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The Orphanage: 1900

Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1900. "Charleston orphan house." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1900. "Charleston orphan house." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Here are two images of the former location of the orphanage. The site is actually across the street from the College of Charleston. The building In the background of the street image and in the aerial image, the tall building just below right center is the Francis Marion Hotel.It is across the street from Marion Square which was the grounds of the old Citadel.The orphanage was located in the center of the aerial image

The beautiful old orphanage was torn down for the sake of a Sears parking lot. The statue on the top, "Charity," and the bell are in the Charleston museum.

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This looks like a real-life representation of the mansion of C. Montgomery Burns.

Calhoun & St. Philip

If indeed that building was exactly at the corner of Calhoun and St. Philip, it means it was either on the grounds of the College of Charleston, or just across the street from it. So not only were you and orphan in that creepy building, but you got to look out of the gates every day and see the young southern gentleman scholars living the gentile life.

[Oy. - Dave]


Be nice little kiddies now, or the gryphons will get you!

Torn down

The Charleston Orphan House was established by City Ordinance in 1790, making it the oldest municipal orphanage in the United States.
The Charleston Orphan House was charged with accepting all such poor orphan children, and children of poor distressed or disabled parents, as shall be deemed proper objects of admission by the Commissioners…The Commissioners of the Charleston Orphan House were elected each October by City Council. Additionally, the City provided annual appropriations for the running and maintenance of the facility.

In 1951, the Orphan House property on the corner of Calhoun and St. Philip Streets in downtown Charleston, was sold and the Orphan House itself was demolished. The mandate of the Orphan House changed somewhat at this time. The name was changed to Oak Grove, the facilities were moved to North Charleston and non-orphaned, emotionally disturbed children were accepted as residents. In 1978, the City removed itself from the direct involvement with the Oak Grove facility. Oak Grove became the private, non-profit Carolina Youth Development Center located in North Charleston.

Scarred for life

As if being an orphan wasn't hard enough, growing up in THIS place probably provided much fodder for psychiatric couches.

1865 to 1900

The only real change between this image and the one from 1865 is the Yankees have gone home.

A nice cheery place to grow up

Just another of the perks enjoyed by orphans one hundred years ago.

Little Orphan Annie

No wonder her eyes were blanks.


Like something out of Edward Gorey!
But where's the fantod?

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