Abandoned Orphanage Photo Print, Lafon Home For Boys New Orleans, Black and White Wall Art
This is the front door of the historic Lafon Home for Boys in New Orleans which we stayed next to multiple times while living in a New Orleans RV Park.
The Sisters at Lafon Home For Boys taught enslaved children when the education of slaves was illegal. The mission of the Sisters of the Holy Family was to bring comfort and care to children, the poor, the powerless, and the elderly. They provided shelter, education, healthcare, and bright futures to many Black orphaned boys and girls in Louisiana.
In 1853, a yellow fever epidemic struck New Orleans killing 8,000 residents. By the summer of 1878, the death toll had reached nearly 20,000. As a result, many children became homeless orphans. New Orleans was in desperate need of housing for children so, in 1892, the St. John Berchman’s Orphanage for Girls was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family. The following year, in 1893, Thomy Lafon, a wealthy philanthropist, bequeathed a building on St. Peter Street to the Sisters for the purpose of establishing the Lafon Orphan Boys Asylum.
Born a freedman of color, Thomy Lafon was the son of a Frenchman and a free woman of Haitian descent who was born in Louisiana to a slave mother. Lafon’s father deserted the family when he was a young boy. Lafon was self-educated. In 1842, at the age of 32, he was listed in the New Orleans City Directory as a merchant. In 1868, Thomy Lafon began to build his fortune from real estate investments. In 1870, Lafon’s estimated worth was $250,000 making him at the time the wealthiest African-American in the United States. Despite his wealth, Lafon lived in a modest house and was known for his philanthropy.
Shot on 120mm Film. Grainy and enlarges well.
TITLE: Lafon Home For Boys, New Orleans
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