Museum Closure

The New-York Historical Society will close at 3pm on November 26 and remain closed through November 27. For details, please visit our calendar.

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Orphan train children (born approximately 1890)

Here visitors engage in a pivotal moment in the lives of poor, young, New York orphans who were transported from East Coast cities to new lives, mostly in rural America, beginning in the mid-1800s. Considered the nation’s first foster care program, the orphan train relocated many thousands of children over its 75-year history.

The results were mixed. For some, the story ended happily, but others were treated as little more than servants. On the “nation” side, visitors use a large U.S. map interactive to follow the lives of several children who rode the orphan train. In the process, they will see something of what America was like, far from the crowded neighborhoods of New York.

Creative: Tronvig Group