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Sauk County Poor Farm and Insane Asylum

near Reedsburg, Sauk County, Wisconsin

Asylum established 1871

This institution started as a poor farm in 1871. The brick insane asylum structure (40 by 60 feet, two stories and a basement) was constructed in 1886, and the first admissions were five patients at the beginning of 1887. As of 1918, the capacity of the asylum was 100, of which most were from Sauk County.

To provide occupation for the inmates, there was farming (as with most other institutions of the era), quarrying, rug weaving, and upholstering furniture.

Two historic postcard images follow. Information and images kindly provided by the Sauk County Historical Society, 531 Fourth Avenue, Baraboo, WI 53913, phone 608-356-1001.

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