(see also: Guardianship of the poor )

Oldest known picture of the poorhouse

The poorhouse early 20th cen

As mentioned in the "Anthology from the minutes of the Hallum poorhouse", there was a so-called “central charity” available in Ferwerderadeel, by which additional “care and assistance” was provided. The board of governors nominated their own members which were then appointed by the municipal council. Thereby the  responsibility (in particular  financial) of this governing board was officially under the authority of the municipal council. According to the minutes there was, from time to time, a sort of power struggle - questioning who really had the last word - especially in the matter of deciding who would or would not be allowed to live in the poorhouse.

It is also important for the reader to realize that the opinions and methods of these guardians of the poor, from the end of the 19th through to the beginning of the 20th century, is completely foreign to our present-day view of society and social welfare.
Undoubtedly it will seem to us to be feudal and patronizing, which in fact it was, but that was the norm for that period of time.  At the same time we begin to see how some of these “residents” of the poorhouses appeared to attempt to shake off  the “straight jacket” and began to rebel.
On the other hand, the guardians, and certainly the poor-father, Vander Leest, were confronted with residents suffering from psychiatric illnesses, or intellectual handicaps. For such, in those days, there was scarcely any adequate treatment, nursing or assistance, and therefore they were forced to cope in whatever way possible. From this perspective we begin to see that the poorhouse certainly filled both a practical and social function for the vulnerable inhabitants of the village communities of the municipality of Ferwerderadeel.

Anthology 1887 - 1908
Residents 1887 - 1917
Governors 1888 -1930
Firestarters 1889
 Can't win them all