Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers

Presenter: Stephen Taylor

From its earliest settlements New Hampshire has struggled with issues surrounding the treatment of its poor. The early Northeastern colonies followed the lead of England's 1601 Poor Law, which imposed compulsory taxes for maintenance of the poor but made no distinction between the "vagrant, vicious poor" and the helpless, and honest poor. This confusion persisted for generations and led directly to establishment in most of the state's towns of alms houses and poor farms and, later, county institutions which would collectively come to form a dark chapter in New Hampshire history. Steve Taylor will examine how paupers were treated in these facilities and how reformers eventually succeeded in closing them down. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Weare Historical Society. The Stone Building, which is next door, and houses artifacts, will be open to the public before and after the presentation. Docents will be present. 

Event Details


Saturday, October 16, 2021 2:00pm


Weare Town Hall
16 North Stark Highway
Weare NH 03281

Hosted By:

Weare Historical Society

Contact Info:

Ronda Gregg