Note: Click on the small photos to enlarge them.

June 16, 2001 -- A long overdue CELEBRATION
of the history of the WYTHE COUNTY POORHOUSE

The festivities have been reported in
The Southwest Virginia Enterprise ... 
click here to see 
         ...  on-line article
Following the highway historical marker unveiling at 1 p.m., a second dedication was held at the Poorhouse Farm at 2:30 p.m. This second ceremony involved the unveiling of a cemetery marker, placed in memory of all the residents who are buried in Pauperís Field at the farm. This marker was donated by Grubb Funeral Home and Wytheville Monument Co. Guest speaker at this dedication was Lee Thomas, a lay minister and ancestor of the last overseer of the Poorhouse Farm in the 1950s.

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And they ALL came to offer prayer and celebrate ...  poorhouse history!

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Lee Thomas -- who is a second cousin to the last overseer of the Poor Farm, Orba Thomas -- conducted a very inspiring service on June 16, 2001, just like in the old days at the Poor Farm.  He is from Wythe County and often preaches and fills in on the Max Meadows Methodist Circuit.
Lee Thomas, Delphna Akers Thomas, Alta Stroupe Thompson - singing the hymns, Old Time Religion, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, There Will be No Graves, America!

To see the National Register of Historic Places plaque on the porch wall ... click below.

Olin Armentrout explained how it was Love that created this preservation of the history of the Poor Farm; reminding us how the Poor are mentioned in the Bible, and telling everyone about how the high school students from Maryland came to be involved as volunteers helping with this project.

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Willie Grubb Umberger Tavenner [94 years young!] and Abner Bruce Graham Jr. pose at the Poorhouse Farm. Mrs. Umberger taught students at the Poor Farm, and surrounding Bethel Community about 1929 - 1931  Wythe County Board of Supervisors Member, Anne B. Crockett Stark,  listens to hymns and sermon by Lee Thomas. This is Olin Armentrout, a former member of the Board of Supervisors, and Sis Cassell sitting on the grass, listening to Lee Thomas deliver the sermon at the dedication of the Monument.

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Frances Cannoy Cline and husband Jim Cline and their family visit The Grahams at the Poor Farm from Hurt, VA. Sisters Minnie and Frances, both pictured,  were born in the tenant house along Shoestring Bottom on the Wythe County Poorhouse Farm. Their Dad. Elbert Cannoy, worked for the Wythe County Farm most of his life but ''was never too tired to play with us kids." They ''helped water the teams of horses when Daddy came in at lunch time."
On June 19, 2001, three generations of the Reynolds and Creger family admire the history, the beauty of the rural farm land, the Cemetery, and the new monument donated by Grubb Funeral Home and Wytheville Monument Company at the Wythe County Poorhouse Farm.

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