Adams County Historical Society
Imagine a jail, nursing home, insane asylum, halfway house and homeless shelter all in one small, cramped cluster of buildings. This was the reality for many poor, sick and disadvantaged Adams County residents for over a century. From 1819 until the mid-1960s, the Adams County Almshouse (also called the Poor House or Poor Farm) operated along the Harrisburg Road just north of Gettysburg. During the battle, it was the scene of heavy fighting and a large-scale field hospital for the wounded of both sides. And although we know very little of their ordeal, between 80 and 100 residents of the Almshouse undoubtedly witnessed the battle – many from basement cells where some were chained to the walls and floor. Join ACHS Historians Andrew Dalton and Tim Smith for an early history of this little-known county institution.