Essex County Lunatic Asylum

116 Fairmount Ave.


Moved to South Orange Avenue and was renamed the Essex County Hospital for the Insane.

Land and Buildings became Newark City Hospital (their first building) when the hospital was moved to South Orange Avenue

From History of Essex and Hudson Counties 1884

The new asylum or retreat for the insane in Newark is a model institution, which takes the place of the old one that had become inadequate for the purpose designed. The old asylum was built by the county in 1872 upon a plot of ground purchased by the city authorities for hospital purposes. From time to time additions had been made in accordance with the increased demand for accommodations, and at length it became obvious that the best policy was to build a new structure so commodious as not only to serve present necessity, but to anticipate the demands of the future.

From "Newark and Its Leading Businessmen" 1891

The County Lunatic Asylum is an institution of which the people of Essex County are especially proud.  It was started some seventeen or eighteen years ago in a small frame building on Camden Street, on a lot which was owned by the City of Newark, and which had been purchased by the city for hospital purposes.  The building was erected on what was known as the pavilion plan and was placed in charge of Major John Leonard as warden and Dr. J. A. Cross at physician.  The asylum had its origin in the dissatisfaction which the members of the Board of Freeholders felt at the treatment the patients of Essex County were receiving at the State Lunatic Asylums at Trenton and Morris Plains.  The county asylum proved itself a success from the outset and grew continually.  New Buildings were added at frequent intervals, until the asylum occupied an immense series of buildings.  There, however were buy miserable frame structures, totally unsuited to the needs of a great institution such as the Essex County asylum had grown to be, and several years ago the Board of Freeholders purchased a large tract of land on South Orange Avenue, near the city line, and began the erection thereon of an imposing and substantial brick structure, four stories high.