So, Nancy is here for a few days, I took a couple days off from work to hang out with her. The last time she was here I took her the Krishna compound, the Indian burial ground, the Moundsville prison. This time around I decided we do the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum which is located in Weston WV. That's about 65 miles from here, but it's mainly highway travel at 75 mph so it's really not that far. We went out to breakfast first on the way. I decided to play it safe at Cracker Barrel as I'm not too familar with the area down there so I didn't know where we could eat. We got there a little early and walked around the little town, there were some antique stores and stuff to look at . I've been to the asylum before with my sister and her wife, so I knew it would be a fun trip for Nancy.
We decided to do the Four Floor Tour combined with the Criminally Insane Tour (NEW) - if you did the two together it was $40 a head. If you think that's pricey please keep in mind the two combined are almost 3 hours of guided tour and that does not include the time you can spend in the museum after or wandering around the premises. The staff is all dressed in nursng uniforms, the girls are wearing the white dresses and the nurse's caps, the boys in pants and suspenders. Our group was fairly large but the guide did a great job. I love that they stop many times and allow you to explore and take pictures before moving on. I've been on tours that you feel like you're being herded from Point A to Point B as fast as they can push you through. So we took pictures and peered in doorways, out windows, around corners and down stairways. The tours include the history of West Virginia, the civil war, architecture and medical procedures. It was a bit warm but not too bad as these old buildings are well constructed with soaring ceilings and rows of windows.
It's amazing that it has only been closed since the mid-nineties, they were admitting new patients as late as 1992. They've added a new tour - The Criminally Insane tour in the building that was not open the last time I was there. It's a separate building that only housed criminals that were deemed insane - what a rough place! So, it was a pretty full afternoon, the two tours took close to 3 hours, then after you can tour the museum on your own. We did the patient art,but they've added quite a bit more. If you enjoy this sort of stuff, you'll love this. We drove straight home - we were both a bit foot sore by then and ready to go home for coffee. I was really glad we went and I know Nancy enjoyed it.