What ever happened down on Poor Farm Rd.?
I have explored just about every corner of my home state of Vermont. In at least one but as many as three towns in every county is a road named Poor Farm Rd. Or Town Farm Rd. The town farm was a part of every community of the state. They were working dairy farms but could also have gravel pits, wood lots, Maple works, Mills and creameries. They were town owned businesses. Often when a family was behind on property taxes, or did not want to pay cash. They would send a son or two to cut wood at the town farm. If a families house burned down they would stay at the town farm until it was rebuilt. If a barn burned cattle could be milked at the town farm until the new barn was raised. When somebody was passing through and needed a week of temporary employment, they could stay at and work on the town farm. The one room schoolhouses in the town would get it’s firewood cut split and delivered by the town farm. The barter system used to be alive and well in Vermont and folk could use goods and services, through the town farm to pay municipal needs. If you were unemployed and homeless the town farm was right there. Nobody sat on their backside and collected a government check. There was always work, always something to do. The town farm employed folk as well. My Grandfather Oliver worked his caterpillar tractor (He never said bulldozer) in the gravel pits of the Hinesburg town farm for years.
What ever happened to the town farm? When did we (collectively, not you and I reading this) decide it was better to have folk sit at home and get a check instead of working? I hear the President use the term “Everyone who wants a job!” when talking about unemployment. But I personally see so many who do not want jobs at all and are content to sit on their bottom and collect. If they want more cash they pop out another kid and the welfare benefits increase and they get to move into a low income apartment with more bedrooms than they just had. Don’t want those poor kids double bunking do we?
When did we chose to phase out the poor farm, and why?