Commissioners prepare for sale of County Home
GREENCASTLE -- On Nov. 11, Auctioneers will sell off parcels of land surrounding the old Putnam County Home. Putnam County commissioners Gene Beck, Jim Baird and Kristina Warren looked over final plans for the auction that will begin at 6 p.m. at the Dixie Chopper Convention Center at the Putnam County Airport.
"We will follow the same procedure as we do for all auctions. Each parcel will go up for sale, when bids are made, the commissioners take them and go into a separate room and decide to accept the bid or not," explained Beck.
"We do the auction this way so you don't have to go back to the Planning Board after the sale to have it replatted," he added.
"We could have divided it up and gotten more half sites, but the commissioners wanted to keep them as intact as possible," said County Planner Kim Hyten.
The county home, along with 10 acres, will also be up for sale that night. An assessment of the value of the home has been obtained and bidders will have to meet at least 90 percent of the assessed value and have their offer approved by the commissioners.
Money from the auction will go into the county's annex fund. The area where the cemetery sits will be retained by the county and be overseen by the cemetery board.
"We'll fence it off and leave an easement to the cemetery," said Hyten.
Commissioners had hoped to be able to move the old jail portion of the home to the current Putnam County Jail, but the cost is proving prohibitive.
"We got an estimate of between $38,000 and $48,000 to move it. We just can't afford it," said Beck.
The sale of items from the home that took place on Oct. 24 had a final tally of $10,654. After the 20 percent sale commission to the auctioneer ($2,130.80), advertisement for Antique Weekly ($337.43) and Hoosier Topics ($83.85), as well as the labor setup and hauling fee ($390), the total was $7,711.92.
On Oct. 27, $109 was made with the sale of miscellaneous items with a 25 percent commission paid of $27.25. The county received $81.75 of the total.
The total check written to Putnam County was $7,793.67 with $1,531 to the Sheriff Department and $6,262.67 to the Putnam County Commissioners for the annex fund.
The historic home has been a landmark in Putnam County since it was built in 1870.
It began as a self-sustaining Poor Farm for the destitute and poor in Putnam County. It was a place for people to go who could not support themselves and was tax-supported.
Poor houses began as a way of providing a less expensive alternative for what is now called "welfare."
In 1875, poorhouses in most states became the responsibility of the State Board of Charities. Laws were passed prohibiting children from residing in them.
Eventually, the farms evolved almost exclusively into nursing homes for dependent elderly people. They were common in the United States beginning in the middle of the 19th century and declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935, with many disappearing by the 1950s.
On Aug. 17, Putnam County commissioners make their final inspection of the historic building in preparation for the sale of the home and surrounding land.
For information about the land sale contact Hyten at 653-5727.