(obverse)Mount Vernon Arsenal and Barracks
Established 1828 by Congress to store arms and munitions for U. S. Army. Original structures completed 1830's.
Arsenal appropriated by Confederacy 1861; equipment moved to Selma facilities. After Civil War used as U. S. Army barracks; from 1887-1894 served as holding ground for Apache Indian prisoners. Deeded to State of Alabama 1895.
Josiah Gorgas, later Chief of Ordnance of Confederacy, stationed here 1850's; Dr. Walter Reed, conqueror of yellow fever, served as post surgeon 1880's; Apache chieftain, Geronimo, prisoner here 1887-1894.
Mt. Vernon Hospital established 1900 by State of Alabama. Served as mental hospital for care of Black citizens. Name changed 1919 to Searcy Hospital honoring first superintendent, Dr. J. T. Searcy. Treatment for all citizens began 1969. Nine of structures dating from 1830's still in use, including Superintendent's House, Tower Building, and Library. Enclosing wall dates from 1830's.