Poor Farm (Houghton County Infirmary)


I've previously heard this place referred to as the Houghton county "insane asylum". After some research it turned out this was a county hospital and "poor farm". Built in the 1870's, this is where the poor in the county came to stay. In return for food and lodging, those who were able worked the property's 100 acres, farming various crops and tending to livestock. Those who were unable (mainly the old and infirm) stayed on the property with the income gained by the farming operation. At peak occupation these facilities housed 150 people. By most accounts, the farm was largely self sufficient, requiring little help from the county due to farm revenue. In 1953, the farm was shut down due to new health and food standards. In 1968 the infirmary was shut down and all occupants were moved to the state TB facility in Hancock. Today all that is left are several ruins.

The farm has three main sets of ruins. The most impressive are those pictured above. Though most of the building has collapsed, the basement, metal stairways and the southernmost 1st floor are largely sound. The other two (to the west and north west) are both completely collapsed, though they might be worth checking out when not covered in snow. The land the farm is located on is likely private property, though when walking the road in from the north there are no posted signs to be found. Just keep that in mind that you might run into an angry land owner, in which case play dumb.

To get here from Houghton, head west down Main Street, through the yooper loop onto US-23 and turn right down Houghton Canal Rd. Continue for 2.3 miles and turn left onto Gedvillas Rd. Park when you get to the private drive and walk in on the road heading south.

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