The York County Almshouse

The original York County Almshouse, also called the poorhouse, was built in the early 1800s. It was managed by the Overseers of the Poor and later by the Directors of the Poor or the Institution District. Originally the poor were cared for by each individual township or boro, but by the early 1800s, the county created one central location. A law in 1883 required that children who did not have mental or physical disabilities could only reside for 60 days. After that time children could be bound out as apprentices or indentured servants. This practice was allowed until 1927. Children could also be placed in foster homes. Both indigent and persons classified as insane were admitted to the Almshouse. The insane were later transferred to the State Mental Hospital in Harrisburg. The Almshouse also gave temporary shelter to vagrants, which at that time were called Tramps. With new laws for State and Federal Welfare after the depression, the Almshouse has changed from a poorhouse to a Nursing Home. It currently operates as the York County Hospital and Home.