Series GR-0501 - Provincial Mental Home (Colquitz) records

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Provincial Mental Home (Colquitz) records

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  • textual record

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GR-0501

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  • 1919-1953 (Creation)
    Creator
    Provincial Mental Home, Colquitz, B.C.

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Originals, 2.35 m

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Name of creator

(1919-1964)

Biographical history

Facility on Wilkinson Road, in Saanich, B.C., a mental institution which operated from 1919 to 1964. It was originally built as a prison in 1914, known as the Saanich Prison Farm. In 1919, Mental Health Services assumed jurisdiction of the Saanich Prison Farm and it became the Provincial Mental Home, Colquitz, B.C. (or Colquitz Mental Hospital). It was used to house the male “criminally insane” inmates of the provincial mental hospitals. All admissions to Colquitz were transfers from Essondale (later renamed Riverview). The supervisor of Colquitz was under the direction of the Medical Superintendent of Essondale. All patient files were returned to Essondale when inmates died or were released. After its closure as a mental hospital in 1964, the facility once more became a prison, first as temporary accommodation for overflow from the Oakalla Prison Farm and then in 1970 as the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre, popularly known as the Wilkinson Road Jail

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Scope and content

Correspondence of the supervisor and other staff and a register of inmates, 1919-1948. The Provincial Mental Home at Colquitz was the facility for the detention of the "criminally insane" and operated from 1919-1964. The facility was originally built as a prison in 1914, known as the Saanich Prison Farm. After its closure as a mental hospital in 1964, it once more became a prison, first as temporary gaol accommodation for overflow from the Oakalla Prison Farm and then in 1970 as the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre. Related records: GR-0645. These are the correspondence files of the supervisor and other staff of the Provincial Mental Home at Colquitz, 1919-1953. The mental home was opened in a former provincial gaol on Wilkinson Road known as the Saanich Prison Farm, on March 25, 1919, with the transfer of nine patients from the New Westminister Institution. In the next 15 months the population grew to 99 patients. It was used to house the male criminally insane inmates of the Provincial Mental Hospitals. All admissions to Colquitz were transfers from Essondale (later renamed Riverview). The Supervisor of Colquitz was under the direction of the Medical Superintendent of Essondale. All patient files were returned to Essondale when inmates died or were released. After its closure as a mental hospital in 1964, the facility once more became a prison, first as temporary gaol accommodation for overflow from the Oakalla Prison Farm and then in 1970 as the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (popularly known as the Wilkinson Road Jail). The most useful records, in terms of showing what the policies and procedures of the hospital were, are the correspondence of the supervisor with the Medical Superintendent. The supervisors of the Provincial Mental Home at Colquitz were:
Granby Farrant* Supervisor 1919-1933
F.M. Spooner Supervisor 1933-1941
T.A. Morris Supervisor 1941-1947
L.G.C. d'Easum Medical Superintendent 1948-1953
*obituary in Mental Hospitals annual report 1933-1934
The records are arranged in fairly close congruence with the changes in administrators of the institution. Series 1 1919-1931 Farrant Series 2 1931-1941 Farrant/Spooner Series 3 1941 1953 Morris/d'Easum (The material in Series 3 is organized with a new set of files for each year.)

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These records are restricted. Please contact the BC Archives for information about access.

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General note

see GR-645.

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Accession number(s): GR-0501

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