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    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 declining. A 1905 report states that fewer children were actually surrendered to the Home and most were there for temporary care. By 1912, Dutchess County had an agent for dependent children who aided in placing children when they left the Home.

    In debt $1,200, the Board issued a fundraising appeal and raised $1,050 in 1911. New desks, a blackboard, roller maps, and books were obtained for the schoolroom, but by 1913 the city board of education supplied school materials. In 1915, the Home hired a night relief person for the matron, who had apparently been on duty 24 hours a day.

    The Home began a policy of camping out in tents for the whole summer in 1912, first at a berry farm near Freedom Plains, and later along the Wappingers Creek in Rochdale, where most children learned to swim. Neighbors entertained them with auto rides and ice-cream parties.