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The Orphans Cemetery | by Cheri Sundra: Guerrilla Historian
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The Orphans Cemetery

The Orphan’s Cemetery at St. Stanislaus Orphanage, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania


Over the course of a half-century, more than 8,000 children came under the care of the Bernardine Sisters at St. Stanislaus Orphanage, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.


Just because a child was institutionalized, did not mean that both parents were deceased. After the start of the Industrial Revolution, urban areas experienced new issues such as poverty, unhealthy living conditions and relaxed morals, creating the need for orphanages. Smaller towns tended to rely on the religious community to meet this need for their area. Catholic orphanages reached their pinnacle between 1914 and 1920 due to conditions created by unwed parents, immigration, World War 1 and the influenza epidemic. Many children were left with orphanages during the Great Depression.


Luzerne County had more than a dozen orphanages. St. Stanislaus Institute was established "to care for orphans and children who came from broken or unsuitable homes in the Scranton Diocese."


The 1960’s brought about reform and orphanages were replaced by foster care and group homes throughout the United States.


This specific location and the Orphans Cemetery came up in a discussion online about local history. Since I was in the area one day, I decided to snap a few pictures to share with the group…..Obviously, the building is now an apartment complex.


You can read a newspaper article about the orphanage at Christmas at:








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Taken on June 22, 2012