Putnam County Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story

The barn of the Putnam County Poor Farm, Veterans Memorial Park, Kent

Submitted by Mike Troy Photo credit: Town of Carmel Historical Society.

NY_PUTNAM_barn.jpg (77457 bytes)

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The notes below have been abstracted from the following reports.
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the Poorhouse Story
ANNUAL REPORT of the SECRETARY of STATE                                                                    p 1028
A TABLE showing the number of Paupers supported at the public expense in the county of PUTNAM during the twelve months preceding April 21, 1823, with other particulars, derived from public documents and reports furnished the Secretary of State.
  Total number of paupers
supported during the
whole of the last year.
Total number relieved
during a part of the last year.
Total expenses of supporting and relieving paupers (including fees and expenses of officers, removals and appeals) for the last year.

Dolls.    Cts.

Expenses and cost of officers and appeals during same period.


Dolls.   Cts.

Number of paupers removed during the last year.
(No return)
Kent 5 39 21 23 20 405.94 51.37  
Patterson 8 4 6 6 0 530.00 70.00 2
Philipstown 20 10 12 18 9 500.00 114.00 47
South East 15 Not stated. 6 9 0 545.00 20.00 ...

[Note: There was no further narrative material accompanying the report from this county.  PHL ]

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

This is a wooden building of two stories, in size eighty by thirty feet, connected is a farm of one hundred and ninety six acres, yielding a revenue of about $600. The basements of the house are unoccupied. There are fourteen rooms or wards, occupied by the paupers and warmed by stoves and not at all ventilated. In some rooms are placed twenty person, less in the smaller.

The number of inmates was thirty-seven, eighteen males and seventeen females, of these three are foreign and thirty-four native birth, thirteen are under sixteen years of age. The sexes are kept separate, they are under a single keeper who has charge of the house. The average number of inmates is fifty-two, supported at a weekly cost of forty-three cents each; all who are able work on the farm or about the house. The house has been visited by the supervisors, once during the past year. It is supplied with Bibles and there are occasional religious services on the Sabbath. For the instruction of the young a school is taught in the house during the whole year. The superintendents of the poor regulate the government of the house, furnish supplies, bind out the children and exercise the power of discharging lunatics. The fare of the paupers is the common one of meat, bread and vegetables. A physician is called when his services are needed. There are no facilities for bathing. Seven deaths have occurred during the year, no contagious disease has prevailed. This establishment has a pest house.

Of the inmates three are lunatics, one male and two females, all are paupers. They receive no special medical or other attendance. One has been chained in his cell for about three years, he is comparatively a young man and must prove a confirmed lunatic unless there be a speedy change in his treatment, he lies on dirty straw in a miserable dungeon, and his condition is worse than that of many beasts. The others are confined in cells. None are reported cured or improved during the past year. Two of the inmates are idiots, both females. There is one mute. Thirty-six of the fifty-two paupers are reduced to their present condition through intemperance.

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

the Poorhouse Story

"The land [for the Putnam County Poor Farm] was donated in 1820 by Dr. Elias Cornelius, a local surgeon, who had tended the need of the farmed-out poor as far back as the 1780s.  The almshouse was closed in the 1970s and later burned down; a barn still stands on the farmland, which is now Putnam County Veterans' Memorial Park, Gipsy Trail Road, Town of Kent.  Nearby is the poor farm cemetery, with numbered graves." 
     Mike Troy  carmelink@aol.com 

the Poorhouse Story
Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) 168  more information

     NEW BOOK! 

Letter From the Author

October 16, 2001

Dear Poorhouse Lady,

About a year ago I messaged you about a book project I was doing for the local historical society.  It was a transcription of the account book of the Overseers of the Poor for the Southeast Precinct of Dutchess County, NY [now in Putnam County], 1768 to 1812.  This covers the period when the poor were still farmed out.  I added a name index, listing about 1100 individuals (the poor, the keepers, the overseers, et al) with about 500 surnames and 300 surname variations, cross-indexed.

It's packaged and ready to go to press as an 8-1/2x11 224-page hardcover, called The Precinct Book  (ISBN 0-9703767-0-7).  Naturally, the printer's first question is, How Many?  We're not planning on more than a few dozen at this time, unless there's a significant demand.  The proposed price is $75, all proceeds going to the publisher/copyright-holder, Town of Carmel Historical Society Inc., Box 456, Mahopac, NY 10541  

Could this be mentioned on the PHS website, asking those who might be interested to drop me an e-mail right away, so that we can size the first printing run?

Mike Troy        carmelink@aol.com 
Carmel, NY

We are delighted to hear of the publication of this book!    PHL

Click here to read our review  !!!

the Poorhouse Story
Gravestone at the Putnam County Poor Farm, Veterans Memorial Park, Kent

NY_PUTNAM_gravestone.jpg (108900 bytes)

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"A numbered grave in the County Home Cemetery ... 
  # 6 is Patrick Gogan, born in Ireland circa 1836. 
He came to the home in 1910, and died Feb. 14, 1916.
Submitted by Mike Troy Photo credit: Town of Carmel Historical Society.

See Local Notes above

the Poorhouse Story

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