Athens Lunatic Asylum

As part of her research into the development of psychiatric hospitals during the nineteenth century and medical history, alumna Jennifer L. Thomas takes her students to abandoned or renovated sites like the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Operated in Ohio beginning in 1874, it housed patients for conditions ranging from menopause to epilepsy, which were thought to cause socially undesirable behaviors or illnesses or were convenient excuses for forced incarceration. Some structures at the site remain in disrepair, while others and the grounds have been extensively rehabilitated.


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