Michigan Poor Farms
The Leelanau County Poor Farm is one of many in Michigan. It is widely thought that all but one county had either a poor farm or poor residence in the early 1900s. Nearly every Michigan county built such facilities, but few remain. Their social and cultural histories have almost disappeared as well. These are often not well documented within their communities or across the state.
Adam Oster, Community Engagement Librarian at the Library of Michigan, was scheduled to make a Michigan Poor Farms presentation on May 31, 2020 in Traverse City. Oster has done extensive research on Michigan poor farms and underlying legislation surrounding their establishment and management during the 1800s and early 1900s. This event, postponed due to Covid-19 precautions, was to be co-sponsored by LCHPS, Leelanau Historical Society and Benzie Historical Society. Discussions are underway to produce a video recording, which should reach an even broader audience.