Established in 1937 near Danville and originally planned to replace eastern State Hospital in Lexington. Construction began the same year. Before Kentucky was able to utilize the hospital, it was leased to the U.S. military for $1 a year for use as a military psychiatric hospital in 1941. During that time it was named Darnell General Hospital and the Army continued construction. The hospital held around 900 military patients and an unknown number of German and Italian prisoner-of-war.
In 1946 the government handed the facility back over to the state of Kentucky and began admitting patients April of that year. The first group were 230 men and women from Central & Eastern State Hospitals and a smaller number from Frankfort State Hospital & School. The state set maximum population at 1,800. patient population went from 166 in the spring of 1946 to 738 in February of 1947.
By 1977 the hospital had seen a dramatic drop in patient population along with the other state hospitals. The remaining patients were moved out and the facility handed over to the Bureau of Social Services. At that time the facility was known as the Danville Youth Development Center, for juvenile offenders, operated there but closed operations by 1982. The following year it was renamed Northpoint Training Center when the Kentucky Department of Corrections took over the property. Currently it is still a medium security prison and many of the original buildings are still in use.
Contributed by Phil T.
Some newspaper images are from historical archives of The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky). Some photos are provided from former annual reports of the hospital to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. All other photos were obtained, donated, or copied from state and hospital archives or personal collections. Please contact us before using any photographs or images on this website. We do not own the copyrights to all photos and those photos we do own require written permission before any use.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.