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Unveiling of Historic Marker at Original Site of Virginia's Central State Hospital

The Central Lunatic Asylum (Photo credit: Chicago Museum of History)

You are cordially invited to the dedication and unveiling of an historical highway marker commemorating the founding of Central State Hospital, the first stand-alone mental hospital in the United States for African Americans.

The dedication and unveiling ceremony will be held on June 7, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church at 2011 Fairmount Avenue, Richmond, VA. Seating will be available. The audience is limited to 250 people.

Please RSVP by email, or you may call

Patricia E. Christian, B.S.

Administrative Assistant to Director/CEO Central State Hospital Phone: 804-524-7373

History of Central State Hospital

From 1868 to 1885, Central State was housed in the annex of Howard's Grove Hospital, located at 20th and 23rd Streets in Fairmount Avenue in Richmond. Legislation to formally establish the hospital passed by the Virginia General Assembly on June 7, 1870. A new Central State Hospital was built at its current location in Dinwiddie County in 1885 when the Petersburg Common Council donated the Mayfield Plantation to the Commonwealth. The hospital remained racially segregated until 1968.

The hospital record collection contains over 100 years of records related to the historic institution; these are the most complete archival records of blacks and mental illness in the United States. Items include board minutes, annual reports, procedural manuals, financial reports, patient registers, photos, newsletters, and monographs. To learn more about the history of Central State and the ongoing effort to digitize the records, visit

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