The Orphan Trains


The Orphan Trains is brought to you by the Ute Pass Historical Society

They were children – young, abandoned, or living in the streets. In 1853, a young

minister named Charles Brace founded the Children’s Aid Society to rescue these

homeless waifs from their plight and find new homes for them. At the time,

child labor was not uncommon. While Minister Brace saw the children as victims

of unacceptable living conditions, he also believed that “honest work” was part

of the solution.

And so began the historic migration of thousands of youngsters on westbound trains.

Some children were welcomed as farm labor, others as new family members.


This exhibit features the history of the orphan trains, stories of two local train riders,

and the legacy of the movement.


The Orphan Trains exhibit will be on display through February at the Woodland Park

Public Library on the second floor during regular business hours.