Thursday, February 25, 2010

Orphan Train Presentation At Homestead National Monument

Last fall while passing through Concordia Kansas, I was looking for a spot to take a photo of this old granary.

I came across this building and ended up taking the above photo near this one.

The building was originally a Union Pacific train depot and is now the Orphan Train Museum. The museum wasn't open but the plaque on the grounds piqued my interest.

From the Orphan Train Museum site:
Between 1854 and 1929 an estimated 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children were placed out during, what is known today as, the Orphan Train Movement. The name is derived from the children's situations, though they were not all orphans, and the mode of transportation used to move them across forty-seven states and Canada.

Homestead National Monument

...will host Orphan Train historian Charlotte Endorf and one of the few remaining Orphan Train Riders, Lela Newcombe on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. Charlotte Endorf is the author of Plains Bound: Fragile Cargo: Revealing Orphan Train Reality and By Train They Came. Abook signing will follow the program. The books are available for purchase at Homestead National Monument of America.

Beginning in 1854, charitable organizations in New York City began sending orphans on trains to the west to find new families. As the train made its stops the children were lined up on courthouse lawns to be examined by prospective families. Charlotte Endorf has extensively researched the phenomenon of clearing orphanages by sending children out west. She will tell the moving stories of the lives that changed forever by the Orphan Trains. Orphan Train Rider Lela Newcombe will tell her touching story as part of this program. Lela Newcombe discovered late in life that it was a paper mistake that landed her and her siblings on an orphan train. You’ll hear how her parents tried to find her, but were unable.

My present plans do not have me back in Nebraska in time to attend, and I am sorely disappointed that I won't be able to take advantage of the opportunity to attend this event.

No comments: