreation Room of the Front Dorm. Architects Elias Carter of Springfield and James Savage of Southborough were employed to design a building which emanated strength and security without the unpleasantness of the appearance of a prison, and designed an Italianate-style brick building with symmetrical towers and Greek Revival accents. The windows were thick and strung tight with wire, his last roommate whispered, to keep your thoughts in the room. The elaborate Kirkbride-style buildings built in Worcester (1877) and Danvers (1878) were considered by many to be a colossal boondoggle and waste of taxpayer money (bitterly called “palaces for the insane” by critics). Both my grandmother and grandfather worked, and also lived in a couple of the houses on the grounds. At least preserve one. This shouldn’t go the way of Northampton and others. I often wonder about the people who worked here or who were placed here and the stories they have to tell. To the greatest degree possible, the hospital was self-sufficient, meaning that patients created their own clothing, grew and cooked their own food, and routinely took part in housekeeping and laundry. State of the art treatment at the time for schizophrenia and debilitating depression. It was the first livery service from Lexington to Boston. Births, changes in diagnosis, and for some, death. The hospital's unique treatment methods put it squarely at the forefront of mental health treatment, and it was one of the last state hospitals in Massachusetts to close its doors. I am trying to understand the outside of something that, at the time, I had a very limited view of. birth. If you’re interested in anything that happened in these places, I’d be glad to share my stories. Recently, she completed her latest book, which is about the former Westborough State Hospital. Today, the hospital looks almost exactly as it did that day. In today's video we go back to Summer of 2018 when I visited the historic Westborough Psychiatric Center. As repairs were undertaken, many inmates were housed in an old mill while older boys were sent to the “nautical branch,” which consisted of sailing vessels out at sea, where the inmates would work and be instructed. I would be fascinated, honored and love to hear what you have to say. I would love to get inside! Westborough is perhaps best known as the second homeopathic hospital for the insane in the United States and the first example of institutional reuse in the nation. They are actually scheduled to tear down the buildings, the town has plans to put something more lucrative in its location. A short walk past two nurse’s stations connects the Front Dorm to the Women’s Industrial Building, which tells a different story. There were hundreds of similar cards piled on the floor beside the desk, each with a name spoken strictly in the past tense. In addition to the piggery, there was a dairy and large produce gardens. Jeremy Lally had two good views. I was told that there was a fire in this wing and instead of repairing the damage it was simply closed off. The place had probably some of the best staff members in all of MA. Westborough State Hospital is an abandoned state mental institution in Massachusetts. Some sections of the hospital were adapted for staff to live in. The parcel includes approximately 43 structures totaling approximately 550,000 SF of historic buildings and historic landscape areas, and is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. It was only a chapel during the State Reform School days, from 1853-1884. In doing some family research, I know my father’s cousin was admitted in the 1930s and spent his entire life there. Westborough State Hospital, originally “Westborough Insane Hospital”, was a historic hospital in Westborough, Massachusetts, which sat on more than 600 acres. All ‘Not Improved’. It was not wholly discontinued however, and instead moved a few miles away to become the Lyman School for Boys, where a cottage-style system was employed which would make handling such a large number of inmates easier. If her family did not take the child, it would have gone to one of the State Schools, like the one at Belchertown (which I wrote about here). NRHP Registration Form. A maintenance worker let me into one of the closed wings of the main building to look around. Simply called “State Reform School,” it was comprised of a single large building designed to house and attempt to correct the behavior of young miscreants using manual labor and schooling in both moral and religious instruction. Each patient had a card of record that reported major events. Dress forms of varying sizes and busts stand at attention against the backlight of a broken window. my aunt died there in the early/mid 50’s, they said she choked on a piece of meat. A short stack of notecards were scattered across a blue steel desk. I also remember the rows of hydrotherapy tubs and in an adjoining room the electroshock (ECT) facilities. Hell, I’d pay to gain entry. While the concern was real, the sign was a source of consternation for confused, psychotic patients. Around the corner in the Recreation Room waited a piano from the Merrill Piano Company, which was shipped here in the early 1900s from Boston. She knew she alone couldn’t change anything. Thus, the old reform school in Westborough seemed an ideal place to establish a new state hospital - money could be saved by using some of the existing buildings on campus, which had already been designed as a penal institution. Would she be willing to share? In case you were wondering what a day in the life of a patient was like in the later years…. This was fine for Joseph, he thought, because he did not have any thoughts. The State Reform School was opened in November, 1848. 1885-1907. Behind his bed, if he stretched his neck a little, the covered walkway and solarium was just barely visible. At Westborough State Hospital the "Chapel" was never actually a chapel while the hospital was in operation. The abundance of abandoned asylums and psychiatric hospitals in the New England area create the bulk of the locations here; these beautiful state funded structures are vast and complex, giving insight to both the humanity and mistreatment towards the mentally ill over the past two centuries. The Lyman School, which it was called, was emptied after being declared unfit for its purpose; it was designed to house 400 to 500 delinquent boys in one massive structure that resembled a prison—very much the opposite idea of ‘reform’. The NPI Number for Westborough State Hospital is 1942367255. The large, center section of the hallway would fit chairs for patients to look out on the gardens. 559 likes. This is looking where the projector lens would have been at the stage. Have you had any success getting any records from those periods? There is no trace of a fire in the area where I found it. I found some partial answers. Not everyone who explores abandoned property is a vandal. Remember coming home from my summer job at the high school in northborough and seeing my mother in tears. Westborough State Hospital. After the war ended, staffing barely kept up with rising populations of patients. The institution opened as the Westborough Insane Hospital in December of 1886, taking in 204 patients from the crowded hospitals in Taunton, Northampton, Danvers and Worcester. Westborough - For 125 years, until it was shut down by the state in 2010, the Westborough State Hospital was "home" to hundreds of patients. Every asylum I’ve every documented has a shuffleboard game painted on the floor. The company's File Number is listed as 001372698. I was there almost a decade before you and knew the place mostly from the inside of daniel 2. At the moment, located on the land is Tufts, which is a graduate school for Veterinary Students and also a veterinary hospital for numerous types of animals. . It served the departmental Region V, comprising the area south and west of Boston. They didn’t deserve to be hurt or terrorized. I’m so proud of my grandparents. 4 talking about this. Its unique treatment methods were at the forefront of mental health care until it closed its doors as one of the last Massachusetts state … They were ‘the ladies’. Unlike other administrators, he fully embraced homeopathy as an attempt to cure mental illness. By 2005, only about 200 patients still lived in the wards—too few to justify the expense of maintaining more than 60 buildings and 600 acres. Trustees of the Westborough Insane Hospital. The picture that showed all the blue cards on the desk that had patient information on them — what happened to those items? I feel so bad that she died and no one claimed her. They called it a conservatory. She died of tuberculosis here and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery. June Ryan November 21,2020 I suspect the one thing that hasn’t changed since the hospital was built is that mental health care is still seriously under-funded. She was 45. Here is a photo of when it was actually a chapel. The Brigham Farm, later the Peter Farm, was purchased in 1846 for the State Reform School, later the State Hospital (1885). The campus was constructed on farmland sold to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by Lovett Peters. Less noise at night, too, which is never a bad thing. It was the first homeopathic hospital for the insane in New England. With an unlimited supply of free labor, the institution was able to support itself using its inmates to farm and cook the food, wash the laundry, clean the wards and make supplies ranging from shoes to furniture (as was also customary in state mental hospitals up through the 1950s). my mother and her 2 sisters were committed to westboro various and many times from the 40’s through the 70’s. The Westborough State Hospital was established by Chapter 322 of the Acts of 1884 as the Westborough Insane Hospital. Founded to help preserve Westborough State Hospital as it approaches redevelopment. There is something about this place which makes me want to know more, definitely feels like there are a ton of stories to be told. The theater had a projection booth in the rear, though the movie projector was gone. Walkthrough State NO. The campus area was located between Lyman Street and Chauncy Lake. According to my guide one of the older buildings, unmarked, was the hospital morgue. In all of the darkness there, there was also love. In 1953, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health recorded over 23,000 inpatients system-wide… about 2,000 of those were at Westborough. We (grandchildren) were not allowed to call them ‘patients’.. The new model could feed the entire hospital at once by having patients move through the campus into a communal dining hall, where they were supervised while they ate. ! My grandmother work there for 40 years. Grafton State Hospital was a psychiatric hospital in Grafton, Massachusetts that operated from 1901 to 1973. On the recent topographical maps, it is identified as the “Westborough State Hospital” complex. The total number of beds available in Massachusetts is 20882, big hospital in Massachusettsaccording to number of beds is MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL with 1035 beds located in BOSTON city, smallest hospital in Massachusetts according to number of beds is LAHEY MEDICAL CENTER - PEABODY, with 10 beds located in PEABODY. My mother Marion Carlton worked there in the 80’s and the stories she told.A lot of the babies born there were children of the male staff.There were rapes,ice soaks , electric shocks committed on patients ,a lot of abuse.It was also written in a book called “Insane Aslym” License Wait Time n/a. Any ideas of how I can find out any more information would be greatly appreciated. Where might I records of my mother at WEstboroough in the 1950″s. I think it’s a shame all these places are being torn down- it may not be the general public’s favorite subject but this is an important part of social and medical history- as well as the architectural preservation. In 1859, a massive fire set by one of the boys engulfed much of the building. The former state hospital in Westborough Massachusetts was originally the site of as the first public reform school for juvenile offenders in the United States. The Westborough State Hospital, formerly known as the Westborough Insane Hospital, was the second homeopathic hospital for the insane in the United States. I remember a player piano, perhaps the one in the photograph, and a wall calendar from 1930-something. Some of the best people i’ve ever known. Westborough State Hospital. Westborough State Hospital is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its future is uncertain. Westborough State Hospital. Its funny, but several of the patients I worked with in the hospital, I later ended up seeing again years later when I worked in a supported housing program . james malloy is a fool we are looking to photograph the past and are equipped against the deadly air particles if only he had the sense to offer waivers for entry i would risk my life to photograph the past here. Her name was Mary Naples from Westborough. Such was life in Room Twenty-Five of the Front Dorm, Second Floor. Had to be.push out the only home they new shame on the state cause of money short falls This was a row of about 5 narrow, wooden, examination tables where patients would have been held or strapped down to prevent injury from electrically induced convulsions. It is a place where residents can actively share the stories, memories, and cultural life of our town and contribute to preserving our collective understanding of what Westborough is all about. Westborough State Hospital, she easily discovered the history of, became her home-away-from-home, her escape from the mind's troubles, as she preferred to refer to it. Westborough followed the unique and sometimes bizarre treatments employed at Middletown, which included massage, hydrotherapy, plenty of rest (even if the patient was unwilling), and specialized diets of hypnotics and sedatives. My visit here is a lot like translating the aorist tense…full of decisions about bringing out the continuous or the completed aspect. Sometimes rainbow workshop with crayons and paper, Harry Bellefonte records playing over and over. Please do not enter these buildings, they are structurally unsafe and contain hazardous materials. At the nurse’s station is a note that some of the rooms on that level have no bed, if there was a need to deprive a patient of their frame and mattress. Ceiling light fixtures sit on a broken gurney. Just as well. Abandoned Teupitz State Psychiatric Institution in Brandenburg. As Claire Poole wrote, the hospital was self-sustaining to a great extent. The women of the hospital made clothes for the other patients. I would see the inside of many more rest homes and hospitals until she was finally stabilized in the early 90’s as I was able to become her guardian ad litem and got her into senior housing. I worked there in the late 70’s till 1989. Thoughts in the area where I found while I was there, raised with two older into! 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