Historical society hosts talk on 19th-century orphan trains

The Shelburne Historical Society hosts a talk Monday by local resident Daniel Bean who will share his research and knowledge of 19th-century Vermont.

A seventh-generation Vermonter and retired biology professor, Bean has delved into the little-known time in Vermont history where orphans from New York and Boston were brought by trains to Vermont.

Bean will describe the period of the mid-1880s when children, some orphans and some assigned to orphanages by their parents, were sent by train to many states from large cities with very large orphan populations. Cities across America with large orphan populations utilized these trains to disperse children to less-populated areas.

Bean’s talk will address why the trains were used, how the New York trains originated, and what is known of two carloads of children sent to upper western Vermont in 1905.

Bean, received his bachelor’s and masters’s degrees from the Universithy of Vermont and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island; he taught biology at St. Michael’s College.

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Room 1 of the Town Offices.

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