Orphan Train Rider

Orphan Train Rider
Oliver Nordmark - Age 15 - Esbon KS

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


On Friday August 17th I had the pleasure of traveling to New York City to visit the New York Historical Society and especially the new DIMENNA CHILDREN'S HISTORY MUSEUM!!

I had anticipated this visit since the museum's opening in November of 2011.  The Children's Museum is a museum FOR children on the history OF children and includes a multi-exhibited area where children can learn about the boys and girls who rode the Orphan Trains.  There were many hands on learning opportunities.  My favorite was a large map of the United States.  Children could choose a state, rotate the handle, and read a short story of an individual orphan train rider who traveled to that state.  There was also an exhibit board that displayed actual letters that orphan train riders wrote to The Children's Aid Society keeping them abreast of how things were going for that child in the West.  I have several of these very same letters that Oliver (my grandfather) and his brother Edward wrote in the early 1900's.  If you are in, or travel to the NYC area, be sure and stop by 170 Central Park West to see this unique museum!  BRING KIDS!!!

Also during my visit, I stopped by the museum's library and discovered that a contact to Lukas Weinstein at the Children's Aid Society, will afford me the opportunity to research the CAS records for additional information on my grandfather and his brother and perhaps even a picture!  No known picture of Edward Nordmark exists so perhaps there is one tucked away in his CAS file.  I will be trying to find out......

And finally, I stopped by the Gift Shop where I found my friend Rene Wendinger's Book on sale.  I spoke with the staff of the Gift Shop and was given a contact to see if my two books might be added to the shop's offering on this subject. 

The weather was perfect, Central Park was lovely, and the bus ride was uneventful....a GREAT DAY to say the least!  

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