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The Ridges Cemeteries & Asylum

On January 9, 1874, a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital opened on the Ridges in Athens. The Athens Lunatic Asylum, as it was originally named, featured grandiose buildings surrounded by elaborate landscaping with ponds, fountains and parks. The theory was that a beautiful setting would help patients improve, if not be cured. Unfortunately, mental health during the time was not nearly as advanced as it is today and once admitted, most patients remained at the hospital until their deaths. The hospital soon created its own cemeteries to serve as final resting places for patients who were not claimed by their families. With few exceptions each grave was marked only with a number. Gravestones with names were purchased by family members of the deceased.

These cemeteries have recently been restored and are part of the Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk. The grounds and cemeteries are open to the public, but the buildings are not, and there are no organized tours offered.



The Ridges
Richland Ave

Athens, Ohio 45701

Phone Number(s)

Local Number: (740) 592-1819
Toll-Free: (800) 878-9767


Sunday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Special Hours: Open dawn to dusk


Additional Information





The Ridges

The Ridges grounds and architecture make for a wonderful scenic afternoon.

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