German Roman Catholic Orphanage

12/28/2014 3 albums Share: , , Album RSS
The original location of the Orphan Asylum was established to care for orphans and victims of the 1851 cholera epidemic. However, this location proved to be unsuited for a home for children needing fresh air and a safe place to play. In 1873, a Constitution was drawn up and adopted and Nine parishes united in order to provide a suitable home for the dependent children. Early in 1874 the site of an old burying ground was purchased at a cost of $25,000. On June 1, 1875, the present orphan Home was formally opened.

On Ash Wednesday, March 5, 1919, the institution was razed by a devastating fire. However, within six months the institution was completely rebuilt. During the rebuilding process many improvements were added. A porch was added to the front of the main building. It extended almost across the entire front of the building and was enclosed on one side with an attractive sun parlor and on the other side with four private offices for the Sisters in charge.

On July 11, 1927 the cornerstone was laid for a new school on the property. The school contained the eight preliminary grades, besides the kindergarten and ungraded class.

By December 23, 1938, a new chapel was added to the grounds and named the Sacred Heart Chapel.

A disastrous fire in January 1956 was the beginning of the end of the Orphan Home - a home for more than 15,000 children during its lifetime. One of those was Fred Malchow. Who was he? He murdered Valerie Percy, daughter of Senator Chuck Percy, in 1966.

The property has since been restored and turned into a low-income housing development of townhouses and flats called St Martin Village.



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