Old Main topic of author talk at Jervis


Jervis Public Library, 613 N. Washington St., will host local author Dennis Webster on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the library’s accessible auditorium to discuss his book, “Old Main: New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, N.Y.”

No registration is necessary.

“Old Main” opened in 1843 and was the first mental health facility of its kind in the U.S.  The institution, later known as the Utica Psychiatric Center, closed in 1977. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, “Old Main” is an example of Greek Revival style architecture, and its large columns are reportedly the largest outside of Greece. Webster’s presentation will focus on the history of the asylum and its treatment of individuals who were confined there.  

Webster is a paranormal investigator with the Ghost Seekers of Central New York and co-host and executive producer of the new YouTube series, “Ghost & Toast.” He has a bachelor’s of science degree from Utica College and a master’s of business administration degree from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy.  

In addition to “Old Main,” he is the author of several books on haunted locations including “Haunted Utica,” “Haunted Mohawk Valley,” and “Haunted Old Forge.” He has also written books on true crime including “Wicked Mohawk Valley,” “Wicked Adirondacks,” and “Murder of a Herkimer County Teacher.” 

Copies of “Old Main” will be available for purchase, and refreshments will be served. For more information about the free event, call the library at 315-336-4570, visit the library’s website at www.jervislibrary.org, or like Jervis Public Library on Facebook.


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