Until the advent of Medicaid in the 1960s, counties in New York were required to have a "county home." My parents' generation referred to it as the "poorhouse" and some called it the "county farm." It was the local safety net for the destitute, for those who could not provide for their own support. Until 1959, it was located on a farm run by the county in Dewittville. In 1959, under a new governor (Nelson Rockefeller), New York State established regulations requiring a higher quality of care among nursing homes. Those regulations also applied to the County Home. In order to comply, Chautauqua County was required to build a new facility. A new County Home was built and for the past 55 years has been located in the Town of Dunkirk.