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Brian Boelk
Mike Welch
Joe Lomheim
Kevin McLaughlin
Jared Ringsdorf

The Johnson County Historic Poor Farm is one of the few remaining relatively intact examples of the county farm model established in the 19th Century. 

First opened in 1855 to care for the indigent, the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill, this historical resource provides an unique educational and interpretive opportunity for visitors to learn about Iowa’s method of using its plentiful agricultural resources in efforts to care for the poor and mentally ill. The concept of the Poor Farm reflected the prevailing attitude that fresh air and work would be good for the “poor unfortunates.” The farm was to be self-supporting and residents were expected to do farm chores to the extent of their abilities. This structure made sense, as many residents had previous farm experience and their labor helped compensate the County for their care

Axiom Consultants is working in tandem with Iowa Valley RC&D and our friends at RDG Planning and Design to complete a large portion of the engineering package for the West Barn facility at the historic Johnson County Poor Farm in Southwest Iowa City.  Planning for the eventual use of the West Barn is still underway but the architectural and engineering improvements will provide the opportunity to use this historic structure moving forward.

PARTNERS

JOHNSON COUNTY POOR FARM
Iowa City, IA

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