THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET AT THE PITT COUNTY HOME
The Pitt County Poor Farm, also known as the Pitt County Home, was established in the early nineteenth century to feed and house the local poor population of Pitt County, North Carolina, prior to the establishment of the federal welfare system. The farm was continuously occupied and reorganized several times before it was closed in 1965. Four seasons of archaeological and cartographic work on the site have narrowed down the location of the poor farm buildings and expanded the interpretation of what life in rural eastern North Carolina was like for this underprivileged, disenfranchised population. The findings from Pitt County are comparable to other contemporary poor farm and farmstead sites throughout the country during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.