The Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum

This Asylum operated in Weston, WV from 1864 to 1994. It currently is a National Historic Landmark which offers tours both normal and paranormal. It holds world wide notoriety for any who has interest in this ilk.

The facility took 23 years for completion and encompasses 9 acres of floor space. In 2007 it was purchased at auction for $1.4 million. The facility is only second to the Kremlin in the stone used making it a world famous structure. The 319 acres of land on which the building lies is a wildlife preserve.

The facility walls are 2 1/2 feet thick and 20 million red bricks were used to build the facility. Several outbuildings are on facility grounds including 3 greenhouses. The institution farm provided work and sustenance for patients.

Entering the main building a costumed nurse greets visitors. I selected the 2 hour tour which included the upper levels of the facility however there are a myriad of available tours to select from. Check the web site prior to visit to ensure which tour best fits your desire. Tickets can also be purchased on line.

My tour began in the female ward which was the most cared for of the wards. Here were private and semi-private wall papered rooms and a decorative day room. During the early days of the facility this was the wing where dignitaries and the like toured.

During this era men wishing to “dispose” of their wife could drop her off at the door saying she’s insane for $25. A divorce could then be obtained. The only way the wife could leave is with husband pick up. Therefore the woman remained the rest of her life at the institution.

From the Women’s Ward to the Superintendent’s Wing..

Here the Superintendent and his staff had offices…

And the pharmacy was on this wing..

Some nurses quarters were also found here. The facility selected nurses based on their unwedability, meaning they looked for ugly and homely women. In the early days nurses earned $16 a month paying $12 a month rent.

A fascinating place to visit of a by gone era. If ever in the area stop by..

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