October 5th, 2015

Orphan Trains

child on trainI would guess that many of you, like me, had never heard of the orphan trains until the publication of Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Since its publication in 2013 it has been a surprise hit and a book club favorite. It tells a story about a little-known but important part of American history: the Orphan Train Movement.

Founded in 1853 in New York City, the Children’s Aid Society committed itself to the “placing out” of children from the slums of New York City to rural America. Between 1854 and 1930, 150,000 children would ride the so-called orphan trains. The goal was to move destitute children from New York City and other large East coast cities, to the Midwest where it was thought they would enjoy a better way of life. The children boarded the trains carrying all of their possessions in a cardboard suitcase. At each stop the children would disembark where interested citizens would make their choices. If a child was not chosen they were sent on to the next town. Despite the Society’s best efforts, some children suffered. Though they tried to keep siblings together, often brothers and sisters would be separated. Some felt abandoned and lonely and were viewed by their adoptive families and communities as outsiders. In the worst cases they were treated as slave labor and physically abused. But for many it was a blessing and they were adopted by loving families.

On Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m., award-winning author and member of the National Orphan Train Historical Society, Donna Aviles, will speak at the Perryville Branch Library. As the granddaughter of an orphan train rider, Ms. Aviles has a very personal connection to its history. The presentation will include a discussion of the Orphan Train Movement and a recording of the reminiscences of an Orphan Train rider as he recalls his experience travelling from a New York orphanage to Kansas.

Will you join us on October 14?

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May 4th, 2015

Plant Swaps @ the library

SeedlingOne thing gardeners all have in common is their generosity. Whether they’re trying to give away plant divisions, extra seedlings, or a plant that just won’t work for them, if you garden or have a friend who gardens you know they’re always happy to share. As a gardener myself I know that I’d rather pass on an extra plant and give it a new home than, heaven forbid, throw it away! But there are only so many plants your friends and neighbors are willing to take; so what’s a gardener to do!?

Three years ago the Elkton Library hosted its first plant swap to great success, now we’d like to offer a plant exchange at the Perryville Library. We will be hosting our First Annual Plant Exchange on Wednesday, May 13th @ 7 pm, and if you can’t make it to Perryville, Elkton will have its 3rd Annual Plant Swap on Tuesday, May 26th @ 6 pm. We hope you can make it! This will be a wonderful opportunity to give your plants a new home, refresh your garden with new plants and share experiences with other gardeners.

Whether you’re an avid gardener or someone who is just starting out you want to make the most of your garden.  At CCPL we have an extensive collection of gardening books and magazines, but if you’re looking for the latest, most up-to-date information you might want to check out our collection of on-line magazines through Zinio where you can download home and garden magazines like Mother Earth News, Country Gardens and Organic Gardening. In addition, our Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture database contains magazine and journal articles for everyone from the novice gardener to the professional.

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