Vermont's Poor Farms

Location: Colchester
Tag(s): Healthcare
Historical Category: Government History
Video Date: 3/24/23

As early as 1797, Vermont put the responsibility for taking care of its poor, ill, and elderly residents on its towns, many of which set up Poor Farms, where they would be directed to work until their debts were paid. This antiquated system lasted until 1968, when the Legislature repealed the original laws and the last farm (located in Sheldon) shut down.


This Place in History is produced in partnership by Local 22 & Local 44 ( and the Vermont Historical Society.

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