CSH: Memories

A visual look into the history of Central State Hospital. This album contains letters, photographs and mementos. 

The act of the Kentucky General Assembly establishing the Fourth Kentucky Lunatic Asylum. – April 21, 1873
Cover letter to the first annual report for the Asylum to the Governor of Kentucky. – November 28, 1873.
Letterhead from the Asylum. – 1880.
A report on the investigation into the drowning death of a patient in 1882.
A colorized version of the 1884 photograph of the asylum. Courtesy of our webmaster, Shawn.
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Original architectural drawing of what would later be named the Pusey Bldg. – Circa 1896.
Postcard from the Central Kentucky Asylum for the Insane, postmarked August 6, 1908.
Gatefold picture of the Administration building from the 1907-09 Annual report.
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Another picture from the 1907-09 Annual report.
A listing of Superintendents and Assistant Physicians from a 1914 report.
Postcard from Central State. – Circa 1920’s.
A letter from Asst. Superintendent C.B. Dunn to Dr. Edward Davenport of Eastern State Hospital. – 1925
The Leist General Store – Circa 1925. The store operated across from Central State on Lakeland Road from about 1892 until 1970. It is now a private residence.
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Letter to Central State superintendent Dr. J. Ernest Fox, from superintendentDr. Fred G. LaRue of Eastern State concerning an incoming transfer patient. – 1931
Letter from Superintendent Dr. W.A. Quinn to Dr. Elijah Maggard of Eastern State, Maggard would succeed Quinn as Central States Superintendent later that year. – 1933
An issue of the Lakeland Echo, an in-house publication written by the patients at Central State. – December 1943
Another colorized photo of Central State courtesy of our Webmaster Shawn, The Administration building. – Circa 1953.
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A group of Kentucky Mental Health professionals on a trip to St. Lawrence State Hospital in New York. – July 1960. Among them, Clarence Barton, the chaplain at CSH (2nd from the left) and Superintendent Dr. Walter Fox. (5th from the right).
Newspaper advertisement for 1988 auction. *
1988 Patient quilt
Quilt crafted by Central patients in an art therapy class. – 1988
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“Central Kentucky Insane Asylum – 1899” in pencil and crayon by artist Charles Edward Hughs Jr.  (Date unknown)
Memorial brick from the old administration building. Celebrating Central States 125th anniversary in 1998.
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Visitors guide to Central State Hospital – 2005.


CSH Comparison photos

A view of the western first floor of the Oaklawn building (Amusement Hall) from it’s opening in 1903 and right before it was demolished in 1997.
The stain glass portrait of Jesus in the Auditorium from 1940, and the portrait in 2005. It was removed prior to demolition.
A view of the Auditorium in the Oaklawn building (Amusement Hall) from a 1940 concert and from 1997 before demolition.
Dedication plaque for Dr. Edward Colman Frank Library. – 2005
Example of restraints and straight jacket once used at Central State. – 2005
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The new Gymnasium during construction in 1963 and in 2005.
Comparison photos of the front lawn facing Lakeland Road from 1913 and 2016.


Comparison of the location for the African-American wards. 1921 to 2017.
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Comparison of the location for the Oaklawn amusement building. 1906 and 2017.


– Contributed by Jay Gravatte

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