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Tyler Commissioners May Have To Make Difficult Decision

By Staff | Oct 21, 2015

The Tyler County Commissioners have a difficult decision to make regarding the “Poor Farm.” Their choices? figure out a way to preserve it, or tear it down.

In September, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office approached the commissioners with concerns about the structure. It has fallen into a state of disrepair, and they believe it has become a potential hazard, especially to children who play in the area.

The 100-year-old structure and surrounding property is a large part of the county’s history. It sits in the middle of the Tyler County Fair Grounds, and operated as a self-sufficient farm for indigent people until 1951. A group called the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia included it on their 2009 Endangered Properties List, identifying historic properties throughout the state considered at risk of being lost to decay and demolition.

But it will take a lot of money to renovate. More than the county can afford. A motion was passed allowing preservationists more time to formulate a plan to save the house. Community support and ideas are being given. Perhaps funding can be secured for the necessary renovations. But if not, the commissioners at some point will have to make a tough call. Whether to raze the failing structure, or try to find a way to preserve it’s history, without putting the county’s finances in the “Poor House.”