Renée Wendinger will present “Orphan Train Saga: Forced Migration of Homeless Children” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in Room E203 at Central Lakes College, Brainerd.
So-called Orphan Trains carried more than 200,000 children, ages 3 months to 17 years, from orphanages in New York to the Midwest from 1854-1929 in the largest mass migration of children ever to take place on American soil. Most of these children were immigrants from European countries.
Wendinger became interested in these Orphan Train riders because her mother was one and she had many stories for her children. Wendinger has researched many of the orphans in person and through records and journals and will relate their personal experiences.
Wendinger, from Sleepy Eye, has written and published an award-winning book now featured at Ellis Island, used as a doctrine for the New York Theatre Institute’s play “Orphan Train,” and used as the text for a course at Brooklyn College.
She is an author, speaker, history essayist and president of the Orphan Train Riders of New York organization.