What can you tell about the former Insane Asylum and Alms House? When was it closed and are there records of the patients/residents?

-D Boutchyard

In 1887, the Cecil County Insane Asylum opened on the grounds of the County Almshouse (present day Mt. Aviat Academy in Childs). When it opened, thirteen patients who’d been scattered in institutions around the state were brought back to their modern home in Cecil County. Prior to that time, the mentally ill from Cecil ended up in the county jail or poorhouse, or they were institutionalized at other insane asylums in Baltimore. Gradually, the state assumed responsibility for providing inpatient mental health and then in May 1915, after the Eastern Shore Hospital in Cambridge opened, 26 patients were taken for that long ride to Dorchester County. A few months earlier, nine African-American residents had been transferred to the state hospital for the colored insane at Crownsville. The asylum was torn down in 1935, when C. B. Van den Huevel was paid $50.25 to remove the structure. Most of the record books from the insane asylum have survived and are available at the Historical Society for research.

- Cecil County Historical Society

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