Newspaper clipping from the Asheboro Courier detailing poor house orders

This media artifact is a newspaper clipping that comes from an addition of the newspaper titled the Asheboro Courier published in the 1870s. This newspaper clipping details the food expenses of a poor house in operation to provide for the most impoverished of the community. The newspaper clipping gives insight into the food story of the area in a couple different ways.

First, the item details presented in the poor house expenses article show how the most impoverished lived and what kind dishes they ate. For example, the poor house bought bushels of hay and many cords of chopped wood which implies that the residents rely heavily on wood for cooking and heating. Learning this fact about the poor house not only gives the researcher insight into the daily life of this time period but would also help date the artifact if for some reason the date was not printed on it. Second, this artifact gives the researcher an idea of what was easy to grow and harvest in this location and time period because it was bought in bulk cheaply to be fed to a population that most definitely could not afford to contribute to the expense. Corn and pork were the most purchased food items for the poor house and they were purchased in the hundreds of pounds which implies that the surrounding areas were producing these agricultural items in mass.

Asheboro is located only about an hour from Chapel Hill and while I recognize that it would have taken much longer to travel that distance in the 1800s it still places Asheboro in close geographical proximity and in the same climate as Chapel Hill. That being said the food stories explored in this cultural artifact from Asheboro during this period can also be applied to Chapel Hill.

Brittany Becker