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Report - Letchworth Village and Cemetery, NY (Revisit) - May 2016

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by YamYamSeeker, May 29, 2016.

  1. YamYamSeeker

    YamYamSeeker 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    May 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Morning folks,

    Another little report from my American adventure!

    Letchworth actually broke my Urbex virginity back in 2014 so I thought it would be rude not to go back and say hello seeing as I was in the area.

    Letchworth Village was opened in 1911 for the mentally and psychically disabled, at its peak it had over 130 buildings spread across a vast amount of land in Rockland County, NY.

    In 1950 the polio vaccination was tried here and when a little boy of 8 years old had no side effects they trialled it on a further 19 children. With no side effect from any of the 20 children, the polio vaccination was born.

    The place soon went down hill and although governors tried to cover up the fact patients were being mistreated it soon came to light.

    I got speaking to an old boy who was wandering around the site and we had an interesting chat. He told me a brief history of the place from his point of view.

    He had said the majority of patients were Jewish and they were disabled due to incest (He didn't seemed to impressed with this), he said this was common back at the start of the 20th century. Anyway, the village ran itself with a farm, bakery, power station and emergency services all in the village. The more able patients would work these jobs, until the government stepped in that was! The government said if patients are working they should get paid. In the end they stopped patients from working and brought goods in from the 'outside'. This leading to a higher expenditure, money was soon becoming non existent with funding not increasing. With this, patients were deprived of clothes, food and medicine.

    In 1972 Geraldo Rivera did a report for ABC news which documented the abuse and overcrowding that was going on inside the walls of Letchworth. This video is available online!

    Letchworth finally shut it doors for good in 1996 and has been abandoned ever since.

    The cemetery was a place I couldnt find on my visit in 2014 but the old boy I was talking to told me how to get there. It was about 3 miles away from the village and was in some woods. Not the setting for a usual burial place but in them days nobody wanted to remember the mentally insane. Most graves are still just numbers, there are a few where families have been and put a proper gravestone on but these a few and far between. Not the nicest place iv visited but I'm glad iv seen it and paid my respects to these lost souls.

    That is my little history about the place, there is so much more online, its a well documented place!












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  2. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
    Regular User

    Mar 28, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Fascinating history and a nice motor..thanks for sharing it :)
    YamYamSeeker likes this.
  3. Alessio1st

    Alessio1st 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    May 24, 2016
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    Like the decay in your picture, really nice shots (number 3 is my favorite) and amazing ride you got there, thanks for sharing!
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