Eloise Insane Asylum

Prior to operating as the Eloise Insane Asylum, the building served as the Wayne County Poor House, established in 1832. By 1834, it was in poor condition, and a new poorhouse was built in the Nankin Township.

On April 11th, 1839, thirty-five people were transferred from the old poorhouse to the new one, with one-hundred-eleven refusing to go into what they referred to as “the awful wilderness.”

On the same property was the Black Horse Tavern, which served as a stagecoach stop between Detroit and Chicago, a two-day trip. The tavern later became the keeper’s quarters. Between 1838 and 1839, a frame building was constructed to house the patients of the asylum. A kitchen was built along the back of the quarters in order to feed both families of the keeper and of the patients.