What a Day

Canton Asylum

Canton Asylum

Life in most insane asylums was highly regimented, and the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians was no exception.

During the day, patients had a number of chores: They performed labor in the gardens, cleaned their rooms, helped in the kitchen or dining room, or assisted in the general maintenance of the asylum. For leisure, those who were able walked outside, played ball, fished, or even went into town if an attendant could go with them. Since attendants were also very busy, outdoor activities and town visits were not as prevalent  as reports made it sound–many patients spent most of their time indoors, doing nothing.

The asylum eventually got a moving picture machine that played (preferably) 7-reel comedies in the dining room once a week. Dr. Hummer also purchased playground equipment, such as swings and a see-saw, which were very popular; the swing set is visible in most pictures of Canton Asylum. On Sundays, those who desired sang hymns and recited the Lord’s Prayer–again, in the dining room–if there were no visiting clergy to give a more formal service.

Canton Main Street

Canton Main Street

Staff at Athens Lunatic Asylum

Staff at Athens Lunatic Asylum

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