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Public Hospital Museum

325 West Francis Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185
757 229 1000
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Ranked #22 of 52 Attractions in Williamsburg
Type: Historic Sites
Description: The first mental institution in North America.
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174 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
17 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014 NEW

The public hospital portion of the museum is quick to get through and many may find it "not worth the walk" from the main street of Colonial Williamsburg. But be sure to check the day's scheduled events in the below-ground level. We happened to catch a 1.5 hour oration by the first Dean of Law at the College of William... More

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Carlsbad, California
Top Contributor
300 reviews 300 reviews
64 attraction reviews
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2014

The Public Hospital Museum in Colonial Williamsburg is one of the premier attractions. It's several sections are well organized and the exhibits are nicely presented and well described. The museum is spotless and one can go floor to floor via stairs or elevators. Docents are readily available for help if desired.

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Capital District NY
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

Part of Colonial Williamsburg That really about covers it - creepy with the voices running on a recording as you look into the rooms. Chains coming out of the walls and odd institutional ... restraints? I cringed as I saw children coming through, there should really be a sign that it's pretty scary stuff.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
89 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Guys, I normally wouldn't go to a museum of early American furniture and stuff. However the collection has some stunning pieces. The displays are top-notch. I won't go again but I did enjoy this museum. Don't tell my girlfriend that I had a good time.

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Aldie, United States
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

Exhibit was too disturbing for my 10 year-old daughter. Not to mention the fact that the receptionist was extremely rude.

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Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
70 attraction reviews
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

This is one of many wife's favorite places to visit. Gives a history of the hospital through life-size displays, and describes the treatments that were used over the years. Worth a stop while visiting the other museums.

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Palm Bay, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

The Public Hospital Museum is in a building that also holds an art museum. While each on their own may not be exciting for everybody, they both hold some interesting experiences and are worth a stop. The hospital part offers a glimpse into what health care was like in that time. Some parts are hard to think about others experiencing,... More

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Dayton, Ohio
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
6 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Pros; has air conditioning. Clean. Cons; tiny, not many exhibits, was a long walk to the hospital and walked through the building under 15 minutes. Not very exciting.

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1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

It was informative but very short. Its a 15 minute self guided tour at the maximum. Do not make a special trip just to go see it. Big disappointment.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

As a healthcare worker, the attraction was very interesting to me. It is really more of an exhibit rather than a whole museum. It shows how far the treatment of mental illness has come. It may not be for everyone as the uses of some of the artifacts shown were unpleasant.

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