Deinstitutionalization efforts in the 1970s began to quickly empty the hospital, and by 1984 there were only 260 patients in the vast complex. Today, the hospital looks almost exactly as it did that day. 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. It was my first job working ever in mental health and I have been working in the field ever since. I visited there many times as a child and called the Operations(?) I remember a player piano, perhaps the one in the photograph, and a wall calendar from 1930-something. As Claire Poole wrote, the hospital was self-sustaining to a great extent. It consists of a number of buildings, some abandoned, some still … Westborough State Hospital. horrible place. At Westborough State Hospital the "Chapel" was never actually a chapel while the hospital was in operation. Each patient had a card of record that reported major events. Behind his bed, if he stretched his neck a little, the covered walkway and solarium was just barely visible. Use to go through the buildings when I was young up till my late teens. More information such as phone number, address, owner, services, ratings and quality data are also available. Westborough State Hospital was originally called Westborough Insane Hospital, this striking building once covered 600 acres to the north of Massachusetts Route 9. It is important to document and remember these incredible pieces of history that someday may no longer stand. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. View of the hospital in 1886 (NRHP Form). The large, center section of the hallway would fit chairs for patients to look out on the gardens. Thanks for putting together a virtual space where I could come and ask my own questions of history. Westborough State Hospital is located in Westborough, MA 01581-0288. It is sat on over 600 acres of land with nearly 50 different structures and buildings. The NPI Number for Westborough State Hospital is 1942367255. Hi Chimera, I am writing a historical book about what actually went on in state hospitals. My great grandmother was a patient during that time as well. The glare of the sunset made their long shadows look almost human. Compact State NO. with all the downsizing starting in the 70’s it was very hard to find suitable care for my mother. 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. Need more mental facilities. In which my mother contributed events.Due to her telling all she was threatened and forced to leave. I had the impression that residents may have had addiction issues rather than or in addition to mental illness. birth. I thought I might leave a photo here of something that I had with me when I walked away…an id card of sorts from westboro state hospital industries with my work assignment and hours. 6,956. Had to be.push out the only home they new shame on the state cause of money short falls My grandmother work there for 40 years. After the war ended, staffing barely kept up with rising populations of patients. They are actually scheduled to tear down the buildings, the town has plans to put something more lucrative in its location. ! Less noise at night, too, which is never a bad thing. June Ryan November 21,2020 Westborough State Hospital Memorial Inc. is a Massachusetts Non-Profit Corporation filed on March 11, 2019. On Aug. 1 she held a lecture at the Westborough Public Library to discuss the book, which she started researching in 2010. Some of these bones were burnt as well. It made me very happy to see they were doing well as some were”institutionalized” for many years and now able to live in the community with some support. Jobs available. The current location address for Westborough State Hospital is 288 Lyman St, , Westborough, Massachusetts and the contact number is 508-616-2100 and fax number is 508-616-2875. …when injection molding was the new thing that everyone was experimenting with. I had an ancestor Emilie Johanna Sofia Laurin who was a patient there (on the census it describes the patients as “inmates”) around the 1920’s. It’s demolished now. The last line, “birth,” indicated the patient gave birth at the asylum. Note: All content, photographs, stories and depictions at least 3 years old. my aunt died there in the early/mid 50’s, they said she choked on a piece of meat. Not everyone who explores abandoned property is a vandal. The book is part of the series, Images of America, and is published by Arcadia Publishing. Westborough State Hospital is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its future is uncertain. Over time, these tenants relaxed and drugs were used more, though hydrotherapy and occupational therapy (such as dressmaking) were both cited in the 1930s as major programs. I don’t see any way to do that. State of the art treatment at the time for schizophrenia and debilitating depression. 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). 1885-1907. WESTBOROUGH — Crews are demolishing the last remaining part of the former Westborough State Hospital on Lyman Street as Pulte Group replaces it with a sprawling over-55 development with 700 units. In 1945, the patient population reached 1,730 though its capacity was only 1,332. Just notions, and an overwhelming love for Apple Pie Day. I ask because I found large bones in a pile of debris near the hospital. Does anyone know if any of these buildings still stand, and if there are any current photos of them? Its unique treatment methods were at the forefront of mental health care until it closed its doors as one of the last Massachusetts state … Most doctors and attendants had left to fight overseas in World War II, and this inadequate staffing resulted in the death of some as several criminally insane women murdered their fellow patients. At his retirement, patients and staff presented him with an oversize album in which photographs were posted of the many activities on the ‘campus’, patient and staff alike, often together. They took 3+ years of my life. That’s a complicated question, Victoria. I was there almost a decade before you and knew the place mostly from the inside of daniel 2. A Nurse’s School was established at Westborough in 1891, and the first female doctor at the hospital was appointed as assistant physician in 1893. Perhaps you can tell me something…. Wards I and J for chronic disturbed patients and a large kitchen building were added to the main complex in 1906 using narrow passages to connect them. I worked there in the late 70’s till 1989. My grandmother went to nursing school there and became an RN. They didn’t deserve to be hurt or terrorized. 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. 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. In case you were wondering what a day in the life of a patient was like in the later years…. I live in the area and remember the first time I drove past the facilities in Westborough. 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. The manager in charge of the house invited us to comend tour the public areas of the house, a great opportunity to trigger many of my uncle’s recollections. In a way, the dress forms represent a remoteness that was expected of the patients. It seems to be a big family secret as to why he was in there. The campus area was located between Lyman Street and Chauncy Lake. In Oct. 2001, I visited Westborough with my maternal uncle and cousins and gave the album plus a patient’s water color of the Superintendent’s house to the Westborough Historical Society. Very tired tonight. Westborough reached its peak population in 1959 with 2,100 patients and 800 staff. I would greatly appreciate it. There is no trace of a fire in the area where I found it. Annual reports. We’d have to walk across the field from the other side to get there. I’m so proud of my grandparents. Congregate dining was adopted at the state’s later hospitals in Foxborough (1889), Medfield (1896) and Waltham (1930), and most of the older state hospitals also followed suit with retrofits and new structures. Unused portions of the campus were closed off and left to decay. 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. James Malloy, Town Manager, Westborough, MA. In 1959 she remarried a man named Jack Gaucher from Northboro who also worked at the hospital, in receiving. The campus was constructed on farmland sold to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by Lovett Peters. This was no longer in operation when i was there, partly because it was considered exploitative to use patient’s labor. The puddle of pee on the floor stinks. 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. Luckily she only suffered scratches, but that was only 1 of many incidents. Jeremy Lally had two good views. The scraps of narrative provide the verbs. The current location address for Westborough State Hospital is Westborough State Hospital, 288 Lyman Street, Westborough, Massachusetts and the contact number is 508-616-2100 and fax Here is a photo of when it was actually a chapel. Like many other state hospitals across the country, Westborough entered a steep decline by the 1940s due to overcrowding. The building you say is the Lyman building is the building we’d use for recreational activities. I grew up on these grounds as a child. At least preserve one. Mental health issues were treated differently in the early days of the hospital's existence; its first name, the Westborough Insane Hospital is one that modern day society would never accept. The State Reform School was opened in November, 1848. Westborough State Hospital officially closed its doors in 2010, with remaining patients and services relocated to the new psychiatric hospital built in Worcester. Hell, I’d pay to gain entry. It would be great if we could use this forum or perhaps get an email chain going to start some dialogue on this place? Dress forms of varying sizes and busts stand at attention against the backlight of a broken window. The auditorium was named after him (Dr. Walter Emery Lang) a few years after his death in 1949. I know people do. 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. As health care providers know (and I am not one) today’s mentally ill who do not have family to care for them are homeless or in prison. Condition when discharged: Not Improved (Died) Charles Walcott. It would be great to find more info about her if anyone has anything or suggestions. I would love to speak with you. She knew she alone couldn’t change anything. All ‘Not Improved’. Though the hospital’s methods were controversial, especially of enforced bedrest, the hospital touted a relatively high recovery rate compared to the other state hospitals into the turn of the century. It’s common sense that yes these buildings may be structurally unsafe, but that’s a risk I would be well willing to take to see the inside. Fancy spikes to help keep suicidal patients from climbing the fence and leaping down the stairs. Abandoned Teupitz State Psychiatric Institution in Brandenburg. Founded to help preserve Westborough State Hospital as it approaches redevelopment. Dedicated to preserving the memory of Westborough State Hospital, and the lives of the patients and staff who lived and worked there. These issues were somewhat remedied with new buildings constructed into the 1950s. I would be fascinated, honored and love to hear what you have to say. I have many memories of the hospital and the bar….. At the time I was a fifteen year old girl, the horror stories I have to tell will sound unbelievable. 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. Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Hospital and State School System. way too many stories and pictures screaming to be given meaning, Hello, I am writing a book concerning the reality of state hospital living. Press Esc to cancel. 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. On the recent topographical maps, it is identified as the “Westborough State Hospital” complex. Any advice appreciated In 1953, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health recorded over 23,000 inpatients system-wide… about 2,000 of those were at Westborough. Such was life in Room Twenty-Five of the Front Dorm, Second Floor. Both parents worked their till the closing which started during september 09″. The Westborough Center for History and Culture at the Westborough Public Library explores, facilitates, and documents the life and culture of Westborough, MA. If you’re interested in anything that happened in these places, I’d be glad to share my stories. this hospital is a goldmine for beautiful photography it is a shame that mr malloy has fought against such artistic ambitions. They were ‘the ladies’. The state hospital system was intended to be self-sufficient and Westborough had a pig farm which provided both meat and sheltered occupation for those patients who could work at least part of the time, in between episodes of acute illness. The photos seem kind of like a history written entirely in the nominative absolute. This is a giant piece of history, and many people like myself would do anything to receive permission to get inside. History has demonstrated, to those who take notice, that now is the time where nature often takes its course (whether a property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places or not). Would she be willing to share? Walkthrough State NO. I’m searching for anything I can find. The Westborough State Hospital was established by Chapter 322 of the Acts of 1884 as the Westborough Insane Hospital. Ok it was a real life experience. I had come to be familiar with certain patients that were allowed to walk around outside. I was a chaplain there in the early 80’s and remember many of the residents there. Have you had any success getting any records from those periods? It would be a eye opening honor to talk about your experiences some time if you are open to it. Some of the best people i’ve ever known. I loved working there. It offered inpatient services, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs Located near the Westborough State Hospital was the Grafton State Hospital. When we visited the grounds in 2001, we learned that the Superintendent’s House was being used as a halfway house for patients preparing for full release. The highlight of that would be seeing deers. Please email me for more info @bigwordsscience, Apologies bigwordsscience@gmail.com is my email. The story of Jeremy Lally was inferred from ward maps that I found while I was exploring the hospital. Amongst the pile were burnt kitchenware, bricks and metal. 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. This hallway would be as close as some patients would get to nature. My visit here is a lot like translating the aorist tense…full of decisions about bringing out the continuous or the completed aspect. Fantastic Pictures Show a Now Abandoned Children’s Hospital … Down the stairs from where psychiatric patients sewed their clothing together, another trace of Westborough’s past was left behind. Westborough Insane Hospital, NRHP Registration Form. On Monday, April 11, 2010, a small bus took the last six patients from Westborough to Worcester, where the new hospital was nearly complete. With the promise of a new psychiatric hospital in a nearby city, the Department of Mental Health announced that it would soon close Westborough. Hello all, is there any information on a fire that may have had casualties? All non-user contributed content is © Tom Kirsch, unless noted otherwise. It was unknown if training such a large number of young miscreants under one roof would actually work, and the project was considered an experiment by administrators. Westborough State Hospital Memorial. This is looking where the projector lens would have been at the stage. Superintendent Uncle Raymond. So much pain and suffering occurred in these facilities, but as a psychiatric nurse, I’m sure moments of kindness and joy happened as well. 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. I also remember the rows of hydrotherapy tubs and in an adjoining room the electroshock (ECT) facilities. 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. This beautiful property totals approximately 95 acres with waterfront access and scenic views. She died of tuberculosis here and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery. I worked at westboro state for 10 yrs, 1980-1990 it was the best job i ever had. Hi, I am very interested in you mothers story and information working there. So she was glad to leave but felt sorry for the one’s left behind. License Wait Time n/a. Both my grandmother and grandfather worked, and also lived in a couple of the houses on the grounds. Any information would be helpful. The school’s population swelled since its opening, prompting a large expansion to the building in 1848, and by 1858 there were over 590 inmates. My mother worked there as a Registered Nurse on the 7-3 shift in the 80’s and up till 1990. Between the 1950s and 1970s, the state of mental health care had changed; as our knowledge of the brain and its health grew, mental hospital populations fell. I’ve only now returned to the article and seen your comment. 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). Their stories remain with me today; a place filled with great sorrow and negative energy. 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. i just don’t understand why you would want to tear these down, this a place of history and there is so much history in these buildings… why no express that! Sometimes rainbow workshop with crayons and paper, Harry Bellefonte records playing over and over. They thought I was retarded so they took me through the tunnels to rainbow workshop where there were no windows and the rainbows were painted on the wall. any help would really be appreciated, My grandparents worked for westboro state hospital my grandfather ran the power plant there and my grandmother work in the laundry they lived in one of the houses on the grounds actually 2 of them one of witch still stands I spent many weekends walking the grounds with my grandfather and have a lot of nice memories of time spent at westborough state hospital its a shame to see it crumbling away I drive through the grounds a lot remembering how it used to be. 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’. So many sad cases. An innovative model for state hospitals was implemented at Westborough during the renovation, which was the congregate dining hall. Westborough State Hospital. A riot broke out in 1878, and after rumors of cruel and unusual punishment began to stream out to the press in the ensuing years, the congregate-style reform school was considered a failed experiment by the legislature. Recently, she completed her latest book, which is about the former Westborough State Hospital. An H-shaped building was erected to the north for housing committed patients, and connected to the main complex via hallways with small elegant “conservatories." Stacks of patient record cards; names in the graveyard. In addition to the piggery, there was a dairy and large produce gardens. Unlike other administrators, he fully embraced homeopathy as an attempt to cure mental illness. I would ride my bike freely all over the place. I was told that there was a fire in this wing and instead of repairing the damage it was simply closed off. 559 likes. 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. where to start. I 100% agree. I still think about westboro and remember the people i met there (pts) ,they taught me alot about human compassion and resilence. My grandfather was superintendent from 1919 to 1946, when he had to retire due to a series of strokes. The scenic views of Lake Chauncy and hilltop location were also extremely favorable, in that it conformed to the popular idea that an idyllic environment was essential to curing mental illness at the time. Issues rather than or in addition to westborough state hospital article and seen your comment worked, and a calendar. 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