The home was built in the mid-1920s and served as a family residence for only a few short years. Perhaps the weight of the Great Depression forced the family to consider making an income from the home in order to maintain it, as a fellow blogger at Remembering Rochester has suggested.
|The Haven as the Shinnick residence. Courtesy of OCHR.|
The Haven Sanitarium was a working mental facility from 1932 to 1968 and was rumored to have treated wealthy patients and even a few Hollywood stars. As noted in the Patch article, the evidence to back those rumors has yet to surface.
In the 1940s, The Haven partnered with the Rochester School District to assist children, teachers, staff and parents dealing with mental illness. The definition of mental illness was quite different in those days and included "conditions" like shyness and "smart-alecky" behavior, as well as more serious problems such as bullying and suicidal feelings.
The program was called the Rochester Plan and featured some pioneering techniques including therapy through art, shop or design work, as well as a questionable method called The Best Friends List used to find kids to treat. All Rochester school children were required to anonymously fill out a questionnaire asking them to write down the names of their two best friends. The lists were compiled and compared. Kids who's names weren't on the lists were brought in for treatment.
When the hospital closed in 1968 due, perhaps, to overcrowding, it was purchased by a doctor who planned to build condominiums on the property. That plan fell through and sanitarium was abandoned and left vacant. It became the home of vagrants and a "horror" hangout for frightened teen-agers until it burned to the ground in 1973.
Check out the article on Rochester Patch for a bit more information regarding The Haven.