What became the State Farm was originally one of three state almshouses. By about 1860 the inmates of the almshouses had been redistributed so that Bridgewater held the the able-bodied adults (as opposed to the infirm at Tewksbury and the children at Monson). Over the next several years Bridgewater became an almost exclusively penal institution.
When the State Farm was rebuilt after the 1883 fire it had three departments:
1) A prison for misdemeanor offences
2) An almshouse and hospital for paupers
3) A state asylum for the criminally insane.
That organization of the State Farm was still in place in 1900.
Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of http://plymouthcolony.net