The Poor Farm
From The CCHS ARCHIVES: The Clarion County Home, undated. ~The Wilshire Postcard Collection
~ In 1898, voters approved the proposal to build the county home, and in
1903 The County Commissioners bought the
G. V. Curll farm for $71 an acre, for use as the Clarion County Home . An 800 acre working farm for the poor and outcast, known as The Poor Farm, was built. The residents of the farm were known as "inmates" and the farm was totally self sufficient. Everyone had a job to help with the operation of the farm.
Chickens and pigs were raised and there was a full running dairy which produced milk, cheese and meat. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens were also raised for food. Some of the food products would be used to barter for other goods that the farm needed.
Various churches in the community would take turns going to the County Home and providing services and singing hymns with the residents.
The home was constructed of three layers of brick, which was effective in regulating the internal temperatures, and utilized fireplaces for heat. Skylights provided additional lighting and heat. Men and women were housed separately; the men residing in the right wing, and the women in the left wing. The rear section housed a kitchen with a large walk-in pantry, and four offices and a bathroom.
There was a large barn and several outbuildings behind the home, and a cemetery on the property.
The main house in front was the superintendent's home, consisting of three rooms on the first floor, and three bedrooms on the second floor with a bathroom and a reading room. Each room in the house had its own fire place. Sometime in the early 1900’s a third story was added to the main house adding four more bedrooms.
The original debt for the county was $90,000. In 1927, Clarion County paid off the last of its 1903 bonds for building the Poor Farm.
It is unclear when the County Home closed, but in the 1980's the building was used as apartments. Several years ago it was purchased by Leela Mata and now it is the Peaceful Valley Ashram & Retreat.
Sources: Davis History Supplement, Clarion Democrat