Letchworth Village was opened in 1911 and closed in 1996. It is located in Rockland County New York. A businessman named William Pryor Letchworth donated 2000 acres of land to build a facility for the “feeble-minded and epileptics.”
The Hospital was set up to take on the mentally retarded, The people who lost their way and went insane, or as they were also called the “Feeble Minded”
Letchworth Village was a residential institution located in Rockland County, New York, in the hamlet of Thiells built for the physically and mentally disabled of all ages, from the newborn to the elderly. Opened in 1911, Letchworth Village at its peak consisted of over 130 buildings that were spread out over many acres of land.
On February 27, 1950, the first trial case of the polio vaccine in the United States was administered to an 8-year-old patient by Hilary Koprowski, after he tried it on himself. After the patient suffered no side effects, the vaccine was administered to 19 more of the institution’s children. Out of a total of 20 children, 17 developed antibodies against the virus, and none developed any complications.
Reports of inadequate funding and improper care of the residents, including children, were present dating back to the 1920s. Accounts surfaced of residents being found unclothed, unbathed, and neglected. In addition to rampant abuse among the institution’s residents, staff also suffered abuse in the hands of co-workers, which included incidents of rape.
In 1996, the institution was permanently closed down, and many of its abandoned structures have since fallen into serious disrepair.
I remember passing by this place a lot when our family would be out and about, we lived in a town call Stony Point which was not far at all to Haverstraw N.Y. where the Village was built and housed the mentally ill. I would see the children and the elders, wandering around like they had not a care in the world. It wasn’t until later that I found out they had been so medicated, used as Guinea pigs to try NEW medicines on. Such as Thorazine, which people referred to the patients doing The Thorazine Shuffle. Making the Patients empty-headed, dragging their feet as if they’re feet had Cannon Ball chains attached to their ankles dragging them along the floor in such a slow motion. Some crawling, some wore helmets, to keep from hurting their heads.
Over the years Letchworth Village has many filming from TV show, such as Ghost Adventures. I was in Chicago visiting my daughter when we decided to have a Ghost Adventure Marathon. One of the of the episodes was about Letchworth Village. My daughter got to see just how her Uncle and other patients and how they had been so overwhelmed with children and adults had no clothes, not enough food, bed, or for that matter. They had electric shock treatments, where they would actually use these treatments on patients just for testing. Why not use people who live in the place as Guinea pigs or field mice.
One of the Places in the United States where they used the patients to test polo vaccine . If the first patient to be vaccinated and LIVED they would continue to vaccinate. As if the children and Adults had much choice.
A lot of the babies had been dropped off and left on the property for someone to find. They would become wards of the state of NY. This would give the state permission to make all decisions. regarding that person. Even Adults would be brought and left. Some with no information just dropped off. Over crowding in all areas, and they had several buildings called wards usually a building # so like WARD 2, etc. each ward would be for children, adults, teens and of course sex.
Robert was moved from this part of the program and was placed in the St Agatha’s Christian home at the time, it was actually called the St Agatha’s Christian home for retarded children. I was told the house was a donated beautiful home and that the kids who lived here were called High Function Downs Syndrome/Autism.