Updated: Mar 11, 2019
Scores of sanitariums once operated in the Crescenta Valley, and then they all disappeared—except Rockhaven.
Rockhaven Sanitarium was founded in 1923 by psychiatric nurse Agnes Richards. After having worked firsthand in state-run asylums, Richards had witnessed the nightmarish treatment of those who suffered from nervous disorders and mental illness and wanted to provide a better option for patients. Her small, independently operated Rockhaven Sanitarium began with but one little rock house (hence, rock haven). This made it America’s first woman-founded mental health facility.