the Poorhouse Story

Postcards for Clarion County Home, Sligo, Pa.

Click on either the B/W
or color postcards above & right to enlarge.

Clarion County
"1898--Voters approved a proposal to build a county poorhouse."
"1903--The County Commissioners bought the G. V. Curll farm for $71 an acre, for use as the County Poor Farm."
"1927--Clarion County paid off the last of its 1903 bonds for building the Poor Farm. The original debt was $90,000.
     all of the above quotes from


Letter from the NEW OWNERS !!!     December 2002

From the owners of the Clarion poor farm.

The Clarion poor farm was built in 1898 and was an 800 acre working farm for the poor and outcast. This farm was totally self sufficient., everyone on the farm had some kind of job.
In you happen to be in a wheelchair you might help inside by peeling potatoes or doing anything you were capable of doing. Other then raising chickens and pigs this farm had a full running dairy which produced milk, cheese and meat. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens were also raised for food. Some of this food products would be used to barter for other goods that the farm needed. And this would be done mostly in the local community.
The building is built from brick, in fact the walls have three rows of brick making up the walls. The three rows gives the building its thermal values as in the winter, the inside row of bricks will heat from your heat source "Fire place" and keep the heat within the first row. The second row of bricks acts as a barrier between the inside bricks and the out side bricks. And in the summer time the out side bricks will heat up leaving the inside bricks nice and cool. Donít need AC. The inside will be 10 to 15* cooler then the outside temps. All the floors are cast concrete 1 ft thick with big steel I-beams every 15 feet. The place is built like Fort knox.
In the old red photo you can make out where the main house and the right wing come together on the roof you can see that, in 1898 that they had installed skylights for natural light. This I did not know in till I was under the left wing in the assess tunnel that leads under the main left wing and found this old five pane window unit. At the time I thought it might have went to a porch roof. But the more I looked at it, I thought to myself that this must be a skylight! The skylight is made of copper and has leaded glass in a zig zag design in it. I would like to have them reinstalled. But thatís another day.
The main house in front was the superintendents home. It has three living rooms on the first floor. Three bedrooms on the second floor with an bathroom and a reading room. Each room in the house has its own fire place. Sometime in the early 1900ís a third story was added to the main house adding four more bedrooms to the main house .The left wing was the womenís side and the right wing was the menís side. Your right no hankey pankey here. Thereís a big kitchen in the back not shown in the old photos. With a big walk-in pantry. It also has what I believe to be four office rooms and one bathroom also in the back.
We still have a lot of research to do and finding new things about this place. And theirs so much more to tell, but that will be in the next update.
We plan to register are place as an Historical Institution with the Federal park service.
God Bless all of you!
I am so excited to hear of your purchase and your plans for the old poor farm!  I will be delighted to share any and all news, records, photos, etc. on The POORHOUSE STORY website.  This is what the website is all about!  Congratulations and thanks for taking on the job of preserving that poorhouse history.  PHL
Click here to see the "BEFORE" Pictures. 
[Well, they are before the current restoration but after the old photos shown
above.  The roof had been changed, etc.  PHL]



the Poorhouse Story

"Just saw the postcards of the Clarion County Poor House, and it sure looks different than it does now. In the first postcard, there is a small building in the front left of the Poor House. That is the Lonesome Stoney School House. It was still standing a few years ago when my mother took a picture of it. The building looks the same except for a chimney that was added to one end. My Grandfather attended that school when he was only 4 years old.  "He had to go with his older brother since there wasn't anyone to watch him. My great grandfather was the director (others have referred to his post as the "caretaker") of the Poor House for 4 years around 1910. When he and his wife were busy at the Poor House, no one could watch my grandfather, so that is why he went to school when he was 4. Later, my great aunt was the school teacher in the same school. Their names are Altman and Merriman(Merryman)."
     Sue Llewellyn 

the Poorhouse Story


Clarion County Almshouse -- 1910 Census  (List of residents) 
From the: Thirteenth Census of the United States: 1910 Ė Population
State of Pennsylvania/ County of Clarion/ Township of Piney
Enumerator: James J. Neil/ Enumeration District: No. 22/ Supervisor's District: No. 18/ Date: 25 April 1910
Transcribed and submitted by: Sue Llewellyn whose great-grandfather was the superintendent at the County Home (as the family always called it) for four years, sometime between 1900 and 1910.  He was Oscar Altman.  His wife was Dora Altman and the boys were John and Arthur Altman.


the Poorhouse Story

the Poorhouse Story

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