Kanawha County poor farm

from Snapshots of the 20th Century: A photographic look at the past 100 years in West Virginia
(the Charleston Gazette) By Rosalie Earle                                                                    p 107
Note: the Charleston Gazette on-line may be found at http://www.wvgazette.com/ However, this article is no longer available there.  PHL

Nearly 100 children were removed from the Kanawha County poor farm in the summer of 1934 after the Gazette found that children were kept in the same unsanitary quarters as 200 adults.  "Bed bugs and other vermin crawl out of the crumbling old walls ... to torment them at night.  Sick old men, nauseatingly inflicted with loathsome diseases, come in personal contact with them by day.  The danger of horrible death by fire ... eternally hangs over them," the Gazette reported.  The article got results.  Within two weeks, chil- dren from poor farms were taken to Putnam County to spend the summer at the Salvation Army Camp, called Camp Kump.  Articles said the children were trained in behavior, health and character building for placement in private homes.  Built in 1895 to hold 75, the poor farm was on a 120-acre site along the Kanawha River and W.Va. 25, just west of Dunbar In 1953, it was converted to a work farm for jail inmates. (Photo from Charleston Newspapers files)

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