Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Home For Little Wanderers

Here's another South Huntington avenue institution. The New England Home for Little Wanderers was founded in 1865, and moved to the edge of Jamaica Plain as described in this article. For some reason, this region of Roxbury/Jamaica Plain was quite popular with charitable institutions, as shown in earlier entries. I added a contemporary picture below.


Boston Daily Globe July 28, 1914


Little Wanderers' $100,000 Building New Location for Home for Destitute Children. Work on the Erection of a Flameproof Structure Has Begun.


The New England Home for Little Wanderers will sell its present location at 202 West Newton st, and has begun to erect a new structure at a cost of $100,000 between the Jamaicaway and South Huntington av, about four miles from the Public Library and near the spots now occupied by the Boston Nursery for Blind Babies and St Vincent's Hospital. The grounds will comprise about six acres.

The plan of moving has been under consideration for some months, but negotiations for the actual construction have only just been completed.

The architects of the new institution are Brainerd(sp) & Leeds. The building will be fireproof, of three stories and a basement. The ground floor will contain the great dining room for the children, the kitchen and allied features. The boiler plant will be outside the building, its roof forming a terrace.

The first floor will hold a large auditorium with a capacity of 180, suitable for conventions held in the building. There will also be administration rooms for the superintendent, matrons, directors, etc.

The second floor will provide for the occupancy of from 40 to 50 children - rather fewer than the present building, because the plan is that the outside department henceforth shall be of more importance than the actual administrative department.

About 1000 inmates pass through the institution in the course of a year, the most detailed record of them being kept after they pass from beneath the roof of the building to homes elsewhere.

The third floor will be for a playroom and a hospital. The basement will be of reinforced concrete and the material of the remainder of the building will be of antique brick with a considerable amount of stone trimmings, the whole presenting an appearance of the Colonial period. It is hoped the new building may be ready for occupancy by next Spring.

The institution was organized in Boston in May, 1865, under a charter granted by the Legislature of Massachusetts for the purpose "of rescuing children from want and shame, providing them with food and clothing, giving them instruction in mind and heart and placing them, with the consent of their parents, or guardians in Christian homes."

Homeless and destitute children are received from all parts of New England. No discrimination is made because of color, race, sex or religion.

Arthur S Johnson is president of the Home; Samuel D. Parker, treasurer, and Frederic D. Fuller, secretary. The superintendent is Rev F.H. Knight.

The Home is a private charity. It is not supported by State, city or town funds, but by legacies and contributions from churches and individuals.


January, 2008

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