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STEUBEN COUNTY ALMSHOUSE.
Bath, N. Y. WILLIAM C. ACKER, Superintendent. Recently a hospital addition 19 x 30 feet has been added to the women's building. Another addition to the same building, 12 feet square, is arranged as a lavatory. Steam boilers have been put in, from which the steam to heat four buildings is derived. New plumbing throughout has been installed and a general improvement has taken place. It is expected that an icehouse and meat cooler will be built in the spring, as the superintendent has been empowered by the supervisors to arrange for its construction.
This almshouse is equipped with an abundant water supply, under good pressure, from the Bath water service.
At the time of inspection the institution was found in a very satisfactory condition, the dormitories and service rooms clean and in good order and the grounds and outbuildings well cared
Some of the outbuildings are old and should be removed, which will doubtless be done in time.
There are a large number of idiotic and feeble-minded persons in this almshouse (18), and 33 persons are over seventy years of age. There are 6 blind and 2 epileptics.
Mr. Ezra Chatfield, the keeper, has general charge, and from the contentment of the inmates it is apparent that he takes a personal interest in their welfare. The food served was found abundant and well cooked.
Two new buildings are nearly completed to take the place of those destroyed by fire. One of these buildings is to be the keeper's residence and the other the women's dormitory. The building formerly used as the keeper's home has been moved back to and adjoins the hospital, which serves to give further accommodations to the sick. Thirty-two hundred dollars has been appropriated for improvement of this institution and for a new water supply.
The necessity of increase in water supply was made manifest, since the close of the fiscal year, by the destruction of all the barns and outbuildings by fire, there being no water on hand to save them. It is proposed that a 15-foot well shall be sunk near the canal, with a steam pump to draw water from the same. Perhaps the institution may be able to secure a sufficient supply in this manner.
Steps are being taken to purify the supply of water taken from the canal and designed for flushing and fire purposes, as well as to render the supply certain. The officials believe that a filtration through the intervening earth will purify the water, but this is exceedingly doubtful. The experience of the city of New Haven is a warning against depending upon such filtration.
The lighting is at present by kerosene oil lamps, and for an institution where there are no adequate means to fight firekerosene oil is a dangerous illuminant. Chemical fire-extinguishiers are needed in all of the buildings and these should be put in as soon as possible.
At the time of inspection the food supply was found abundant and well cooked.
Penn Yan, N. Y.
HENRY TOWNSEND, Superintendent. The almshouse of Yates county, the last in the district to be passed in review, is also the smallest. It has a capacity of 75 inmates and the estimated value of the buildings is $25.000 The main building is of concrete, three stories high, with a base ment. At the time of inspection the building was clean, the walls well painted and all was found in good repair. Only a few minor repairs have been made recently and none are in contemplation. Money has been appropriated to purchase new iron beds for the dormitories.
The building is lighted by kerosene oil lamps and the water supply is drawn from wells and cisterns. The gasoline engine which operates the laundry furnishes power for the pumping.
The means of escape in event of fire are not adequate. There are three inside stairways, but outside fire-escapes are needed, and as another measure of protection liquid chemical fire-extinguishers should be supplied.
This almshouse has a small dairy, and the products are used for the inmates, so that they are supplied with milk and butter. The other food is generally ample and the inmates seem to be contented.
One improvement which should be made to this institution is a better provision for the sick. A small building, to be used exclusively for the sick, should be added to the group.