Burn Brae Clifton Heights

From the Philadelphia Medical Registry pgs 145-146
Edited by
William B Atkinson, A.M., M.D.
A Private Hospital for Mental and Nervous Diseases
Clifton Heights, Delaware County, Pa

This institutional although not within in the city limits, is so near them as to be properly mentioned in connection with the objects of this work. It is a private Hospital for mental disease, and derives it support from the payments made for board and medical care of patients.
No patient is received for a less period than three months. A certificate of insanity, signed by two physicians, and acknowledged before a magustrate, is invariably required.
A lady, well educated and of unexceptionable manners and deportment, resides in the same apartments, and devotes her time to lady patients, thus securing them on all ocasions a pleasant companion and a watchful friend.
A limited number of cases of Opium habit can be admitted.

Access from Philadelphia by the Baltimore Pike, or by car for Oak Lane Station, on Central Division of P.W. and B. Railroad, depot Broad and Filbert Streets, Philadelphia.
Consulting Physicians : Drs. Robert Bartholow and Horatio C. Wood.
Assistant Physician : Dr. Willoughby Phillips.
Physician-in-charge : Dr. R. A. Given.

All packages by express, postal and telegraphic communications should be addressed
Clifton Heights, Delaware County, Pa.

In the summer of 1859, Dr R.A. Given erected buildings near the village of Clifton, and established a private hospital for patients afflicted with nervous and mental diseases. It was designed to accomodate forty patients, 20 of each sex. The main building was originaly four stories high, including the basement, subsequently a mansard was added, in which the amusement hall ( a large and handsome room) was located. Many improvements have been made from time to time in different halls, rendering the accomodations more perfect and attractive. On the ladies' side an entirely new building has been erected rendered necessary by the enlargement of the rooms in the main structure. The grounds, 25 acres in extent are handsomely laid out and planted with a variety of ornamental trees, evergreen and diceduous.
A farm of thirty two acres, part heavily wooded, capable of being converted into drives and walks of great attractiveness has been added; thus, besides
securing to the inmates perfect privacy, affording them in their walks, the pleasing variety of hill and valley, meadow, brook and woodland. No efforts have been spared to render the building fire proof. Fire escapes are attached to both wings and in addition arrangements exist on each floor to enable the occupants to pass readily from side to side without resort to the stairs. The building throughout is thoroughly heated with steam and lighted by gas. Hot and cold water is abundantly distributed throughout the entire establishment.

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Anonymous said...

How wonderful to find my father's childhood home on this site! He was Herbert C. Stanton, Jr., 7th child of Dr. Herbert C. Stanton and Elsie Phillips; Dr. Phillips' daughter. My sister's and I treasure our memories of family time spent at Burn Brae.

Susan Stanton Francis

Anonymous said...

The top photo here is NOT Burn Brae. There was a second sanitarium in the Upper Darby/Clifton Heights area.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that it was founded in 1859 by Dr. Robert Aiken Givens as a private mental institution.It only operated for a 9 years closing in 1868 due to the cost of meeting State standards of safety.Dr. Givens was born March 15th 1816 in Ardstraw,County Tyrone,Ireland.He came to America in 1836 and went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania,graduating in 1839.

found on answer.yahoo.com

Ephemera Collector said...

I have in my possession a business card of Burn-Brae. It is a bifold with a beautiful post card like image of the sanitarium. Founded by the late Robert A. Given, MD 1859.
E.L. Given Proprietor; Herbert C. Stanton, MD, Supt. The card then proceeds to give phone number, history and states Private Farm, Dairy and Garage. It has yellowing from age but still a fabulous piece of history. I am an ephemera collector.

Anonymous said...

Hello- this place operated as an asylum for those with mental illness in 1930. I do geneaolgy research and found a relative listed as living there in the 1930 census. He went on to live a good life until age 76- he had mental health issues after being tortured in WWI and had part of his tongue cut off.

Ed Zwicker said...

As a boy in 1948,I lived on Washington Ave. just across from Burn Brae and the Stanton Farm next to the sanitarium. Spent many fun days with the Stanton children (Penny)and playing in the barns. One time we went in the staff pool room at the sanitarium and one of the orderlies told us that the notorious bank robber Willy Sutton had recently worked there. I told my mother who told her friend's husband, an FBI agent. They raided Burn Brae, but Willy had moved on.

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