Northwest of Lansing and northeast of Grand Rapids lies this beautiful, sprawling building, once known as the Montcalm County Poor Farm. Its history is scattered but I'll try and make the best out of what little information I have.

It began sometime before 1860, as records show the poor house and its land was sold in that year. In 1868, with more people being admitted, the need for addition was imminent. A report from 1879 shows:
1) Number of current inmates: 39
2) Number of inmates for the entire year: 67
3) 400 bushels of potatoes, 26 acres of oats, 27 sheep, 18 shoats, 16 acres of wheat, 15 hogs, 12 acres of corn, 5 cows, 1 bull, and I acre of rutabagas.

The report goes on to have some not-very-complimentary things to say about their inmates: “We have the worst lot of paupers for our number of any house in the state.” They continue by describing the inmates as:
Idiotic: 9
Almost helpless: 9
Helpless old people:5
No feet: 1

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Those 1879 findings were included in an application for extra funding.

In 1915 the total number of inmates was 46: twenty-five male and twenty-one female. Four deaths occurred that year.

The Potter's Field cemetery is on the same site. There were well over one hundred people buried there, but since then the markers have been removed. As far as is known, the bodies are still there, but there is no way now to know who is buried where.

As for the poor farm's timespan, it's up in the air. Census records indicate the 1950s may have been the last decade it was in use.

In the 2020s, new owners are working hard to breathe some life into the place, in an attempt to preserve its historic value. You can see how they're doing by checking out their Facebook page...

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