The Johnson County Historical Society's

Asylum and Poor Farm



location and land | future and projects | threats and opposition

The Future and Projects

The asylum was listed in 1978 on the National Register of Historic Places. The Johnson County Historical Society Museum has been given permission to interpret the site by the Board of Supervisors.  Advocates and the society have brainstormed on ways of preserving the farm and asylum so it is educational and beneficial to the community and the future.  An exhibit is one idea to interpret the history of the asylum. By placing artifacts and recreating what a cell was like to live in for the “inmates” would be very beneficial for interpreting the standards of living in the asylum. Some proposals have been to restore the wetlands, prairie, and a fishing pond. Bob Burns, a Johnson County supervisor and advocate of preserving the farm, envisions “a place that would be open to visitors on the weekends in the summer or for celebrations and historic fairs.”

One project that has been planned for the future of the Johnson County Poor Farm and Asylum that the community can get involved with is the Bicentennial Farm Project.  The mission of the project is to foster a dialogue and gain support through the community of Johnson County.  The goal is to provide management of the farm and asylum as a “publicly owned open space” at least until its Bicentennial Anniversary in 2055.


One of the cells in the asylum wing


Information courtesy of an article written for interpretation by the Johnson County Historical Society.

Do you want to get involved in the Bicentennial Farm Project?

Contact the Johnson County Historical Society for more information.


For questions or comments, please contact Catherine Stewart