The South Carolina State Hospital: Stories from Bull Street

The South Carolina State Hospital: Stories from Bull Street

by William Buchheit


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Nearly two decades after it closed, the South Carolina State Hospital continues to hold a palpable mystique in Columbia and throughout the state.

Founded in 1821 as the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, it housed, fed and treated thousands of patients incapable of surviving on their own. The patient population in 1961 eclipsed 6,600, well above its listed capacity of 4,823, despite an operating budget that ranked forty-fifth out of the forty-eight states. By the mid-1990s, the patient population had fallen under 700, and the hospital had become a symbol of captivity, horror and chaos. Author William Buchheit details this history through the words and interviews of those who worked on the iconic campus.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467144728
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 01/13/2020
Series: Landmarks
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 105,338
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

For nearly two decades now, William Buchheit has worked as a journalist in Upstate South Carolina. He has won dozens of South Carolina Press Association Awards and was named 2011 "Reporter of the Year" by South Carolina's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In recent years, he has become a part-time college English instructor and acclaimed wildlife photographer whose photos of the great white shark have been published by National Geographic and the Smithsonian. This is his first book. He lives in Greer, South Carolina.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

1 The Hospital Historian 17

2 A Marriage Made on Bull Street 23

3 Her Summer of Discontent 29

4 A Pastor to the Patients 35

5 Horror, Humor and Healing 42

6 The Halt Children 48

7 Destiny on a High School Field Trip 56

8 The Public Safety Officers 60

9 Two Stints at Bull Street 68

10 McMaster Brought Progress and Change to the Hospital 75

11 Four Decades in the Trenches 101

12 A Social Worker Remembers the Late 1970s 107

13 The Rare Volunteer 114

14 A Patient's Battle Back from the Brink 118

15 Drive Toward Deinstitutionalization 124

16 The Whistleblower 128

17 The Activity Therapist 132

18 A Rookie Nurse in Byrnes 139

19 Her Favorite Job 143

20 A Teen on Bull Street 148

Notes 153

Index 157

About the Author 160

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