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Report - Rockwood Criminal Lunatic / Insane Asylum (Kingston, Canada- April 2013)

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by jerm IX, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. jerm IX

    jerm IX 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    To read the complete extensive write-up and view a ton of pictures of one of Ontario, Canada's most amazing locations, click the following link...

    jermalism: Abandonment Issues: Rockwood Insane Asylum


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    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. Every few weeks as we walked the circumference of the insane asylum looking desperately for an entry point, to no avail, the irony was never lost on us.

    During the 1850s, Kingston Penitentiary was deemed to be overrun with mentally ill and criminally insane prisoners. To remedy this, Rockwood Criminal Lunatic Asylum was to be built on the shores of Lake Ontario, just to the west of the Kingston Penitentiary. To save tax-payer dollars, it would be built by the prisoners themselves. Construction began in 1859 and although it was not completed until 1870, men began to occupy portions of the building as early as 1862. Female prisoners were admitted during this time period and lived in the old horse stables that remained from when the property was a private villa. In 1868, the female inmates were also moved inside. Once completed, the asylum housed 300 patients.

    This was the criteria an inmate had to meet to be transferred to Rockwood.

    1.Convicts in the penitentiary becoming insane while under sentence there.
    2.Certain classes of lunatics committed to jail as lunatics dangerous to be at large.
    3.Persons charged with some offence of which they had been acquitted on the ground that they were insane at the time such offence was committed.
    4.Persons indicted for any offence, and upon arraignment thereof found, by a jury especially impanelled for the purpose, to be insane.

    Patients wore distinctive canvas uniforms bearing the word LUNATIC. The medical goal in the mid 1800s was not to cure criminal lunatics, but rather to calm them. Chloral hydrate and alcohol were used to pacify patients, and they were also often bled. Dr. Litchfield, the only physician at Rockwood at the time, had a simple treatment plan that relied heavily upon "a pretty free use of alcohol by day and sedative by night." Treatment also involved restraints, blistering, leeching, enemas, and blood-letting.

    It has been reported that during this period, physicians may have performed some of the first neuro-surgical procedures on patients at Rockwood, using trephines to drill into patients skulls...

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    And on my latest visit, my iphone5 paid the price during our escape from the insane asylum whilst evading security. Totally worth it.

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