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Dayton State Hospital (Asylum for The Insane)
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1 post
Nov 13, 2007
5:28 PM
Does anyone know when Dayton State Hospital officially closed?
3 posts
Nov 15, 2007
12:04 PM
Well, I may be wrong, but some guy I talked to once said he was put in there when he was 18 for alcoholism treatment. He was my age (48) so, it was open atleast until 1978 or 1979. I worked for an architect, who used that job to get himself out of debt and worked on the plans when it was gutted back in the 1980's. So the timing is about 1978 to 1980 I would say. Good luck, hope this helped a little.
jan leach
2 posts
Jan 31, 2008
7:20 AM
the old hospital was closed prior to 1978 because i worked at the new one then.
1 post
Feb 01, 2008
3:29 PM
Can I add a question to this thread? I hope so... Was there a Kirkbride building at the Dayton State Hospital? If so, didn't it become remodeled in the 80's into a retirement home? If so, is it still a retirement home, or is it abandonded (if it's even still standing)?

Thank you - just trying to keep track of the status of Kirkbride buildings in the United States - wanted to know if this one was still in use or even still standing.
6 posts
May 10, 2008
6:33 PM
The retirment community is called 10 Wilmington Place. It is still in use.

Now as I am not all that familiar w/what makes a building a Kirkbride Bldg but the entire structure is historic as dates over 100 years in age. It is an amazing example of Urban Renewal. I rememeber as a child going to church and sitting in the back of my parents car - it was one of the highlights of my Sunday. There is a traffic light right in front of the building and one could not help but look in awe.

Once the mental health hospital shut down the building was subject to terrible vandalism. There was a great white dome on the top of the structure that burned down one year due to squatters in the building.

My great-grandmother was a nurse at the building when it was still a hospital. She would take my 10-year old father to work w/her (explains A LOT about my father...) There were amazing green houses on the property as well.

10 Wilington Place has a web site and a virtual tour offered
1 post
Sep 17, 2008
11:58 AM
We lived right down the street from the State Hospital... on Highland Ave. When I was little (60's/70's) they would sound off a siren when someone would escape, and our parents would call us all in to the house. Several times we saw the runaway patient going down our street. In the rain, walking backwards... singing loudly to themselves... or one morning my Aunt (living on Highland) opened her front door to get the morning paper in and there was a runaway patient sitting in one of her porch chairs rocking and singing.... said good morning to my aunt, acting very strange. My aunt went inside and called the DSH to come get her. Also, my dad is a retired Dayton Firefighter and they use to have calls to the DSU and boy could he tell you some horrific stories of the conditions in that place.
2 posts
Sep 29, 2008
7:00 AM
I started working at the hospital on the Neighborhood Youth Corps programs for high schoolers. I attended Colonel White, worked from Freshman year on to senior year at Dayton State Hospital Food Services. Actually moved to the rolls of Ohio Civil Service in my senior year having graduated early from Colonel White. Left for military service in 1975 though.

The hospital was one very wild and crazy place to work. Many a fond memory. I visited for years coming home on military leave, saw old friends and watched the place go through its transformation. I haven't visited in a long while now, everyone I knew would be retired or unfortunately by now passed on.

I would be glad to share stories. My older brother Bill Miller and myself (Bob Miller) both worked in Food Services at the hospital. Thanks.
1 post
Feb 22, 2009
6:46 AM
My Grandfather worked as Head boiler maker in the 40's to the late 60's . His name was Harry A McNabb. I just wander if there are any pictures of the old institute and people who worked there then. My grandmother and grandfather lived in a cottage on the grounds. Next to a pond and track for taking care of the grounds and delivery of goods.
4 posts
Mar 25, 2009
12:27 PM
I wonder if you would recognize the name Walt Dieme. He also worked in the boiler room...and was my uncle.
1 post
Apr 02, 2009
4:55 PM
My grandmother was a patient there when she died in the fall of 1973. Her name was Mary Neal. Does anyone remember her and have any info about her. I would like a copy of her obituary.
2 posts
Apr 04, 2009
11:05 AM
Another item of Dayton State Hospital interest was the farm and orchard complex on the south side of East Patterson Rd., about a mile east of Woodman Dr. This farm was operated by (inmates?) and supplied much of the food for the hospital. I don't remember seeing any livestock, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't any. The land, crops and orchards were absolutely beautifully tended. I seem to remember untended remnants of the apple orchard still in place along Patterson Rd. as recently as thirty years ago.

The main hospital entrance was a rather dangerous 45 degree angled affair that emptied right into the Wayne/Wilmington intersection. The sign at the entrance read "Dayton State Hospital, Dr. M T Faruki, Director." I'm not sure of the spelling of that name. Later, some modern buildings were added to the campus on the east end of the property along Wayne Ave, There (was/is) a newer fire station nearby.
Mikey, Gatlinburg, TN

Last Edited by on Apr 27, 2009 2:53 PM
3 posts
Apr 07, 2009
12:22 PM
07 April 2009:

I just found this obit on the DDN website, re: Dr. Faruki:

Dr. Mahmud T. Faruki, 84, of Kettering, died Sunday, April 6, 2003
Posted: 29 Dec 2003 2:26PM GMT

Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Faruki

Dr. Mahmud T. Faruki, 84, of Kettering, died Sunday, April 6, 2003, at Lincoln Park Manor. A psychiatrist, he served as Chief, Neuropsychiatric Service for the U. S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Ga. He settled in Dayton in 1955, joining the staff of the Dayton State Hospital in 1955 as a psychiatrist. He resigned in 1973 as the superintendent. He also maintained a private practice in Dayton from 1961 to 1990. He practiced psychiatry at Kettering Medical Center until his retirement and was a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Wright State University's School of Medicine. Among the honors bestowed
on Dr. Faruki were Teacher Excellency Award from Wright State University Medical School in 1983 and the Spirit of Dayton Award in 1968. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry, a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a Certified Mental Hospital Administrator. He served as president of the Dayton Metropolitan Hospital Federation, of the Ohio Association of Medical Superintendents of Mental Hygiene Institutions, and of the Neuropsychiatry Section of the Montgomery
County Medical Society. He was a former member of the boards of directors of the Mental Health Association of the Greater Dayton Area, of the Social Health Association of Dayton, of the Adult Psychiatric Clinic of Dayton, of the Montgomery County Mental Health Board and of the Senior Citizens Center of Dayton. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Rita Trownsell Faruki, of Kettering; son and daughter-in-law Charles and Michelle Faruki of Oakwood; daughter and son-in-law Rita and Kenneth Wilson of Lander, Wyo.; and three grandchildren Brian, Jason
and Charles Jr. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 40 S. Perry St., Ste. 120, Dayton, OH 45402-1429.
Mikey, Gatlinburg, TN

Last Edited by on Apr 07, 2009 12:38 PM
1 post
Apr 21, 2009
2:57 PM
I was just up in Dayton & forgot about that dangerous intersection at Wayne & Wilmington. We almost got taken out a couple times! As far as the Mental Hospital - my church youth group performed a play there in 76 or 77. Weird! I just remember all the high fences - at least the part we had to drive into.
25 posts
Apr 22, 2009
5:06 PM
Here is what I know about DSH, when I was about 13 a friend and I walked there from Parkside and walked around the parameter. I saw a man behind the fence wearing gloves which were on backwards.

Five years later, late Fifties a fellow I met, James W. Allen who had worked there as staff got into it with Dr. Faruki over something that later was deemed a 'wacky crack. This was picked up by the Dayton Daily News and the reporters name was Tom Tepin (sp) or somehting. Allen had worn a voice recorder in what was close to a shoulder holster in those days before micro electronics and caught Faruki is some statement, I forget the issue but it was in the paper. Allen in the late Sixties explained all that transpired to me but I forget the cause. Allen was suspended over a wacky crack or at least that is what the reporter for the DDN called it.
8 posts
May 20, 2009
7:00 AM
I worked at the "new" Medical Building for a few years from 1960-1962 I think. We also lived over what was then Dr. Tapper's office and could see the hospital from our living room window. You could often hear the fire trucks all hurrying to the hospital and a few minutes later they would all leave. But, in the spring of 1962 the fire trucks raced by our house and I happened to look out the window and saw flames that looked like they were coming from the old hospital. Although I was 6-7 months pregnant I hurried over there to see if I could help with patients. To my great relief it was the laundry that was on fire and no one was injured. If it had been the old hospital, it would have been impossible to remove some patients and would truly have been a great disaster.
107 posts
May 22, 2009
10:26 PM
Is there a reason I remember the place being called Wayne Avenue? Obviously, it refers to the location, but no one else has referenced that. The threat in high school was if you acted up, you would get shipped off to Wayne Avenue. No one I knew ever referred to it as Dayton State hospital. This was in the 70's.
22 posts
May 23, 2009
8:06 AM
Becky73 - I never heard it referred to any name other than "Wayne Ave." I remember hearing the same phrase, "You'll be shipped off to Wayne Ave."
2 posts
Jul 06, 2009
9:12 AM
See post from my cousin Cora above. Harry and Kathleen McNabb were my grand parents, too. Myparents and I spent at least one weekend a month in the little brick cottage next to the tracks and third of the three ponds.

I have no idea how dangerous it was, but mom and dad once put me on a bus in Columbus and grandpa picked me up at the Greyhound station in Dayton. I got to spend a week or so there a few times. I explolred the grounds because I got stir crazy in a little house with four grown ups smoking continuously and never had a bad experience.

The patients never bothered me, but they did make a person tense at times. One friend walked with me for hours only saying, "Home sweet home." repeatedly.

Grandpa ran the "power house" that generated steam for heat and all sorts of machinery that I was too young to understand. Trains full of coal came in weekly in the winter and I would patrol the tracks for spikes that came loose.

Grandma, who worked at DSH as a theraputic nurse, told stories in the early '60s about the teens that they were moving in to the hospital and how they terrorized the older patients.

It was an interesting place, but in all the times that I visited, I only saw the wards a very few times. They were depressing and had a smell that I have come to associate with institutions.
34 posts
Jul 22, 2009
7:19 AM
Daniel Keyes, the author who wrote "Flowers for Algernon," also wrote a book entitled, "The Minds of Billy Milligan." It is a story about the guy who was accused of raping several women on the OSU campus during the 1970's (I believe). Milligan had a "stay" at the DMHC for a while. His attorneys used the defense that he exhibited multiple personality disorder (alternates)- over 70 of them if I remember correctly. He must have had superior managing skills.
2 posts
Aug 18, 2009
2:40 PM
I remember walking down Wilminton Ave. back in 1972 or so, late at night with my girl friend Barbra Carr. One night we could hear screams coming from the old white building that used to sit on Wilmigton Ave. across from the old hospital. That scared the crap out of the both of us and we took off running toward Kettering on Wilmington.
40 posts
Aug 23, 2009
6:58 PM
I remember taking the old # 4 Trolley bus up the Wayne Ave hill and seeing the old dark forboding looking building with the big silver dome. is this building still standing ?
9 posts
Sep 07, 2009
7:30 PM
My great grandmother died at Dayton State from a broken heart. Didn't find out that story until I started snooping around the family tree. She came to America as a immigrant and hated it here, wanted to go back to Germany but she couldn't as my great grandfather & her children were here. She had a breakdown and he had her committed to Dayton State where she died of pneumonia ... everyone says of a broken heart! Whew .... heavy :-)
91 posts
Sep 07, 2009
9:57 PM
dayton52..that is a sad story, iam sure that back in the day a lot of people ended up there who had other problems besides being crazy. anybody with any kind of a disorder or bad nerves that couldnt be diagnosed back then was probably deemed crazy and sent off to that place.
11 posts
Sep 10, 2009
3:55 PM
Yep, she probably felt so alone here as all her family was in Germany. And back then men ruled so if he said she needed to go, she went. Makes for interesting pages in the family tree!

Grandma & her sisters went to St. Jo's orphanage until great grandpa remarried then they got to come home. Some of the stories she used to tell about how mean the nuns were are really amazing!
1 post
Sep 11, 2009
8:30 AM
My mother was entered into their care in 1971. She subsequently died of suicide the day of her release. I would sorely love to get her medical records due to medical reasons (obviously.) Any thoughts on where they might be?
12 posts
Sep 12, 2009
5:01 PM
Due to the HIPPA laws now you'll have to prove your either the court appointed administrator of her estate or produce executor/executrix papers to obtain any medical record information. And they may not have anything back that far! I tried to get my mom's papers from MVH when she was in during the 60's but they really didn't have a whole lot. Luckly my sister still had her executrix papers!
2 posts
Sep 15, 2009
11:18 AM

Thank you for your reply. I know the HIPAA laws are strict. I do have the paperwork just don't know where to look for the records. Have computer, will find.

Have a great day.
1 post
Sep 26, 2009
8:35 PM
My husband's grandmother was admitted to the Dayton State Hospital about 1943. She was there until it began to downsize ( around 1964 and was relocated into a nursing home in Dayton, but the family did not find her until 1981. The paper work was all messed up and they could not locate her. Once we did find her , we visited often, until her death 1 year later. She had schitzophrenia(sp). Just think what medicines could do for her today!!

When I was in Girl Scouts(early 60's), every Christmas we would go to the Dayton State Hospital and sing carols. We were taken into the halls and some of the wards. What a mix of emotions for 9-12 yr olds.

Last Edited by on Sep 29, 2009 9:11 PM
3 posts
Sep 28, 2009
5:24 AM

Thanks! I will check there. I am hoping they are not all destroyed or lost.
1 post
Jan 26, 2010
4:01 PM
Rumor Had that a girl that lived down the street from me started the fire in the State Hospital inside the Cupola. I am guessing she's getting her just rewards as she is serving 10 years for murder on another act of stupidity.
1 post
Feb 16, 2010
8:34 PM
I would like to find out about my grandmother who died in 1970 at the state hospital. Anyone know where I might start to get any information that may lead me to her family?
5 posts
Mar 02, 2010
5:40 PM
I don't know anything about when it closed, but I know the place scared the bejesus out of me as a little kid whenever we drove by it!
61 posts
Mar 04, 2010
7:54 PM
Someone asked about Congress Lanes recently.....I stopped in there yesterday and was amazed how little it has changed. Only about half the machines work, but you can still bowl there. Talk about a time machine!
Riverdale Ghost
6 posts
Mar 05, 2010
2:46 AM
Is there any information around that is a bit more historical than the previous comments?

My uncle worked there for a while (I was told) and since he left the area when he was in the army in the l940's it had to be earlier than that.

There should be some kind of a history of the place somewhere.
Honest Communications Is The Foundation of Civilizations.
8 posts
May 04, 2010
2:11 PM
I grew up close to the hospital. Rumor had it that there was a very mean old man that patrolled the grounds of the hospital looking for trespassing kids so he could shoot them with a shotgun. I don't know of a kid in the area that didn't fully believe that nonsense. Anyway, some of us young thrill seekers would crawl under a hole someone dug under the chain link fence and steal heads of cabbage out of the garden. We'd sprint back into the woods (that are still in the rear of Nordale Park) and munch on raw cabbage heads. If our moms would have tried to get us to eat raw cabbage I'm sure they would have had a battle on their hands. Ah, but when you've risked life and limb to steal it, that was some sweet eating! Amazing how goofy we were.
phil pixley
14 posts
May 04, 2010
4:27 PM
To Hankster65,goofy but cool,now if you did something like that they would send you to a shrink.
12 posts
May 04, 2010
6:18 PM
Yeah, I would have become a patient there! I could have gorged myself on cabbage heads without the risk of buckshot! What a lost opportunity.
31 posts
Jul 13, 2010
2:49 PM
I happened to meet a lady few weeks ago that told me that even though the entire place had been refurbished, the basement is still exactly as it was when the place stopped being a mental institution. (Lots of equipment, etc.) She had worked there back in the day as some sort of patient aide and seemed to have reliable present day knowledge. But I have no first hand knowledge. It would sure be interesting to check out the nooks and crannies.
22 posts
Jul 13, 2010
3:22 PM
As I recall there are/were two levels below the first floor. The immediate basement basically had the same dimension as the 1st floor directly above. The one below it was much smaller and the entrance was marked by a door that looked like an old time walk-in cooler door, but had three or four cross-bolts. Right out of a sci-fi flick. I'll never forget it...
44 posts
Aug 21, 2010
12:14 PM
Delcodude, that's very interesting about the two basement levels. So do you know what on earth was in the lowest level behind the spooky door? Did you ever go past the door? Dang! Now I REALLY want to explore the place.
58 posts
Aug 21, 2010
12:31 PM
Hank, if you really want to explore a weird old nuthouse, come tho my neck of these woods and visit the United States Capitol.
45 posts
Aug 21, 2010
1:00 PM
Good one, AllenN71! Tghat one is too scary for me, though, so I'll stick to the one here with the walk-in cooler door to the musty, dark basement.
484 posts
Aug 24, 2010
3:28 PM
Guy's is there anything still there or is the property vacant?

I remember the old silver dome, but never was inside any of the buildings.
46 posts
Aug 24, 2010
4:25 PM
Rat, the old "nut house," as everyone in those politically incorrect days called it, has been refurbished into some very swank senior citizen apartments. An efficiency there runs somewhere in the $1400 a month range! If I recall its now called "One Wilmington Place." I could be wrong on that.
491 posts
Aug 24, 2010
4:30 PM
Well that's kind of good news, at least they kept the buildings intact. Thank's for the update.
51 posts
Aug 29, 2010
11:52 AM
"10 Wilmington Place"

Uh, yeah, it appeared that the lower level was used to keep those who were dangerous, maybe criminally insane(?). As I recall, its entrance was at the left rear of the main building (I'm not completely sure because it was easy to get turned around in there, especially at night) on the first level beneath the main floor. Down a flight of cellar-like stairs was the barred door that housed a modern day dungeon.

Yeah, we went in and found the ten 'or so' cells that had archway entrances, but no doors. The walls and archways were red brick.

Also, the dome that sat atop the main building may have at one time served as a bellfrey(sp), because it was an open-air rotunda, like the Capitol building. I remember walking clear out to the edge and looking directly down at the semi-circular driveway that passed the front main entrance.

We didn't vandalize the place but it had been ransacked. The thing that I recall initially upon entering was the amount of file records strewn all over. There were a million documents lying all around. Patient's files...

Last Edited by on Aug 29, 2010 11:53 AM
533 posts
Sep 04, 2010
8:06 AM

That’s a shame about the records, no wonder people are coming on here and other sites, trying to find out where to locate records on family members who were there. Rumors abound about all of the evil things that took place behind those walls; I guess we will never really know the whole truth. I keep thinking that maybe someday, someone will pop up on here and say that they used to work there (or their Mom/Dad used to work there) and give us the straight truth. I guess all of those people are either gone or not talking.
50 posts
Sep 06, 2010
8:51 PM
Delcodude, thanks for the correction...you are correct, it's 10 Wilmington place. (If I only missed by ZERO does that count as a miss? Yep!)

Tomw, a very interesting post. It gives a nice insider look at the place and debunks some of the horror stories. (Which, frankly, is a bit of a downer to those of us who would like to take a candle lit tour of a two floors down basement with creaky doors.)

As for your puzzle, could it be that some of you young fellas made it so that some of those young student nurses didn't make it back on time?
71 posts
Sep 07, 2010
10:39 AM
This isn't the old, "Up, Nuts...Down,nuts..PEANUTS!" gag, is it?
2 posts
Sep 08, 2010
6:27 PM
Hank, You are on the right track, but it wasn't me or a student nurse involved. If it helps your imagination, there could have been criminally insane cells earlier in the century!!!!

Here is the answer to the puzzle I presented on my previous post. How did we get in trouble with the boss with our foolproof system for accounting for the mental patients that we took to the Montgomery County fair?

The answer is that nothing failed in our system as far as it went. All the patients that we took to the fair returned safe and sound to the facility. The problem was that we had one extra!!!! An old man (possibly homeless, certainly down on his luck) took a fancy toward one of our older female patients. She apparently didn't do anything to discourage him. So, he followed her around for a while. The student nurse in charge of the woman thought he was another patient so she let him tag along (remember, all the nurse was responsible for were the two patients assigned to her). I never met the man in question. There were several new faces from “the farm” and so we thought he was just another one when we rode back. But from what I understand, he could have easily been mistaken for one of our patients. Anyway, he asked if he could go home with the lady and, of course, she smiled and said yes. He didn't have a clue where he was going when he got on the bus. I also understand, that he wasn't all that distraught when he saw where the bus ended up: he wanted to follow her back to her ward!! (The wards were strictly segragated by sex for obvious reasons.) However, none of the orderlies recognized him. They called over to the farm to see if anyone was missing, but the farm people said they had all their patients. It took about an hour or two, but they eventually got the story from him, drove him back to the fair, and told our boss not to let us do that anymore.

The lesson I learned was “The line between asylum inmates and asylum caretakers can sometimes be very thin.”

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