Tenure of Training School Superintendent Marred by Controversy

Vol. 4, No. 44 This photograph, from a collection donated to the Department of History from Ruth Webster Howard, shows the rear side of the Administrative Building at the Western House of Refuge in Albion. The structure sat at the west end of the main walk and served as the residence for the superintendent, assistant superintendent, marshal, parole officer, purchasing agent, and housekeeper, and housed offices for the institution. The Western House of Refuge opened on December 8, 1893, but did not “receive” any inmates until January of 1894. This institution represented a rather interesting period in the U.S. penal

Continue readingTenure of Training School Superintendent Marred by Controversy

Bogues Dedicated Estate to Caring for Children of Orleans County

Vol. 4, No. 24 Ninety-five years ago, the Virgil Bogue Home for Dependent Children opened its doors to young children in need of a home due to the “loss of their parents or the inability of their parents to support them.” In the years leading up to the establishment of the Bogue Home, as described within the “Bogue and Allie Families” genealogy published in 1944, children in public orphanages were often adopted out, their parents unable to learn of their whereabouts until reaching the age of 21. It was the vision of the Bogues to change that and provide care

Continue readingBogues Dedicated Estate to Caring for Children of Orleans County

Early Calls for Abolitionist Lectures Fell on Deaf Ears in Orleans County

Volume 4, Issue 4 As we near Black History Month in February, I was researching local African American families in Orleans County and attempting to assemble an understanding of this particular topic in local history. Without a doubt, it is an area that requires deeper research and is indicative of larger gaps in our understanding of how history was traditionally recorded; ideas of power and disparity. I am assembling a small display of local historical photographs pertaining to African American communities in Orleans County from the 1820s through the 1920s, which will be on display at the Hoag Library in

Continue readingEarly Calls for Abolitionist Lectures Fell on Deaf Ears in Orleans County

House of Refuge was Center of Social Reform for Delinquent Women

Volume 3, Issue 48 This photography, taken prior to 1915, shows the main office located within the administration building of the Western House of Refuge (now the Albion Correctional Facility). Miss Alice E. Curtin, the superintendent, stands in the center of the room shaking the hand of a young woman who is preparing to depart the facility on parole. Standing near the door is Miss Katherine Capitola Grinnell, the institution’s parole officer, who is prepared to escort the young woman to the railroad depot. Miss Curtin ran a conservative operation at the House of Refuge as the institution was intended

Continue readingHouse of Refuge was Center of Social Reform for Delinquent Women

Orleans County’s Elite Led Temperance Reform Efforts

Volume 3, Issue 47 Following the passing of New York’s amendment that extended voting rights to women in 1917, the subsequent election involving the question of whether Albion would remain a “wet” or “dry” town was decided by the female vote. Although the vote was later deemed invalid, the local temperance organizations mobilized a sufficient number of new voters to end the sale of alcohol in Orleans County, even if only for a brief moment. This Thomas Nast cartoon appeared in Harper’s Weekly on March 21, 1874 and depicted the debaucheries commonly associated with the saloon. A man of the

Continue readingOrleans County’s Elite Led Temperance Reform Efforts