It is estimated that 250,000 children from New York were transported to the Midwest on what today is called “The Orphan Trains.” About one in four of those children were of Irish descent. “The Orphan Trains Era, 1853-1923,” will be the topic at the Wednesday, Sept. 11, meeting of the Irish Cultural Society. The meeting convenes at 7:30 p.m. in the Garden City Library, 60 Seventh St., across the street from the Garden City Hotel. The meeting is free and open to the public.
The speaker will be Tom Riley, who has written 10 books, four of them on the Orphan Trains. Riley will use PowerPoint and video to illustrate the history of a most unusual element in United States history. Religious conflict is a part of this story. The audience will have many questions: What happened to most of these children? How well were the foster facilities and homes vetted? How was schooling assured? Have laws been changed? Riley will be able to answer all of these inquiries.
Riley is a United States Postal Service retiree who has been a prolific writer has written a history of the postal service. As a child, Riley was a foster child who credits Happy Valley School in Pomona, NY for giving him and his siblings a solid foundation upon which to build their lives.
The Irish Cultural Society’s season starts with a compelling subject told by the right speaker. For more information, call 516-742-8405.