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  1. Orphan Train Era: Why Was There An Orphan Train?

    May 12, 2022, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Community Room

    Al and Dave Eicher, research historians and television producers, have created a new lecture presentation, THE ORPHAN TRAIN ERA, which answers the “why?” questions about the Orphan Train in America. The story begins in Europe with the Napoleonic Wars, cholera epidemics, the Potato famine and Civil War unrest in Europe. Masses of Europeans then migrated to America, New York City being the preferred destination. This presentation portrays the conditions of steamship travel, the adventures of an Irish boy, NYC in the 1860’s, the Irish Ward and Little Italy. Archival photos and films show the orphaned child’s life in the city, the various child labor jobs and sleeping in tenement “daily lodging” for 7 cents a night. This environment led to the creation of the Orphan Train, which found children new homes throughout the United States. By the end of this presentation, you will have experienced the life of an Orphan Train rider for yourself.

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