My Grandfather grew up in St. Michael's Orphanage in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. I am pasting 2 items from the LaCrosse Tribune relating to the orphanage. By the way, the 2nd item tells about a visit from Santa to the orphanage. If you are curious what Santa left as a rememberance to the children (since the article doesn't specify), each child got one piece of rock candy. My grandpa would take a couple of licks of it each day, then hide it under his pillow so he could enjoy it over and over again.
Published - Monday, August 04, 2003
Orphanage operated for 7 decades
By Tribune staff and the La Crosse Public Library
Q: There used to be an old orphanage on La Crosse's far South Side. What was the name of the orphanage, where was it located, and what was its history?
A. The only known orphanage on La Crosse's far South Side was St. Michael's Home for Children, which was located at 2902 East Ave. S., near the present site of St. Joseph's Community Care. According to the La Crosse Public Library archives, St. Michael's was a three-story brick structure that opened in 1911 and closed during the summer of 1982. The building was razed in September 1982.
Santa delights little orphans
One hundred and seventy-five motherless little tots of La Crosse are today wearing radiant smiles as they tell of the wonders of Santa Claus.
Yes, there can be no doubt now: There really is a Santa, for did they not see him with their own eyes as he came out of the big open fireplace at St. Michael's orphanage last night?
A sigh is heard now and then throughout the orphanage today as the little ones remember with fond delight the beautiful tree, the gorgeous appearance of the room as the "real live Santa" stepped from the very fireplace that they had been watching for weeks, the hundreds of sparkling little lights that flashed about the room like bewildering sunbeams, and last, but not least, the little memorial which Santa left to each of the children as a remembrance of his visit.
â€” Dec. 25, 1911, La Crosse Tribune