I know, I know. Those colors at the top are hot enough to scorch your eyes! But that's exactly what the sky feels like here in Texas in the middle of July. And the corn is not "as high as an elephant's eye." But isn't that a gorgeous photo! Now you, well...most of you, can just scroll down a little bit to get that out of your eyes; but the only way I can deal with that hot sky over the next several (actually, way too many) weeks is to hide in the house with the air conditioning on high and the black-out curtains drawn. Sigh. Oh, well -- at least we don't get snowbound very often. There's always a blessing somewhere. But some are just much harder to recognize.
This month I am very happy to share you with you one of those "People Do The Nicest Things" stories that just cheer our hearts no end! This one really made my day -- for a lot of days.
I fairly frequently (but not frequently enough, I'm afraid) make a systematic search of eBay looking to see if any poorhouse records or memorabilia are up for sale. When I find the original (yup, the original old hand-written, nobody-else-has-a-copy and they-were-never-printed) records, it's a frustrating Good News/ Bad News situation.
Near the end of June
someone put up for auction a volume called
This time, I knew I couldn't afford to buy it myself ... as I was able to do once in the past when I contacted a seller who generously offered to sell it to me at his cost once he understood it's historic value. He did that on condition that after I was through with it I would donate it to an appropriate archive...which I had the pleasure of doing. (See previous story at http://www.poorhousestory.com/poorhouses_in_massachusetts.htm )
I also knew there was not time (because of the holiday weekend) to contact local officials.
So, I did the only thing I could think of: I posted an alert about this auction to the Rootsweb e-mail list for Oswego County NY. (Drumroll, please!) Wow! Did they ever respond. (Unfortunately they may have wound up bidding against themselves to the same purpose; but we have not yet figured out how to avoid that in such cases.)
At any rate, what resulted is a wonderful story. Diane & Barry Colby are a "simple" (their word, not mine) married couple who live in Buffalo NY. (That's not even in Oswego County! Don't ya just love the internet?)
On July 5th, Diane excitedly posted the following to that list: "I just wanted to let you know that I bid on the Poorhouse Records from Ebay and WON! Instead of keeping the book, I would like to return the book to Oswego and was wondering where this book should go to??? Let me know what you think." Lots of folks made suggestions and Diane decided to donate it to the genealogical society and let them decide where to archive the journal.
But I was very curious about how they came to make this purchase and donation. Diane simply explained:
And we all say, "Thank you Barry!" (I checked the eBay results and the final price was about $241.00. It's pretty certain that not many official archives or historical/genealogical collections would have been able to pay that price. I know I could not!)
I have done a little arm-twisting (these folks didn't do this for fame or acknowledgement) ... and Barry & Diane have agreed to let me write up a photo story about the saving of this journal for our next newsletter. The only thing that convinced them to let me do that was when I told them ...
This was a very good
week. Like I said -- "People Do The Nicest Things"
|Commentary # 3||
Visits to The POORHOUSE STORY
We love seeing poorhouse history currently being told by local media!
OK, Maybe 1998 isn't really current ... but
However, 2002 is fairly
recent ... and we thank the reporter
It includes information about workhouses
"Workhouse is a word that often conjures up the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist. The workhouse could be a grim and brutal place, but its story is also a fascinating mix of social history, politics, economics and architecture."
© Peter Higginbotham, 2000-2003
There doesn't seem to be much that new
going on in the way of poorhouse news.
We are now featuring a new state on our website. TENNESSEE!
In Tennessee there are libraries putting poorhouse records online, local newspapers publishing poorhouse history articles, a book of reprinted newspaper articles written by a former county historian which include fascinating facts about how poorhouses evolved in the state. And GenWeb county websites are posting more and more information every month. .
We have now created separate pages for most of the counties in Tennessee.
You will find that the counties for which we have poorhouse information have been underlined and link to a county page.
Be sure to check out ANDERSON and SUMNER Counties!
|previous||Canada / England / The Netherlands|
|NY||Niagara / Steuben|
|Notes from Readers / Local/Historical Notes|
|KS||Marion / Sedgwick|
|TN||Bledsoe / Campbell / Overton / Perry / Rutherford/ Sevier / White|
Cross Hospital: England's oldest almshouse
Established in 1136, it was built by Bishop Henry of Blois, for the maintenance of 13 poor men. Nowadays, the inmates of St. Cross are aged men and wear distinctive caps, gowns and medallions of identification. One of the quaint medieval traditions that is still observed at the hospital, today, is available to all who apply. Any hungry traveller can still knock on the door of St. Cross and receive the Wayfarer's Dole, a sliver of bread and a glass of ale.
Resident lists from CENSUS
(new material or off-site links to the web)
|1870||OH||VanWert / Greene|
|1850||TN||Bedford / Overton|
|1860||TN||Bedford / Overton / Williamson|
|1870||TN||Bedford / Carroll / Overton / Sevier|
|1880||TN||Bedford / Sevier|
|1900||TN||Bedford / Overton|
|1910||TN||Bedford / Overton|
I started to tell a fib -- like " haven't had time to read
anything new lately" -- but I have to confess: I've been busy
reading the latest Harry Potter book! (It's great ... and no, my face is not
red! Everybody needs to play sometimes.)
If you want to read this book now, before it comes out in paperback, but you don't want to go to the poorhouse yourself -- Costco has it on sale for $15.79.
STATE ARCHIVES Holdings
|Thanks for your continued support.
(aka=The Poorhouse Lady)
(Note: Some of our most
enthusiastic supporters came up with the idea of giving their friends