Am J Psychiatry 162:10, October 20051823Images in Psychiatryhttp://ajp.psychiatryonline.orgAugusta Mental Health Institute, 1840–2004After 164 years of continuously serving the needs ofMaine’s most seriously mentally ill, the Augusta MentalHealth Institute closed in June of 2004. The oldest psychi-atric hospital in Maine, and among the oldest in the na-tion, the institute first opened its doors in 1840 as theMaine Insane Hospital. Like most state hospitals, the Au-gusta Mental Health Institute grew over the years, and itpeaked at a census of 1,800 in 1958. In recent years it con-tinued to serve approximately 100 patients on units in theoriginal granite structure pictured here.The institute was associated with several prominent fig-ures in American psychiatry. The first medical superinten-dent was Isaac Ray, M.D., an obscure, 31-year-old generalpractitioner in rural Eastport, Me., when he published hisauthoritative “A Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence ofInsanity.” It was during his years at the Augusta Mental
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