“It was a private hotel…for the care of persons afflicted with mental and nervous derangements, near the Great South Bay and Ocean; 32 miles from New York.” so ran an advertisement in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Aug. 15, 1884. 

   Truth be told THE HOTEL (Long Island Home Hotel for Nervous Invalids) and two other adjoining facilities (Louden Hall, and Brunswick Home) located in AMITYVILLE were licensed institutions for the “care of idiotic and feeble-minded persons.” and arranged by classifications of the inmates “who represent every grade of idiocy and imbecility.”

   After researching these facilities one realizes the significance of the  early days of the LONG ISLAND RAILROAD to the growth of the communities along the line. The LIRR sponsored twice a day shuttles, carriages drawn by two horses taking guests from the Amityville station to the facilities.The RR also did the same for the ARGYLE HOTEL, a legitimate hotel in Babylon. Further investigation finds studies by the New York State Commission on Lunacy that many of these “guests” to the LI HOME HOTEL were seeking a break from the “rat race”, checking in for what they thought would be a short stay but found… “Last thing I remember, I was running for the door, I had to find the passage back to the place I was before… “Relax”, said the night man, “We are programmed to receive, you can check out any time you like, But you can never leave”Welcome to the Hotel California, such a lovely place such a lovely place…

to be continued