Optimistic That ‘Poor Farm’ Can Be Saved
Peggy George, of the Tyler County Restoration Committee, is filled with optimism.
She recently received an estimate that so far gives her hope that the Tyler County Home, otherwise known as the “Poor Farm” can be saved from demolition.
“This is optimistic news because if cost estimates are reasonable, it would make it easier to pay for some of the repairs we need to fix up the place,” she said.
George recently received an estimate from Kalkreuth Roofing of Wheeling that indicates that roof repairs would cost between $110,000 and $150,000 depending on the extent of the slate that needs to be replaced. That figure does not include the wooden eaves, which are in serious disrepair. She hopes the group can secure grants and more needed to pay for necessary repairs.
George said she is happy that this figure is far less than the unofficial million-dollar figure tossed around by county leaders to fix the roof among other associated repairs.
The commission has not made any concrete plans about what to do with the property. In October, commissioners approved a motion that allows preservationists more time to formulate a plan and locate funding resources.
The Tyler County Restoration Committee is still in the process of obtaining estimates, George said.
According to a release from the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the home, also known as the “Poor Farm” or the “Poor House,” was built in 1915. The property sits in the middle of the Tyler County Fairgrounds and was once a self-sufficient farm for indigent people, and operated as such until 1951. The 2009 Endangered Properties List, released annually by the Alliance, includes the Tyler County Home, along with seven other properties throughout the state considered at risk of being lost to decay and demolition.
“I keep saying the county home is not going to go down in my lifetime,” George said. “It is worth saving. And I want to see it used, not just sit there. That place is an important part of our county’s history.”