• Female Guardian Society

      Female Guardian Society

      On January 21, 1847, a group of women from Poughkeepsie churches met to form the Female Guardian Society to help the poor and neglected in..Read More

    • Poughkeepsie Guardian Society

      Poughkeepsie Guardian Society

      Having decided that “the only true way to arrest the evils of poverty and crime would be to save the children,” the women changed the..Read More

    • Cornerstone Laid

      Cornerstone Laid

      By November 1854, the Board of Managers had raised $4,500. In May 1855, the Board purchased a lot at the corner of South Hamilton Street..Read More

    • illustration of Matthew Vassar

      Matthew Vassar

      The Poughkeepsie Orphan House and Home for the Friendless was dedicated on February 23, 1857. The building had no water except from rain, no blinds,..Read More

    • photo of Samuel Morse with his Recorder by Brady, 1857

      Mr. and Mrs. Samuel F. B. Morse

      On June 17, 1859, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel F. B. Morse donated $500, which was used for “a well, to finish the bathing-rooms and plumbing,..Read More

    • photo of the Fifth Annual Report dated February 22, 1862

      Life at the Home

      There were 9 women and 64 children from age 2 to 12 at the Home in 1861. Of the children, 32 were county charges, 26..Read More

    • vintage photo of the Children's Home

      Children no Longer Committed to Poorhouses

      An 1876 law stated that judges could no longer commit any child over age 3 or under age 16 to a county poorhouse. That same..Read More

    • Protestant Ethos

      Protestant Ethos

      A perforated pipe was installed in one of the bathrooms, enabling a number of children to wash their hands simultaneously. On a donated 36-acre farm..Read More

    • photo of the Exhibition Hall Dutchess County Fair Washington Hollow Site

      Field Trips

      In 1893, a four-story addition was constructed on the northwest corner of the building. The cost, including plumbing and heating, was $6,000. Children were vaccinated...Read More

    • Health and Financial Struggles

      Health and Financial Struggles

      Health continued to be a problem in confined quarters. Scarlet fever hit in 1900 and diphtheria in 1902 and 1911. The number of orphans was..Read More

    • vintage illustration of the Children's Home

      Name Change

      In 1919, the name was changed to The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. At this time, the Board formed a committee to arrange for a new..Read More

    • vintage photo of the Children's Home on the hill

      A New Home Location

      At this time the staff of the Home steered away from an “institutionalist” approach to care, and moved towards “the cultivation of homely joys and..Read More

    • vintage photo of kids getting on the Children's Home bus

      School Bus

      The Home purchased a school bus, its first vehicle, in 1930. More emphasis was placed on a home-like atmosphere: the assembly room was redecorated with..Read More

    • photo of Margaret Garrison

      Margaret Garrison

      In 1937, Margaret Garrison, who would serve for decades under that name and later be known as Mrs. Race, assumed leadership of the Home. Her..Read More

    • photo of Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh NY

      Recreational Activities

      Many recreational activities were provided for the children. Observance of established holidays provided opportunities to teach or have fun. On Valentine’s Day, the children got..Read More

    • World War II

      World War II

      World War II caused considerable economic adversity for the Children’s Home, with state aid not being sufficient to support the services the Home provided. It..Read More

    • A Vegetable Garden

      A Vegetable Garden

      Children and staff were fed for 50½ cents each per day, thanks to food donations from friends, government surpluses, and vegetables from the garden. The..Read More

    • vintage photo of group of kids on the seesaw


      Since expenses had increased 14% in five years and an aging building needed repairs, the Board instituted the first of its annual fund drives in..Read More

    • vintage photo of kids with gifts in front of a Christmas tree

      Care Based Approach

      The activities of the Children’s Home staff indicated that the Home moved to a care based approach for the administration of aid and child welfare...Read More

    • vintage ad with a boy and a girl that says Help a Child Build a Future

      Children Participate in Community Service

      Children still came to the Home due to family illness, death, or separation, but admittance cases involving desertion or abuse increased.  By 1963 the Children’s..Read More

    If you have old photographs or other documents relating to the Children’s Home, we would love to review them for possible inclusion in this historical document.