Weston State Hospital*

Imagine constructing a building with 9 acres of floorspace and a clock tower two hundred feet tall. With 921 windows, 906 doors, and 1,295 feet long. Imagine building this structure that is covered with three and a half acres of slate roof, uses fifteen miles of steam pipe, and twenty miles of telephone wire. Now imagine it is 1858 and you must build this new hospital from the ground without power tools, without machines, and without modern technology. All you have is man power, rock from the area, wagons to haul it, and strong determination.

For the men who built the Weston State Hospital in the 1800s, this was no thought of imagination. It was reality. Over the course of about twenty-four years, hundereds of men from around the area and from other comuntries worked together to accomplish the task of a lifetime: building a mental hospital in the heart of Virginia (what is now West Virginia) with stones they cut themselves. Today this historical masterpiece still stands distinctly agianst the blue sky in the middle of Appalachian country. Although the hospital was shut down over a decade ago, the Weston State Hospital, fondly called the "Grand Old Dame" is still an important part of the community of Weston and West Virginia.

Comments can be sent to: GrandOldDame@Briesmoore.com .

*In September 2007, the Weston State Hospital was renamed the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.