The 'Orphan Trains' That Brought Over One Hundred Children To Vermont

Apr 11, 2018

How did you or your family first come to Vermont? Maybe your family traces its history beyond memory. Perhaps you’re a transplant who remembers the first footstep in the Green Mountain State. St. Michael's College professor emeritus Daniel Bean has researched the unique history of a small group of Vermonters: orphans and foundlings rounded up in major cities and brought here on what he calls "orphan trains."

Of the estimated 20,000 children shipped to rural parts of the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s from major cities like Boston and New York, Bean says about 126 of those children came to Vermont on these orphan trains.

An example of a notice handed out to announce the arrival of an orphan train.

Bean joins Vermont Edition to discuss this unique group of Vermonters, how they came to the state, what kind of homes they found here and where some of them ended up.

Bean is giving a lecture about the orphan trains at the Shelburne Historical Society on Monday, April 16 at 6:30 PM.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Correction 9:54 a.m. 4/16/2018: This post has been updated to fix a misspelling of Bean's name.