The above picture shows the fascinating Kirkbride style
of Danvers State Hospital on top of Hathorne Hill in Danvers Mass. This
hospital is no longer operating but most of the buildings remain. The
view was taken in the last few years and accurately depicts what the
of the hill looks like today.
For building identification please follow this link. (Courtesy DSIA)
The above picture was provided by DSIA. John has put together an excellent website that documents the hospital. I found his website particularly helpful in preparing for my trip up to the top of the hill on 7/22/03. I recommend that you check out his site, get some background information, then come back and view my pictures.
Congratulations to John of DSIA and co-author Mark on their new book called Abandoned Asylums of New England. This book is a joint venture between the two, I just picked up my copy and it's very well done. Lots of interesting pictures. Click here for more info.
1893 topo map showing the Essex Railroad in Danvers, note the Asylum Station as well as the outline of the Kirkbride style building on top of the hill. Also note the size of the building. It really is BIG. The Essex Railroad ran from Salem Mass to Lawrence Mass, most of the right of way is still intact. The section from Salem to Peabody is still in use.
Former Asylum Station, later renamed Hathorne on the Essex RR
near the entrance to the Danvers State Hospital.
Photo courtesy of Buddy Winiarz.
I will be dividing this section on Danvers State Hospital into three main parts. The parts will be upper grounds, pictures taken from the top of the hill, the lower grounds, which are pictures taken of the buildings that remain near the entrance which is off of 62 in Danvers, and the third section will be pictures that have been taken from a distance with a zoom lens. A final section will be a list of links to other sites about Danvers State Hospital. The pictures will be in gallery format with the largest possible thumbnails. Please note that all thumbnails are clickable, if you click on them, you will then see the original picture in high resolution. Because these buildings are so interesting and the fact that detail is important I am going to be using very little compression.
For best results viewing the picture galleries, set your screen resolution to at least 1024*768 and as many colors as your video card will support. If you are using Internet Explorer, use the F11 key to toggle into full screen mode. The pictures in the gallery are 800*600 and with the settings I suggest the whole picture will fit on the screen along with any descriptions and the navigation buttons.
Please note that the Danvers State Hospital upper grounds are
those over 18 years or older twice a month. The second and fourth
You need to call DCAM and get on the list. The number is 508-792-7453.
You can walk the grounds between ten and noon. You can not go into any
of the buildings and there are some areas of the grounds that are off
Fortunately you can go just about anywhere you need to to get good
Although I have enjoyed going up during the DCAM visiting times, some of my favorite pictures are those that I took with the zoom lens from a distance. There are places off of DSH property but within view of the top of the hill that are great for taking pictures.
The primary purpose of my website is railroad archaeology, but
also becoming interested in industrial archaeology as well. DSH is a
place and unfortunately it is not long for this world which is why it
captured my interest.. I will be taking as many exterior shots as I
I plan on visiting and getting pictures during the fall, winter and
Here are my picture galleries.
Click here for pictures of the main buildings at the top of the hill
Here are another set of pictures of the top of the hill, these were taken on 9/9/03
Click here for pictures of the lower grounds.
Danvers State Hospital from a Distance
Danvers State Hospital from a Distance 11/26/04 (New Added 12/16/04)
DSH pictures for the new year. This gallery was taken on Jan 2, 2005
New Gallery 2-1-2006
Destruction of the Bonner Medical Building 2-17-06
More destruction 2-24-06
3-2-06 Farm Hall Destroyed
3-4-06 General Weekly Update 60 new pictures or so.
3-10-06 Grove Hall Under Attack.
3-11-06 Weekly DSH Report
3-19-06 DSH Report Grove Hall unchanged since last week, Gables still there.
3-26-06, a late update, posted on 4-6-06. Gables still standing, no major destruction since last update although roof damage being done, turrets removed, slate removed from roofs as well.
4-7-06 DSH update. Grove Hall has boards taken off windows and some windows are open.
4-15-06 DSH Update, Lighting the place up like a Christmas tree at night.
4-15-06 Some more nighttime pics taken tonite.
4-19-06 Gables Destroyed
Update. According to
souces in the know, the addition behind the Admin building has been
In fact, all that remains to tear down up on the hill are the operating
room, ward c, and the female tubercular home. On the lower level, Grove
Hall still stands as does the old laundry building.
5-5 Update, not much change from last week.
5-14-06 Grove Hall destroyed. State of Emergency in Eastern Ma because of heavy rains for the last week it seems and more rain on the way. The fields in the lower grounds are totally flooded. It was raining pretty hard when I got down to DSH, you'll be able to tell when you look at the pics. Enjoy.
Slate removed from
C ward roof. Roof removed from D ward. Operating room and female
Just across the
line in Middleton is
"Middleton Colony" at one time a part of DSH. Here are some pictures of
Middleton Colony and what it looks like today. It is today called NFI
is in use for troubled youth I believe. I didn't take pictures of the
used buildin. There are still several unused former Middleton Colony
that I did take pictures of.
Danvers State Hospital Links
Back to Main Page
It's definately winter here in Mass. I took this picture today on 1-9-05. Neat looking path going up the hill to the back of the hospital. No one has been up since the snowstorm. The path was used to connect the facilities on the hill with the lower grounds. This path leads to Grove Hall.
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Part of a 1944 topo showing DSH. Note the absence of the Bonner Medical Building
Part of a 1949 topo showing DSH, note the road going from route 1 up the hill by the Gray Gables. Still no Bonner building. That's didn't come along until the 50's.
Current Topo showing all fo the buildings at the top of the hill. Note the absense of the road coming up from route 1. The Bonner, both chapels, Female Nurses Home, Female TB home, the Gables, Male Nurses home, they're all on there.
Recent Aerial Photo of the top of Hathorne Hill showing Danvers State Hospital.
Zoomed out aerial photo of DSH.
Current map showing the roads around DSH