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This almshouse is supplied with an excellent dairy, and as a consequence the inmates have plenty of milk and butter as well as other good food. During the summer season, when the garden is productive, the inmates are furnished with fresh vegetables in such variety as is desirable.
The main need of this alms house is for a hospital. A separate building should be provided, in order that the dormitories be relieved of the presence of the sick. At the present time the sick are quartered in two rooms, each containing three beds. A small addition serves as an isolation room for infectious diseases; in this are two beds. It is fortunate that the total number of inmates is not large, but as one-half of them are over seventy years of age, a separate hospital building is a necessity.
NIAGARA COUNTY ALMSHOUSE.
Lockport, N. Y. ALBERT H. LEE, Superintendent and Keeper. The Niagara County Almshouse is located about three miles from Lockport. The principal building is a stone structure three stories high and of L shape. The main front is 180 feet in length and has a depth of 60 feet. The L extension is 150 feet in length with a width of 60 feet, and has two wings each 30 feet square. Besides the main building there is a frame hos pital, lately erected, 60x40 feet in dimension.
All the buildings are in good repair. Recently the hospital cellar was improved by putting down a cement floor. Three fire-escapes are now on the main building, and two on the hospital.
It is expected that a new power plant will be installed, and also that the water supply will be improved. For many years the subject of water has been under consideration. It is hoped the board of supervisors will take such action as will assure a satisfactory supply. It is dangerous to health and safety to permit a large institution like this to depend upon a meagre and uncertain supply of water.
The present method of lighting the almshouse is by the use of kerosene oil, but with the introduction of a new power plant it is expected that a dynamo and motor will furnish electric light.
The general condition of the almshouse, as indicated by the contentment of the inmates, is satisfactory. The food supply was found sufficient, and matters indicated attention to the details of administration.
As the main building is quite old, many alterations will be required before it represents the standard of care which should be provided for the poor. Little by little these changes are being made, and in time the whole a'lmshouse will be remodeled.
ORLEANS COUNTY ALMSHOUSE.
Albion, N. Y. V. D. LUDINGTON, Superintendent and Keeper. About three miles from Albion, the Orleans County Almshouse stands in a prominent position, surrounded by a fine farm. It has a capacity sufficient to accommodate 125 inmates, and is generally well equipped. The buildings are in good repair at the present time. Each year the supervisors of the county were in the habit of making special appropriations to cover repairs, but unfortunately at the last annual session the board forgot this appropriation, and, in consequence, the institution must get along for a time as well as possible without repairs. Fortunately the almshouse is now in such good condition that it can probably do so for the current year, as it needs no special additions or improvements.
The sick are cared for in a small two-story frame cottage adjoining the main building, and connected with it on the second floor. Of this building, only the main floor is used as a hospital. This has thirteen beds for men. The women when sick are looked after in their ordinary rooms instead of being removed.
One necessary improvement has been deferred from year to year, and as a result there is a considerable annual loss. The coal supply is piled in the rear yard exposed to the weather, owing to lack of storage room in the building. The coal deteriorates in quality as a result, and, in all probability, were the loss of heating power carefully calculated it would be found that the exposure of the supply for the last few years has resulted in a loss which would more than pay for the erection of a storage building of considerable size. It has been suggested heretofore that the old frame building now used as a hospital for men be removed to some distance from the main structure and be adapted for the storage of the fuel. This building is not suitable for a hospital. As has been stated, it has no accommodations for the women, and should give way to a brick structure properly equipped. Its removal would solve the storage problem, and result in an economy which would go far toward paying for the new hospital in a short time.
WYOMING COUNTY ALMSHOUSE.
Varysburg, N. Y.
EDWARD C. STANLEY, Keeper. This is another representative of the cottage group alms houses. Its buildings are all connected by open corridors, and the dormitories are completely separated from the work and service building. All are in good repair and kept well painted. It is expected that the general safety will be provided for by the erection of outside iron fire-escapes upon the men's building. A new ice house and cooler is also provided for.
The inmates are well cared for and abundantly supplied with milk and butter, as there is a large dairy connected with the almshouse.
It would be well were some safer and better illuminant used than the kerosene oil lamps which now serve for lighting purposes. This almshouse is perhaps near enough to the natural gas belt to have the gas introduced, but if that be impossible it may be well to install an acetylene gas plant.