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4. Cherokee Mental Health Institute

Cherokee Lunatic Asylum

When I wrote the piece about Vera, I was particularly struck that she had simply been forgotten by the family. Unfortunately, mental illness was not something people talked about in the early 1900's. I was also struck by the fact that both Vera and her uncle Merrick (Maranda's son) were in the hospital at the same time. I decided it was important to do a little research into the hospital.

I can't claim the content this piece as original work, it is taken from Wikipedia. But the hospital has an interesting story. The photo is of the hospital shortly after it opened. It was then known as the "Cherokee Lunatic Asylum", and is located in Cherokee, Iowa. The photo shows a large grounds surrounding a rather dramatic hospital building.

My wife Ann and I visited the grounds of the hospital last summer. It is still stunning. The grounds are an arboretum and park used by the community. Some of the out-buildings that used to be patient housing have fallen into disrepair, but the the main buildings are beautiful architecture and have been well maintained (at least on the outside).

Here is a quick piece on the hospital. It is also available as: "4. Cherokee Mental Health Institute" on the Stories Page.

4. Cherokee State Hospital
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