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ST. MARY’S MALE ORPHAN ASYLUM
Excerpted from the book
Troy’s One Hundred Years 1789-1889
Published in 1891 by William H. Young, 7 and 9 First Street, Troy, NY
The Rev. Peter Havermans, about the year 1850, founded an asylum for orphan boys at No. 237 Fourth Street. Having erected, in 1854, a large three-story wooden building on the east side of Fifth Street, between Washington and Adams streets, he gave it the name, St. Mary’s Male Orphan Asylum, and removed the children to it.
On Saturday night, May 5th, 1866, it was set on fire intentionally by one of the boys in the institution, and was burned to the ground. The orphans, about two hundred in number, under the charge of the Christian Brothers, were temporarily cared for by a number of charitable people until the erection of another building on the same site was completed; the material of the military barracks, on the grounds of the Rensselaer County Agricultural and Manufacturers Society, forming the greater part of the structure.
The present asylum, on the north-east corner of Bedford and Hanover streets, was then building; the corner-stone of which was laid by the Right Rev. J. J. Conroy, Bishop of Albany, on June 24th, that year. On its completion, in 1868, the children were removed to it. The brick building is four stories high, and commands a fine view of the city. Seventeen trustees control its financial affairs, and a large corps of the Brothers of the Christian Schools has the care and education of the two hundred and more boys, between the ages of two and twelve years, who are at present inmates of the institution. About two hundred day scholars attend the school connected with it.