TORONTO - Author Gordon Grafton will be special guest speaker at the Historical Society of Toronto's Main Street Museum, 210 Main St., from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 31.
Grafton is the author of "Lost Children of the Ohio Valley," the story of the former McCullough's Children's Home, once located at the junction of state Route 7 and state Route 213.
It is estimated that more than 2,500 children lived in the old home between 1914 and 1958, when it was demolished to make way for the new Route 7, according to Carolyn Walker, historical society president.
"Mr. Grafton began organizing the many boxes of old records and pictures he discovered had been stored away," Walker continued, adding four former residents of the home would be there as well, including Charley Lash, JoAnn Means, Hubert Woodland and Dorothy Hilsinger. "It took four years of research to put together the story of these children, the home and its employees into the book he wrote entitled 'Lost Children of the Ohio Valley.'
The former residents will talk to museum visitors about their experiences and memories of the children's home, said Walker, and Grafton will have copies of his book available for sale at the museum.
"Mr. Grafton worked in public service all of his life as a teacher, deputy sheriff and a child welfare social worker," said Walker. "During his tenure as the supervisor of the McCullough Children's Home, he became aware of the history or lack of the original location of the home, which was located in the Yellow Creek area of Jefferson County.
"His book brings to light the many stories of the residents there, some who stayed only a short time, while others spent their entire youth there," Walker continued. "Some were famous, others became successful in fulfilling careers, but all shared a common bond."
Grafton's book was released in 2005, and shortly after a reunion of former residents met and formed a group called Survivors and Seekers, which included the families of former residents, Walker added.
"Mr. Grafton will share stories from his book and additional stories that have been related to him since the book was published during the program," said Walker.
The program is free, and the public is invited. For information call Walker at (740) 537-2157.
(Miller can be contacted at email@example.com .)