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Bryce hospital

Bryce hospital

jlodygowski (View posts)
Posted: 30 May 2011 5:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
Can someone tell me what Bryce Hospital was, meaning what type of hospital was it during the 1920's and 1930's? The people listed in 1930 census were listed as inmates. Thank you.

Re: Bryce hospital

nailedcw (View posts)
Posted: 30 May 2011 7:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
Bryce Hospital was a hospital for the mentally insane. If you google it, wickipedia has more info. Good Luck! CW

Re: Bryce hospital

jlodygowski (View posts)
Posted: 31 May 2011 9:41AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you.

Re: Bryce hospital

chucketheridge118 (View posts)
Posted: 1 Jun 2011 7:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
Bryce hospital was for the mentally insane. They also had the criminally insane there also. My mother was an RN there, graduating in 1923 and we lived on the hospital grounds. My father worked on the criminally insane wards. Back then people would put their kin in the insane hospital when they only had epilepsy. They also had a ward for TB. The blacks were kept in separate buildings. At that time, employees were not allowed to marry another employee. My mother and daddy married in 1927 secretly and he lived in the mens dorm and she lived in the womens dorm. In about 1929 employees were allowed to marry another employee.

Re: Bryce hospital

jlodygowski (View posts)
Posted: 1 Jun 2011 8:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for the info....really sad. Now it makes me really wonder from what a distant family member was there for. Thanks again.

Re: Bryce hospital

familyfinder2012 (View posts)
Posted: 4 Jun 2011 9:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
Bryce Hospital also had mentally and physically handicapped patients--Downs Syndrome, stroke, etc. I had a great-aunt who died there and she was disabled due to a stroke.

Re: Bryce hospital

jlodygowski (View posts)
Posted: 4 Jun 2011 10:33AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for the reply.

Re: Bryce hospital

Margie_Smitherman (View posts)
Posted: 8 Aug 2011 11:22PM GMT
Classification: Query
Can you tell me if you know anything about Bryce Hospital having a cemetery? I found a death certificate for someone who died at Bryce and her death certificate lists that she was buried at the hospital cemetery. This death was in 1910. I want to find this gravesite and cemetery if possible. My Aunt use to work there & retired from there but she is now deceased so I can't ask her. Appreciate any help you can give me on this.

Re: Bryce hospital

chucketheridge118 (View posts)
Posted: 9 Aug 2011 1:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
yes, Bryce hospital had their own cemetery. As a kid, I used to walk through the cemetery. It's been a long time as I am now 78 years old. They had little metal crosses with numbers. Some however were regular tombstones with the deceased names.

Chuck Etheridge

Re: Bryce hospital

Peachie57 (View posts)
Posted: 9 Aug 2011 2:48AM GMT
Classification: Query
I copied this from Bryce Cemetery, Tuscaloosa Alabama. Hope this will give you little information on cemetery.


Old Bryce Hospital Cemetery is located on the north side of Jack Warner Parkway (formerly River Road) and McFarland Blvd. near the University of Alabama.

Currently Bryce has 3 cemeteries. You have to make an appointment and be escorted when you go as these are private cemeteries, not open to the general public.The newer Bryce cemetery is located on the south side of Jack Warner Parkway (formerly River Road) behind Bryce Hospital. It has been used since the 1920's. Patients that died at Bryce while a patient and did not have another place for burial or no family members that would claim the departed were buried there.

The hospital is named for Peter Bryce, Alabama's first psychiatrist. He was medical superintendent for Alabama Hospital for the Insane from its inception in 1860 to his death in 1892. In 1893 the hospital was renamed for Dr. Bryce.

In the early years of Bryce Hospital, the white patients' markers were made of wood and the black patients' of concrete. For many, the wood deteriorated and the blacks' markers were the only ones which lasted. The markers placed on the patients' graves are just small stones about 5" x 5" with a number on it...eg, 1399, which can be cross referenced back to a patients' name.

Many of the old grave sites were marked with with an iron cross and patient number. Today only about 200 crosses remain out of 1000 graves in that part of the cemetery. The crosses still bear the initials A.I.H. for Alabama Hospital of the Insane.

About 1970 part of the old Bryce Cemetery was moved to make room for River Road. The section of the cemetery nearest the river still remains as it was; the rest of the cemetery was moved nearer to the hospital. When the part of the cemetery was moved, many graves were bull-dozed and pieces of bone as well as casket fragments were found. During the move that created River Road, each grave found was documented.

In the earlier days, the state put people that could not afford other care. Many of the graves would be of those that nobody claimed their body, were so old that they had nobody else, or couldn't afford burial.

The patients once grew vegetables at the soccer fields. For a time in the mid 1980's methane gas was
pumped from those fields but they later capped off those wells and added to the rec center and soccer fields.

About 1993, there was a planned a survey of Bryce Cemetery and the place near there where they reburied the patients after the road was cut through.

It has been a problem for researchers is that the records are not readily available like other cemetery books are. I guess sometimes you must get in the 'trenches' to retrieve the info. You have to make an appointment and be escorted when you go as these are private cemeteries, not open to the general public. Officials are very cautious about giving out information on deceased individuals.

To conduct research at Bryce Cemetery, you will need need a DOD and death certificate. You can go to any county health department and fill out a request for a death certificate search or visit the Vitalrec.com website for ordering information. The death certificate should show that the person died at Bryce and was buried there, and what they died of. Then you will need to make an appointment to come to Bryce Hospital and look at the records.

If you are a living next-of-kin, you will have to sign a release form from Bryce stating so . Once this is done, they'll pull the microfiche for you to look at and copy any pages you want (copies are $1 each). The main concern of the staff is protecting the privacy of their patients, living or dead. Once you have located where your ancestor is buried at Bryce, you can request to be escorted to the gravesite.

To contact Bryce Hospital: 200 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 (205) 759-0799



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