Clark County operated a poor farm at this site from at least 1873 until 1943, although the cemetery, the earliest remaining resource on the property, dates to 1913. The existing main building and garage were built in 1926, having been designed by the noted Portland, Ore. firm of DeYoung and Roald. The firm earlier designed Portland’s Heathman Hotel and Paramount Theater.
The site is locally significant because of its association with social welfare and early 20th century poor farm relief programs. Counties operated poor farms throughout the U.S. until the system was reorganized in the 1930s and then largely discontinued after Social Security was set up during the Roosevelt administration.
The site also is significant because it was part of a network of mid-20th century, state-operated agricultural extension centers established to aid individual counties with agricultural research and development. Washington State College, now Washington State University, established the Southwestern Washington Experiment Station on the poor farm site. The station conducted research regarding commercial vegetables and fruit crops, insect and disease control, fertilizer development, irrigation, animal science, soils, seeds and Christmas trees, among other horticultural studies.
Please view this CVTV video about the farm.
Poor Farm National Register Nomination packet (PDF)
- Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2013
- Listed in the Washington Heritage Register in 2012
- Listed in the Clark County Heritage Register in 2013