1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 and Beyond

The 1880s

On March 1, 1881, at a home in Amityville, Long Island, New York, a group of men met to discuss plans to form The Long Island Home Hotel for Nervous Invalids. Among the original founders were David S. S. Sammis, Adolphus G. Bailey, Townsend Cox, William Blake, Stephen R. Williams, Prince H. Foster, and Daniel J. Runyon. On April 12, 1881, these Trustees met at the Grand Union Hotel in New York City and agreed to purchase 14 acres of land in Amityville “for the purpose of constructing an institution.” The 14 acres were purchased for $4,200.

According to the meeting’s minutes, Amityville was chosen because of its proximity to the nearby Village of Babylon where several of the Trustees were established, and because of the “healthful nature of the vicinity with its cooling ocean breezes and beautiful countryside.” From the same report it was noted that “each trustee be required to plant a tree in such locality as shall be designated by the Building Committee.” Many of these trees still exist on the beautiful wooded campus of The Long Island Home.

In January 1882, The Long Island Home Hotel for Nervous Invalids opened and the first patient was admitted on January 26th. The Main Building was an impressive structure with lavishly appointed parlors, bedrooms, dining rooms, and sun porches. The building had decorative cupolas that afforded “a magnificent view” according to The Southside Signal in August 1882.

As the Home’s reputation grew, a large number of patients arrived by train at the Amityville station. A carriage drawn by two black horses, driven by a top-hatted coachman met the 12:30pm and 2:11pm trains each day. The Commissioners from the State Commission in Lunacy traveled regularly from Albany to inspect the hospital.

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Other Notable Events

The Long Island Home as (The Long Island Home Hotel for Nervous Invalids) is founded.

Sigmund Freud graduates from Medical School; James A Garfield is assassinated; Clara Barton founds American Red Cross.

John L. Sullivan wins bare-knuckle boxing championship; Jesse James is killed; Brooklyn Bridge opens; Postage stamps 2 cents; Geronimo surrenders.

Blizzard hits New York, creating 30 foot drifts.

The 1890s

In 1892, Dr. O. J. Wilsey became the physician-in-charge. Much of the history of The Long Island Home was documented due to a July 7, 1892 edict from the State Commission in Lunacy stating, “Each institution should provide and use a letter copying book in which all official letters sent out from the institution should be legibly copied.” In 1894, Dr. Wilsey’s emphasis on “keeping up with the times” resulted in the construction of a separate cottage built to accommodate seven patients. The Villa was opened in 1895 and was later renamed Sammis Cottage, after one of the founders. This same cottage was later renamed Hope House.

Employees of The Long Island Home actually became part of a “family” as most lived in quarters on the grounds. In addition to monthly wages ranging from $14-$30, employees also received room and board, as well as laundry privileges.

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Other Notable Events

Thomas A. Edison granted patent for motion picture camera.

Klondike stampede begins as thousands rush to find gold in Yukon.

First U.S. subway system opens in Boston.

Nassau County is created out of eastern Queens County.

The average American worker earns 22 cents per hour.

The 1900s

In 1900, another cottage was built and named Stanton Cottage. It would later become Sage House. The cottage was built for one patient. At this time, the rate for patients, both in the Main Building and in the cottages, was $10 per week. Progress at The Long Island Home continued and in 1903, 30 acres of land west of the Main Building, consisting of a cedar grove with a brook running on the north and west boundaries, was purchased.

The Long Island Home, as was typical of comparable institutions of that era, raised crops through the summer months. Cows provided milk and butter, chickens provided eggs, and sheep, hogs, and pigs supplied fresh meat. In addition, wild geese, pheasants, and ducks thrived on the wooded acres. In 1909, a three-story brick cottage with graceful, tall columns opened “for women only” and was named Norton Cottage after Board Member, Washington F. Norton.

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Other Notable Events

Theodore Roosevelt becomes 26th President, and Sagamore Hill on Long Island becomes Summer White House.

Wright Brothers fly at Kitty Hawk.

San Francisco earthquake and fire kills 700 and destroys most of the city.

Henry Ford introduces Model T “No Frills Car”, costs $850.

The 1910s

Care and treatment of the mentally ill during this time consisted largely of rest, relaxation, fresh air, good food, and pleasant activities. Activities included dances, socials, tennis on the grass courts, sailing, bicycling, and duck hunting. In 1912, The Long Island Home purchased property near the Main Building, which included a large home, two barns, and several outbuildings.

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Other Notable Events

Titanic sinks, more than 1,500 die; New Mexico and Arizona become states.

Death certificates come into general use.

The 1920s

Searle Cottage (named for Board Member, Charles Searle) was opened for male patients in 1922 and two wings were added to Stanton Cottage.

The Great Depression and Prohibition affected The Long Island Home as they did the entire nation. As for Prohibition, The Long Island Home was granted a special permit for “intoxicating liquors” to be used in treatment of recognized disorders. On Thanksgiving Day 1926, after serving 34 years as the head of a growing institution, Dr. O. J. Wilsey died at the age of 72.

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Other Notable Events

Prohibition goes into effect; Life expectancy of the average American is 54 years; The 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.

Charles Lindbergh makes first solo nonstop flight from New York (Roosevelt Field on Long Island) to Paris.

Mickey Mouse becomes overnight star.

Stock market crashes in October; Alfred Adler’s “Problems of Neurosis” expands on his theory of “inferiority complex”.

The 1930s

The Long Island Home was able to survive the Great Depression through careful financial management. Sunrise Highway, a major thoroughfare, was built in 1931. New York State assumed seven acres of land belonging to the hospital and cut down 381 trees to accommodate the new roadway. The following year The Long Island Home constructed an underpass beneath Sunrise Highway so that patients, employees, and visitors could walk from one side of the property to the other without having to cross the busy highway. That underpass is still on the grounds of The Long Island Home today. In 1938, iceboxes in all the buildings were replaced with brand new Frigidaire Machines.

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Other Notable Events

Grumman Corporation starts in a rented garage on Long Island.

Empire State Building completed; Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly the Atlantic solo; Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes 32nd President.

Prohibition ends.

Mae West earns second largest salary; William Randolph Hearst earns largest salary; Alcoholics Anonymous founded.

The 1940s

In the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the fear of the bombing of U.S. cities was a real. Fourteen employees of The Long Island Home volunteered to serve as air raid wardens and until the end of the war rotating shifts of employees kept watch at the hospital around the clock. Despite the grimness of the war years, employees continued their tradition of socializing with one another as a “family.”

As the hospital’s reputation continued to grow, the number of patients admitted each year steadily increased. To meet the needs of expanding patient census and staff, planning began for a new Administration Building. In 1948, Griffing Hall (named for Board Member, Robert P. Griffing) was erected with offices for administration, doctors, social services, admissions and medical records.

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Other Notable Events

Newsday publishes first issue.

Penicillin goes into widespread production; Japanese attack Pearl Harbor; U.S. enters World War II.

Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is a hit.

Jitterbug is dance of year; Franklin D. Roosevelt dies.

World War II ends.

Passage of National Mental Health Act.

Television sets go on market.

Cortisone discovered; Lithium first used in treatment of psychiatric illness.

The 1950s

With the introduction of psychotherapeutic drugs in the early 1950s, psychiatry entered a new phase. With appropriate drugs, symptoms that did not readily respond to other measures could be controlled. The ability of these drugs to reduce psychomotor anxiety and excitement, to inhibit thought disorder, to improve attention span, and to increase spontaneous activities was and continues to be a major breakthrough. During this decade of major change in the treatment of mental illness, the hospital was also changing rapidly. The Long Island Home made the transition from a long-stay sanitarium to a progressive psychiatric hospital. At that time, the name of The Long Island Home was no longer fitting and South Oaks Hospital was born.

In 1952, the Board of Directors, recognizing the need in the community for a facility for non-psychiatric patients, decided to convert Searle Cottage into a nursing home. This facility was renamed Broadlawn Manor Nursing Home and it was years ahead of its time. The same year, a restaurant, The Hospitality Shoppe, opened in the Main Building. The Hospitality Shoppe was intended to be used by friends and relatives of patients and staff, but was also open to the public. It soon became a favorite restaurant for people in the community. The menu included Broiled Lobster and fries for $3 and Prime Ribs of Beef with Whipped Potatoes for $1.50.

In 1957, South Oaks Hospital celebrated its 75th Anniversary and an annual report prepared for the anniversary stated, “the emphasis remains on the quality of psychiatric care. The goal being the return of the patient to his home as quickly as possible.” At the end of this decade, South Oaks was established “to take part in a program of community mental health and hygiene for social betterment and to voluntarily aid and assist work for the treatment of mental or nervous ailments and disorders.” For many years, the sponsored educational programs at the hospital. As of result of these community outreach programs, many books and papers have been published.

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Other Notable Events

The Korean War begins.

Tranquilizing drug, Reserpine, introduced.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals founded.

U.S. Supreme Court rules against segregation.

First U.S. earth satellite, Explorer, launched from Cape Canaveral.

Hawaii becomes 50th State.

The 1960s

During the 1960s, construction began on a new modern facility to replace Greenwood Hall. On May 7, 1966, the new building, Valentine Hall (named for then Board President, Alfred Valentine) was dedicated. During this time, there was a growing worldwide interest in the potential use of LSD for the treatment of mental illnesses and addictions. Consequently, in 1965, South Oaks Foundation sponsored an International Conference on LSD and Psychotherapy, which was attended by more than 300 psychiatrists from the United States, Canada, and Europe. The hospital also helped the local community to organize and fund a low-cost, nonprofit community mental health clinic. Since that time Sunrise Clinic has continued to help thousands of Long Island’s residents.

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Other Notable Events

John F. Kennedy elected 35th President.

Civil rights march to nation’s capital led by Martin Luther King Jr.; Community Mental Health Center Act passed; President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas.

Medicare program inaugurated.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinated.

Neil Armstrong takes “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The 1970s

In July 1970, South Oaks established Hope House, a specialized inpatient unit for young men and women who were addicted to drugs. In 1971, new programs and services followed in quick succession. The first was the opening of Bailey House, an alcoholism detoxification unit that followed the precepts of Alcoholics Anonymous. In March 1971, recognizing the special needs of adolescents with emotional problems, the hospital opened an Adolescent Pavilion for young people between the ages of 13 and 20. Knowing that education was an essential part of active therapy; classes and one-to-one tutoring were held five days per week. In addition, South Oaks was approved by the State Education Department as a testing center for the High School Equivalency Examination. The All Faiths Chapel-Auditorium was completed in 1971 as part of a two-level building that also housed the boiler plant and a fully equipped laundry.

As South Oaks entered its tenth decade, the construction programs continued and both inpatient and community outreach programs were expanded to meet the changing needs of society. In 1972, South Oaks set up a Training Program for Alcoholism Counseling. The training program, one of only a few in the country, graduated many trained counselors. The Institute of Alcohol Studies at South Oaks was formed in 1972 and was chartered by the Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department. During this decade, demographic studies showed the “graying of America.” Subsequently, in 1973 construction began on a new 200-bed facility on the grounds and in March 1974, the new Broadlawn Manor Nursing Home and Health Related Facility opened.

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Other Notable Events

Student uprisings against Vietnam War accelerate.

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns; Last U.S. soldiers leave Vietnam.

Nixon resigns amidst Watergate scandal.

United States celebrates Bicentennial.

The 1980s

In June 1980, the same year that Hope House celebrated its tenth anniversary, South Oaks established Sage House, a rehabilitative program for young men aged 13 to 20 who had a history of abusing more than one drug, in combination with alcohol. Sage House, like Hope House, was a separate cottage which combined the therapeutic community environment with the complete treatment facilities of the hospital.

In 1981, South Oaks conducted an extensive study and three-part program on compulsive gambling. With the advent of this program, South Oaks became one of the first hospitals in the country to offer services for compulsive gamblers and their families. A key feature of this program was South Oaks Gambling Screening (SOGS), a valuable tool for the detection of compulsive gambling problems. Developed by South Oaks staff members, SOGS is copyrighted and has been translated into several foreign languages. This effective diagnostic tool is still made available to other healthcare institutions throughout the world at no charge.

During the 1980s, Broadlawn Manor increased its capacity to 320 beds and developed specialized units encompassing the earliest units to provide care for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s related dementias.

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Other Notable Events

Fifty-three Americans taken hostage in Iran.

Ronald Regan becomes 40th President; Iran hostages released.

The 1990s

In the 1990s case management and the managed care industry were new entries onto the healthcare industry. On October 1, 1990, the name of the nursing home was changed to Broadlawn Manor Nursing Care Center. This was in accordance with the new federal regulation, which identified classifications of “Health Related Facility”, and “Skilled Nursing Facility” would no longer apply. In the 1990s, The Long Island Home responded to the growing need for data collection by installing a highly integrated information management system. In 1995, Broadlawn Manor opened its medical model and social model daycare programs to support the frail and elderly during the day while allowing them to remain active in the community. In July 1999, The Long Island Home, LTD was sold by founding families and became The Long Island Home, a 501 (c-3) not-for-profit organization co-sponsored by Winthrop/South Nassau Healthcare System and Catholic Health Services doing business as WSNCHS East, Inc.  The not-for-profit status of The Long Island Home afforded diverse opportunities to partner with sponsoring organizations and underscore our community outreach.

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Other Notable Events

Terry Anderson, Last US Hostage in Lebanon is released

Hurricane Andrews devastates Florida and Louisiana

Clinton becomes 42nd President

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are arrested for Oklahoma bombing.

Princess Di and boyfriend, Dodi Fayed die in car crash

2000 and Beyond

In November 2004, The Long Island Home refinanced its debt, WSNCHS withdrew as sponsors and The Long Island Home became an autonomous entity. In 2005, new board members were selected and a stable platform for continued growth and quality care was constructed. During the summer of 2005, the Vocational and Educational Services and Outpatient Chemical Dependency Program relocated to Carone Hall. September 2005 represented the 10th Anniversary of Broadlawn Manor’s Adult Day Health Center. In 2006, Health Partners of New York launched the Managed Long Term Care Plan in Suffolk County and Jennings Assisted Living closed.  

The Long Island Home has been a pioneer in the treatment of mental illnesses and addictions. Broadlawn Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center continues to be a forerunner in geriatric services. The Long Island Home is proud of its history and takes pride in upholding the long tradition of achievement and its leadership role in the healthcare industry.

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