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be inclosed before winter, and we hope to be ready to begin on the new hospital buildings in the early spring.
An Act was passed at the last session of the legislature to establish a normal school in the city of Worcester, to be erected on the grounds of the old hospital. The governor and council were empowered to select a site for this school, and they have already located it on a beautiful eminence of the hospital grounds on the northerly side of East Central Street, taking five acres of our land for this purpose, which will cancel a moiety of the grant made to the hospital.
Other lots in the neighborhood, for which frequent inquiries are made, will be speedily put on the market, from the sale of which we hope to realize funds as they will be needed to prosecute the work on the new buildings, during the next season, and continue it until they shall be completed.
The Trustees are confident in the belief, founded on the opinion of competent judges of the value of the land, that the sale of the old hospital and its domains, will furnish means as they will be required, sufficient to erect all the new buildings needful for the present and prospective use of the institution for many years to come, and to reimburse, in great measure, if not entirely, the State, for the grant so liberally made at their request.
There were five dwelling-houses on the estate when we came into possession,—four of them cottages, recently built. These have been remodelled and with some additions, fitted for four families of convalescent and quiet patients. Since the middle of May last, thirty-six women with four attendants, have boarded in two of these cottages, and twenty-five men have occupied other two, and the Steward and his family the fifth.
Apparently happier or more cheerful families, we have rarely seen in any sane community. Many of them appear perfectly delighted by their removal from the noise and confusion incident to the great hospital and its surroundings, and to be placed in these cheerful, sunny, rural homes, where they can, and do, enjoy pure air and quiet rest, together with a wide and varied view of beautiful landscape, and the domestic comforts of their better days.
We do not claim to have established, or proved beyond a doubt, the superiority of the family method of treating a por
tion of our patients ; but so far as any inference can be drawn from this limited experiment, it promises the most cheering results.
The men who are able to labor have been usefully employed upon the farm during the summer; they are now engaged in preparing the grounds for building, and are ready to lend a helping hand with cheerful alacrity to whatever work is to be done.
Some of the women assist their attendants in the household work, others are employed in sewing, or in fancy work, and in the season of it, nearly all are interested in the cultivation of the flower and vegetable garden ; and they seem to do it with a will.
On the whole, we see no reason to regret the new departure, but are more and more encouraged to proceed in the development of the new plan and arrangements for the care of the insane, and are hopeful, not only of relieving them from many annoyances, but of increasing their comfort during treatment, and of more successful results than have been experienced under the present method of herding together so many, of such diverse circumstances and conditions, in one conglomerate edifice.
The new plan will afford opportunity for a more satisfactory classification of the patients. The quiet and gentle can be withdrawn from the presence of the boisterous and noisy ones,those who have been accustomed, more or less, to the amenities of intelligent and refined life, can be separated from others of low and offensive habits. The cottage families can be composed of persons having similar affinities of temperament and tastes, and who need the sympathy of all by whom, they are surrounded ; while the furiously mad, the filthy, and all those of dangerous tendencies requiring restraint or constant surveillance will be confined in the main central hospital, where they can be under the control necessary to the safety of all.
EXPENSE. We have at present no means of actually estimating the comparative cost of the two methods of providing for the support of the insane. The new plan may prove to be somewhat
more expensive than the old ; it must necessarily be so during the transition. But when all the necessary buildings shall have been completed and furnished, so that our prospective plan can be carried into full operation, we do not anticipate any considerable increase in the cost of supporting the population of our hospital above that now incurred in the old buildings. But what if it should prove to be a trifle more expensive? Ought a modicum more or less of expense to be weighed in the balance against the greater comfort and contentment, the more elevated and natural condition of the tractable and convalescent portion of our patients, together with the assurance of more speedy and perfect recovery which may be secured by the change?
WORCESTER, Oct. 25, 1871.
To the Trustees of the Worcester Lunatic Hospital.
GENTLEMEN :I herewith submit my Annual Report on the finances of the Worcester Lunatic Hospital, for the year ending September 30, 1871.
Cash on hand September 31, 1870,
received of the Commonwelth for support
10,870 40 37,967 32 52,767 13
The expenditures for the year have been as follows:
Provisions : Flour, 541 barrels,
$4,215 50 Fresh meats,
4,762 34 Salt meats,
4,532 52 Meal for cooking,
340 34 Beans,potatoes and other vegetables, 2,130 73 Fish,
1,019 70 Sugar,
2,313 89 Molasses and sugar,
664 92 Tea,
1,472 21 Coffee and chocolate,
829 06 Rice and crackers,
522 46 Butter,
Vinegar and pickles,
Total for provisions,
46 74 648 98 1,686 79
Salaries and wages,
26,574 65 1,805 58 2,275 09 9,824 24 1,983 75
746 46 1,484 29 2,945 19 5,401 62
685 64 6,903 89
228 25 497 08
156 40 2,880 26
Total current expenses,
Clothing and materials, .
4,040 05 1,248 15 1,319 10 1,233 99