Kirkbride Buildings Blog

May 7th, 2010

Hidden Columbia on South Carolina State Hospital

South Carolina State Hospital Video Screenshot
Hidden Columbia, a local news segment on ABC’s Columbia, SC affiliate, recently put together a report on the history of South Carolina State Hospital. It’s a reasonably in-depth look at the hospital’s story with a few surprising details among the typical, to-be-expected facts. You can view all five currently released parts online by following the links below. I’m not sure if there are more parts coming in the future, but I’ll add the links here if they do.

Hidden Columbia
Unfortunately, these videos are no longer available online.

  1. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 1
  2. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 2
  3. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 3
  4. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 4
  5. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 5

Watching these, I’m especially struck by how much the history of these hospitals all followed the same trajectory: a founding with much fanfare and optimism, early success giving way to hard times and overcrowding, then reform and a long slow decline terminated by closure or radical down-sizing.

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Discussion

  1. mia martin March 30, 2011, 9:28 am

    How do I find records from my great great grandfathers admissions to S,.C. Lunatic Asylum in the 1850’s??? He was a physician and did well the rest of his life.

  2. D. Frederick July 23, 2011, 10:52 pm

    I am curious if it is possible to get permission granted to do an EVP session in the original Asylum. You may contact me for further elaboration.
    Thank you,

    D. Frederick

  3. Rhonda Owens September 4, 2011, 8:51 pm

    Good evening,
    I am trying to locate any information on my decesased mother. She use to work for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. She attended/graduated from what she refered to as “The Old Columbia Hospita”. At one time she had a photo her entire class becaues I believe they were the first black graduating class of black nurses. I should would appreciate any help or guidance you maybe able to provided. Thank you.

    Missing my mother,
    Rhonda Owens

  4. CANOTTA JONES MAZO September 5, 2011, 12:34 pm

    I AM SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MY LATE GRANDFATHER WHO WAS A NAVY OFFICER THAT WAS VERY SICK AND HE WAS TRANSFERED TO THE LUNATIC ASYLUM DURING THE 1960’S AND DIED THERE IN JUNE 1968 FROM WHAT I WAS TOLD HE WAS ALONE AND NO ONE NEVER VISITED EXCEPT MY DAD THE OLDEST SON.TIL THIS DAY MY FATHER BECOMES DISTANT AND SILENT WHEN I ASK HIM ABOUT GRANDDAD.HE WAS UPSET ALOT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT ABLE TO CLAIM HIS FATHERS BODY SO HE WAS DONATED TO SCIENCE.IM A GRAND DAUGHTER WHO HAS NEVER MET HER GRANDFATHER WANTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MY FAMILY HISTORY IT SEEMS LIKE I AM LOST IN MANY WAYS NOT KNOWING WHERE I CAME FROM IN RESPECTS TO MY FATHERS SIDE OF HE FAMILY.YOUR HELP WILL GREATLY BE APPRECIATED. THANK YOU OR READING MY LETTER. CANOTTA

  5. CDelaplace November 13, 2011, 6:41 am

    Interested in photos of the Asylum and cemetery and any history or articles connected with the institution over the years…some records of patients may be found at the SCDAH in Columbia…

  6. Kittie Danger June 20, 2012, 3:14 pm

    I’m unable to view the videos, have they been taken down or removed?

  7. Assuaged August 21, 2012, 2:59 pm

    For those in search death and burial records for patients who were buried BY the hospital, call the DMH – they have a database of burials. If the family took them home or made other arrangements, they won’t know. Most folks in the old days didn’t want anyone to know their family members were sick, so graves just got numbers a lot of times or they buried them in one of Columbia’s cemeteries instead of their home towns.

    Patient records are confidential for 75 years. Anything older than that should be available at SC Archives and History.

    Hope this helps.

  8. Jean Parker January 2, 2013, 8:15 pm

    I am searching for records of my mother’s time in the SC State Hospital, Columbia, SC. How can I do this?

  9. Ila Lark January 28, 2013, 8:41 pm

    I am searching for information regarding a distant aunt, Miss Texianna Davis, who was a resident there from about 1900 until her death 1905. I would like to know her burial place.

  10. carol January 29, 2013, 12:12 am

    I was a nursing student the summer of1981 and did my clinicals at the State Hospital. I would appreciate it if you could tell me which building was used for dorms for students and put a picture of that building. thankyou

  11. Diana February 9, 2014, 11:12 pm

    Where are the videos of the State Hospital? Are the not available for viewing. Thanks, Diana

  12. Ethan February 11, 2014, 9:50 pm

    As the blog post says, the videos are no longer available online. I don’t know anything more about them. If you want to know more, please ask the people who run the TV station that produced the videos.

  13. Joan Landreth February 16, 2014, 12:26 am

    Requesting all information and records pertaining to Charlie F. Landreth who died there on April 14, 1925.

  14. Joan Landreth April 6, 2014, 6:48 pm

    The death certificate for Charlie F. Landreth is from Columbia, S.C. State Hospital dated April 24, 1925. Looks like the registered no. is 327 or 227. The cause of death is, “General Paralysis of the Insane – other.

    Charlie is the son of Obadiah Landreth born April 10, 1859. Obadiah is the great grandfather to Jerry F. Landreth born Sept. 7, 1936.

    We are looking for the descriptive records for Charlie’s death. It has been over 85 years and we are hoping they are still available. We need this information for completing our family genealogy

  15. Joan Landreth April 6, 2014, 6:57 pm

    Sorry, I was at the bottom of this page and I mistakenly touched the “Comment”.

    We would gratefully appreciate your help with this request. If we do not get our information together now, it will be lost forever. This is very important to our family. Please help us to have our history complete.

    Thank you,

    Joan and Jerry Landreth

  16. Lauren Zawilenski June 11, 2014, 9:57 pm
  17. Randall Benton June 20, 2014, 7:58 pm

    Hello,
    I was just reading some comments posted here reference the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane. The The South Carolina Dept of Archives and History in Columbia has the records from the State Hospital until the early 40’s. You can scan through the hand written books for your family members information. I found my gggrandfather from 1922 who died there.

    There is limited information written in the books which did not tell me anything new except his exact admission date. To get more information about the reason for his / her admittance you must look through the doctors evaluation reports which were done prior to being admitted. However, I was told that when the records were brought to the Archives from the hospital many were missing…figures!! So there is a good chance there may be no records left. It is worth the time though. You can cal the archives @ 803-896-6100. They are open Tue through Sat, closed Sun and Mon. They also have a website that is useful as well….. South Caroline Archives.

    I hope this helps someone. I am returning there next week and if someone would like for me to look up and get copies from the Hosital Records just drop me a note at my e-mail and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

    Randy

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