Presentation on theme: "SC Committee to Preserve and Restore Historic Cemeteries"— Presentation transcript:
1SC Committee to Preserve and Restore Historic Cemeteries Forgotten Lives Forgotten Burials Acknowledging the Past, Restoring DignityDedicated to the thousands of patients who passed away & were been buried quietly & anonymously in virtually unmarked state hospital cemeteries and graves.SC Committee to Preserve and Restore Historic Cemeteries
2PurposeWe mark graves to help us remember. To be forgotten in life andthen relegated to an unmarked grave is a disgraceful end, a sign ofdisdain and disrespect. Some where, some time, these people matteredto somebody and they should not remain forgotten.Across the country tens of thousands of patients were buried withvirtually no recognition of their existence. Over the years theseforgotten and neglected graves of persons who died in state psychiatrichospitals conveys a message of devaluing the people who struggledwith mental illness, contributes to the burden of stigma that people stillface today and perpetuates the negative image of mental illness.The purpose of this presentation is to acknowledge that history, to helperase that stigma and to honor the lives of those who bravely foughtmental illness, and died in the system.
3FormatTo enhance the viewer’s understanding of how thousands of peoplewere simply forgotten, this presentation is divided into four parts:HistoryDealing with Death at the SC Hospital – Early PracticesForgotten Lives - Forgotten BurialsCommittee Creation & Achievements
5Early Theory &Treatment The Greeks coined terms formelancholy, hysteria and phobiaand developed the humorismtheory.Psychiatric theories andtreatments developed in Persia,Arabia and the Muslim Empire,particularly in the MedievalIslamic world from the 8thcentury, where the firstpsychiatric hospitals were built.Complex of Mansur Qalaun site ofone of the earliest hospitals.
6Early Theory &Treatment Although mental illnesseswere increasingly seen asan organic physicaloccurrence with noconnection to the soul ormoral responsibility by theend of the eighteenthcentury, asylum care wasoften harsh and treatedpeople like wild animals.
7Early Theory &Treatment At the turn of the nineteenthcentury a new concept calledMoral Therapy was taking hold. Itwas based on the ideas of mutualrespect, that care should be kindand personal, with an emphasis onoccupational therapy, religiousexercises, amusements and games,and that the use of intimidation,physical violence and restraintsshould be avoided.It was on these ideas that theSC Asylum would be founded.
8Founding of the AsylumHistorically, “what to do” with a mentally ill person dependedupon the individual’s status, domestic situation, location, and medicalcondition. Insanity was viewed as a private matter and familyresponsibility, and it was expected that family would render care orpay someone else to do it.In 1694, the Lords Proprietors of South Carolina established that thementally ill should be cared for at public expense by local (parisha.k.a. county) governments.This form of aid fell under the concept of “Outdoor Relief” based onElizabethan Poor Laws. It meant that if people were poor and sickand/or disabled that “poor law officers” took them in or boarded themat public expense.
9Founding of the Asylum Mental health received little attention at the state level until1810 when, Colonel Samuel Farrowand Major William Craftsbegan to petition the SouthCarolina Legislature to fund apermanent lunatic asylum.According to legend, Farrow hadbeen moved at the sight of amentally ill woman wandering theroads in his Upcountry district.On December 20, 1821, the SouthCarolina State Legislature passed astatute-at-large approving $30,000 tobuild the S.C. Lunatic Asylum.Major William CraftsCol. Samuel Farrow
10The Robert Mills Building corner stone was laid in 1822 Founding of the AsylumThis legislation made SouthCarolina the third state inthe nation to provide statefunding for the care andtreatment of people with mentalillnesses. It was also the secondhospital solely dedicated tomental health.The belief was that if an asylumexisted to provide care familieswould send their relatives to thehospital for treatment.The Robert Mills Building corner stone was laid in 1822
11Founding of the Asylum In reality, many families preferred to care for mentally ill relatives athome.If home care was not possiblefamilies would allow their relative tolive in the county jail or the workhouse in order to keep themnearby.Consequently, the asylum did notreach its full capacity of 192 until1860 – more than 30 years afteropening its doors.Robert Mills Building
12Founding of the Asylum It is important to note that: When the legislature provided funding to build the asylum it was with the understanding that the hospital would be self supporting – counties were required to pay for the transportation of the patient to the hospital and pay a annual maintenance fee for that person.The maintenance fee was never sufficient to cover costsCounties often failed to pay the feeA diagnosis of mental illness was not required to be admitted to the hospital. Person’s whose families were unable, unwilling or didn’t exist, who had dementia type illnesses, substance abuse problems, cognitive and developmental disorders/delays, had epilepsy or other seizure disorders, were deaf and/or blind or just troublesome were often admitted. The hospital was frequently used, as one person put it, “as a very convenient place for very inconvenient people”.
13Part Two Dealing with Death at the SC Hospital – Early Practices
14Asylum OpensWhen the Robert Mills building opened it was situated on the edgeof the city, a single building, on four acres of land.The building that could house 192 patients also had recreationrooms, dining rooms, offices, storage space etc. It wasn’t until 1860that the hospital reached maximum capacity.There were no plans to locate a cemetery intended for the burial ofdeceased patients on the grounds.
15Early BurialThe low census at the time equaled a low death rate and the Asylumrelied on the kindness of family, friends or on one of six localgraveyards to deal with those that had died.If family or friends requested or a patient’s religious preference wasknown a specific religious service and burial might be arranged to beperformed in one of five church run graveyards, otherwise the PublickGraveyard was used.(note: Publick did not mean not pauper; many citizens rich and poor, black andwhite were buried in these cemeteries)
16Early Burial 1828 - 1860 The six grave yards were the: Catholic Church Yard – near today's St. Peters ChurchBaptist Church Yard – today’s First Baptist Church at Hampton &Sumter StreetsMethodist Church Yard – today’s Washington Street United Methodist Church at Marion & Washington StreetsEpiscopal Church Yard – today’s Trinity Episcopal Church at Sumter & Gervais StreetsPresbyterian Church Yard – today’s First Presbyterian Church at Lady & Marion StreetsThe 2nd “Publick” Burying Grounds - bounded by Senate, Wayne,Pendleton and Pulaski Streets
17Changes on the HorizonAfter the Civil War ended in 1865, new buildings were constructed toseparate both the genders and the races. Person’s of color who hadbeen denied admittance since the mid- 1850’s were once again beingaccepted as patients at an alarming rate. Institutionalization wassometimes used as “legal” way to disenfranchise people based on race,ideology or both.Initially the fiscal responsibility for “ patient upkeep” was a County orParrish duty but in the 1870’s, the State assumed the financialresponsibility for the care of persons at the Asylum.The result was a population explosion, continuous overcrowding,unsanitary conditions and shortages of food, clothing and other staples.
18The Death Toll RisesThe increased population dramatically amplified patient deaths fromtuberculosis, dysenteric conditions, and exhaustion in addition to themore “traditional” causes; cardiac problems, syphilis, epilepsy andkidney infections. But, by far the leading cause of death was due toPellagra.Pellagra is caused by a diet that is insufficient in niacin. It wascommonly known as the “disease of the four D’s—dermatitis, diarrhea,dementia, and death“. Some estimate the death rate to be as high as40%. By the 1900’s it had reached epidemic proportions in theAmerican South.It is still one of the most common diseases in developing countries ofthe world or in places where there is poverty and poor nutrition.
19Closing of the Public Cemetery In the mid-1800’s there was a growing national movement to close andremove cemeteries from cities. In 1857, Columbia formally abandonedthe “2nd Publick Cemetery” and the property was sold to the railroad toexpand their freight yard. No one could recall if the bodies were re-located but reports from the time indicate that head and foot stonesdisappeared.Research indicates that most likely the graves and any remains laid torest at the Publick Cemetery were destroyed after years of reuse. Thefreight yard gave way to railroad track relocation, followed by a HUDhousing development, Vista Commons.
21The CemeteriesPatients in the hospital were separated by gender and race. Deceasedpatients whose remains were not claimed by family were buried inseparate cemeteries according to race . There were two classifications ofrace: “white” and “colored”.After the closing of the “Public Cemetery” in 1857, patient remains thatwere not sent home for burial, were buried at one of the followingcemeteries; Elmwood, Potters field (a.k.a. Lower Cemetery), GeigerStreet, Slighs Ave., Pisgah Church Road, and the Memorial Gardens atMorris Village.Persons buried in these cemeteries had their final resting place markedonly by a numbered stone. These “cemeteries” were never intended tohave visitors, nor to have the dead memorialized or mourned.They were intended to be invisible. And for years they were…
22Elmwood CemeteryWith the “Publick Cemetery,” closing the Asylum had to look at otheroptions for burying deceased patients. A committee looking into thematter was ordered to cost out the purchase of property large enoughfor the burial of 200 souls or about 2 acres of land.Opened in 1854, Elmwood was considered the replacement cemeteryfor most Columbians. The Asylum eventually purchased two plots ofland at the cemetery around 1856.The Asylum struck an agreement with Elmwood that “allowed landuse on a per-patient basis”. The charge was $10.00 for a pay patient and$5.00 for a charity patient.
23Elmwood Section 41 Section 41 is located very near the entrance of the cemetery. It isbelieved that this section wasused from approximately 1856 to1907 for the burial of whitepatients only, although the actuallocation of the graves and identity ofthe individuals buried there isn’tknown.The section is still owned by theDepartment of Mental Health andis the planned site for a memorialcommemoration of the lives offormer patients.Section 41Elmwood Gardens was established in1854 and is the final resting place for someof SC’s most famous citizens.
24Elmwood Section 41There are virtually no grave markers and the land is eroded in section 41, yetall around are the markers, monuments, and statues of people buried next tothem.Site for Memorial
25Elmwood Section 80 Property Border with ElmwoodVery little is known about section 80except that it sat on the western edge ofthe Elmwood property. Purchased prior tosection 41, it was abandoned because itwas deemed to be “too far away” fromthe entrance for easy use.It remained in use for the burial of blackpatients until the land was sold toRandolph Cemetery in Patient burialscontinued in this section and in PottersField a.k.a. the Lower Cemetery until 1908when property on the Hospital grounds,later to become known as Slighs Ave.,was used.Randolph, an African Americancemetery, was established in 1871 andexpanded in 1899.Randolph was named in memory of B.F. Randolph, an African American who served as a senator in the South Carolina Legislature during Reconstruction.
26Lower Cemetery/Potters Field The “Lower Cemetery” was used by Columbia for over acentury. During that time, an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 burials tookplace. In addition to mental health patients, both rich and poor, blacksand whites were buried here.The cemetery, neglected for years, has come back into focus recently.Steps to have it placed on the National Register have begun – in part tokeep the land from being commercially developed into town homes.The dips in the soil are indicators of sunken graves
27Locations Sec. 41, 80, & Potters Field NorthSec. 80Potters fieldSec. 41
28Slighs Avenue By 1909-1910 “colored” patients were no longer being buried ineither Randolph or the LowerCemetery but in what wouldcome to be called Slighs Ave. - thefirst cemetery to exist on thegrounds of the Bull Streetproperty. It was used until 1922and as many as 2,300 patientscould have been buried there.It is owned by the City of Columbiaand was developed into a golfdriving range.Marker placedby City ofColumbiaNet erected by the city to keepgolf balls off the grave sites
29Geiger Street Around 1915, white patients were buried in a section of property thatwould become to be known as theGeiger Street or Cotton Town Cemetery .This would be the second and lastcemetery on the Bull Street property.Approximately1000 former patientswere buried here until the cemeteryclosed in 1954 and burials for whitepatients began at the Pisgah ChurchRoad site.It is unique that there is a confederatesoldiers cemetery within the largerplot (for more info follow link).Markerplacedby DMHConfederateGraveyardwithinGeiger
30Funeral shed where “services” where conducted Pisgah Church RoadThe cemetery known as PisgahChurch Road opened 1954 andclosed in 1965.It is actually located just offPisgah Church on Powell Roadand is situated behind the PisgahUnited Methodist ChurchCemetery.It is believed that approximately150 people were buried there.Funeral shed where “services” where conductedat Pisgah
31The Memorial Gardens at Morris Village Morris Village Cemetery has been incontinuous use since 1922, and until1966 received only non-whitepatients. It is located directly besidethe Farrow Road facility, has themost "organization" in that almost allstones are visible, and intact.The grounds are fenced in, with anentrance and monument. Alongsidethis cemetery is a smaller fenced-incemetery believed to be the restingplace of Department of Disabilitiesand Special Needs people. Of the2159 people buried there before1986, 2,097 have been identified.Entrance to the Cemetery
32The Memorial Gardens at Morris Village Markers at the Entrance of the Cemetery
33The Memorial Gardens at Morris Village The stones are level with the ground giving the appearance of large empty field but approximately 2500 people are buried here.
35Committee to Preserve and Restore Historic Cemeteries In June of 2000, the Committee to Preserve & Protect HistoricCemeteries was established. It was one of a dozen or so nation-wideprojects. The committees mission and goals have evolved over time.Mission - To support the SCDMH Recovery Initiative by locating theburial grounds of former patients, identifying those persons andrecognizing that to do this acknowledges and honors them andbecomes a valuable symbol promoting hope, healing and recovery topersons served in public mental health systems of care today as well asto the thousands that came before us and the thousands yet to come.
36Committee to Preserve and Restore Historic Cemeteries Goals:Restore and preserve artifacts, records, monuments, headstones, andgrave markers of those buried in historically-significant cemeteries.Preserve, and provide access to, informational resources related tohistorically-significant cemeteries that facilitate the location of the deceased by families and clients.Develop brochures that inform and educate the public about the history of mental illness and the memorialization of the deceased.Publish historical information regarding patient deaths and burials for use by genealogists and historians.Establish a monument to recognize those unnamed citizens of the State ofSouth Carolina who were buried in these cemeteries.Establish procedures for family members to honor the deaths of loved ones with the placement of a grave marker.
37Achievements – Database In the summer of 2010, a database honoring former patients buried by the StateHospital was completed. Names, numbers and locations were matched goingback to 1893, the earliest date for which burial records could be found.Inclusion in the database erred on the side of caution. Unless the disposition ofthe deceased was clearly indicated in the records as buried by family or someother organization the name was included.It contains the names of some 9,500+ individuals who died while a patient at theSC State Hospital and/or individuals in the custody of other agencies, forexample the Tubercular Hospital at State Park or residents of the ConfederateVeterans Home.A copy of the data base has been turned over to the Department Of Archivesand History and was converted into a searchable program for public use. Thedata base is available through the Richland County SC Public Library
38Achievements – Grave marker procedure A policy has been developed,and is awaiting final approvalfor the procedure to place aformal marker with a nameand/or replace a numberedmarker.Numbered Markers at PisgahEarly slate markers at Geiger
39Achievements Clean-Up The Pisgah Church Road Cemetery was in disgraceful condition whenit was located. The property, no longer owned by the Department ofMental Health, was being used as a garbage dump.It was difficult to drive into or view the funeral shed as the propertywas so over grown.SC DMH clients and staff worked together to clear away the garbage,remove overgrown shrubs, bushes and weeds. Grave markers werelocated and exposed, stepping stones and a small fence and gatewaywere added leading to the graves.
40Pisgah Before Clean upPisgah Church Cemetery was completely overgrown. It sat off the road and in no way identified itself as a cemetery.
41Same view after clean up Pisgah After Clean-UpSame view after clean up
42Building where the funeral services were held Pisgah Before Clean UpBuilding where the funeral services were held
43Same view after clean-up Pisgah Before After UpSame view after clean-up
44Pisgah BeforeSome of the committee members look for any sign of markersthat would identify persons who were buried in the cemetery.
46Pisgah The wooden frame was used to outline the sized of grave to ensurethe coffin would fit.It is now possible to driveinto the cemetery.
47Memorial Plan Elmwood Cemetery One goal is torestore& preserveartifacts,records,monuments,headstones.One of five marked graves in thecemetery, the name, JohannaHarden, is barley visible.Site for Memorial
48Memorial Plan Elmwood Cemetery DEDICATED IN LOVING MEMORY TO THETHOUSANDS OF PATIENTSWHO LIVED AND DIED ANONYMOUSLYAT THE SOUTH CAOLINA STATE HOSPITALThe stigma of mental illness has been so great that there was a time when thousands of people who passed away while a patient at the State Hospital were buried quietly and anonymously in virtually unmarked cemeteries and graves.Since opening its doors in 1828 until 1985, a person’s final resting place was marked only by a number in one of six cemeteries:ElmwoodPotter FieldGeiger StreetSlighs AvenuePisgah Church RoadMorris Village.Materials List:Marker & Plaque2 Curved BenchesGround CoverCopingHeadstone Restoration
49Memorial Plan Elmwood Cemetery TreeOak TreeWhere Memorial is to be centeredBenchPlaqueElmwood CemeteryMemorial Plans
50ReferencesDealing with Death: The Use and Loss of Cemeteries by the SC State Hospital inColumbia, SC, Chicora Research Contribution 316, January 17, 2001Randolph Cemetery, South Carolina Department of Archives and History/index.htmColumbia’s Scandal Lower Cemetery SC, Chicora Research Contribution 521,December 2009 Lower Cemetery (Potter's Field #3) Richland County, SCA Small Sample of Burials at Randolph Cemetery: What their Stories Tell Us AboutThe Cemeteries and African American Life in Columbia, Chicora ResearchContribution 461, February 5, 2007The Penitentiary Cemetery, Columbia, South Carolina, Chicora Research Contribution509, February 2009Caring for Patients’ Graves Helps Hospitals Reconcile With Living, Kate Mulligan,Psychiatric News August 3, 2001 Volume 36 Number 15 Page 10
51References History of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health South Carolina Department of Mental Health Celebrates 175th AnniversaryComparing the Mental Health of the Past to the Mental Health of the PresentThe Georgia Story: How to Successfully Restore a State Hospital Cemetery, Atechnical assistance manual funded by the federal Center for Mental Health ServicesDecember 1999It's About Time: Discovering, Recovering and Celebrating PsychiatricConsumer/Survivor History. Larry Fricks for the Georgia Consumer Council January2004
52THANK YOU To locate the burial site of a family member, please contact Katherine Roberts with SCDMH Office ofClient Affairs at (803)To make a donation toward the cemetery preservationeffort, please contact Anita Baker, Committee Chair at theMental Health Association in South Carolina at (803)Committee to Preserve and Restore Historic Cemeteries