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Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School.  Betsy Ross Cottage, 1955

Established in 1864/1865, the Illinois' Soldiers' Orphans' Home (later renamed ISSCS) was a state-run orphanage in north Normal.

In the early 1930s, a cluster of Norman-style cottages (known as the Children's Village) went up on the south end of the ISSCS campus. The cottages were named for the famous and not-so famous, such as Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman; Red Cross organizer Jane Delano; and Betsy Ross, credited (according to legend) with making the first American flag. Although ISSCS closed down in the late 1970s, the cottages are still there, and some were later repurposed to house small businesses or Illinois State University offices.

This photograph of Betsy Ross residents enjoying dinner comes from the Museum's ISSCS Collection. The children and caregiver pictured here are unidentified. If anyone looks familiar, please give Museum Librarian Bill Kemp a call at 309-827-0428.


Written By

Torii Moré

Torii Moré

Torii Moré is the Curator of Digital Humanities at the McLean County Museum of History.

Posted in

July 10th, 2014

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