Other Aspects of the Asylum

Patients Putting on a Play, Long Island State Hospital

Patients Putting on a Play, Long Island State Hospital

Though Dr. Harry Hummer failed in many important areas when it came to providing care to his patients, he did try to provide occupations for the patients who wanted to be active. Some letters from patients to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs speak of being grateful for chores because being busy helped pass the time. Some also make reference to trips to town in the asylum automobile, going to the movies, and other pleasurable experiences.

Trolley to an Asylum

Trolley to an Asylum

In an inspector’s report from 1916, the asylum obviously had outdoor amusements. Other visitors often spoke of seeing patients strolling on the lawns or sitting in chairs when the weather was pleasant. However, the inspector also noted: “Calisthentics,[sic] breathing exercises, and marching are provided for such patients as are able to receive physical training. The play-ground equipment consists of outfits for baseball, basket ball, quoits, tennis, and one giant stride, six swings, one portable see-saw, one teeter tennis and a sixteen pound shot, all of which are popular especially the swings and shot. The play-ground exercises are supervised by the attendants.”

One of the primary pictures of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians shows some swings in the foreground.

Music Was Popular with Patients

Music Was Popular with Patients

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