Exploring The Former Debtors’ Prison Of Rome “Old Oneida County Home” ~ The Haunts And Legends Of New York
Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. The Old Oneida County Home, also known as the Oneida County Poor Farm, opened its doors in 1829 in Rome but while it is closed today several of the buildings are still in use.
Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.
In this episode Eric guides the explorers to the Mohawk Valley Community College Campus in Rome to uncover a hidden history of the site and the lasting legacy that is left today. Originally opening its doors in 1829 as the Oneida County Poor Farm, the Old Oneida County Home was a Debtor's Prison where the poor, homeless and the mentally ill were sentenced to stay and work on the 115 acre farm until its closure in the mid-1900s.
The Old Oneida County Home, the Oneida County Poor Farm served an average of 222 inmates each year with an investigation report in 1857 recording 37 deaths and a reported 31 lunatics kept at a constructed asylum building on the property. The Old Oneida County Home remained in operation until the 1930s, the last graves placed at the cemetery record 1931 as the latest year.
Today, the Old Oneida County Home is now the Mohawk Valley Community College Campus of Rome. The Administration Building is the former main building off the Poor Farm while the large red barn that served the farm is now a maintenance building for the campus and at the back of the administration parking lot sits the only indication of its former history, a simple sign for the "Old Oneida County Home Cemetery." Beyond the softball field that used to be farmland and just off the New River trail lies the cemetery with the last Old Oneida County Poor Farm residents, each marked with only a small post with a number.
Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist
Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.