Athens Mental Health Center Essay

1412 Words Dec 10th, 2014 6 Pages
Athens Mental Health Center At one time, there were large public mental institutions serving every part of the United States. An abundance of renowned mental health facilities were located in Ohio: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Akron, and Dayton. Today, the only Ohio mental hospital which still stands in anything resembling original condition is the Athens Mental Health Center, also known as The Ridges. Originally termed the Athens Asylum for the Insane, this colossal establishment first opened its doors on January 9, 1874. The public and central government had purchased more than 1,000 acres of land from the Coates family, whose ranch had formerly occupied the spot, and spent six years building the hospital. The first patient at the Ridges is believed to have been Thomas Armstrong from Belmont Province, followed by Daniel Fremau. Fremau believed himself to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. The asylum itself was built from bricks. Herman Haerlin, the designer of Central Park, was responsible for the design of the hospital and its surroundings. By the turn of the twentieth century, plantations and farmland were preserved on the property and tended by the hospital residents and personnel. This made the hospital virtually self-supporting. Nonetheless, at the time of its creation, it was a key advantage to the economy of the town of Athens, which was able to supply milk, eggs, linens, and other necessities to its residents. Local citizens made use of Haerlin…

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