Gogebic County Poor House
In 1903 The Gogebic County Poor House (Poor Farm) was located in the City of Bessemer (Approximately where The Pollari Farm was on Black River Road.)
In1905, L.S. Anderson, Keeper of the County Poor farms bought a 200-egg Incubator and went into the business of raising chickens. During one of the winters in these early years of the Poor Farm two male residents got into a fight over who was to keep the stove supplied with wood. One of the two men was killed in the scuffle.
In 1907. The citizens of Gogebic County County voted to build a new County Poor House west of the city of Bessemer between the Wisconsin Central and the Chicago Northwestern railroad lines, north of the Ironton Location on Puritan Road
In 1908, Dan Egan, contactor who had just completed building the A Johnston High School in Bessemer, was contracted by the county to build the new Gogebic County Poor House for the co. of $21.000
In. 1910, patients at the old county infirmary north of Bessemer were moved into the new Gogebic County Poor House on Puritan Road. Richard Kitto was the manager
In 1936, the Wico School building in Wakefield became the temporary quarters for the County Infirmary because of shifting grounds due to mining operations -the Ironton Mine caving. The Wico School equipment and students were temporarily moved to the Plymouth School in Plymouth Location.
The Olcott School in Bessemer was considered but the residents on Longyear Street objected and thus the Wico School was chosen. After repairs were made to the County Poor Farm buildings and the caving seemed to have stopped the residents were moved back to the Puritan Location building.
In 1950, again the caving ground caused by mining operations created a problem for the County Poor Farm in the Ironton Location. The Wakefield School Board offered the Wico School property to the County for a permanent convalescent home.
In 1951, the county board accepted a bid from the Sironen Brothers Construction Co. to remodel the Wico School into a new convalescent home. Sixty-three resident beds were set up in the school building, which was originally built in 1926.
In February of 1953, the occupants from the County Infirmary in Bessemer (Puritan Location) were moved to the new convalescent home in Wico Location. It was then known as the Gogebic Hospital.
Gogebic Hospital - Opened in 1953
Also, in 1953, Lucy and Eugene Winkowski purchased the Ochis building on Mary Street in Bessemer and established a rest home for the aged. Mrs. Winkowski, the former Lucy Fidanzi, had worked for 16 years at the Gogebic County Infirmary (Poor Farm) and Eugene Winkowski served as the buildings and grounds keeper and operator of the farm at the infirmary from 1945 to 1953.
In 1962, the Gogebic County Welfare Commission dedicated the Gogebic Hospital.
In 1961 and 1962, a new two-story building with a ground floor known as the West wing was built.
In 1963, the West wing was opened with 77 new resident beds, bringing the total bed count to 140.
Courtesy of Dennis Rolando