The Central State Hospital Campus began life in 1837 as a mental health institution. The original 40 acres was purchased for $4,000 which included a two-story structure, a well, vineyard, orchard and four acres of land for cultivation. The first building officially opened on November 1, 1842. The first patient, by the name of Tilman B, was admitted that same month. It grew to a zenith in the 1960’s with over 12,000 patients, 6,000 employees, and encompassed over 8,000 acres. CSH was a city unto itself, with a completely independent infrastructure system, police force and postal services. At one time in the 1960’s CSH was the largest facility in the world for the centralized treatment of mental health clients.
Today, the campus has 200 buildings and sits on about 2,000 acres of land. Central State Hospital has seen many changes over the 171 years of service. It has managed to become a site of rich history for the Milledgeville community. Central State was once a major economic asset for Milledgeville as well as for the state of Georgia.
For a wealth of historical information and current activity, please visit ‘Central State Memories’ Facebook Group – dedicated to preserving the history of the CSH Campus.