West By Orphan Train
It seems incomprehensible that there was a time in America’s not-so-distant past when nearly 200,000 children from East Coast orphanages were loaded on trains and sent west, where they were presented “for the picking” to anyone who expressed an interest in them. “West by Orphan Train” will tell the story of these children, who were taken from a sometimes-rough existence to an unfamiliar rural setting during an era that lasted from 1854 to 1930. As some of the last of the still-living orphan train riders like to remind us, it was a different era — one that can’t be judged without understanding what lives were like then. “West by Orphan Train,” a documentary film expected to be completed in 2014, hopes to offer that understanding.