The Great Potato Famine of 1845-49 devastated Ireland ruining the country’s main source of food. As the staple of their diet withered, thousands of Irish died of starvation, while others wasted away to a shadow of what they once had been. This story follows a broken family that feared failed crops on their small farm. Selling all they could, they departed by sailing ship to what they hoped would be a“land of plenty,” America. A challenging situation necessitates that Ellen and Dillon be temporarily placed in an orphanage. Just as the children are feeling settled, overcrowded conditions cause them to be transported by train, far from their father and Irish traditions. The Orphan Train Movement was a social experiment that moved children from crowded cities in the Eastern United States to foster homes. The trains ran between 1854-1929 relocating many children to farms across the country.
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