Description: When its doors were first opened in 1858, the Northampton Lunatic Hospital was a model therapeutic community for its time, combining work and treatment in a peaceful rural atmosphere among beautiful woods high on a hill. As times changed, "lunatic" was replaced by "state," reflecting changes in the understanding and treatment of mental illness. With the advent of drug therapy and deinstitutionalization, the patient population shriveled to a handful. When the Northampton State Hospital closed its doors in 1993, its passing was grieved by its employees, some of whom had worked there all their lives. The history of this hospital is told by its former employees and patients.

Text: J. Michael Moore

Number of Works: approx. 45 (plus artifacts)
Status: Not currently available
Contact: sherer@urd.umass.edu



Main Building, Northampton State Hospital, 1993.


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