Poor Farm film to be shown in Coopersville next week

Matt DeYoung • Jun 23, 2017 at 2:00 PM

COOPERSVILLE — The Coopersville Area Historical Society will present the new documentary film on the Ottawa County Poor Farm on June 29.

This special film showing will be in the new Community Room of the Coopersville Area District Library, 333 Ottawa St. in Coopersville. Activities begin at 6:30 p.m., with light refreshments, music by Dick Holman and a silent auction.

The documentary was created by Ferris State University in partnership with the Ottawa County Parks Foundation. The film has already premiered to capacity audiences in Holland and Grand Haven.

Tickets for the Coopersville event are $10 and are available at the Coopersville Area Historical Society Museum, Daniels Hair Salon and Budzynskis — all on the town’s Main Street. Visit coopersvillehistoricalmuseum.org for a link to order online. Tickets will also be sold at the door but since seating will be limited, advance tickets are encouraged.

The event’s proceeds will benefit the historical society and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation. Special guests for the evening are Grand Haven residents Karl and Barb Rowe, re-enactors who have portrayed Tom and Doris Modderman. The Moddermans are fondly remembered as keepers (directors) of the Poor Farm. The Rowes will be in costume and character as the Moddermans.

The Poor Farm, located on Leonard Road just west of Eastmanville, was established in 1866 for those who could not care for themselves and had nowhere else to go. The facility was later known as the Infirmary, the County Farm and the Ottawa County Community Haven. Some of the interesting, compelling and colorful stories of the farm residents are represented in the documentary.

DVD copies of the film will be sold for $10 at the event.

The Poor Farm site is now part of the Ottawa County parks system. Call 616-997-7240 to leave a message for more information.

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