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Created by an act of the West Virginia Legislature in 1919, Lakin State Hospital was established as an institution ‘‘for the care and cure of the mentally ill colored persons of this state.’’ The hospital began operations on February 1, 1926, when 162 patients were transferred from Weston State Hospital. In 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court held that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, Lakin staff and patients were integrated. An act of the legislature in 1974 changed the name to Lakin Hospital.

Located on the Ohio River about eight miles from Point Pleasant in Mason County, Lakin for many years provided mental health services to adults and children. Its facilities included brick dormitories for adult patients, a center for emotionally disturbed children, and a rehabilitation center that provided job training and other services. By the end of the 1970s, Lakin’s mission had shifted. Adult psychiatric services were discontinued and care of older adults and adults with physical disabilities was expanded, while the children’s program remained. Lakin in recent years has provided long-term, intermediate care services for older patients in a building constructed in the mid-1970s. Most of Lakin’s older buildings have been demolished. Lakin Correctional Center, the state’s only all-female prison, is adjacent to Lakin Hospital.

This Article was written by Larry Sonis

Last Revised on January 04, 2023

Cite This Article

Sonis, Larry "Lakin Hospital." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 04 January 2023. Web. 17 June 2024.


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