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.

DateNewspaperSummary of Article
1901Camarillo News

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

11-14-1930Camarillo News

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

1931Camarillo NewsLewis Ranch, one of the largest in Ventura County, is taken over by a bank.
8-1931Camarillo NewsInitial hospital site visit by legislative body in search of location for new mental hospital.
1-9-1933Oxnard Daily CourierState Department of Institutions looks at 3 sites in Ventura County for proposed $1.5 million State insane hospital.
1-23-1932Oxnard Daily CourierHospital Site Committee agrees on a list of 7 sites for new hospital, from an original list of 200+ sites.
4-30-1932Oxnard Daily CourierThe 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.
5-9-1932Oxnard Daily CourierPopulation 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.
6-9-1932Oxnard Daily CourierEscrow closes on State purchase of the Lewis property.
6-11-1932Oxnard Daily CourierArchitecture plan for new hospital to be in agreement with Southern California adaptation of Mediterranean styles of Spain and Italy.
6-21-1932Oxnard Daily CourierGasoline prices jump from 12 cents to 13 cents per gallon.
7-15-1932Oxnard Daily CourierConstruction on the new hospital is delayed as new plans are drawn; using plans from similar State structures is impractical.
8-24-1932Camarillo NewsThe Camarillo Chamber of Commerce asks the Board of Supervisors to improve road to new state mental hospital.
11-19-1932Camarillo NewsThe farmhouse on Lewis Ranch is to be reconditioned to house 50 patients.
11-25-1932Camarillo NewsThe 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.
3-22-1933Camarillo NewsThe first 10 male patients arrive, with 3 staff. All are housed in ranch house on the hospital site.
3-31-1933Camarillo News The population at the hospital is up to 41 patients, which is full capacity.
4-4-1933Camarillo NewsA State budget economy measure threatens construction of the new hospital.
5-5-1933Camarillo NewsThe State calls for construction bids—funds for construction are transferred from budgets for Norwalk and Patton hospitals to Camarillo.
5-9-1933Oxnard Daily CourierLocation is officially named "Camarillo State Hospital"—the new state hospital for "the feeble minded".
5-19-1933Camarillo News The site is chosen for the ground breaking ceremony.
6-3-1933Camarillo NewsContracts are awarded for first 2 units at CSH. The cost will be $93,170 to employ 320 men over 120 months.
6-23-1933Camarillo NewsThe project is increased to cover 5 units, instead of 2.
7-1933Camarillo News Construction begins on south side.
8-18-1933Camarillo NewsCSH has its groundbreaking ceremony. Governor James Rolph, Jr. lifts first spadeful of earth at ceremony. Adolfo Camarillo is one of the speakers.
9-15-1933Camarillo News CSH population is at 49.
10-27-1933Camarillo NewsBids requested for construction on Units 2, 3, and 4.
6-29-1934Camarillo NewsCSH 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.
8-2-1934Oxnard Daily CourierContracts forwarded to Public Works Administration in Washington, D.C.
8-22-1934Oxnard Daily Courier The work is expected to be completed by 9-1-1935.
11-23-1934Camarillo NewsA decision made to locate main entrance to hospital on Lewis Road—1200 feet southwest of the existing main office of hospital.
4-3-1936Camarillo NewsDr. Thomas W. Haggerty is appointed Director of CSH.
5-5-1936Camarillo News

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

1-18-1937Camarillo NewsFirst women patients (300) arrive.
3-1937Camarillo NewsEntrance salary for farm hands at CSH is $50/mo.
4-1937Camarillo NewsCSH is at capacity with 1119 patients and 120 staff.
8-10-1937Camarillo NewsCSH softball team beats Conejo, 5-4.
9-23-1937Camarillo NewsCSH population reaches over 1500.
10-1-1937Camarillo NewsHospital attendant wages are $85/mo.
11-25-1937Camarillo News1400 pounds of turkey is served at CSH Thanksgiving dinner.
1-1937Camarillo NewsThere 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.
1-21-1938Camarillo NewsConstruction begins on new attendants' quarters.
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