Northern Michigan Asylum: A History of the Traverse State Hospital is the most comprehensive history of the collection of building and grounds written to date. From the Preface to the Index, author William Decker, M.D., former Medical Director of the Kalamazoo State Hospital and author of the award winning Asylum for the Insane, explores little known facts about the planning, construction and operation of the array of buildings that comprise the Traverse City State Hospital. Built in 1885, it was the third asylum to be built in Michigan. Dr. James Decker Munson was its first Medical Superintendent, filling its cottages with people from the poorhouses, attics, and hospitals who were labeled, at that time, insane or lunatics. Always at full or exceeding full capacity, which was 500 in 1885, the yellow brick buildings housed 2,200 souls in 1973 with rooms designed for one patient to then hold four beds dormitory style in each room. The population finally declined and leveled off.