A new virtual museum is aiming to preserve the legacy of the region's first poor house.

Known as the Waterloo County House of Industry and Refuge, it was home to Waterloo's poorest and neediest who had nowhere else to go.

But, since its closure in 1950, the stories of the people who lived and worked in the house have largely been forgotten.

That is why a team of researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University is trying to preserve the legacy of the House of Refuge "inmates."

"Those stories are really hard to see because what we [usually] hear are the voices of the people who ran the place," Sandra Hoy, associate director of research at Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy's Social Innovation Research Group told The Morning Edition's Colin Butler.

About 3,200 people lived in the House of Refuge during the 82 years it was running.

waterloo region house of refuge poor house

The House of Industry and Refuge, Waterloo region's "poor house" built in 1868. In 1919 it began a transition to become an "old people's home." The facility was closed in the 1950s. (http://waterloohouseofrefuge.ca)