Ray County Historical Society & Ray County Museum – Richmond, Missouri
Built in 1910, in the shape of a "Y", which was the Poor Farm for the area with 54 rooms, all with outside views. The facility is approximately 14,400 square feet of space. The center wing is 47 feet deep and 11 feet wide with the side wings approximatley 40 feet deep and 35 feet wide. Constructed of red brick with stone window lintels and sills the wood of the window trim, porch, and verands are all painted white. The basement level is of poured concrete.
The National Register of Historical Places has registered this facility.
The County Home (Poor Farm) became the home to the Ray County Historical Society and Ray County Museum in the 1970′s. The house was used to house and care for the poor and indigent in a boarding-out system of relief where the poor were sent to board and given a monthly rate with families living in the area. During the early 1900′s there were a large number of aged people that ended their lives living in the poorhouse. It is said that a little over 37% of the population of Missouri’s poorhouses were white persons over the age of 60.
The land for the poorhouse was purchased at a cost of $150 per acre which was a total price of $3,450.14. When constructed the new superintendent was hired at $75 a month. His duties included superintending the cooking, taking care of the grounds and orchard, cultivating five acres of the ground in a truck patch and garden, taking care of the milk cows and overseeing the residents needs.
The museum has displays including The Civil War, World War I and II, Indian Artifacts, The Shotwell Parlor(1800′s), Coal Mining, Black History, Country Kitchen, Governors, The Daughters of the American Revolution, Quilts, Country School, Post Office, Costume, Doctor’ office, A Daugherty School room, an Old Farmers Shed complete with all the tools, Wildlife room, and The Mormon History Exhibit Room, replica of the Golden Tablet , funded by the Mormon Church. Along with these displays is a display of the clothing of beautiful gowns and men’s clothing worn during this time period.
The lower level of the house has a beautiful open Reception area where you can see the period pieces along with a fully accessible historical library. This library contains books of family histories, County history and more.
As you are taking a walk through the grounds you will be emerced in the peace that was part of this period (that is if you turn your cell phones off.)
The large genealogical library is located just off the Main Entryway.
Rated at the top for county museums in the State of Missouri is the Ray County Museum.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and closed on the holidays. The first Sunday of the month the hours are from 1 – 4
Open: Year around
Admission: Free but donations are certainly appreciated.
Location: 901 W Royle St, Richmond, Missouri by the Ray County Fairgrounds.