The South Carolina State Hospital, Talk and Book Chat

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The South Carolina State Hospital, Talk and Book Chat with author William Bucheitt

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Before fire destroyed the historic South Carolina mental institution William Bucheitt wrote a fascinating book about the hospital. Nearly two decades after it closed, the South Carolina State Hospital continues to hold a palpable mystique in Columbia and throughout the state. Founded in 1821 as the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, it housed, fed and treated thousands of patients incapable of surviving on their own. The patient population in 1961 eclipsed 6,600, well above its listed capacity of 4,823, despite an operating budget that ranked forty-fifth out of the forty-eight states with such large public hospitals. By the mid-1990s, the patient population had fallen under 700, and the hospital had become a symbol of captivity, horror and chaos. Author William Buchheit details this history through the words and interviews of those who worked on the iconic campus.

Author William Buchheit received a Bachelors Degree in English from Rhodes College in 1998. After earning a Masters degree in American Literature at USC-Columbia, he began reporting for Spartanburg’s Hometown News weekly newspaper chain in 2001. He received the South Carolina Medical Association’s Print Journalism Award in 2005 and was named the 2011 Reporter of the Year by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

This event is free and open to the public. There are 100 spots for the zoom event and they are first come, first served. Registering for the event is the only way to guarantee participation in the Q&A portion.

To register please do one of the following:

Visit and click the link

Click the ticket link in the Facebook event

Visit and search for "The South Carolina State Hospital " Virtual Book Chat.

Please remember to use the same email address throughout the process. This Zoom event will be simulcast on Sumter County Museum's Facebook page.


We will post a link after the event. Each book will come with a signed bookplate from the author. Books must be purchased for pick-up at Sumter Books-A-Million to receive the signed bookplates. Only those who purchase a book will receive a bookplate.

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