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Charleston Orphan House Alum Visits CYDC Campus

Mondays have a sometimes well-earned reputation for being the most undesirable day of the work week, but ours began on a magnificent note when we had the honor of hosting a former resident of the Charleston Orphan House (from which CYDC is descended,) Patricia Thompson Kinard.

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Former Charleston Orphan House resident Patricia Thompson Kinard admires the 1929 Tiffany stained glass window in CYDC’s Admin building that once resided in the Orphan House Chapel.

Patricia, 84, was admitted into the Orphan House at age 3 and a half with her brother, Preston, and sister, Mary Alice. She lived in the Orphan House for eight years, and shared some of the fond memories of her experience there.

CYDC Development Office Coordinator/IT Liaison Brian Hedden took Patricia on a tour to see various artifacts on display, highlighted by the 1929 original Tiffany stained glass window depicting the scene of “Christ Blessing the Children.” Patricia said she remembered the window from the old Orphan House Chapel and always loved it.

Patricia also got to view the old stone tablets bearing names of Orphan House commissioners that once adorned the home, as well as peruse old Orphan House photographs. The tour concluded with Patricia seeing the neighborhood-style cottages that house our children today, and her posing for a picture in front of the old Orphan House bell that now resides in our Pavilion Bell Garden.

For those of you reading this post who may be unfamiliar with our rich history, CYDC was founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the first publicly-funded orphanage in the country. The original Charleston Orphan House was located at the current intersection of Calhoun and St. Philip streets in downtown Charleston until 1952, when the building was demolished to make way for a Sears and Roebuck.

The last of the remaining children previously in the care of the Orphan House were moved to the property at Oak Grove (the site of modern-day Carolina Youth Development Center) in 1951.

For more information on CYDC’s history, visit https://cydc.org/about-us/our-history/ .