Festivities

Ward Decorated for Christmas, Fulton State Hospital, 1910

Ward Decorated for Christmas, Fulton State Hospital, 1910

Some asylum superintendents wanted to think of their facilities as nice places to be, and as comfortable as possible for patients. They often tried to provide amusements and celebrate holidays.

Other superintendents, like Dr. E.H. Williams, the assistant physician at Matteawan State Hospital (1897), felt that holidays interfered with routine and would harm patients. He was very much against anything that would lead to a deviation in the asylum’s schedule. Besides, Williams said, insane minds couldn’t even appreciate the diversion of a holiday .

Matteawan State Hospital, NY, 1896

Matteawan State Hospital, NY, 1896

Ballroom at Athens Insane Asylum

Ballroom at Athens Insane Asylum

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