Lydia Baird Home Papers


Historical Note:

The Lydia Baird Home for Aged Women was a facility operated by the Female Benevolent Society of Carlisle established in 1828. The Lydia Baird Home provided rent-free lodgings for elderly women who were physically able to care for themselves but could no longer afford to live in their current residences. According to histories about the Female Benevolent Society, the Lydia Baird Home was originally established as the first Carlisle Hospital.

The Lydia Baird Home was voluntarily placed under the Department of Welfare, committee on aging in 1962 meaning that the Home had to be approved annually and submit suggestions for improved safety. By 1965, it was officially decided that the Lydia Baird Home could not discriminate against guests or applicants for management positions based on race, color, or creed. Finally, in January of 1984, The Lydia Baird Home transferred its funds and trusts to the Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home because the services of the Lydia Baird Home were no longer needed in light of government programs and agencies, which provided assistance to the poor. In addition, the Lydia Baird Home had become run down and required extensive renovation and remodeling. The Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home, on the other hand, was in good condition and could provide care for elderly women over the age of fifty-five.

Collection Description:

This collection consists of two boxes. The first box includes seventy-five files of the women who were admitted to the Lydia Baird Home for Aged Women. Each file contains papers such as financial statements, letters of application, recommendations from pastors and others who knew the women well, doctor’s notes of health, sponsor sheets, and agreements to give up one’s current residence in order to move into the Lydia Baird Home. Some files also contain personal planners. There are also some files that include letters of application and correspondence with Mrs. Robert C. Todd of the Todd Memorial Home.

The second box of this collection continues with the residents’ files but also includes the Constitution of the Female Benevolent Society of Carlisle (1828) and other related documents such as Account notebooks with the Carlisle Trust Company, Dauphin Deposit Trust Company notebook, documents from the Orphan’s Court, the official court documents transferring funds and trusts of the Lydia Baird Home to the Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home in 1984, and letters from the United States Senate among other letters. Wills, trusts, and bequests, and newspaper clippings are also documented. Also included are minute books of the Female Benevolent Society of Carlisle from January 1884 to October 1, 1984 with a gap from July 1923 to October 1923.

The residents’ files are arranged by surname while the other documents in the second box are arranged chronologically.

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