The Louisiana Orphan Train Museum in Opelousas will be reopening in June. The facility has been closed, except for a few private tours, since the beginning of the pandemic.
Between 1854 and 1929, charity institutions in New York began the mission of helping homeless or abandoned children living on the streets. These children were sent to foster families all over the country, including Louisiana. The Louisiana Orphan Train Museum opened in 2009 to tell the stories of more than 2000 kids who came to Louisiana for a better life.
According to James Douget, a Louisiana Orphan Train Society board member, Father James Engberink, of St. Landry Catholic Church, took a trip to New York City. He noticed the great work that the Sisters of Charity were doing and was on board to receive the children. He talked to his congregation, and convinced them to take in these orphans.
Martha Aubert, who is the President of the Louisiana Orphan Train Society says, "The museum is there to pass on the history and the untold stories of the orphan train riders who came to Louisiana."
The museum will reopen June 1st. It's located on South Academy Street in Opelousas near Le Vieux Village off US 190 about a half mile west of I-49. You can see their hours and get more information by visiting The Louisiana Orphan Train Museum website.