Ontario County Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story


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the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story
1824 LAW (required establishment of poorhouse vs. exempted): required of Ontario County
the Poorhouse Story

This house is located in the vicinity of Canandaigua. The main building is ninety by forty-five feet, two stories in height; another twenty-eight by thirty feet, both of brick.  Connected with the house is a farm of 212 acres, yielding an annual revenue of $4,000. The basement is occupied for domestic purposes. It is warmed by furnaces and stoves. No ventilation except in the insane department; the ceilings, however, are pretty well raised. No baths are provided but ample accommodations are furnished for washing. Seventeen rooms and twenty-one cells are appropriated to the use of the paupers. From two to twenty-six are placed in a single room. The number of inmates was 120, seventy males and fifty females, eighty of whom were foreign and forty native born, including thirty-five children. There is a complete separation of the sexes. The house is in (the) charge of one keeper, who has an assistant, aided by the paupers in the house and on the farm. The supervisors have visited this house twice the past year. The supplies for the house are purchased by the superintendent, who also prescribes rules regulating the diet, binds out the children of suitable age, and jointly with the physician exercises the power of discharging lunatics. The average number of inmates is 136, supported at a weekly cost of fifty-seven cents each. The house is supplied with Bibles, and preaching is occasionally enjoyed during the summer. One of the most interesting features connected with this establishment is the school house, standing out from the main buildings in a large and beautiful front yard ornamented with trees. In this house a school is taught the year round. It was found clean and neat, and its walls decorated with maps, mottoes, & etc.--an inviting retreat. This school is supported from a fund given by a benevolent individual, the interest of which is to be perpetually applied to the education of these pauper children. The intent of the grantor seems to find a realization. A physician is employed by the year at a salary of $150. There have been four births and eighteen deaths during the year. Among the inmates are twenty-one lunatics, six males and fifteen females, and all paupers; five of these have been to the Utica Asylum and returned as incurable. Application has also been made for the admission of others which have been refused at Utica. Two have been admitted to this house this year, and two have recovered and four slightly improved. They are restrained by confinement in cells, and three are confined in cells constantly. The women are waited upon by a female attendant. The insane do not receive any special medical attention. This house admits of the classification of the insane; five are idiots, one male and four females; two are deaf and dumb, and one blind. Lunatics sometimes escape and are not always heard from. Two-thirds of the whole number are brought here consequent upon habits of intemperance.

Transcribed by PHS-Volunteer, Cheramie Breaux in Louisiana
the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

ONTARIO County Poorhouse ... Indentures

Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) 158-160?  more information
the Poorhouse Story

The US Gennet site for Ontario County NY has done an excellent job of publishing the burial  list for the Ontario County Almshouse Cemetery.  

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in ONTARIO county through the helpful participation of readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail to The Poorhouse Lady.

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