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Opened August 1, 1880 to treat mentally ill, criminally insane, and tuberculosis infected African Americans. The facility remained an all black institution until it was integrated in 1965 due to the Civil Rights Act. Alternate names: Asylum for Colored Insane, Eastern Hospital, Eastern North Carolina Insane Asylum, State Hospital at Goldsboro, and Cherry Hospital (1961). In 1879, 175 acres were purchased for the hospital and by 1895 it had been enlarged twice by the addition of a three-story building at each end. By 1908 separate facilities were constructed for tubercular and epileptic patients and by 1924 a building for the criminally insane was in place. In 1929 it was composed of 30 buildings on 1148.5 acres of land and by 1976 the buildings numbered 186. In 1884 the average number of patients was 134, in 1904 it was 521 and in 1926, it was 1,450. The number of staff was much lower than patients and escapes were common. There were some early efforts to report the causes of insanity and some of the named reasons included religion, love affairs, death in the family, jealousy, domestic trouble, pregnancy, head injury, sunstroke, fright, destitution and typhoid fever. Many residents were buried on hospital grounds. Occupational and recreational therapies were used as a means of rehabilitation. Patients assisted with fruit, nut, grain and vegetable growing, livestock production, dairy farming, garment and quilt making, gardening, sawing and kitchen duties. Entertainment came in the form of reading materials, games, dances, exercise and concerts. Early patients could attend religious services in town and there is also evidence that preachers spoke to patients. By 1924 a room in the laundry was converted to a chapel and by 1950 a dedicated chapel was built and staffed. Some of Eastern North Carolina Hospital’s early superintendents included W. H. Moore (1800-1882), J. D. Roberts (1882-1888), J. F. Miller (1888-1906), W. W. Faison (1906- at least until 1927) and W. C. Linville (by 1929).

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