Dorothea Dix: Crusader for the Insane

The beginnings of Dorothea “Dolly” Lynde Dix were shrouded in mystery for many years. Miss Dix, even in her later years, always remained secretive about her early life. In fact, many of her friends didn’t even know her date of birth. Eventually, it was uncovered that Miss Dix was born on the fourth of April,…

Madness: Treatments for Insanity

This post is a brief review of historical methodologies for treating mental disorders. In the latter half of the 20th century, a number of non-invasive methods were used as well. The proceeding information should not be construed as medical advice. Please contact a physician if you have medical questions related to treatments of mental disorders or…

Hamilton’s Types of Insanity

In the 1880s, Dr. Allan M. Hamilton developed a series of illustrated plates that highlighted his posited theory on the physiognomy of insanity. Today, Dr. Hamilton’s work is largely disregarded as “quackery.” If you’re interested in reading Dr. Hamilton’s entire book, then click here to check it out. It is a public domain book available…

Cemetery Indexes Live for All State Hospitals

We have added cemetery indexes for patients buried at Central State Hospital (Louisville/Lakeland), Eastern State Hospital (Lexington), Frankfort State Hospital and School (Frankfort), Kentucky State Hospital (Danville) and Western State Hospital (Hopkinsville). Remember that we are actively updating these indexes so this is a work in progress. We also encourage you to check back frequently for…

Have a Story or Memory You’d Like to Share?

We are currently seeking former employees (or patients) who are willing to assist us by sharing stories, photos and memories of Kentucky’s state hospitals and institutions. If you, or someone you know, is interested then please consider contacting us! Our goal is to develop comprehensive histories of these hospitals and institutions in order to preserve for future generations. Remember that…

The Mysterious Case of Captain Mantell

Do you believe in UFOs? Last Words 2:45 PM: Captain Mantell reported an object, “directly ahead and above and move about half my speed. It appears metallic, of tremendous size. It appears like the reflection of sunlight on an airplane canopy.” Moments later, he reported, “the object is going around 360 miles an hour and…

Fifty Shades of Murder: Death at the Vance Farm

    Night, Thursday, August 18, 1921, Vance Farm, Nelson County, Kentucky. Mr. Charles and Beulah Vance were sound asleep in bed when the blast from a shotgun pierced the silence. Beulah Vance startled awake to see her husband, Charles Vance, sit up, clutch his chest, and fall over the edge of the bed near…