Camarillo State Hospital Images


View full record for Dedication Ceremony

In 1929, the California legislature appropriated $1,000,000 for the purchase of land and buildings to be utilized for a state psychiatric hospital in Ventura County, CA . Three years later, 1500 acres of Lewis Ranch located within the City of Camarillo were acquired for $415,000. The groundbreaking ceremony for Camarillo State Hospital took place on August 15, 1933; the hospital project was a direct result of an agreement between the Public Works Administration and the State of California. The official opening of its first three buildings was held three years later in 1936, when approximately 300 patients entered the grounds. The total amount of the construction cost was approximately $10,000,000 and at completion, “CAM” was the largest mental hospital in the world. The digital contents of this collection are photographs and documents depicting the life of the hospital to its closure in 1996. A finding guide of all materials including documents and artifacts can be found using the One Search feature, located on the library's main page or at University Archives. PLEASE NOTE THAT unfortunately, we do not have patient records here at the university. They were either forwarded on with the patient, if they transferred to another facility or went to the Department of Developmental Services in Sacramento, which oversaw the hospital, when it closed. You might be able to obtain them by contacting DDS, especially if you are a close relative. That web address is: https://www.dds.ca.gov/general/contact-us/ The contact information is: Department of Developmental Services, Office of Legal Affairs, 1600 9th Street, Room 240 (MS 2-14), Sacramento, CA 95814, Telephone: (916) 654-3405.

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