Georgia Lunatic Asylum
Milledgeville, GA - April 20, 2003
Lunatic Asylum (aka Central State Hospital)
in Milledgeville to visit the slave graves at Memory Hill Cemetery I heard
of the existence of an old partially abandoned asylum just outside of
town. I decided to divert to the asylum on my way home. I was not disappointed.
Although part of the complex is still in use, and the part that isn't
is heavily patrolled, I was still able to get some nice pictures of the
I was able to find a short history of the asylum at the Georgia AGHP website:
"In 1837 a law was enacted to establish a state lunatic asylum. 57 1/2 acres of land was purchased to erect the first buildings. Completed in October 1842 and open for patients December 15, 1842. The first patient was identified as Tilman B., brought from Macon, tied to a wagon. He died 6 months later. The first building for black patients was erected in 1866. Georgia Lunatic Asylum name was changed to the Georgia State Sanitarium Sep. 1, 1898; to Milledgeville State Hospital in 1929 and to Central State Hospital in 1967."
and began walking around the complex, and this is what I saw...
I am always worried about being run off of these abandoned sites (I lasted about five minutes at Kings Park Asylum in New York), so I was actually relieved to see that they don't shy away from the tourist-aspect of old asylums here. There is a museum in one of the occupied buildings (which was sadly closed when I was there - it's open by appointment only), and there was a historic marker as you enter up the driveway: "MILLEDGEVILLE STATE HOSPITAL: In 1837, largely through the influence of Tomlinson Fort and William A. White, the legislature appropriated $20,000 for a dormitory near Milledgeville where the state's mentally ill could receive custodial care. A four-story building was opened on this site in 1842 and together with various later additions became known as the Center Building. Originally serving only pauper patients, services were expanded for all bona fide citizens. Dr. David M. Cooper (serving 1843-1846) was the first Superintendent and was followed by Dr. Thomas F. Green (1847-1879) and Dr. Theophilus O. Powell (1879-1907)."
After I finished photographing the Walker Building, I drove further up into the complex, past the portion of the asylum which is still being used today to treat mental illness and developmental disabilities. There are some abandoned buildings up in this area as well, which are even nicer-looking than the Walker building. Alas, being so deep into the complex, there would be very little chance of breaking into one of these buildings without getting caught by the ever-lurking security.
At this point, I bid the old Georgia Lunatic Asylum farewell, regretful that I wasn't able to see more of it. Maybe one of these days I'll go back and actually get inside the buildings. Until then, check out Infiltration for some interesting pictures of the interiors that others have taken.
any additional stories, tidbits or photos to add?
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