Delaware County Almshouse

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Delaware County Almshouse
Established February 13, 1804
Construction Began 1804
Opened 1804 (original site), 1856 (Second site)
Closed ?
Demolished ?
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Pre-1854 Plans
Location Media, PA (original); Lima, PA (second)
Alternate Names *Delaware County Home
  • Delaware County Poor Farm


The Delware County Almshouse was established on Freburary 13th, 1804 in order to provide a house of support and employment for the poor of Delaware county. That same year a site was chosen adjoining the present town of Media. The farm initially consisted of 137 acres purchased for $33 each; later another 21 acres were purchased at $100 an acre bringing the farms total size to 158 acres. When the poor house was finally completed and ready for occupancy all the poor of the county were sent there. Prior to this the counties poor were boarded for in various Townships in private homes under the charge of two Overseers of the Poor per Township. This original poor house was a stone structure measuring 100x40 feet. The poor continued to be cared for at this location for fifty years.

In 1848 the decision was made to move the Delaware County seat from the City of Chester to a move central location. The location chosen was what today is Media Pennsylvania, which remains the seat of the county. In accordance with this the Board of Commissioners soon purchased 48 acres from Sarah Brigs for $5760, located adjacent to the poor farm property. The property was then sold in plots imminently at an enormous profit. The creation of public buildings and a town greatly increased land values and soon the idea of removing the County Almshouse to another location was suggested. This was for the best as the current structure was found not to be optimal for its duty and allowed for a large and modern farm to be constructed while producing profit for the County. After the new poor farm had opened the property was sold it two tracts, first a 48 acre tract at $250 an acre, and the final 112 acres at 341.50 per acre.


The Almshouse cemetery remains in its original location on Barlow's Knoll. It contains the graves of the dead from the county complex and the poor and unidentified departed of Adams County. Located at N 39° 50.688 W 077° 13.638

Images of the Delaware County Almshouse

Main Image Gallery: Delaware County Almshouse

Additional Information

History of Delaware County Pennylvania 1862