30 December 2008

Riding the "orphan train" across the U.S.

New York City in 1926 was teeming with tens of thousands of homeless and orphaned children.

The Orphan Train … took destitute children, in small groups, by train to small towns and farms across the country, with many traveling to the West and Midwest. From 1854 to 1929, more than 200,000 children were placed with families across 47 states...

"We'd pull into a train station, stand outside the coaches dressed in our best clothes. People would inspect us like cattle farmers. And if they didn't choose you, you'd get back on the train and do it all over again at the next stop."
By today's standards such behavior would be unthinkable. But this was only about two generations ago. More details at the link

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