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. Additional materials including documents, artifacts, and additional photographs are located in the University Archives.

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