Letchworth Village was a residential institution located in Rockland County, New York, in the hamlet of Thiells built for the physically and mentally disabled of all ages, from the newborn to the elderly. Opened in 1911, Letchworth Village at its peak consisted of over 130 buildings spread out over many acres of land.
On February 27, 1950, the first trial case of the polio vaccine in the United States was administered to an 8-year-old patient. After the patient suffered no side effects, the vaccine was administered to 19 more of the institution's children.
Reports of inadequate funding and improper care of the residents, including children, were present dating back to the 1920s. Accounts surfaced of residents being found unclothed, unbathed, and neglected. In addition to rampant abuse among the institution's residents, staff also suffered abuse at the hands of co-workers, which included incidents of rape.
In 1996 the institution was permanently closed down, and many of its abandoned structures have since fallen into serious disrepair.