SALEM -Amy McGuire, administrator of Salem's Century House at 1171 E. State St., was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of St. Paul Seniors of St. Paul Catholic Church. The welcome was given by Polly Schaffer who also conducted the meeting. The Rev. Stephen Wassie, priest in residence at St. Paul, gave the invocation.
McGuire gave a brief history of the former "Home For Aged Women," established in 1888. In celebration of its 100th anniversary in 1988, the name of the endowed independent living home was changed to "Century House" and became open to men and women ages 55 and up. The home, which focused on the need for a "haven" for women of modest incomes came about through the hard work of Hannah Koll and other forward looking women. A corporation was formed by the women who gathered enough money to purchase the Phillip Evans home on State Street.
In the early 20th century, four rooms, a bathroom, lavatory and an enclosed porch were added to the front of the house. A new addition completed in 1951 included a living room, three more bedrooms, a bath, and an inside fireproof stairway. An elevator was added in the 1960s. The home now has 12 private living quarters and an outside patio.
Residents must be capable of self-care. The administrator is not permitted to give medications or patient care. However, services of visiting nurses is permitted with a physician's order.
Along with private living quarters, Century House offers its residents three home-cooked family-style meals daily, laundry service, free cable and telephone hook-up and a caring staff which provides excellent service.
The original Quaker custom of calling residents the "family" remains today. Monthly social events are held and board members often take the "family" for outings. McGuire introduced her son, Jordan, a Salem High School student who assists with various projects.
According to McGuire, residents at the non-smoking facility pay $825 per month, along with an initial admission fee of $600. No property transfer is required. Short term stays are available.