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Orphan Train Conference set Sept. 14

LITTLE FALLS -- The 59th annual Orphan Train Conference is 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the St. Francis Center, 116 Eighth Ave. SE, Little Falls.

Between 1854-1929, more than 250,000 children were placed on orphan trains from the East Coast, venturing into unknown territory in the West by train, to settle with unfamiliar families across America. The transfer was the first emigration plan and largest mass migrations of children ever to take place on America soil, the country’s first child welfare system. For many of these children arriving in new family homes throughout America, the placement left them facing kind and loving families, or as indentured servants bound to hard labor.

A meeting, entertainment, lunch and orations by orphan train rider descendants will fill the day.

Cost is $30.

Shaley George, curator of the National Orphan Train Complex, will speak.

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The conference is open to anyone interested. Walk-ins are welcome.

For more information, email Kim Carstens Piehl at tkdplace@brainerd.net .

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