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Public Hospital Museum

325 West Francis Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185
757 229 1000
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Ranked #22 of 51 Attractions in Williamsburg
Type: Historic Sites
Description: The first mental institution in North America.
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169 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
48 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

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
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 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
36 reviews 36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

A good, if brief, look at how the mentally ill were treated in the region in the past few hundred years. Engaging.

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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Hard to believe this is considered a museum on its own. It's three small rooms in the art museum, one of which consists of a diorama of a mattress on the floor in a whitewashed room. Doesn't in any way live up to the rest of Williamsburg.

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Philadelphia, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

So much to see in this beautiful museum! A tip is plan to spend the better part of the day there as there is much to see. There is a cafe which closes at 4, so plan accordingly. Not the best place for little ones as it's all looking and no touching, but adults will love the variety of exhibits.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

Very depressing to see how the mentally ill were treated at that time (e.g., chains in the rooms), however, equally sobering to realize that the hospital was the first to humanely treat the patients and it was at the forefront of the treatment of the mentally ill.

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New Providence, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
31 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Very interesting, not a lot to see but what is there is great, opens 10 am, leads into the museum which is great. The admission is included in your colonial williamsburg ticket.

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