Bay County Infirmary

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Bay County Infirmary
Opened 1865/1906
Current Status Demolished (Original building)
Building Style Single Building
Location Essexville, MI
Alternate Names
  • Bay County Farm


In 1865, the Bay County Board of Supervisors purchased 120 acres of farmland near what is today West Hampton Road and North Knight Road. The county erected a frame building for the aged who had no means of support. Many of the residents were no longer able to work or had no family. Some had families who couldn’t care for them. The official name was the County Farm, but most referred to it as the Poor Farm.

The original building burned to the ground in 1905. The Board of Supervisors authorized $25,000 to build a large, three-story red brick building to house 64 “inmates,” as the residents were called at the time. The facility also included several farm buildings. From 1905 to 1958, the inmates farmed the land and raised cows, chickens, and pigs to supply food. In 1958, though, the building was condemned as a fire hazard and ruled as too expensive to repair.