Poor House (1794-1928)
An interesting building in this area at the time was the Prince William County Poorhouse, which sat in the northwest corner of the park. The Poorhouse opened in 1794 and operated until 1927. By the late eighteenth century, the states had different ways to help the less fortunate. In colonial Virginia, charity was left to the Anglican Church, then recognized at the official church of the state. This status ended in 1785 with Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom. The commonwealth’s government insisted that counties make a centralized place to care for the poor, rather than providing door to door relief. The government appointed Overseers of the Poor, who in turn collected a Poor Tax. This was used to fund the poorhouse.
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