Midland County Poor Farm

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Midland County Poor Farm
Established 1865
Current Status Preserved (Original building)
Building Style Single Building
Location Midland Township, MI
Alternate Names
  • Pinecrest Farms (Current)


In 1865, the Midland County Board of Supervisors allotted $2,000 for the purchase of Samuel P. Chapman's farm to be used as a poor farm for the county's "poor and unfortunate." The farm consisted of 80 acres (of which 50 were cultivated) a nine room farmhouse, a large barn, and several outbuildings. During the first year of operation, the County Poor Farm supported seven people including several orphans, various elderly people, and a Civil War veteran who was both mentally and physically handicapped by his military service. During the next 20 years, the Poor Farm was enlarged as needed. Additional acreage was purchased which was farmed by its inmates as a contribution to their support.

The early years of the 20th century, the Midland County Poor Farm was in need of new facilities. After nearly 40 years of use, the original structure was in dire need of repair. The limited space was sorely crowded by the increased number of inmates. In 1900, plans were announced to construct a new efficient County Poor Farm near the existing facilities, located on Gordonville Road. However, construction was delayed for several years due to county finances. Construction finally began in 1914, and took 18 months to complete. A local newspaper described Midland's now County Poor Farm as "A handsome two-story brick structure constructed with an abundance of windows, thus allowing proper ventilation for its residents."

By 1920, the Midland County Poor Farm was home to almost 40 residents from a wide variety of backgrounds. In the 1940s, the County Poor Farm's operations had developed into a hospital-like facility,providing convalescent care for the elderly. Its role dramatically changed, in accordance to the local communities needs. During the early 1960s, the Midland County Poor Farm location was purchased by Consumers Power Company for the construction of their Nuclear Power Plant facility. Midland County replaced the former county farm with the pleasant facility known as "Pinecrest," located on West Olson Road.