The 127-year-old Washington County Woman's Home in Marietta had a lot to celebrate during an open house event at the 812 Third St. facility Sunday afternoon.
Renovations are currently under way to install four state-of-the-art bathrooms, a beauty shop and an employees lounge in the two-story woman's home.
"We're calling it the Alma Barth Restoration project," said Debi Stengel, manager of the woman's home.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Washington County Woman’s Home cook Nancy Webb prepares the dinner table for residents Sunday afternoon. The Third Street facility has provided care for area women since it was originally constructed in 1885.
She explained that funding for those renovations had been provided by Richard Barth in memory of his mother.
"Richard has become a very good friend of the woman's home-his mother did not get a chance to stay here, but she had been impressed with the facilities," Stengel said.
In addition to the Barth restoration, a $6,000 contribution from the Marietta Community Foundation will provide a new sidewalk in front of the home.
Some history of the Washington County Woman's Home:
Opened in 1885. First resident was Martha Swift, a blind woman.
Douglas Putnam and M.P. Wells donated two plots of land for the home to be built in the 800 block of Third Street.
The home's architect was Adolph Morris and the contractors were listed as Hall & Bailey.
The woman's home was partially burned during a fire in 1918, but was rebuilt and refurbished. No residents were injured in the blaze.
The home is now a non-profit, state-certified residential care facility that provides both long-term and respite care.
For more information contact the home at (740) 373-2329 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The web site is www.thewomanshome.org and additional information is also available on Facebook.
Source: The Washington County Woman's Home
Opened in 1885 as a home for indigent women, the Washington County Woman's Home was Ohio's first private charity institution. The original house was built for $2,500 and had two floors with 16 rooms and two baths.
According to an early history of the facility, the home's first resident was a blind woman named Martha Swift. As she first crossed the threshold she placed her hands on the walls and blessed the home, saying, "Let me feel it-let me bless it-blessings on this shelter-blessings on those it shelters and those who care for it. Amen."
Today the Washington County Woman's Home is a non-profit, state-certified residential care facility that provides both long-term and respite care. Residents pay a monthly fee which makes the home a self-supported facility.
"We're not a nursing home, but we can provide long-term or temporary respite care and even seasonal care for older women who are no longer able to live alone, but do not require to a nursing home," said Mary Anne Ley, a member of the home's board of directors.
She said the staff-to-resident ratio at the home is 2-1, and the home is able to accommodate 13 women residents.
Staffers include licensed practical nurses on site or on call.
Services offered include three home-cooked meals a day, assistance with dressing, bathing and medications, and weekly activities, programs and social services.
Board member Mary Antons first became aquainted with the woman's home several years ago through her mother-in-law who spent winter months at the facility a couple years in a row.
"She came here for four months during a couple of winters, but liked it so much she decided to stay here until she later had to enter a nursing home," Antons said.
Sunday's open house included tours of the woman's home, refreshments, and musical entertainment by The Profs.