Established in 1910 The Crownsville Hospital Center was originally known as the Hospital for the Negro Insane of Maryland. At first patients were kept in old farm buildings and used to help build roads and harvest crops until first hospital building was built in 1912. Crownsville has seen more than its fair share of hard times. In the beginning patients were stuck with smallpox, scarlet fever and tuberculosis while no real effort was made to isolate the infected patients. Later, overcrowded and understaffed the hospital was labeled “Maryland’s Shame” by the local media. Men, women and children dwelled in the same wards which were packed with criminally insane, mentally ill, and diseased patients. There are many rumors of patient abuse, neglect and other horror stories from Crownsville but by the time the facility closed in 2004 this history was largely forgotten or hidden away.