Connecticut Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story

Caption:  Almshouse, Hartford,  CT 

More Connecticut Poorhouse Pictures:  New London

the Poorhouse Story



The following is an excerpt from a U.S. Government REPORT 
summarizing various state poor laws in 1904. .
Click on the link above for more information.



Indigent Books 

Editor's note.  These extracts are from an account book of indigents that is housed in the Middlesex County Historical Society, Middletown, CT. Though the account book is undated, it covers payments 1860-1866.  The ethnic backgrounds are in parenthesis as it came from the book.  The comments regarding the recipients were copied as is from the account book and are not the comments of the contributor.  
This record provides an excellent example of the way the old "out door" 
relief system worked.  It makes the situation very real to us.   PHL 

Historical notes regarding the New Haven Poorhouse, submitted by Christopher Barttels.
(from Three Centuries of New Haven)

Dave Mathieson has submitted some historical notes about early poor relief and the Almshouses (poorhouses) in the City of Norwich in New London County.

In a reproduction of "Griswold - A History"  [New London County] by Daniel L. Phillips, pub. 1929 ... there is an entry stating that "In the year 1853 the farm owned by Henry Bennett, in the Tyler school district, and long known as the Coit homestead, was purchased at the price of $3,500, and a permanent home for the town's poor was established". Again Phillips said, " Up to this time the paupers of Griswold had had no permanent home, but were farmed out from year to year as the selectmen could make arrangements for them."
     Dave Mathieson [ ]  

the Poorhouse Story

"There was a "poor farm" in Hamden, New Haven County. Hamden is located just north of New Haven and was established as a separate town in 1786. The poor farm was located in the northern section of town near the Cheshire line and today is known as Brooksvale farm. I think there is mention of it in both Hartley's History of Hamden as well as Blake's 1888 edition of The History of Hamden."

"Does anyone know about Connecticut poorhouses and where you can get information about them?  I understand there was one around Hamden or New Haven Ct. [New Haven County] Thanks."
     Kathleen keating 

"I found a reference to a poorhouse (town farm) in Pomfret, Windham County, Ct in a document written by my great, great, uncle James H. Sawyer. He states that the Sawyer farm was sold and became the Town farm or poorhouse before the civil war. This has been confirmed by my contacts at the Aspinock Historical Society in Putnam. The house is still on the old farm and is a working private farm today."
     Kathleen Murray
[ ]

"Apparently, New Haven [New Haven County] had its poor farm on property purchased from Hamden also in the southern part of town near West Rock. The building was huge and was torn down in the 1950's. I have a photo I cut out of the paper. They wanted the poor folks as far away as possible. The area is where the New Haven Regional Center for the retarded and handicapped and the New Have Rehab center were. I worked there for quite a few years. Once when I took my grandmother with me to pick up my check, she said, I did not know that you worked at the poor farm. I can't promise that I can find the photo but I will look.  I think that the 1900 census lists people who lived there. So, Hamden had its poor farm way out near Cheshire and New Haven had its way out near Hamden. Every time I go to Brooksvale Park down that winding road I think about how it must have been to be walking down there to the poor farm. Also, at the New Haven Alms house, they raised pigs. I know the other one also had a farm. Another thought, since the New Haven Alms house was at the base of West Rock, maybe that is Poor House Mountain."

the Poorhouse Story

"Yes, we have transcribed The Killingly Poor Farm records  [Windham County]  from 1876 have been transcribed and are available at the Killingly History Center. The Center is on Main Street in Danielson, CT. There are information signs directing you to the center once you get off of interstate 395. Hours right now are Monday and Friday 9-noon, Wed and Sat 10-400. I did hear the other day that the winter hours are only Wed and Saturday. Telephone: 860-779-7250. Mailing address: Killingly Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 6000, Danielson, CT 06329."
     Marilyn Labbe  and Debbie Benedict 

List of Residents of Newtown Poorhouse from the 1850 Census -- Fairfield County 

List of Residents of  Old Lyme Town  Farm -- from the 1900 Census -- New London Co
         Note: This was a town facility rather than a county facility.) 

of Residents of the Salisbury "Town Asylum " (which we believe to have been a poorhouse)
           from the 1860 Census -- Litchfield County.  

the Poorhouse Story

Notes re: poorhouse cemetery location, etc. in New London County
the Poorhouse Story

We are hoping to build this base of information about poorhouses in CONNECTICUT 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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