At last! It is with great satisfaction that I compose a review of such an interesting and less well known topic of local history. As I resident of the Pittsburgh area, I developed a curiosity about the orphanages in and around our region. For many years I was told countless horror stories of the supposed conditions and physical abuse that went on;indeed, in my own county, we have the history and legend of the infamous "Cora Blackledge" who operated a local orphanage in Beaver,Pa. At her height,she mothered close to a 1,000 children, many at her own expense; though her reputation was rather "cruel."
Professor Ramey puts this darkened and obscure period of history into its proper light and provides us with a candid and eloquent testament of the day-to-day operations of these facilities. The book starts with the mystical history of the beginning of the United Presbyterian Orphan's Home in Pittsburgh and how it was transformed in the "Mars Home for Youth"(Now situated in Mars,Pa). Throughout, she gives fascinating and informative detail of how orphans were treated, the impact it had on their families, and the enivitable outcome it would have on their lives. A splendid work on an intriguing subject!