Vermont State Hospital

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Vermont State Hospital
Location 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, Vermont, United States
Coordinates 44°19′55″N 72°45′02″W / 44.331816°N 72.750548°W / 44.331816; -72.750548Coordinates: 44°19′55″N 72°45′02″W / 44.331816°N 72.750548°W / 44.331816; -72.750548
Funding Public hospital
Hospital type Specialist
Beds 54
Speciality Psychiatric
Founded 1891
Lists Hospitals in Vermont

Vermont State Hospital, alternately known as the Vermont State Asylum for the Insane and the Waterbury Asylum, was a mental institution built in 1890 in Waterbury, Vermont to help relieve overcrowding at the privately run Vermont Asylum for the Insane in Brattleboro, Vermont, now known as the Brattleboro Retreat. Originally intended to treat the criminally insane, the hospital eventually took in patients with a wide variety of problems, including mild to severe mental disabilities, epilepsy, depression, alcoholism and senility.[1] The hospital campus, much of which now houses other state offices, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.


During the tenure of Dr. Eugene A. Stanley as superintendent (1918–1936), the hospital expanded – the patient population peaked at 1,728 in the mid-1930s – constructing a new three-story building specifically for the treatment of women. Stanley, who was a public advocate of eugenics, espoused forced sterilization and advised the Eugenics Society, to whom he provided patient records.[1]

The word, "Waterbury," used in a derogatory sense, was intended to convey to the listener than someone was either insane or was acting or talking in a manner disagreeable to the speaker. e.g. "Keep that up, and we'll be sending you to Waterbury."[2]

The property was flooded in November, 1927. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene flooded the property 2.5 feet (0.76 m) above predicted 100-year level.[3]

In 1963, the population started to decline. Empty floor space was converted into state offices.[3]


Since 2012 the hospital has been affiliated with the University of Vermont-UVM Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, and several other colleges and universities, and runs a training program, the Vera A. Hanks School of Psychiatric Technology.[4]


In 2012, the property covered 117 acres (47 ha).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Vermont State Hospital" on the Asylum Project website
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b c Remsen, Nancy (June 11, 2012). "Tearing down before building back". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vermont. pp. 1A, 6A, 7A. 
  4. ^ "Vermont State Hospital". Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. on the State of Vermont Department of Mental Health website

External links[edit]