Kittanning Poor-House

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Kittanning Poor-House
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) Hulman & Brother
Alternate Names


Information on the Kittanning Poor house is hard to come by. Unlike most counties, which utilized a county almshouse system Armstrong county utilized a system of Poor Districts, which were responsible for the poor from a specific section of the county. Armstrong County had three poor districts and three poor houses as a result.

The Kittanning Poor House was erected sometime likely in the 1850s or 1860s, however a new building was constructed in 1885. This was a wood framed one story structure measured 125 feet long and 4 feet wide with a painted iron roof. The structure has a center which is partition off the the wings to either side, to allow segregation of the male and female paupers. Each wing was made to accommodate 20 people and the rooms were well furnished. The rear part of the buildings center housed the dining room as well as the kitchen for the patients. The center portion rose up two stories, with the second story being used for the superintendent and his family. The poor house was rather primitive compared to others but was a result of the much smaller population.

The institution stood on 56 acres of land, with 30 of those being under cultivation and 2 under garden husbandry. There were also other outbuildings on the property, such as a Barn. The water was provided for by two springs on the property. Once known as Armstrong County’s “poor farm,” the Armsdale building along Route 85 outside of Kittanning will be vacated as four agencies move into a new facility nearby the county courthouse in 2017.