articles about the project



UNMARKED—Controversy comes to life in cemeteries at The Ridges September 6, 2013—For one Fairfield County woman, death came two weeks too soon, leaving her tombstone engraved with a number, not a name. . . Read more



Old Lunatic Asylums Hold Buried Treasure for GenealogistsRead more


Remembering the forgotten April 21, 2013—Maud King passed away at the Athens Lunatic Asylum in 1900, but it was not until Saturday — 113 years later — that she was given a proper burial. . . Read more


Black History lies hidden beneath rolling hills of Ohio college town March 6, 2012—Of the 1,932 patients buried in cemeteries of the Athens State Hospital situated near Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, 110 confirmed African Americans are known to lie beneath gravestones identified only by a number. . . Read more  


Anonymous veterans to be honored by name and rank for the first time November 8, 2011—Forty-three veterans will be honored for the first time in over 100 years by name and rank in this year’s annual Veterans Day ceremony organized by the Friends of Athens Asylum Cemeteries at The Ridges Cemetery #1 in Athens, Ohio. . . Read more


Ridges’ graves exchange numbers for names November 4, 2011—When the Athens Mental Health Center opened its doors Jan. 9, 1874, it was ill-prepared for patients who died during their stays. . .Read more


Numbered graves in institution's cemeteries to receive identities September 16, 2011—Anonymous graves of patients who died at The Ridges in Athens, Ohio, when it was operated as a psychiatric hospital, will soon have additional new gravestones marking their names, birth dates, and dates of death. . . Read more


Vets’ graves at Ridges recognized November 18, 2010—For the first time, 80 deceased veterans, past patients of the former Athens Lunatics Asylum, were recognized during a Veterans Day ceremony at The Ridges last Thursday. . . Read more


Ridges tombstones become point of contention
June 3, 2010—There appears to be a conflict brewing between two area groups over their incompatible plans for the cemeteries on Ohio University's Ridges property. . . Read more



Other Asylums in the news

Oregon mental hospital to honor 'forgotten souls' July 6, 2014—They were dubbed the "forgotten souls" — the cremated remains of thousands of people who came through the doors of Oregon's state mental hospital, died there and whose ashes were abandoned inside 3,500 copper urns.For one Fairfield County woman, death came two weeks too soon, leaving her tombstone engraved with a number, not a name. . . Read more


Identities of unnamed dead at Huronia Regional Centre emerge September 24, 2013—Who was Child 1751? The Star found two children in a document obtained through a freedom of information request. Thanks to bureaucratic bungling, it’s not clear which one is buried in grave 1751. . .Read more


Post-mortems in the asylum: What were they for? June 10, 2013—Last month, the Idaho State Journal reported that 120 headstones had been placed on the graves of former patients at State Hospital South (previously Idaho Insane Asylum). The new markers were unveiled as just one stage in an ongoing project of placing headstones on over 1,000 unmarked graves in the area. . . Read more


American "Insane Asylum" History: Giving Names To Numbered Graves August 15, 2004—A nationwide movement to put names on the numbered gravestones in cemeteries at America's mental hospitals and abandoned "insane asylums" is underway. "It has been said that no families have come forward to claim their relatives (buried here)...WE are their family." . . .Read more