Dr Milson Creed, a doctor specialising in the treatment of alcoholism, selected Rabbit and Mud Island on behalf of the NSW Government in 1901, as places that could be used to securely detain patients without needing bars or walls.
Construction of the first of two intended asylums, for women on Rabbit Island, began in 1902. It was intended that future male patients would construct their own asylum buildings, on Milson Island, but changes of State Government meant the site was abandoned in 1907.
The first patients were transferred to the Rabbit Island Hospital for the Insane on 24 March 1911, largely from the Wyatt Street Asylum in Newcastle but also from the Parramatta Hospital for the Insane (Cumberland Hospital). One of their first tasks was to themselves construct their facilities. One of the attendants, quoted in Laila Ellmoos' Our Island Home, said:
'concrete verandah floors, paths, airing courts, lawns and flower gardens all had to be picked out of solid earth and stone.'
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13 February 2018
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE01657
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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