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from the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center Photo Gallery

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Inside Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center in Brentwood. Pilgrim State Hospital was created by the Legislature in 1929 and named for Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, Commissioner of Mental Health in the early 1900s. The hospital officially opened for the care and treatment of patients on 825 acres with 100 patients transferred from Central Islip State Hospital on October 1, 1931. Nine months later, 2,018 patients were hospitalized at Pilgrim. The census rose to its peak in 1954, with 13,875 patients. Pilgrim was the largest facility of its kind in the world when it was built. The hospital community was independent in that it had its own water works, electric light plant, heating plant, sewage system, fire department, police department, courts, church, post office, cemetery, laundry, store, amusement hall, athletic fields, greenhouses, and farm. Copyright John Leita, LI Oddities.com