St. Vincent’s Orphan Home Band

orphan band

An undated photo postcard, likely from around 1900, features the boys’ band at St. Vincent’s Orphan Home, Saginaw. A July 8, 1892, Saginaw Evening News article records, “Every child [at St. Vincent’s] is educated, and where one shows a talent for music it is cultivated to the utmost.”

Orphans in privately funded childcare institutions, such as St. Vincent’s was then, often performed at fundraising events. The 1918 History of Saginaw County, Michigan (James Cooke Mills) describes community-wide donations to St. Vincent’s as “principally derived at the annual banquet given on the anniversary of Washington’s Birthday, given by the devoted women of the Catholic parishes.”

St. Vincent’s Orphan Home, which provided any orphaned and indigent children with food, shelter, education, and moral and religious training, was founded in 1875 by Father Francis Van der Bom, first pastor of St. Mary’s, Saginaw. The home started out at Hoyt and Owen streets with three children and a laywoman and soon expanded to serve 15 under the operation of three invited Sisters of Charity, directed by Sister Cecilia Casey. In 1877, a large wood-framed home was completed on Howard and Emerson streets to take in children ages 2-12. By 1892, building additions enabled housing for about 98 children.

The Great Fire of May 20, 1893, destroyed the orphanage, and its 112 orphans were temporarily housed throughout the city. Community donations, especially by Saginaw lumber baron Edward Germain, enabled the 1894 completion of a replacement brick facility. In 1969, St. Vincent’s was moved to the Holy Spirit Parish campus, Shields. In 1985, the home’s care was transferred to the direction/ownership of Boysville of Michigan/Holy Cross Children’s Services. Photo courtesy of Castle Museum, Saginaw.


orphan band

An undated photo postcard, likely from around 1900, features the boys’ band at St. Vincent’s Orphan Home, Saginaw. A July 8, 1892, Saginaw Evening News article records, “Every child [at St. Vincent’s] is educated, and where one shows a talent for music it is cultivated to the utmost.”

Orphans in privately funded childcare institutions, such as St. Vincent’s was then, often performed at fundraising events. The 1918 History of Saginaw County, Michigan (James Cooke Mills) describes community-wide donations to St. Vincent’s as “principally derived at the annual banquet given on the anniversary of Washington’s Birthday, given by the devoted women of the Catholic parishes.”

St. Vincent’s Orphan Home, which provided any orphaned and indigent children with food, shelter, education, and moral and religious training, was founded in 1875 by Father Francis Van der Bom, first pastor of St. Mary’s, Saginaw. The home started out at Hoyt and Owen streets with three children and a laywoman and soon expanded to serve 15 under the operation of three invited Sisters of Charity, directed by Sister Cecilia Casey. In 1877, a large wood-framed home was completed on Howard and Emerson streets to take in children ages 2-12. By 1892, building additions enabled housing for about 98 children.

The Great Fire of May 20, 1893, destroyed the orphanage, and its 112 orphans were temporarily housed throughout the city. Community donations, especially by Saginaw lumber baron Edward Germain, enabled the 1894 completion of a replacement brick facility. In 1969, St. Vincent’s was moved to the Holy Spirit Parish campus, Shields. In 1985, the home’s care was transferred to the direction/ownership of Boysville of Michigan/Holy Cross Children’s Services. Photo courtesy of Castle Museum, Saginaw.

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