For 150 years, the Rouse Estate has provided services for people in Warren County.
The facility evolved from a poor hospital to poor farms to a skilled nursing home.
The emphasis on the poor was due to the estate that established the home.
After taking fatal injuries in an oil well explosion in 1861, Henry Rouse willed the bulk of his timber and oil fortune to the benefit of the poor of Warren County in care of the Warren County Commissioners.
"When he was on his death-bed, he started dictating his will," Rouse Chief Financial Officer Jeff Sedon said.
In 1865, the county commissioners paid $13,500 for 400 acres upon which the Rouse Home now stands.
They contracted the construction of a two-story brick building and poor farms went up soon thereafter.
The poor could go to the Rouse Home for treatment of a variety of problems. A 1930s-era Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare "Almshouse Record" form listed insanity, drunkard, drugs, old age, unemployed, and chronic disability as some possible "causes for admission."
The residents, according to that record, were labeled as inmates.
Pregnancy was another 'problem' that could lead to someone spending time at the Rouse Home. "It was very common at the turn of the century for young ladies of wealthy parents" to travel to the Rouse Home during pregnancy and deliver their babies, Chief Executive Officer Jasen Diley said. Afterwards, the young mother would return home - most commonly to the Philadelphia area - where her parents could claim she had gone away to adopt a baby.
With the advent of Medicare and Medicaid, the need for a facility for the poor dwindled. The focus of the home turned to, and remains, skilled nursing.
The estate now encompasses over 500 acres, including farm land that is rented out and managed timbered areas. There is a personal care home - "apartments with TLC," Diley said - adult day center and Keystone Stars level 3 child care center.
Rouse Manor, located between the Rouse Home and the Suites at Rouse, is not part of the Rouse. Instead, it is a Warren County Housing Authority entity.
In celebration of its 150th year, officials are throwing a Rouse party.
Rouse Heritage Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and will feature entertainment by the Victory Belles from the World War II Museum in New Orleans, Celtic Creek, and Road Apple Ridge, as well as displays of historic images, Civil War reenactors, a craft fair, pony and carriage rides, a ventriloquist, and a petting zoo.