Northern Luzerne Poor-House

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Northern Luzerne Poor-House
Established April 4th, 1868
Construction Began 1871 (first frame structure), 1893 (second frame structure)
Construction Ended 1871 (first frame structure), 1894 (second frame structure)
Opened 1871
Alternate Names *e

Lackawanna County Poor Districts[edit]

In Pennsylvania the almshouse typically consisted of a single County Poor Farm which provided refuge for all paupers of said county. Lackawanna, and a few other counties, acted as an exception to this rule of administration and instead divided the county into separate poor districts, each with their own almshouse. Lackawanna County was divided into five separate poor-districts with five separate poor houses. These were the Blakely Poor-House, Carbondale City Poor-House, Hillside Farm and Almshouse, Northern Luzerne Poor-House, and the Ransom Poor-House, which incorporated in its poor district three townships and four boroughs of Luzerne County.


The Northern Luzerne Poor House was established by an act of the county on April 4, 1868, making it the final poor district to be established in Lackawanna County. The almshouse was was to accommodate the paupers of Newton, North Abington, South Abington, and Scott townships as well as Glenburg and Lapin boroughs. It was located in South Abington township, nine miles from the city of Scranton and central to the poor district it served. By 1886 the poor house sat on 125 acres, originally costing $9000, 70 of which were under cultivation with one being used to garden husbandry. The soil was described as generally sandy.

At the time of the State Board of Public Charities inspection in 1886 the poor farm consisted of the stewards building, the poor house, and a wooden barn. The stewards building was a two story wooden frame structure. The second building used for the paupers was also two stories tall and wooden in construction. The original building, erected in 1871, measured 18x20 feet and is occupied by the female poor. An addition, added in 1874, measures 16x20 feet and is used for the male poor. There was no plumbing, so all water came from a well on property and toilet facilities consisted of three cesspools on property. One cesspool for each sex and one for the stewards family. Once a year these are cleaned out and the contents used to fertilize the farmland.

In 1893 a new frame structure was begun to provide better accomidation for the districts poor. This building was completed by the following year.

Images of the Northern Luzerne Poor-House[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Northern Luzerne Poor-House

Additional Information[edit]