In 1855, the Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum opened on 50 acres at the southeast corner of Wayne and Wilmington streets in Dayton, a location then considered to be at the extreme edge of the city. The facility originally had 59 patients and an annual budget of $4,900.
Over its first few decades, the facility has changed names several times: Western Ohio Hospital for the Insane (1875); Dayton Hospital for the Insane (1877); Dayton Asylum for the Insane (1878); and finally, Dayton State Hospital (1894), a name it carried officially for more than 50 years and by which it is still often recognized to this day.
After the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s, it became known as Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare, a mental health facility, for many years. Today, it is 10 Wilmington Place, a senior citizens’ residential community set on 34 acres.
Here are some photos of life at the Dayton State Hospital in the mid-20th century:
These photos can be found in the Wright State University Special Collections & Archives:
- Dayton Daily News Archive, Box 959, File #104,918, Hospitals – Dayton State (2 folders).
Sources of historical information:
- Dayton Daily News Archive; also Dayton Daily News articles dated June 30, 2008, & July 18, 2013
- A. W. Drury, History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio (Chicago & Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909), 1:587-591 (“Dayton State Hospital”).