Embreeville opened in 1798 as Chester County Almshouse. It was originally used for the poor, neglected and "insane". It then developed into a facility for people without disabilities to do chores to earn their stay there. Some of the chores included farming, sewing, laundry and more. Chester County purchased the Almhouse in 1914 to transform it into a state hospital. Patients from the overcrowded Norris state hospital were transferred to the new Embreeville asylum. The Hospital was very progressive and had an "open door" policy, doors remained unlocked, and it was a very relaxing environment for patients. Unlike most hospitals where the state hospitals would become their permanent home, the hospital discharged most patients after 40 days, and 80% of patients who left the hospital went on to rebuild their lives. The hospital became state owned in 1938 and in the 1980's Pennsylvania decided to close most of their hospitals including this one.