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Public Hospital Museum

325 West Francis Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185
757 229 1000
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82%
Ranked #17 of 29 Attractions in Williamsburg
Type: Historic Sites, Museums
Owner description: The first mental institution in North America.
Attraction details
Type: Historic Sites, Museums
Owner description: The first mental institution in North America.

Hotels near Public Hospital Museum

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180 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vienna, Virginia
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2014

Step down a little hallway just inside the entrance to the other two Williamsburg museums and you will find this collection. It is well done and quite sobering. Life in the colonies was hard, most especially for those who suffered mental illness. You will view a collection of historic items as well as a bedroom and cell for the mentally... More 

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Vonore, Tennessee
Top Contributor
296 reviews 296 reviews
158 attraction reviews
411 helpful votes 411 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

This museum is a small part of the building that houses the Decorative Arts and Folk Art Museums. It is to the left of the receptionist when you enter. There are a couple of rooms to show how "inmates"/"patients" were housed at different times and then displays with timelines to show how treatment for the mentally ill changed over the... More 

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Atlanta, GA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

This is just another fascinating part of the complex housing the Dewitt Wallace Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum. The entirety of the complex is well down and a definite stop when in Williamsburg. Definitely worth making a trip back if you missed it the first time around!

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Centreville, Virginia
Top Contributor
290 reviews 290 reviews
205 attraction reviews
195 helpful votes 195 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2014

The Public Hospital Museum is a stand alone exhibition of the mental health treatments employed in colonial times. It is also the entrance to the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection. Take the stairs or the elevator to the right of the entrance receptionist to enter the Dewitt and Rockefeller collections, but turn... More 

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Dayton, Ohio
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
35 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

We visited at night and then went back during the day when the museum was open. I feel like there could have been more in them museum about the Public Hospital. What we did see was good, we would have just like to see more.

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North Babylon, New York
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
36 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

As a nurse I was very anxious to see this building in Colonial Williamsburg. However, the exhibit was very small. It was disappointing! I had hoped for more

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Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
17 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

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
312 reviews 312 reviews
64 attraction reviews
109 helpful votes 109 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
63 reviews 63 reviews
21 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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.

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Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
97 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 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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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?