Bowling Green, OH – The Wood County Historical Center & Museum received the Ohio State Historic Preservation Award for Public Education and Awareness honoring the current exhibit For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio By Way of the Poor Farm.
This exhibit explores the administrative story about public charity in Ohio that dates as early as 1816 using photographs, ephemera, and interpretive panels. It also explores the rise of the Ohio State Board of Charities in 1867, its transition in the 1930s to the Ohio Department of Public Welfare, Division of Aged, and how the preservation of former Wood County Infirmary as the current Wood County Historical Center & Museum impacts the story of public charity in Ohio.
With the help of local photographer Jeffrey Hall, a journey of over 5,000 miles to all 88 counties documented the current condition of each former poor farm site. These photographs connect past and present, bringing the history of the poor farm system to the forefront as a catalyst for conversation about the situations and policies that led people across Ohio to be housed in these places.
The exhibit was made possible by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Humanities Council, with a generous in-kind donation of photography services by Jeffrey Hall.
This is the second award for this exhibit; the museum was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Local History Alliance on October 5, 2019.
For more information, contact the Wood County Historical Center & Museum at 419-352-0967 or visit www.woodcountyhistory.org.