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The Orphan Trains: A Powerful Multimedia Presentation by Musician Phil Lancaster for the Great River Library System

In this installment of the Untold Stories of Central Minnesota, Arts & Cultural Heritage Producer Jeff Carmack visits with Phil Lancaster, a musician and storyteller making the rounds through the Great River Regional Library system. He has a captivating performance and presentation about a strange and nearly forgotten piece of American history, the Orphan Trains.

Running from 1854 until 1929 during a time before any of our modern social safety nets existed, the Orphan Trains brought over 300,000 children from New York and Boston into the Midwest for a better chance at life than what the city had to offer.

While this would certainly be a terrifying experience for any child, many of the orphans thrived in their new environments, and now their descendants are beginning to come together to make sense of this shared history.

This program is funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Grant.

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