- Superintendent's House
to the State for institutional purposes it became the residence of the Superintendent of the State Farm, so-called. It comprised, at the dates to which I refer, the State Asylum for the Insane, the State Farm, comprising of the House of Correction for men and women, and Oaklawn and Sockanosset Schools. The Superintendent at this period was James H. Eastman, who, with his family, occupied the whole of this house.
This house was formerly used for many years as the monthly meeting place for the State Charities and Corrections. It has an interesting history, for within its walls, a former Superintendent of the State Hospital for Mental Diseases, Dr. Sartwell, was shot and slain by an insane patient.
Excerpt from: Scrapbook, c. 1930 of properties at Howard (Accession 1998-121)
It was the infusion of large amounts of federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds that dramatically altered the appearance of the Howard complex and permitted, if briefly, appropriate physical accommodation for patients, inmates, and attendants. Overcrowding has been a chronic problem at Howard and only the large-scale construction program of the WPA could solve it. Despite the building effort of the 1920s, in 1933 the State Hospital, with accommodations for 1,550, housed 2,235 and was labeled the most overcrowded mental hospital in the northeast.
Excerpt from: Historical Preservation Commission’s Statewide Historical Preservation Report P-C-1 on Cranston, 1980
Cranston: National Register of Historic Places, 1984
Report of the Committee of State Charities and Corrections Upon the State Institutions at Cranston, Made to the Senate, at its January Session, 1883
Report of the Joint Special Committee on the State Asylum for the Insane Made to the General Assembly at its January Session, A.D. 1868
Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission: Statewide Preservation Reports, 1975 - 1982
Article Written by William F. Gleason, M.D....on a State School for Feeble-Minded Children, 1907
Report of State Commission on Public Welfare Institutions, 1943
Special Legislative Commission to Study the Howard Complex records, 1970-1972
External Related Resources:
Rhode Island Historical Society: Rhode Island State Institutions Records, 1839-1968 (bulk 1885-1944)
Missouri State Archives exhibit- Quest for a Cure: Care and Treatment in Missouri's First State Mental Hospital