STOCKTON DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER
The Stockton Developmental Center began in 1853 as the Insane Asylum of California at Stockton. It was founded on 100 acres with ready access to the goldfields on land donated by Captain Charles Weber, founder of Stockton. California’s Legislature was convinced that the turbulence of the Gold Rush had caused many to suffer from mental problems, and that the existing hospitals were inadequate to cope with large numbers of people with mental and emotional conditions. Consequently it authorized the establishment of the Stockton Hospital, the first public hospital in California to serve the mentally ill. California’s mental hospital is one of the oldest in the west, and early on was recognized for its progressive forms of treatment.