Photo Friday – Lakeshore Mental Health Institute

Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, formerly known as Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital, is located on Lyons View Pike in Knoxville. The only original building left on the Lakeshore site is now used as the Administration building (shown above). It was originally the center part of the original hospital building which was built in the 1880’s. Most of the oldest buildings have been torn down. Across the street, behind the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, are the old graves from the Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital. There are many rows of mostly unnamed markers.

I have been unsuccessful in finding a lot of history about Lakeshore. Of course much of what I have come across talks about “hauntings” or other “activities” that have occurred. If anyone knows any true history behind the hospital, please leave me a comment.

Photo Gallery: Lakeshore Mental Health Institute


11 thoughts on “Photo Friday – Lakeshore Mental Health Institute

  1. I’m also interested in the history behind Lakeshore. If you’ve learned anything at all since you’ve posted this entry, please contact me via email at I would greatly appreciate even the smallest bit of information you might provide me. Thank you so much!

  2. Although the graves at the Eastern State Cemetery are not named, the hospital does have names for at least some of the people buried there. I was able to locate a grave for another researcher. Not a lot available on the history. I worked there in the 70’s before the tore all the other old buildings down.

    • Hi Cyndy, I was reading this post for I am researching my family, My Grandma Lona Patterson was in Eastern State and died there 12/3/1971 do you know where I can get any info on her?
      Thank You Sue Powell

  3. my mother and grandmother worked interested in the history of it and the old mansion on lyons view.if any knows shre with me please

    • Both of my mom’s parents worked there also. I know some of the history and have been to the other building off of Toole’s Bend, and spoke with the owner. Also the old mansion on Lyons View was owned by Eugenia Williams I’ve researched the history of the house, her, her family, the Roddy’s, and and the property itself. A friend of my mom’s, that use to work at UTK, was over the house. I was given a private tour of the house and have photo’s of the property, and inside the house and the carriage house. The only part of the house I’ve never been in was the lowest level because of the asbestos. If you want to know anything else about it, just let me know.

      • Can you tell me if the Eugenia Williams house is haunted? I’m working with a paranormal group who’s interested in investigating it.

      • The only person to ever live in the Eugenia Williams house was her, and her husband. That marriage only lasted a very short time. She live the last several years of her life in a special wing, just for her, at St. Mary’s. I’ve always heard stories about the property and house, but I believe that they are all false, since most people don’t know the history and it was so private and few have ever had access to the property or house. There’s really no reason for the house to be haunted, but if it is it would be haunted only by Eugenia since she was the only to ever live in the house. As for investigating it, I would love to be able to be in the home for a few days and nights to see. The down side of this is that I was only allowed because a friend of my mother’s was the overseer of the estate for UTK. At that time I was given full permission to be on the property but would have to always call in to UTPD so they didn’t think someone was trespassing with ill intent. After he retired and with the new president of UT, all that changed. The current president has told UTPD and KPD that no one has permission to be on the property, and he will give no one access. I think this is because of the vandalism and the curious public. Also Knox Heritage has been fighting UT to bring the house to code, and I think that’s also part of the reason for not letting anyone have access. I have talked to him several times and he told me, they have stabilized the structure, but there are no further plans for anything else. The house is also full of asbestos. If I ever get an answer other than no I will let you know. If you have facebook google “facebook eugenia williams estate” the first or one of the first few results should take you to my facebook page for the estate. Not much on it but there are some photos.

  4. My mother Leela B. Sud, MD, came to work as a psychiatrist at the hospital in the 1950’s. At that time she and other staff lived in the building shown.

  5. Does anyone have any info on how I can find out about my grandmother Lona Patterson, she was a patient there 1962-1971
    Thank you Sue Powell

  6. My mother, Myrtle LaVigne Rucker worked there in the middle to late sixties. She was a nurse on the ‘Violent’ Women’s Ward’. I used to get off the KTA bus and go up to her ‘ward’ and spend the day with her at work. The Nurses Station was inside of basically a cage. When the patients meds ‘took’ effect calming them down, she would let me go out onto the main area and ‘play’ with the women. I would polish their fingernails, put on lipstick on them, ‘fix’ their hair or play dolls with them. I had two favorite patients to play with, Minnie & Katy. Minnie ended up walking in to the river and drowning and Katy was still there when we moved away. I never viewed the women as ‘patients’ just as women that were really sick. They would hug me, brush my hair and loved it when I would do my homework out loud with them. There were times one of them would act out with each other and I would have to go back inside the ‘nurses cage’ and wait until the nurses would ‘house’ them back into their rooms. Sometimes scary.
    I was probably about 12 or 13 at the time. Still think of them today.

    If you know where I can obtain photos from them, please contact me at
    Thank you

  7. I happened upon this sight and it was so interesting reading all of your remarks! I live directly across the river from the hospital and have been so interested in the history of the building for now 2 years. When the rehab is complete for the building will it be a museum ? I have only found a few pictures of the hospital in the internet.

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