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Old Frederick County Poor Farm

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1820; later rear addition. 956 Poorhouse Rd.

Contrary to Ebenezer Scrooge's remarks concerning the quantity of charitable establishments, the Frederick County Poor Farm was the only such institution to serve the county and the City of Winchester. During the late eighteenth century, the Virginia General Assembly required each county to create a committee called the Overseers of the Poor to take care of the destitute and needy. Previously, welfare primarily consisted of public assistance through the churches. This property replaced the original poorhouse established in 1793 on the outskirts of Winchester. It was thought that a self-sufficient farm would provide better care. Constructed at a cost of four thousand dollars, the Poor Farm remained in operation until 1947. The two-story central brick block with parapeted gable ends is flanked by one-story brick wings fronted by porches. A rear, two-story brick wing was added during the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Frederick County Poor Farm is one of a few surviving examples of its type in the state. The buildings are now used for various purposes, including storage by a private company.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee

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