Side A: Toledo State Hospital opened in January 1888 as the Toledo Asylum for the Insane. Originally located immediately south of this cemetery, the hospital was designed to function as a self-contained community for 650 people. Patients lived in large cottages, surrounded by a post office, church, library, male and female hospital, strong wards, bakery, and dining hall. People were admitted with mild to severe forms of mental illness, and a variety of other disabling conditions, including developmental, medical or neurological, as well as for addictions, injuries, and old age. Work became a form of treatment, with patients involved in construction, farming, laundry, and other jobs to help maintain the hospital. Patients could also participate in recreational activities from gardening to playing in the hospital band. The State Hospital became home for many, as hospitalization could last a lifetime, often spanning decades. (continued on other side)
Side B: (continued from other side) Upon death, some were buried in one of the two State Hospital cemeteries. This was due either to a lack of resources, or at the family’s request. Over 900 people are buried here, including babies, children as young as 13 and adults of all ages, races, religions and nationalities. The greatest number of burials occurred in 1918 with 53 burials. Graves were identified only by small concrete markers, numbered to correspond with the hospital burial log that identifies each person by name. These small markers, for many years buried under soil and grass, are a reminder of a time when individuals with disabilities were hidden away in life and in death. Several markers were also placed here by families. When this site reached capacity, a new cemetery (1922-1973) was opened .5 miles to the southwest. The combined number of documented burials in both cemeteries (as of 2009) is 1,994.