Public Hospital Museum
Public Hospital Museum
4.5
About
The first mental institution in North America.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles506 reviews
Excellent
274
Very good
166
Average
51
Poor
9
Terrible
6

Jeffery W
Raleigh, NC443 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The Public Hospital exhibit is both interesting and extremely well done. The museum is downstairs and is extensive covering everything from folk art to furniture of the period. There is a cafe located in the museum and is a great place to get out of the weather when its cold and raining (when we were there) or to escape the summer heat. Basically the museum has something for eveyone's interests - even the little ones.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MissLoraLane
Washington, PA506 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Friends
Unfortunately this attraction is closed as of September 2022, however you can walk around the outside of the building. It was the only hospital during colonial times and it was a mental asylum. But the grounds are flat and picturesque. And you could take a nice picture in front of the hospital but that’s about all you could do for this attraction.
Written October 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bwco
New Jersey1,749 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
My wife and I visited this when we were at Colonial Williamsburg. To tour this is to appreciate the history of the the treatment of mental illness. When you walk in there are displays showing how the evolution of the treatment of mental illness. It was easy to be taken back by the primitive cell like conditions that people were treated in in the 18th century. As you walk through the exhibits, and it only takes about 10 minutes, you realize how far we have come in this field.
Written December 13, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CFS16
Fort Lee, NJ242 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Couples
The public hospital museum is very small. Although incredibly thought provoking and very sad to think that people were treated this way. There is a few items that were disovered during the archealogical dig and many of the items are reproduced but still really interesting. The "cell" where a patient would have been housed is truly sad...and gives you a taste of how far we have come in this field.
Written March 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KarenMc529
Exeter, RI1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Family
My family and I who was visiting Williamsburg thought that it would be very cool to tour the Public Hospital. Very disappointing there are a total of 3 rooms to visit, the rest of the hospital consists of two different art museums which we were not interested in however you have to buy a ticket to visit all 3. Needless to say after spending $30 to visit 3 tiny rooms of this hospital we were all very disappointed and would not recommend this to anyone.
Written July 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CynthiafromOhio2011
Cleveland, OH337 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011
Worth visiting as part of Colonial Williamsburg; this relatively small museums vividly depicts the changes in the treatment of the mentally ill over time. Although judged by today's standards, the practices were barbaric; however, this was the best treatment available at the time.

Facinating exhibit; not large, but very worthwhile.
Written December 6, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WorldlyExplorer
2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This may have been a small exhibit, but its meaning to America is huge. This was a very great exhibit, DONT GET ME WRONG: IT WAS SAD, but still a wonderful museum. I recommend to read about each "artifact" because they are interesting. This exhibit includes:
The "cell" and chains the patients were put in, Electric chair, cages
they placed them in, instruments, MUCH MORE! Kind of freaky because of how they treated these patients, like they were in jail. Knowing that this building was burnted twice, it may be haunted, WHO KNOWS? Not scary, but mostly sad and sent shivers down my arm. ALSO, GO DOWN TO THE BASEMENT OF MUSEUM AND YOU WILL FIND A WONDERFUL ARTIFACTS MUSEUM. ***In all, the Hospital Museum AND Artifacts Museum took us about 1 hour, 45mins. GREAT EXPERIENCE!!
Written June 2, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

divermom3
Fox Chapel, PA245 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
This exhibit is just outside the main Colonial Williamsburg area. It haas two patient rooms, one as it would have appeared in the 1770s and one as it would have appeared in the 1800s after "moral treatment" had been introduced. There was another area which had a timeline for early psychiatric institutional treatment. You could see the chains of the 1770s, later straightjackets and a phrenology head. I purchased a small book which had more details about early psychiatric institutions.
Written December 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mepreckel
Safety Harbor, FL116 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
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.
Written October 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

0415_wanderlust
St. Johns, FL226 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
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, but it is the reality. The rest of the building holds some interesting bits of history and a cafe to take a break and enjoy a beverage.
Written August 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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