Friday, May 3, 2013

Wilkes-Barre Old Ladies Home

Old Ladies Home - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Old Ladies Home

Location: 450 Carey Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA

Opened: 1892

Closed: 1972

According to a book on Wilkes-Barre history, the Old Ladies Home was a charitable institution caring for aged and homeless women in the community. It had room to house up to 40 women either temporarily or permanently as needed.

The "home" was apparently torn down after the flood of 1972.

Judging by this 1910 news clipping, these "old ladies" weren't exactly laying about waiting for death. In fact, they were not afraid to express their opinions in direct, "non-lady-like",  and confrontational ways:

Members of Home Resent Billboard Pictures of Women Scantily Dressed

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. — Opposite the Old Ladies' home in this city is a dead wall, which is used to advertise attractions at some of the local theaters. A bill poster put up a number of posters of ballet dancers clad in gaudy and scant attire. The inmates of the house, who saw them from their windows, were indignant.

They held a consultation and then resolved on action. They procured a number of newspapers, and with paste and pot made their way to the opposite side of the street and covered the lower limbs of the dancers, and were much pleased with their work. One of them remarked: "There now! I guess decency will not be outraged."

Of course the newspaper mocks these women as busybodies and prudes, but what else is new....

Yet another random find. Here is an interesting obituary for a woman physician (Dr. Sarah J. Coe) who volunteered at the Old Ladies Home until her death in 1905. 

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