Emma C. Nason Children's Home
A Children's home in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
When I first met Tom and was telling him about my family, I said that I had 22 sisters and brothers. But I went on to explain that I lived with my parents at a children's home where they were the directors.
For our first year there, I lived right in the large bedrooms with the girls-about 10 of them. Then I was given my own bedroom. My parents had an apartment in the building but my sister Susie was the only one who stayed in it with them.
The Emma C. Nason Home has a wonderful history in the Soo. Emma C. Nason was a woman who moved to the Soo in the early 1900's from New York. Her goal was to start a home for wayward sailors. I'm sure there were many of them in the Soo during that time. Nason's vision for this home must have changed over time and she actually established a home for unwed mothers on Ridge Street.
So when the city leaders started a children's home, they named it the Emma C. Nason Home in her honor.
We lived there and have great memories of the children whose lives brought them there. The children at the beginning were mainly orphans or motherless children but over the years as medical care improved, the number of orphans decreased and the main clientele at The Home were children who had been removed from their homes because of neglect or abuse. Most of these cases came from downstate mainly from Saginaw and Calhoun counties.
The Emma C. Nason Home was eventually closed as the trend in social services was to put children in foster homes rather than a large institution. It was torn down in the late 70's and a Pizza Hut now sits on the property.
I have many great memories of the Home although it was also a difficult way to live as you can imagine. I'll probably be sharing more with you as I take this trip down memory lane.