Alms House

The Alms House 1825-1952.

The land belonged to Thomas Mifflin, 1st. Governor of Pennsylvania. His Plantation was called: Angelica.

In the early days when no hospital was available, people were sent to the "County House" or the "Poor House" to be cared for. People with infectious diseases were sent there as well as old people who were senile, and of course "poor people".

Dead were also brought there it be buried. Not all that died in the Alms House were buried there. Some were taken away by their families.

A person whose death occured in the Alms House was not necessabily a "pauper."

The Alms House also served as a prison.

The 1st. year, 130 people were housed. In 1878, 1,630 were housed.

The land is now part of Governor Mifflin School and the Kenhorst Plaza, along with private homes.

Governor Mifflin School now stands on some of the Alms tract.

Picture by Justine Walter 2000

Kenhorst Plaza now stands on some ot the Alms tract.

Picture by Justine Walter 2000
To my knowlege, the cemeteries were never moved.

On July 30, 2000, I went to the Kenhorst Plaza. I found evedence of burials in the parking lot and also in a field acorss the way. Also in the parking lot at Governor Mifflin School. A complex that large, and the death rate per day and year, they had to have more than one cemetery.

Remains of possible Alms cemetery across from the Kenhorst Plaza.

Picture by Justine Walter 2000

I'd like to thank George M. Meiser IX, for allowing me to scan and include the pictures of the Alms House, taken from his book, The Passing Scenes Vol. 9 by George M. Meiser and Gloria Jean Meiser. 1994. George is our local Historican.

The Alms House, drawn by inmate Louis Mader, around 1890.

This painting can be viewed at the Berks County Historical Society.

Other Alms House Artist were, Charles Hoffman and John Rasmussen.

The map of the Alms House.

A view of the house.

The Front Enterance.

Cemetery, taken by Val Reich, 1936.

The Main Building.

The Boiler House.