The history of Crownsville hospital in Maryland is largely tragic.
During the time of institutional segregation, the Maryland General Assembly enabled the creation of Crownsville Mental Hospital for black patients suffering from mental disorders to have better care than the inhumane treatment they had at other facilities.
Unfortunately, understaffed and overcrowded, the facility did not receive the funding it needed to well operate. Patients were required to do unpaid manual labor, suffered from lack of hygiene, and were often exposed to diseases.
Eventually, the hospital’s practices improved. In the sixties, African American physician George McKenzie even established training programs for international students.
However, improvements in outpatient psychiatric treatment resulted in declining numbers of patients from 2,719 in 1955 to 200 patients in 2000, and zero soon afterwards.
Now abandoned, the unmarked graves of over 1,600 patients are still on the property, originally marked by numbers only, with only the more recent having patient names.