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If you are planning on visiting the museum please call ahead to confirm the Complex is open. The Curator may unexpectedly be called away from the Complex.
Large groups, please call ahead to book a guided tour.

The Museum and Research Center are dedicated to the preservation of the stories and artifacts of those who were part of the Orphan Train Movement from 1854-1929.


The mission of the National Orphan Train Complex is to collect, preserve, interpret,
and disseminate knowledge about the orphan trains, and the children and agents
who rode them. The museum’s collections, exhibitions, programming and research
will engage riders, researchers, and the general public and create an awareness of
the Orphan Train Movement.

Congratulations to Colleen Bradford Krantz and Clark Kidder on their 2015 Upper Midwest Emmy Award!

The film, West by Orphan Train, is based on Kidder’s book titled Emily’s Story:  The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider, which chronicles the life of his paternal grandmother, Emily (Reese) Kidder, who  was placed on an orphan train in New York City that was bound for the Midwest in 1906. She was one of an estimated 250,000 American children relocated by the Orphan Train Movement (1854-1929). Emily married Earl Kidder of Edgerton, WI, and they farmed in the area during their seventy-four years of marriage. The film’s official website is at www.westbyorphantrain.com.

Clark Kidder is a member of our Speaker’s Bureau and will be the Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Orphan Train Celebration.

You can find more information on Clark Kidder by checking out his website http://www.clarkkidder.com/ or by liking his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClarkKidder.

West By OrphanTrain Poster