Nacogdoches Historic Sites invites the public to the impactful program: Riders on the Orphan Train on Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Novelist and Humanities Scholar Alison Moore and singer/songwriter Phil Lancaster have combined audio-visual elements, historical fiction, and musical ballads into a collaborative performance that brings the Orphan Train movement, a largely unknown chapter in American history, to public awareness.

The presentation is comprised of original music, an audio-visual presentation of archival photographs, and interviews with two surviving orphan train riders (a man who came to Berryville, AR, and a woman who came to Greenville, TX, and is followed by a dramatic recitation from the new novel "Riders on the Orphan Train" by Alison Moore.

After the presentation, there is an informal discussion led by Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster about the origin and demise of the largest child migration in history and the part it played in the formation of the American Dream. The human struggle to belong, to define one's self in the place we call home is exemplified in the stories of these children that have shaped all of our lives. The one-hour performance will conclude with a dialog between presenters and the audience on the historical and social significance of the Orphan Trains. The presenters will take questions from the audience and will invite relatives and acquaintances of Orphan Train Riders to share their stories.

This educational and moving presentation will be at the Nacogdoches Railroad Depot, 101 Old Tyler Road, on Thursday, July 11th at 6 p.m.  The program is free to the public, but registration is required due to limited seating. Participants can register by calling 936-560-4441 or online at Riders on the Orphan Train is graciously supported by a Humanities Texas Grant. For more information about the program, please visit or call 936-560-4441

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Gallery Credit: Kelsee Pitman

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