Essay about Poor Houses in Mercer County

826 Words Apr 26th, 2012 4 Pages
Allysen S. Byers
September 28, 2011
SOWK 604-Poor House Assignment
Location- Mercer County, Pennsylvania
The Mercer County Home and Hospital was opened to residents in January of 1853. As part of an initiative which began in 1830 by an act of the PA General Assembly and passed into legislation on March 22, 1850, the exploration of a site to build what would eventually be known to locals as the Mercer County Poor Farm began. By 1851, a site was purchased and then discarded due to poor location. A second developmental site was purchased in 1852 and the original facility on 83 acres became home to an initial 14 residents. Over a time span of almost 80 years, land would be purchased and developed with three residential facilities erected
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Assessing it would not be fiscally feasible to continue production, the farms machinery and livestock were auctioned off. Eventually land would be divided. Some would be rented out and farmed privately while other parcels were sold. The third building, purchased by Avalon Springs became a skilled nursing center.
Current use
The land that originally served as the home for Mercer County’s poor farm currently serves several different purposes. The Mercer County Career Center, the Mercer County Cooperative Extension, and the YES Academy Youth Education Services sit on parcels of land that total 139 acres of the former poor farm.
The Mercer County Career Center provides career and technical educational training skills to 10 of the 12 Mercer County school districts students who choose this alternative path to a standardized high school curriculum. The center offers 14 different vocational paths available for its students in the secondary educational arena and offers two continuing education programs.
The Mercer County Cooperative Extension is affiliated with Penn State University Shenango Valley campus and provides valuable assistance to the community through offering three different programs. 4-H, Master Gardener, and Our Children, Our Future all deliver an array of benefits to the Mercer County community.
The YES Academy Youth Education Services is a facility licensed by the Department of Public Welfare’s Children, Youth, and Family division.

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