Burlington County Insane Asylum?

Discussion in 'Ghost Towns and Forgotten Places' started by Snoopy828, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Snoopy828

    Snoopy828 New Member

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    I just recently moved here and and enjoy looking at old asylum's. I heard about Burlington County Insane Asylum, thats supposed to be located near New Lisbon. I have been unable to locate much information, or its location. I was hoping someone who's been around here for awhile can shine a lil more light on this for me.
     
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    Is that maybe the "Developmental Center" opposite Lebanon (aka Byrne) State Forest on Rt 72? Two years ago a tornado touched down there and did some damage.
     
  3. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Boyd is correct. The problem is you can't roam around there. If you think it is a creapy old building you would be wrong. You will be arrested I would expect if you wander around there. Best to forget about visiting.

    Guy
     
  4. Snoopy828

    Snoopy828 New Member

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    Actually no, I don't think its a creepy old building. I'm interested in the history of old asylums and their orginal purpose as enclaves as based on Dorothea Dix's vision for building a progressive institutional treatment facilties to help those that were mis-understood by many. I work with some others in documenting and working to preserve these great institutions of old.

    Respectfully,

    Snoopy
     
  5. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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  6. LARGO

    LARGO Piney

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    While being on the frayed edges, or maybe not considered the Barrens at all, Ancora and it's created community has a rich, fascinating, and somewhat disturbing history/background.
    Check it out Snoopy.

    G.
     
  7. RednekF350

    RednekF350 Piney

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    While it is not in Burlington County as you requested in your original post, I have had the privilege of going through the grounds of Menantico Colony in Cumberland County, owned and formerly run by the Vineland Training School.
    Check out this fascinating link and discussions of "feeble mindedness"
    http://www.vineland.org/history/trainingschool/history/history.html
    Menantico is real popular with the WNJ crowd.
    I took quite a few pictures while I was in there (with permission) for a work related engineering project and the place is cool as hell.
    It is also heavily patrolled.
    Here is a link to another site with photos of Menantico.
    http://abandoned15.tripod.com/id17.html
     
  8. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Snoopy:

    The Burlington County Insane Asylum is located on Pemberton Brown's Mill Road just east of Burlington County College on the north side of the road. The county established its first institution here in 1799 when it purchased the Josiah Gaskill estate, a farm comprising 472 acres. Here the county set up its poor farm and almshouse. The county built the first building there in 1801, a structure to house the poor and indigent measuring 40' x 80'. Workers added a new wing to the building during the mid-nineteenth century.

    In 1900, Burlington County constructed an insane asylum at the growing complex. A fire occurred in 1920 which destroyed the hospital associated with the almshouse. During the second decade of the twentieth century, the county added a tuberculosis hospital called Fairview Sanatorium. A fire destroyed the old almshouse and the county made plans to construct a new one based on plans drawn by architect Hugh A. Kelly of Trenton. He designed the new two-story almshouse to conform with the colonial revival styling of the insane asylum. With the completion of the new building, the county named it Buttonwood Hall and named its older insane asylum Evergreen Park. Subsequently, the county razed the old tuberculosis hospital and in more recent years added the Post House and the juvenile detention center to the complex.

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
     
  9. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Boyd:

    The Developmental Center is the successor the State of New Jersey's Four Mile Colony, a state institution. This colony grew out of the work of Elizabeth S. Kite, with the aid of Elizabeth White and several other Burlington County residents, with "feeble-minded" adults that both lived in the area or who had outgrown the Vineland Training School and, later, other state institutions. The group of founders purchased Mike Jannone's farm in 1913 and established "The Burlington County Colony of the Training School at Vineland" or "Four Mile Colony" for short. Construction began in the winter of 1913-1914.

    This provides the beginnings of Four Mile Colony. If you are interested in more information, please let me know.

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
     
  10. Snoopy828

    Snoopy828 New Member

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    Wow. Thanks for all of the information folks. Jerseyman thanks for the history on the asylum and its location.
     
  11. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    Yeah, thanks Jerseyman; your information is always fascinating!
     
  12. diggersw

    diggersw Scout

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    Jerseyman,

    This is just a silly little ponderance, but do you think that the Trenton architect Hugh A. Kelly, who also helped to design plans for the NJ World's Fair in 1938-1939, is any relation to William J. Kelly of Brooksbrae fame? It would seem a fair assumption while also seeming a gigantic leap of faith. I wonder if there is any connection, though. What do you think?

    Think about it like this, a rather different design for a brick factory that incorporated a unique waste-heat drying design and integrated manufacturing process (most factories didn't get this high-tech until the 1920s) would greatly benefit from not only the connections of William Kelly, but also the drafting and design skills of Hugh.

    Food for thought!

    Scott W.
     
  13. RednekF350

    RednekF350 Piney

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    Thanks Jerseyman for an informative post.
    I have had visited Buttonwood and a few other less than desireable institutions because of a situation with my father in the early and mid 1990's.
    My father was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease in 1990 and for the first year or two my mother was able to care for him at home.
    Around 1992 we placed him in private care and at the time, he had the resources to be able to stay in decent places.
    Unfortunately, he became more and more violent as the disease progressed and it culminated with him throwing a nurse across a room and breaking her arm.
    From that point on, we were thrown to the wolves and my sister and I had to find a place that would take him. His first stop the night he broke the nurse's arm was the mental health unit of Burlington County Hospital. That was a nightmare in itself as he was left partially nude and shackled for about 4 hours until we were able to get there.
    That night we admitted him to the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital mental health facility at 49th and Market. That was an imposing lock-down facility.
    He was given immediate and compassionate care there but we had only a week to get him out.
    A social worker recommended Buttonwood in Pemberton and we went toured it.
    It was a very tired looking and depressing place and I just couldn't commit him to that.
    We had never considered the Veterans Home in Vineland originally because he had the resources for what we thought was better private care but we got him on a waiting list.
    In the meantime we found a palatial mental hospital that would take him for 30 days in Wyckoff, NJ above the Meadowlands.
    They too were compassionate but after 30 days, we had to get him out.
    He ended up in a dreadful nursing home home where he hurt someone else and then fell and broke his hip.
    Fortunately, about that time we got the call from the Veterans Home and we were able to get him in.
    The Veterans Home in Vineland offered the best care of any institution that we had been through and after a while he calmed own and became more manageable.
    He died in 1997 at the home and now my mother who also suffers from dimentia is there.
    Mental institutions still hold a strange fascination for me as models of how humanity has treated those who suffer inside of their minds and its something that I hope all of you get to experience from the outside looking in.
    Scott
     
  14. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Scott W.:

    No, Hugh Ambrose Kelly is no relation to William J. Kelly, the latter being from Philadelphia and possibly related to the same Kelly family of bricklaying fame that spawned Grace and Gene Kelly. The former man was a native of Jersey City, New Jersey. His father, also named Hugh Ambrose Kelly, emigrated from Ireland and became a naturalized citizen. Hugh Senior served in the state legislature and married Margaret T. Murphy of Jersey City. In addition to the Burlington County building, Hugh Junior also designed the State House Annex in Trenton, the Jersey City Armory, Harrison Town Hall, and other New Jersey public and private buildings.

    Regarding Brooksbrae, and your statement--"a rather different design for a brick factory that incorporated a unique waste-heat drying design and integrated manufacturing process"--the design and engineering for this brick manufactory can be linked directly to the Chambers Brothers drafting room. Since Kelly apparently contracted with this firm to build the plant (based on specific Chambers Brothers catalog illustrations), he had no need for any other engineering or design services.

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
     
  15. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Scott:

    So sorry to hear of the problems you had with your father, but I'm glad you finally succeeded in placing him at the State Veterans Home at Vineland--and your mother, too. This institution does provide great care for veterans and their families.

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
     
  16. Shane

    Shane New Member

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    Hi Jerseyman, I am new around here and your post about "Four Mile" actually brought me to the forum.
    I live in Massachusetts but used to spend my summers in Mt. Holly. I have nothing but fond memories of that town.
    I am very curious about "Four Mile Colony". My grandfather ( Dr. Carol Thompson Jones )eventually became Superintendent there. After his retirement from Four Mile he would often take me on visits there. Everyone seemed to hold him in high regard.
    My problem has always been that nobody I have contacted who is connected with the current mental health system of N.J. has even heard of Four Mile.
    All I am looking for is it's approx. location ( road wise ). Not door to door as I don't want to be a burden but general directions. Thank-you. Your knowledge is most impressive.
     
  17. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Shane:

    Thank you for your kind words and welcome to the NJ Pine Barrens forums!!

    What started as the Four Mile Colony is known today as the New Lisbon Developmental Center. It is located along Route 72 just a little ways east of the Four Mile Circle, where Route 72 intersects Route 70.

    With your grandfather playing such a prominent role in the original Four Mile Colony, I highly recommend you obtain a copy of The Story of Four Mile Colony, by Elizabeth C. Devery, published in 1939. The copy in my library is actually inscribed by your grandfather to Mrs. Marcus W. Newcomb in December 1939. I think you would enjoy the book.

    Unfortunately, abebooks.com has only one copy for sale currently and it is priced at $78.00. Perhaps you can borrow a copy at your local library through Inter-Library Loan.

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
     
  18. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Shane,

    It is located here.

    Aerial

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.887529,-74.581408&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr

    Map

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.88....581418&spn=0.012464,0.025835&z=16&iwloc=addr

    Guy
     
  19. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Guy:

    Thanks for putting up the aerial and map. I thought you or someone would do so and I am trying to complete a project, so I didn't want to take the time to do it myself.

    I appreciate the assistance!!

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
    __________________
    scriptor rerum Nova Caesarea
    Dei memor, gratus amicus
     
  20. Jerseyman

    Jerseyman Piney

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    Dr. C.T. Jones

    Shane:

    Here is a scan from The Story of Four Mile Colony book of your grandfather:

    [​IMG]

    Best regards,
    Jerseyman
    __________________
    scriptor rerum Nova Caesarea
    Dei memor, gratus amicus