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RI State Home and Orphanage - O'Roarke Childrens Center

Replies: 51

Re: Orphanages in Rhode Island

Posted: 1304610757000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ropp, Curry
Dear Brian,
How wonderful to hear from you!
I have been writing scenes and anecdotes from my mother's story of the orphanage. I'll get a few organized and send them to you (eventually).
Frankie Ropp Sr. was my mother's half brother. They all lived in Worcester. Their mother was Mary Jane Curry, who grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where all the men and boys (as soon as they turned nine or so) worked on the farm in summer and mined coal in Glace Bay in the winter.
One interesting fact is that Mary Jane placed my mother, Irene Marie in the orphanage when she was two - but Frankie Ropp Jr. was also placed there for two years. I'm not sure why she sent Frankie there too - but my sister Leslie may know and I'll ask her. My mother and Frankie could only glimpse each other from their separate wards, but the experience made them very close.
I also have a treasure trove of letters that Frankie Ropp Jr. wrote to my mother and his brothers during WWII, when he was a Marine. The stories are amazing. I can send you copies if you send your address - or I might be able to scan them to your e-mail.
My sister and I loved Uncle Frankie very much; he was very smart and very kind. He and my Aunt Margie had two sons, Frankie Jr. and Steve Ropp. We saw each other a lot as children, but I have lost touch with them.
I had seen the article you sent, which is the most I have been able to learn about the orphanage. I may go to Woonsocket this summer, but I'm not sure seeing the place will help.
My sister has a photo of Helen and my mother as children with Frankie Sr. Heleb is wearing a big bow in her hair. She can't find the photo, but she's working on it. I believe that Frankie Sr. "adopted" my mother, though I don't know if this was an official arrangement. How old are you (what generation)? My mother Irene was born in 1914 and died in 2005. I was born in 1947; my sister in 1943.
Thanks again for your message. Anything you can unearth would be helpful, as I have been compiling a history, which I am happy to share.
P.S. I know Brunswick as it was in the 1950's - though I haven't been back. I went to camp nearby.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
joycerwillis 1276632017000 
sweetfern1 1276655306000 
joycerwillis 1276873148000 
jessicalisak 1287175065000 
joycerwillis 1287176672000 
jessicalisak 1287177240000 
Brian Bouchar... 1304518019000 
sweetfern1 1304551144000 
rhodyvisitor1 1306357833000 
joycerwillis 1304610757000 
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