Camarillo State Hospital Documents and Oral Histories


At the turn of the century, Joseph P. Lewis, known for establishing lima beans and walnuts in California, entered into a business partnership with Adolfo Camarillo. In 1932, 1648 acres of that agricultural land were purchased by the State of California and a year later, 10 patients and 3 employees came to Camarillo State Hospital to be housed in the former Lewis ranch house. The first portion of the male custodian unit was ready for the occupation of 900 patients in the summer of 1936 and a formal dedication of the hospital was held in October of that year. The hospital population reached its peak in 1955, with over 7,000 patients. This collection contains documents and oral histories related to the opening, operation, and closing of Camarillo State Hospital. Additional materials are located in the University Archives. Notation: Transcription of recordings is on-going and will be posted upon completion.

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