|Old Ladies Home - Oshkosh|
Location: 1628 North Main Street, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Opened: August 20, 1902
Like similar initiatives during the 19th century, the Old Ladies Home in Oshkosh came about because middle-class women banded together to create charitable institutions to help women, children, and the poor.
Derived from the Ladies Benevolent Society website (unbelievably, they still exist!):
In 1863 a group of prominent Oshkosh women formed the Ladies Aid Society and rolled bandages from old sheets and table linens to assist in the Civil War. In 1865 the name was changed to the Ladies Benevolent Society.
In 1902 the Society built a home at 1628 North Main Street in which they cared for older women.
By 1974, however, government regulations and the health of the women made it too expensive for LBS to keep “The Home” open. There were 10 women living there at that time. Evergreen Retirement Community agreed to take the women in and care for them until they died. Nine of them moved to Evergreen; one died before the move.
The home was later sold to the Winnebago County Association for Retarded Citizens. In June 1992, the house became Centennial Inn, a home for seniors.
So the place came full circle--but this time they admitted men.
Haven't found out a lot about life at "the Home." But we see here that the Oshkosh chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) "furnished the Christmas dinner and entertainment" for the ladies in 1917. This included "music, readings, Christmas tree, and a gift of one handkerchief and $1 for each lady--20 in number."
For some reason, all that sounds rather depressing....