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    Eastern Shore Hospital Center History


    The Eastern Shore State Hospital (ESSH) had it’s beginning in 1912 as a result of the General Assembly's decision to provide care for the mentally ill residents of the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland. Approximately 250 acres of farmland on the banks of the Choptank River was purchased on which the hospital was built. The ground breaking was in 1913, with the original buildings completed March 1915. In May of that same year, 203 patients were transferred to ESSH from Springfield and Spring Grove State Hospitals and Cherry Hill Asylum.

    The physical growth of hospital buildings continued for several decades and the average daily population increased steadily to 675-680 patients in 1956.  By the early 1970s, the patient census had dropped to approximately 420, primarily due to a focused effort on deinstitutionalization. On July 1, 1973, the Eastern Shore State Hospital became known as the Eastern Shore Hospital Center (ESHC). ESHC has been fully accredited since May 1967. In November 1993, the hospital moved from assigning patients to their units by geography to a treatment oriented system. In the mid-1990s, the hospital’s site was considered for public economic development. In order to allow for development while continuing to provide necessary mental health services, another site of land was purchased and funding was appropriated to build a new ESHC.


    Chronology of Eastern Shore Hospital Center’s Superintendents

    Dr. Charles T. Carey 1913-1936
    Dr. Kenneth B. Jones 1937-1940
    Dr. Charles V. Taylor 1940-1945
    Dr. Robert E. Gardner 1945-1947
    Dr. Robert B. May 1947-1950
    Dr. Robert E. Blackwelder 1950-1952
    Dr. George E. Currier 1953-1960
    Dr. George H. Longley 1960-1962
    Dr. Harold M. English 1962- 

    Mr. David W. Leap 1982-1993

    Ms. Mary K. Noren 1993 – 2010

    Mr. Donald K. Simpson 2010 - 2012

    Mr. Randy L. Bradford 2012 - 2019

    ​​Mr. Forrest A. Daniels 2020-Present​​



    Pictured are two of the original buildings opened in 1915 


    Pictured are two of the original buildings opened in 1915. The numerous brick “chimneys” are actually ventilators.  The hospital was nicknamed “tall chimneys” as a result.




    If you have any comments or questions regarding this site, please contact the ESHC Webmaster at (410) - 221 - 2470 . .