Michigan County Poor Farms

Long before the advent of modern social welfare, county governments in Michigan maintained poorhouses or poor farms.

Join us at the Carnegie Library to explore the early history of these facilities in their attempts to become both self-sustaining entities and refuges for a county’s poor, elderly and destitute. Discover the lives and stories of those that resided at these poor farms. Learn about their transition to serving individuals with chronic illnesses and what eventually led to many of them shutting down in the later part of the 20th Century.

About the Presenter: Adam Oster is the Community Engagement Librarian for the Library of Michigan. Adam holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Grand Valley State University with a minor in Political Science and Secondary Education Certification. He also has a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University. Adam’s interests include genealogy and local history research.

This event is presented by Living History at JDL.