Central State Hospital Museum, Milledgeville

#8 of 12 in Things to do in Milledgeville
Specialty Museum · Museum
Georgia's state mental asylum located in Milledgeville, Georgia, now known as the Central State Hospital (CSH), has been the state's largest facility for treatment of mental illness and developmental disabilities. In continuous operation since accepting its first patient in December 1842, the hospital was founded as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum, and was also known as the Georgia State Sanitarium and Milledgeville State Hospital during its long history. By the 1960s the facility had grown into the largest mental hospital in the world (contending with Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in New York). Its landmark Powell Building and the vast, abandoned 1929 Jones Building stand among some 200 buildings on two thousand acres that once housed nearly 12,000 patients.
The CSH complex currently encompasses about, a pecan grove and historic cemetery, and serves about 200 mental health patients. As of 2016 the facility offers short-stay acute treatment for people with mental illness, residential units and habilitation programs for people with developmental disabilities, recovery programs that require a longer stay, and specialized skilled and ICF nursing centers. Some programs serve primarily the central-Georgia region while other programs serve counties throughout the state.
In the first decades of the 19th century there was a movement in several states to reform prisons, create public schools, and establish state-run hospitals for the mentally ill. In 1837, the Georgia State Legislature responded to a call from Governor Wilson Lumpkin, by passing a bill calling for the creation of a "State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum." Located in Milledgeville, then the state capital, the facility opened in 1842.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
34 reviews
  • Central State could be a beautiful place again!!!! People would love to tour around eat in the grounds even a bar there with tv’s and outside dining would be great it’s beautiful out there and so...  more »
  • Surreal place to visit. Amazingly well maintained. You can't enter "unsafe" buildings. Hard to imagine the nightmares that took place here. Milledgeville is a super cute little town.
  • Very interesting buildings. Walked around and took photos. Not allowed in the buildings as they are unsafe and falling apart. Security was on campus and was really nice.

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