In 2005, archaeologists were called in following the discovery of human remains during the excavation of a trench for a new waterline behind the main building at Eastern State Hospital in Kentucky. Prior to this discovery the known cemetery had grass that was almost as high as the fence and very little was known about its history.
Built in 1862 and spread over a 407 acres campus the Department of the Insane in the Western Pennsylvania Hospital of Pittsburgh was built to be a self-sufficient institution to offer state-of-the-art care for those suffering from mental illness and diseases of the brain. It opened with 113 patients, and all those who had ended up in almshouses and jails soon swelled its numbers. It was renamed the Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane at Dixmont to honor the memory of Dorothea Dix, a 19th-century activist for mental health patients who served as superintendent of Army nurses for the Union Army during the Civil War.
It was closed in 1984, and eventually demolished in 2006, however there is one part of the hospital that cannot be sold or repurposed which is the hospital's cemetery.
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