Mar 28, 2014 2:37 PM by Dave Fields
The Parkview Branch of the Iberia Parish Library invites the public to join them as they relive the experiences that so many children endured on the Orphan Train.
The trip through history begins during a live performance held Tuesday, April 22 at 6:00 PM .
Registration is required and begins on Tuesday, April 8th. To register for this event simply call any
branch of the Iberia Parish Library or visit us online at www.iberialibrary.org and click on the
SignUp link. This event is sponsored by the Iberia Parish Library and the Julie Louviere Watkins
The one-hour multi- media program combines live music by Phillip Lancaster and Alison
Moore, video montage with archival photographs and interviews of survivors, and a dramatic
reading of the 2012 novel "Riders on the Orphan Train" by award-winning author Alison Moore.
Although the program is about children, it is designed to engage audiences of all ages and to
inform, inspire and raise awareness about this little-known part of history.
Local relatives and acquaintances of Orphan Train Riders are especially invited to attend and share their stories with the audience.
Few people today know much about the largest child migration in history. Between 1854
and 1929 over 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given
away at train stations across America. Children were sent to every state in the continental United States; the last train went to Sulphur Springs, Texas in 1929. This "placing out" system was
originally organized by Methodist minister Charles Loring Brace and the Children's Aid Society of
New York. His mission was to rid the streets and overcrowded orphanages of homeless children
and provide them with an opportunity to find new homes. Many of the children were not orphans but "surrendered" by parents too impoverished to keep them. The New York Foundling Hospital, a Catholic organization, also sent out children to be placed in Catholic homes. This seventy-six year experiment in child relocation is filled with the entire spectrum of human emotion and reveals a great deal about the successes and failures of the American Dream.
For more information, the Iberia Parish Library may be reached at 337-364-7150 .