the Poorhouse Story
PENNSYLVANIA POORHOUSE HISTORY by county
 

Caption: 
The Almshouse Farm, Berks County, PA.
Founded 1825?  ___ Acres. Occupied during the Revolution
by General Thomas Mifflin(?) Then known as the Angelica Farm

LOCAL NOTES:
Here is a very unusual artifact of a poorhouse in Berks County!
It is a medal/ribbon of the sort sometimes worn by people entering livestock or produce into competition at a county fair. (The link above will take you to a scanned image. It takes a while to load.)
Note: I discovered this up for sale on eBay on 1/30/01.          PHL
 

"Alms House, aka the Poor house, was established 1824 in Cumru Township. From within Cumru Township, in 1908 the borough of Shillington was incorporated. Most, maybe all, of the Alms house found itself within the Shillington borough limits. So there were not two houses, just the usual shifting of government boundaries. Today, much of the land of the Alms house was taken by the Governor Mifflin School District."
     Guy Bierman   bierhaus@verizon.net 

the Poorhouse Story
PERSONAL NOTES FROM READERS:

"Yes, we had a poorhouse in Shillington, Berks County, Pennsylvania. One of John Updike's books was titled "The Poorhouse Fair" and describes the farm in much detail. He lived around the corner from me on Philadelphia Ave. All that remains of the farm today is a stone wall on the property of the Church of Christ, Philadelphia Ave. Shillington.
   
I grew up 2 blocks from the poorhouse and on Sunday afternoons would take my little brother & sister for bike rides down the tree lined Poorhouse Lane. We'd often stop to feed the pigs our table scraps and watch the men milking cows late in the afternoon. My father's family resided in one side of the large stone house on the grounds back in the 20's and "Pappy" took care of all the machinery...keeping it in repair."
     submitted by Dixie Craley 
(
NANA1NANA@aol.com  ) 

the Poorhouse Story
RECORDS:

The PENNSYLVANIA STATE ARCHIVES   List of Poorhouse Records on Microfilm
(Alphabetical by County: BERKS, BUCKS, CHESTER, CUMBERLAND, DAUPHIN, JUNIATA, LANCASTER, MIFFLIN, MONTGOMERY, WASHINGTON, YORK)


"When searching for a relative in the 1860 Berks County Census, I noticed the Poor House in Cumru Township. It begins on p. 176 and goes on. (I'm not sure how many pages) It begins on image 16, if using Ancestry.com." 
     Kathy Fisher   tkfisher@pop.mindspring.com 

the Poorhouse Story
CEMETERIES:

the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in BERKS 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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