Antrim County Farm

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Antrim County Farm
Established 1869
Opened 1871/1889/1927
Current Status Demolished (Original building)
Building Style Single Building
Location Bellaire, MI
Alternate Names
  • Antrim County Infirmary
  • Meadow Brook Hospital
  • Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility


From 1871 through 1876 the County Poor Farm was located in Torch Lake Township. In 1889 the County Poor farm was moved to our present location in Kearney Township, south of Bellaire off M-88. The County built a two story wooden structure and allocated a small amount of money to cover clothing and linen expenses. Some of the reasons for the admissions were old age, poverty, sickness and blindness. Orphans were housed at the County Poor Farm and there is an entry of a woman and her children who stayed at the poor farm while her husband was in jail. At that time the residents of the Poor Farm had to be self-sufficient. They raised their own vegetables and meat on the premises. All who were able worked for the good of the community.

In 1902 a barn was placed on the property for livestock. The building housing residents burned completely to the ground in June 1926, and the residents were temporarily moved to the Forest Home Township Hall. Late in 1926 the Board of Supervisors contracted to build a new home to house up to 35 residents at a cost of $39,496.00. This building was completed in 1927. In 1939 the State of Michigan passed Public Act 280 that changed the direction from a Poor Farm to an infirmary to provide medical and nursing care to the needy. It operated until 1948. Then the County moved into acute care, and the Poor Farm was renamed Meadow Brook Hospital. The hospital had one floor for emergency services; obstetrics and general care for an adult population with chronic illnesses. The second floor of the hospital housed the caregivers. At that time the medical community was made up of Dr. Rodgers and Dr. Glenny from Bellaire, Dr. Sealey from Central Lake, Dr. Gingrich and Dr. Krippen from Mancelona. The nursing staff consisted of one nurse and one nursing assistant on each shift for a 24-hour period.

The hospital continued to raise poultry and livestock on the property until 1957. In 1958, the second floor was expanded for more patient services at a cost of $412,000. The third floor was added in 1962 to increase the resident population total to 69, at a cost of $116,000.00. In 1964 the Obstetric Department of Meadow Brook Hospital was closed. During the time the hospital was open, a total of 1,627 babies were born in the facility. In 1982, two new nursing units were added bringing the total bed capacity to 113. All residents who were housed in Meadow Brook Hospital were moved into the new building. The cost for these additions was $2,481,000.00. In 1983, the hospital was remodeled to become Meadow View Apartments with 21 apartments for seniors for a total cost of $754,000.00.

At the present time Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility provides over 40,000 days per year of resident services with a capacity of 133 residents.