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Newspaper Chronology of Camarillo State Hospital History

This table highlights historical events related to Camarillo State Hospital.  Summaries are from articles published in Camarillo News and Oxnard Daily Courier.  Full newspapers and articles can be found at the Oxnard Public Library.



Summary of Article

1901 Camarillo News

Joseph Lewis, Sr. forms agriculture partnership with Adolfo Camarillo.

11-14-1930 Camarillo News

State purchases option on 120 acres of the 8,600 acre Lewis Ranch.

1931 Camarillo News Lewis Ranch, one of the largest in Ventura County, is taken over by a bank.
8-1931 Camarillo News Initial hospital site visit by legislative body in search of location for new mental hospital.
1-9-1933 Oxnard Daily Courier State Department of Institutions looks at 3 sites in Ventura County for proposed $1.5 million State insane hospital.
1-23-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier Hospital Site Committee agrees on a list of 7 sites for new hospital, from an original list of 200+ sites.
4-30-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier The old Lewis Ranch near Camarillo is selected as the site for the new mental hospital.  The purchase price for the 1512 acre site is $415,000.  The projected cost of initial units totals $1 million.  The first units will house 3000 patients and cover 150-200 acres.  It is expected to be largest state hospital in California, with over 7000 patents.  The ultimate cost of the 10 year project is expected to be $7 million.
5-9-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier Population of 16,650 in six state institutions - the largest population in state history.  CSH to help with the overpopulation by housing 1000 patients at its opening.
6-9-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier Escrow closes on State purchase of the Lewis property.
6-11-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier Architecture plan for new hospital to be in agreement with Southern California adaptation of Mediterranean styles of Spain and Italy.
6-21-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier Gasoline prices jump from 12 cents to 13 cents per gallon.
7-15-1932 Oxnard Daily Courier Construction on the new hospital is delayed as new plans are drawn; using plans from similar State structures is impractical.
8-24-1932 Camarillo News The Camarillo Chamber of Commerce asks the Board of Supervisors to improve road to new state mental hospital.
11-19-1932 Camarillo News The farmhouse on Lewis Ranch is to be reconditioned to house 50 patients.
11-25-1932 Camarillo News The master plan is released to public for first unit of new state hospital.  The cost of initial buildings is $700,000; the remainder of $1 million for furnishings, equipment, landscaping, etc.  The plan includes housing for all employees.
3-22-1933 Camarillo News The first 10 male patients arrive, with 3 staff.  All are housed in ranch house on the hospital site.
3-31-1933 Camarillo News  The population at the hospital is up to 41 patients, which is full capacity.
4-4-1933 Camarillo News A State budget economy measure threatens construction of the new hospital.
5-5-1933 Camarillo News The State calls for construction bids—funds for construction are transferred from budgets for Norwalk and Patton hospitals to Camarillo.
5-9-1933 Oxnard Daily Courier Location is officially named "Camarillo State Hospital"—the new state hospital for "the feeble minded".
5-19-1933 Camarillo News  The site is chosen for the ground breaking ceremony.
6-3-1933 Camarillo News Contracts are awarded for first 2 units at CSH.  The cost will be $93,170 to employ 320 men over 120 months.
6-23-1933 Camarillo News The project is increased to cover 5 units, instead of 2.
7-1933 Camarillo News  Construction begins on south side.
8-18-1933 Camarillo News CSH has its groundbreaking ceremony.  Governor James Rolph, Jr. lifts first spadeful of earth at ceremony.  Adolfo Camarillo is one of the speakers.
9-15-1933 Camarillo News  CSH population is at 49.
10-27-1933 Camarillo News Bids requested for construction on Units 2, 3, and 4.
6-29-1934 Camarillo News CSH population consists of 107 male patients.  All are employed for 8 hours per day on the farm and dairy, where they grow vegetables and milk 60 gallons per day from 11 cows.
8-2-1934 Oxnard Daily Courier Contracts forwarded to Public Works Administration in Washington, D.C.
8-22-1934 Oxnard Daily Courier  The work is expected to be completed by 9-1-1935.
11-23-1934 Camarillo News A decision made to locate main entrance to hospital on Lewis Road—1200 feet southwest of the existing main office of hospital.
4-3-1936 Camarillo News Dr. Thomas W. Haggerty is appointed Director of CSH.
5-5-1936 Camarillo News

CSH opens—largest institution of its kind, west of Mississippi. (Opening ceremony under Governor Frank Merriam occured on October 12, 1936.)

1-18-1937 Camarillo News First women patients (300) arrive.
3-1937 Camarillo News Entrance salary for farm hands at CSH is $50/mo.
4-1937 Camarillo News CSH is at capacity with 1119 patients and 120 staff.
8-10-1937 Camarillo News CSH softball team beats Conejo, 5-4.
9-23-1937 Camarillo News CSH population reaches over 1500.
10-1-1937 Camarillo News Hospital attendant wages are $85/mo.
11-25-1937 Camarillo News 1400 pounds of turkey is served at CSH Thanksgiving dinner.
1-1937 Camarillo News There are 20,417 patients in California state hospitals, with capacity for 15,460.  The CSH 1938 building program to add 1700 additional beds will ease overcrowding.
1-21-1938 Camarillo News Construction begins on new attendants' quarters.