Dr.Willard wanted to create a hospital that would help the mentally ill instead of house them in shelters. Abraham Lincoln approved this proposal right before his death and they began construction. Willard opened in 1869, admitting very mentally ill patients as well as patients that had been abused at the shelters. The grounds had lot's of buildings a female side, a male side and then admin buildings in the middle. Patients were able to roam the grounds freely, as well as tend to crops, going bowling, to the movie theater, gymnasium, and clubs. Additional treatment was electro-shock therapy and ice baths. The hospital closed in 1995 in a effort to transfer the mentally ill to homes. Many died at Willard and are now resting in unmarked graves. After Willard was closed it became famous for it's suitcases after an artist stumbled upon suitcases left abandoned with all the patients belongings. Photos here: https://willardsuitcases.photoshelter.com/gallery-list
Learn more from: https://inmatesofwillard.com/
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Owned by a drug treatment company. They used to have walking tours but have stopped due to security.