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Rhode Island State Home and School Project

History of the State Home

In 1884 the State Home and School was established in order to
provide care for neglected and dependent children. It opened in 1885
as one of the first public orphanages in the United States. From its
inception, the State Home was intended to care for more than just the
basic needs of its residents. Small cottages were built in order to facilitate
family-style living, and children were both schooled and given practical
work experience on the grounds. Originally the Home was sited on 80
acres of land of what is now Rhode Island College's East Campus. In
the mid 20th century the State Home was renamed the Dr. P.I. O'Rourke
Center. It remained in operation until 1979.

Preserving the history and legacy of the State Home and School has
become an important project of Rhode Island College's Sesquicentennial
in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and
Families, and the community.

Click here to visit the web site.

For further information about this project, contact Patti Nolin at (401) 456-9854.


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