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Lost Washington: Good Hope Roadís German orphanage

Good Hope Road SE, one of East Washington's historic thoroughfares, has been home to many places now forgotten. While still a pastoral area the arterial road hosted, from the late 1800s into the 1960s, an orphanage for children of German ancestry, one such place with an obscured memory.

German Orphan Asylum on Good Hope Road SE. Photo from Historical Society of Washington.

Too rural for street addresses, the German Orphan Asylum at 2300 Good Hope Road wasn't given an address until 1945. It first opened its doors in August 1880. Today, the Marbury Plaza apartment complex looms over Good Hope Road where the orphanage previously stood.

"In the second half of the nineteenth century, Washington's native-born and immigrant German population was significant in numbers," writes Mona E. Dingle in 1996's Urban Odyssey, A Multicultural History of Washington, DC. At their peak presence, Germans represented 10% of the city's population, significantly less than Chicago and Baltimore where nearly one-quarter of city residents were of German ancestry.

With an increase in the city's German population, a concern emerged to care "for orphans and the aged." In 1879 parishioners of Concordia German Evangelical Lutheran Church at 20th & G Street NW began to raise money for an asylum for needy German orphans. With financial support from leaders within the city's established and emerging German American community, the "German Protestant Orphan Asylum Association of the District of Columbia" was incorporated with a twenty year charter from Congress. The Protestant designation was later stricken from the title to allow admission of children of other religions and eventually non-German children were accepted.

"Admission requirements, based on race and age, stipulated that a child must be of the white race Ö at least three (3) years old but not over eleven (11) years,'" according to Louise Daniel Hutchinson's seminal 1977 work, The Anacostia Story: 1608-1930. These restrictions were relaxed in later years.

Before the turn of the century, the German Orphan Asylum was one of the first institutions built for the care and welfare of children in Anacostia, but other charitable efforts soon followed. The Stoddard Baptist Home for "colored elderly and indigent women" was founded in the Garfield community near Hamilton Road, present-day Alabama Avenue. In 1904 the Episcopal Diocese expanded its work to provide "for winter service to homeless children at Anacostia, D.C." according to Hutchinson.

Local beer manufacturer Christian Heurich, known for his popular "Senate" beer, was one of the earliest benefactors of the German orphanage. Later contributors included local department store owner Julius Garfinckel.

Simon Wolf, a German Jewish immigrant and successful lawyer, assisted the orphanage, with funding from Congress, in purchasing the 32-acre Good Hope Hill Farm from Captain Samuel G. and Flora Cabell in what is today the Fairlawn neighborhood. With the help of Wolf and friends of the asylum, a new brick building was constructed and dedicated in October 1890. The asylum had formerly occupied space in downtown Washington.

Photo from Historical Society of Washington.

"The new two-story home, perched on top of Good Hope Hill measured 52 feet x 100 feet, and was designed to accommodate up to 80 children," according to, "To Help A Child: The History of the German Orphan Home," an article in the 2006 edition of Washington History by local historian Anna Watkins.

According to Census records from 1900, the orphanage had 52 "inmates" and was run by the Henry and Elizabeth Harrold along with their four daughters and one son.

The board of directors controlled the admission and release of the children, and selected their schools until they reached the age of about 14. The youngsters were then placed in carefully surveyed homes where they worked as household help or nannies, or were assigned as an apprentice to a trade or profession. The board retained responsibility for the children until they reached legal adulthood. The older adolescents attended public school in Anacostia, while the younger ones prepared for school at the asylum.

The orphanage taught, studied, and used both German and English. Due to the national mood during World War I, the board decreed in 1918 that use of the English language would take precedent "because we must show ourselves thoroughly patriotic and loyal; we are American in every sense of the word and proud of it." During this time the American flag was raised daily on the main building. However, in 1929, when an illustrated 50th anniversary history book was published, it was done so in both languages.

The Orphanage's relocation

With the growth and development of Washington following World War II the neighborhood dynamics around the orphanage began to change.

1959 Plate Map. Photo from DCPL Washingtoniana Division.

"Increasingly developed with housing and institutions, the area was no longer conducive to having children do farm chores as heavy traffic sped down the hill bordering the property," according to Watkins. Long-time Superintendent George Christman "noticed that more people were walking across the home's grounds. Some ran dogs on the property, teenagers had parties and played games there displaying loud and annoying behavior, and drunks used the front steps to take a rest."

With the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 and other factors, such as the construction of the Barry Farm housing development and urban renewal of the SW waterfront, the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods began to shift. Herein the orphans began to face difficulties in the neighborhood schools.

The board began to consider relocating and selling their property on Good Hope Road. In early 1964, developer Charles Smith offered to rent the property for 99 years at a price that allowed the orphanage to relocate. The Smith Company would later demolish the facilities and build the present-day apartment complex Marbury Plaza.

Soon thereafter the directors of the orphanage purchased a large parcel of land in Prince George's County, opening a new home on Melwood Road in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in 1965. In December 1978, at the end of the semester, the orphanage closed to its last student.

John Muller is an associate librarian, journalist and historian. He has written two books, Frederick Douglass in Washington, DC, Mark Twain in Washington, DC, and also writes at Death and Life of Old Anacostia


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Great article John! Really loved it and the pictures are too cool. Thanks for sharing. :)

by The Advoc8te on Dec 28, 2011 2:44 pm • linkreport

DC is usually assumed to have been a "Southern" city, when it was really more of a border one, with a lot of Southern governance (via Congress and people like Woodrow Wilson). There were many immigrant and European ethnic neighborhoods, particularly North & West of the Anacostia, as well as neighborhoods like Mt Pleasant that were settled by Northern transplants. The ethnic patterns of settlement were pretty evident well into the 50s.

by Rich on Dec 28, 2011 5:40 pm • linkreport

Irish Catholics in Swampoodle (actually they call it "St. Al's), Italians in Truxton Circle (North Capitol St. at Florida Ave.), Jews near the old Adas Israel and the 7th Street commercial corridor. The one ethnicity, or rather group of ethnicities that's lacking, compared to other cities of the Northeast and Rust Belt, is Slavic-Americans. Possibly due to the lack of heavy industry.

by Frank IBC on Dec 28, 2011 6:41 pm • linkreport

Great article. Members of my family (which has roots in Foggy Bottom dating to the 1860s) were involved in the German orphanage for many decades -- some relatives sat on the board of directors. The orphanage's charitable foundation was still in existence as of a few years ago (but it dissolved itself if I remember correctly).

by Michael Grass on Dec 28, 2011 6:43 pm • linkreport

So that is why Marbury Plaza is haunted and it be randomly catching on fire every week

by Michael on Dec 29, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

Awesome reporting, John. Interesting how back then "people were walking across the home's grounds. Some ran dogs on the property, teenagers had parties and played games there displaying loud and annoying behavior, and drunks used the front steps to take a rest" and how today not a lot has changed!!!

by Troy Donte' on Dec 29, 2011 12:30 pm • linkreport

German Orphan Asylum

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. has the very rich collection of records of the German Orphan Asylum. Call (202) 785-2068 x111 to gain access to them.
1900 census of the Asylum from a genealogy site on the internet.

by MBG on Dec 29, 2011 2:38 pm • linkreport

My family supported the GOH over the many years thru about 1960s. I became a board member in 1972, and served as president for about 10 years. The advent of Social Security provided family support and funds, so that what may have been a destitute child almost ceased to exist. This reduced the population of the Home, and by the late 1970s we began planning orderly closure. The physical assets and funds were directed by the Board to other charatible caused thru no cost or low cost use of the facility and specific grants to sustain other programs.

by Harry Kriemelmeyer on Dec 29, 2011 5:43 pm • linkreport

Does anyone know what happend to the Steuben sculpture at the assylum? You can see it in both of the photos with this article.

by Kent Boese on Dec 30, 2011 3:40 pm • linkreport

The Steuben statue may be in the garden at the Heurich house museum. Before the sale of the Upper Marlboro property, the Board arranged for the statue to be moved and preserved from further weather damage.

by Harry Kriemelmeyer on Jan 1, 2012 5:21 am • linkreport

With respect to the sale of the property in Upper Marlboro, I was told that it was sold to a non-profit and then immediately flipped for big money to a developer. Is there any truth to that rumor and can someone shed light on what happened, and who was the non-profit?

by Dave on Jan 6, 2012 1:13 pm • linkreport

I grew up on Good Hope Road one block from the Anacostia library beginning in family moved away in 1976 to Oxon Hill (now Fort Washington). When I was a small child, the German Orphan's home had closed, and my mother and I and sisters would walk up there to play on the grounds and the castle. The stone wall that circles Marbury Plaza (which is now at that site) is the same stone that the castle's outer veneer is constructed of. I will never forget it.

by William on Jun 1, 2012 3:17 pm • linkreport

Where is the Steuben statue now? In the garden on the grounds of the German Embassy in Washington DC. See link:

by Terry P. on Aug 30, 2012 12:06 am • linkreport

In 1910 two of my great aunts were in the orphange their last names were Washney. They went there after their mother was killed in a fire, and their father was badly burnt. No one seems to know where the dad went after the girls were placed in the home. If anyone has any information about that they could share I would love to here about it.

by Cindy Lou on Nov 1, 2012 2:01 pm • linkreport

My mother Edith Martin Adams (Jan 24th, 1919 to Nov 28th, 2012) was born in 1919 ..... spent her early childhood in the German Orphan Asylum at 2300 Good Hope Road, Anacostia, Virginia. Her maiden name at that time was Edith Adams.

My mom's dad committed suicide (or was murdered) when she was 4-5 years old, back in the roaring 20's ... she ended up in the german orphange in anacostia virginia ... back in the 1920's .... along with her sister Levena, and her younger brother Robert.

here is a link to the Historical Society Article about the Orphanage with pictures … if you see these pictures you will see the tower. Mom took us to see the Orphanage One time when we were very small kids I still remember that day. The main thing a kid noticed was that tower, and mom said her bedroom with some other kids … was in the top of the tower.

these short videos I shot that last day I saw her Nov 22, 2012, she was telling some of the old stories, in this one she talks about the orphanage …

She mentions the Hoffman’s that ran the orphanage, it could have been Mom’s memory she may have meant Henry and Elizabeth Harrold. Mom’s name was Edith, but with their thick german accents they pronounced her name …. “Editt”

this is part two of her story about the orphange …

by Doug Adams on Jun 11, 2013 12:48 pm • linkreport

My father died in August 1937 and my mother was Glen Dale Hospital with TB and I was raised by the home from September 1937 until May 1944.When I entered home we had 22 boys and 20 girls. Superintendent was the Rev. Tapey but Huffman had been in charge before him.After Tapey a Mr.and Mrs Clark ran the home for about 4 months. In August of 1944 Pop and Mrs Christman ran the Home until it sold and moved.

by Scott L Seymour on Feb 27, 2014 12:13 pm • linkreport

I was raised at the Home from September 1937 until May 1944.When I entered the Home we had 22 boys and 20 girls.Rev.Tapey took over from Huffman MR and Mrs Clark took charge for about four months then Pop and Mrs Christman from August 1940 until it was sold.

by Scott L Seymour on Feb 27, 2014 12:22 pm • linkreport


Thank you for sharing. Would you be interested in speaking with me? I'm working on a project that will include a more detailed history of the orphanage. It would be great to speak with you.

John Muller

by John Muller on Feb 27, 2014 12:56 pm • linkreport


Yes, I would like to speak with you and tell you more. I really enjoyed this article!

Scott Seymour

by Scott L Seymour on Feb 27, 2014 2:37 pm • linkreport


Do you use email or phone?

by John Muller on Feb 27, 2014 2:39 pm • linkreport

John: I am getting close to 87 now so my computer skills are limited so phone would be best. 410-266-7242

by Scott L Seymour on Feb 27, 2014 3:03 pm • linkreport

my mom grew up in the orphanage, she was born jan 24th, 1919 .... she may have gone there as a young girl maybe 5-6 years old? .... here name was edith martin adams .... the german couple that ran it call her "edittt" because of the accent could not pronounce the H in edith .... she said she lived in the tower at one time, and she was a favorite, he would invite her in the kitchen and give her candy, called her ... edittt .... i think her brother Robert Berkly martin was there also, and her sister lavena martin, the 3 kids

by Doug Adams on Feb 27, 2014 3:05 pm • linkreport

I'm a proud alum of the GOH from 1957 to 1970 having been a resident of both the DC and PG county homes and retain fond memories of both. Pop Christman Rules (ed)! Sorry to say the former PG county location is being considered by the regime to house "refugees" from the orchestrated illegal invasion.

by KS on Jul 7, 2014 1:28 pm • linkreport

...a long time ago and far, far away a little boy, me, found himself calling 2300 Good Hope Road home. Along with my new digs came my younger sister (Debbie) and brother (Donnie). For the next nine years I would call the German Orphan Home (GOH) home. Through many good times and some bad I made my way towards adulthood, holding on to that dinasour of last century's brick and mortar and the helping hands of adults who came before me. As I look back on that time in my life I remember with great fondness those other GOH kids I called friends. Karl, with with his sharp mind and gifted fingers (a musical forte), Marcy and her sister Lucinda; and of course Tom- who Marcy would later marry (when Tom got back from Viet Nam). And too, I remember beautiful Benita and her brother Ray.... if there ever was a kid that was underestimated it was Benita. She grew up to be a star. And then, of course there's her brother Ray who sadly we lost when he was so very young.... "here's to you Ray. May your sweet, sweet smile never be forgotten!" Danny and Linda Barrett. Whatever happened to them? I do remember their dad. He was a Navy Sharp Shooter in the 1960s. I always felt so envious of those two.... I do know Danny spent time in the Merchant Marine. And he was a good boxer, too. Just ask Kenneth Patrick. He knows! And finally, although I've only mentioned a few of my "brothers in arms" I close by saying thank you to them all: the tall ones, the short ones, those musicians, the wanna be rockers, the bright ones, and those new ones who seemed so lost in their new environment. They all mattered and made a difference in my life. I thank God in Heaven for those days and those caring enough to make one little boy's life worth living.... I credit my successes in the public school classroom and school administrative
tenure to those kids and that time in my life.

by Ron Knight on Sep 23, 2014 2:18 pm • linkreport

Ron Knight must be a good bit younger then I but we both have great memories of time spent growing up at the GOH.Michael Grass must be related to Bill Grass who was a Board member and very active in the running of the home and was thought highly of.

by Scott Seymour on Sep 23, 2014 3:31 pm • linkreport

Ron, nice to know you;re still among the living. Thanks for your Air Force service. I ran into your brother Don at an Orioles game the last year Memorial Stadium was standing in Baltimore and have been meaning to call him ever since. I'll try to do so shortly and see if we can figure out where to go from here. I've been in touch with some of those you mentioned in recent years and Patty Morrison suggested a Facebook page for us about 6 years ago. I'd prefer something less public. (I hated the government as a hippie and hate it even more as a conservative.) The mind is sharp as ever but arthritis has found the fingers. I can't resist saying to Michael Grass that his granddad Bill probably wouldn't approve of him hanging out with the Huffpo crowd. I saw Bill at the German Embassy shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain and at 90+ years old he recognized me and asked if I'd pay something for him on the piano in the hall.... First class all the way!

by KS on Sep 25, 2014 8:11 pm • linkreport

I was a member from 1950 to 1957.I remember Scott if he is the Scott that was a member of the dept.I believe he was injured chasing I believe a football and cut his eye on a steel pole.I only knew him when he came up for the festivals.I believe this is when he hurt himself. I have many memories of the home one of the best was knowing Bill Grass and his lovely wife.What fun they were.One of my high lights was the soap box derby and a saint of a man Carl Dresher better known as Jurney.Who help us build them.My car won best design in 1954 thanks to this kind man who was with the white house police. Also the music programs was a blessing to me for it afforded me to spend four years in the 2nd Marine air wingband in N.C as a solitary for 4 yrs.Thank GOD for the home if I had stayed with my parents heaven only knows what would have come of my self.
Tom c

by tom cooper on Nov 3, 2014 3:08 pm • linkreport

My mother, Ruth Beall, was raised in the German Orphan home from 1940 when she was 5 years old until she married my father in 1954. Mom used to take us to the Home to visit the Christman's frequently. I have memories of their boxer too.

by Sharon A Luke on Dec 8, 2014 2:18 pm • linkreport

Having been in the Home since 1937 in 1940 I turned 13 and donot remember a Ruth Beall. I do remember Tom Cooper from my time spent at the Home when I returned from the Marine Corp and he is right I did retire from The D.c.Fire Department.

by Scott Seymour on Dec 8, 2014 3:49 pm • linkreport

did you know edith martin?

by doug adams on Dec 8, 2014 5:12 pm • linkreport

I did not know Edith.
I was there from August 1937 until May 1944. Like I said before when I went there we had 22 boys and 20 girls. After the war when I went uP there they only had 15 boys and girls all together. Then they moved to Maryland

by Scott Seymour on Dec 8, 2014 6:45 pm • linkreport

The boxer Sharon Luke refers to was named PDQ and was bred by Larry Oser who later ran the Home for a short time. He retird from C and P telephone.Whenever you saw Mrs.Christman PDQ was not far away.

by Scott Seymour on Dec 26, 2014 4:08 pm • linkreport

Thank you Scott Seymour, I often wondered what PDQ's name was. I am sure I heard it on my visits to the home but did not remember it.

by Sharon Luke on Dec 26, 2014 5:19 pm • linkreport

The Steuben Statue is currently located at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.

by Vickie Gaudette Huffman on Dec 28, 2014 4:58 pm • linkreport

I was at the Good Hope Road home betweeb August 1954 and August 1957. I have fond memories of PDQ (we called him PD) and of course, Mom and Pop Christman! If anyone remembers the piano teacher, Howard Tuvelle, he has a page on Facebook.

by Vickie Gaudette Huffman on Dec 28, 2014 5:02 pm • linkreport

Hello again. I wanted to take a moment to wish all the kids I grew up with at the German Orphan Home (1960- 1969) a most wonderful of holidays. Here's hoping 2015 is spectacular for each of you. Always, Ron Knight

by Ron Knight on Dec 28, 2014 8:39 pm • linkreport

Thanks for the wonderful story and history. There is one correction. It was Heinrich "Henry" Ermold - not Harrold - and his wife Elizabeth who ran the German Orphan Asylum, from 1893 - June 1900 when he died. Henry Ermold is my great-great uncle. My great-great grandfather George Bessler was a benefactor and married to Katherine Ermold, Henry's older sister. And my grandmother and her five Miller siblings were "inmates" there and show up on the 1920 census at which time they said it was not a pleasant place to live. My grandmother said her best friend there died during the Spanish influenza that swept through the inmates and that they were made to work for their keep even when they were ill. Nevertheless, my Miller relatives made the best of it and even formed a band called the Good Hope Orphans band that played at receptions there.

by Joy Fulton on Dec 28, 2014 9:54 pm • linkreport

No one referred to us as inmates we where residences of the German Orphan Home.

by Scott Seymour on Dec 30, 2014 3:50 pm • linkreport

I remember so very fondly the GOH afternoon weekend carnivals as we neighborhood kids thought of them. We would sneak in. We were never thrown out even though we knew we didn't belong there. I just remember all the wonderful food and the music and games going on. My brothers Mario and Eddie Sevilla along with many of our friends who all attended St. Teresa's School and church would meet at The GOH to play with all the other children. Those were wonderful times and after many of our friends moved out of Anacostia we later as adults came out to Upper Marlboro to The new facility for Octoberfest and enjoyed suporting the organization although I believe the charity by then was a drug treatment which helped the community in a different way. Now my brother Eddie and I are the last remaining Sevilla brothers as my other 2 brothers and our parents have passed on now. I have been living across the bridge on Capitol Hill with my wife Patsy for nearly 40 years. Thank you all for the memories. It seems like yesterday.
Alejandro "Big Al" Sevilla
January 17, 2015

by big al sevilla on Jan 17, 2015 2:01 am • linkreport

in a 1910 census I find two of my great aunts living at the orphanage on good hope road. Their last names were Washney. In 1902 their mother died in a fire and their father was burned trying to save her. I can only hope that they were treated well. I have heard that they carried the sadness with them the rest of their lives. I don't know what ever happened to their father who had been a farmer. They lived on sligo mill road in Washington d.c.

by cindy rye rooney on Feb 28, 2015 1:58 pm • linkreport

John, I am fascinated about the information you gathered. I was orphaned at a very young age and spent time at the Baptist Home & Barrett/Florence Crittenton in NW. We had unwed underage pregnant girls on the lower floor, us orphans on the 2nd floor and you heard the lunatics and mentally incarcerated men screaming all night long and through out the day on the 3rd floor. I watched a few go out in body bags from a thick screened window that was locked with a skeleton key.. Now that's a place you should write about. It was creepy and very abusive. There was a small building connected (like a garage) when we walked single file to the cafeteria you could see through the window, they would bring the 3rd floor inmates that caused trouble and gave them electric shock treatments and the windows would light up. We were constantly terrified. Just thought you should know about this place I was only there about a year or so because I was constantly running away thinking living on the streets was a better option. just sayin. I am 49 years old now but can still see the lighting and can still hear the screams.

by Tori on May 21, 2015 5:49 pm • linkreport

A family member appeared on the 1920 census and it said he was an adopted son, with "Orph. - Howell's." Can anyone shed some light on which orphanage that might be?

by Gail on May 29, 2015 2:26 pm • linkreport

I am 81 years old. While writing my life story, I decided to research the German Orphan Home, where my brother, Gordon Miller (age 10), my sister, Fern Miller (age 5), and myself (age 13) lived from 1947 to 1948. We were referred by the Concordia Lutheran Church where we attended. I remember Ruth Beall, Ellen Slay, the Wilson sisters, April, Lois, & Carol, Elsie Dreshler (sp), and her brothers, Tommy & Bobby, Beverly ?,Barbara Mueller, the Swann brothers (Billy & Bobby?),and a boy named Russell. There were only about 20 boys and girls there at that time. I attended Kramer Junior High and made my confirmation at Concordia Lutheran Church in the spring of 1948. George (Pop) & Beatrice Christman were the superintendents. Mrs. Christman's sister, Eleanor, was living there at the time. We were placed there due to my mother's financial hardship, but returned home after one year. I have fond memories and not so fond memories.

by Joan (Miller) Harrison on Mar 4, 2016 2:28 pm • linkreport

Dear Joan (Miller) Harrison,
I'd like to read your life story, especially if it included a year at the GOH. I have very fond memories of the portion of my childhood spent under the care of Pop Christman, Beatty and Eleanor and her drooling boxers Petie and Princess Pat. I think that anyone, raised in an orphanage or not can choose to dwell on the not-so-fond memories of chuldhood
, but life isn't perfect is it? The suburban years in Upper Marlboro were challenging, but for most of us we were up to it, except when we weren't. What most people don't realize that is that life in an orphanage in the twilight of such institutions was not something out of the pages of Dickens, but much more complex and rich if you can imagine that. For those GOH alum out there wishing to still feel like victims,indulge yourself by all means, but in your heart you can't really deny Pop Christman's observation that "The world doesn't owe you a living." Everything else follows from that.

by KS on Mar 26, 2016 9:29 pm • linkreport

Dear Joan (Miller) Harrison,

I will be 74 years old in a couple of months. Probably close in age to your sister, Fern. I was at the home from 1953 to 1960 when I graduated from Anacostia High School. I remember Ruth Beall(became Carlisle) Ellen Slay, Beverly Ford.( I think Beverly graduated from H.S. in 1954 and got married shortly thereafter.) Barbara Mueller:( all the guys were in love with her). She left the home in ’57 or ’58 to live with her parents in Florida. Tommy Cooper was devastated when she left. I remember a family by the name of Darne left early in ’58 or ’59. I was sweet on one of the Darne girls named Janet, and I was pretty torn up when she left. I remember the Wilson sisters, particularly Lois. She and I became friendly when we discovered we had the same birthday. I remember Elsie Drechsler’s brothers Bobby, George and Carl (Junie). Bobby was attending Maryland University when I got there. He used to work at the florist across from the home. The florist shop was Mealy and Wood. Albert (Albie) was the oldest and served in WWll and Korea. Albie made the U.S. Army a career and retired as a Master Sergeant. Carl (Junie) used to help us build the soap box derby racers. Tommy was a farmer in North Carolina, and I don’t ever remember his visiting the home. I remember Scott Seymour would visit the home once in a while. I remember Scott was very pleasant and friendly. The Swann brothers were Billie and Bennie. Bennie was there when I came to the home. He eventually joined the Marine Corps. The boy you remember as Russell was Russell Nusbickel. I think I spelled his name correctly. He also joined the Marine Corps. “Pop” Christman was the superintendant and Mrs Christman was the matron. Mrs “C’s” sister Eleanor known to the kids as “Honey” was the secretary. Mrs. Christman who was born in 1903, passed away in 1970 at age 67. I attended her visitation at the funeral home. Pop was born in 1902 and died in 1979 at the age of 77. Pop was living in King George, Virginia at the time. Eleanor was born in 1907, but I don’t know when she died. These are just a few of my memories of the home.

by Glen S. on Jun 9, 2016 10:03 pm • linkreport

Dear Glen,
Nice to hear your memories of the GOH and a few familiar names that only barely overlapped my stay there. Of the Dreschlers, I only really knew Bobby, and maybe met Albie once or twice. I remember your last year or so at the home, knew your brother better (will never forget the solo trombone practice serenades echoing throughout the halls!), and am sorry for your loss of him. I think you attended the post-Berlin Wall-fall shindig at the German Embassy with Bill Grass that I refer to above in the comments, and if I remember correctly might have gotten an invitation to join the Board from Liz Currie that was managing the organization's scholarship awards.

by KS on Jun 27, 2016 2:44 pm • linkreport

Ron Knight-I went to school with your brother Donnie, was actually his date to the junior prom. Lost touch a long time ago but have many fond memories of my time with him.

by Laurie on Oct 13, 2016 4:48 pm • linkreport

I remember my parents telling me about this place. They remembered when it was still there and open. I've always been curious on the details (what it looked like, when it opened, where it went when it moved, etc), and now it's nice to finally have the answers to those questions. Thanks for this informative and well-written article!

by Laura T. on Oct 27, 2016 10:00 am • linkreport

Ronnie Knight, it was a pleasure reading your post. Sent shivers all over me. I knew everyone you mention in your post. Donnie was my protector in those days. Remember they ran away with my brother Donald one time. That was funny. Donnie taught me to drive the old tractor and the dodge van we took to Sunday school. I remember the Barriers and so many others. I started in dorm 13 with miss Ellington and miss shay. By the time I left I was in a 4 man room. Thought it was the greatest day of my life back then. I remember the October fest and crab fest and I will never forget the late night scampers to the women's side of the home just to see how sneaky we could be. Mrs Robinson was the best. Work in the laundry room. For the life of me I can't remember the cooks name. She was a life saver to me when dinner wasn't so great. Never have been fond of pigs feet. Ha ha. I remember making silly explosions from margerine containers filled with baking soda and vinegar. To funny. I remember you slinging us around out back and I let go and broke my arm going down the hill. And let's never forget the cows from the Smith farm that broke loose and would be right outside our windows in dorm 13. I have so many memory's of the home. Their teaching prepared me for the life I am living.

by David Lam on Oct 27, 2016 3:22 pm • linkreport

Wow! Great memory. I remember when you fell and broke your arm. I thought you were dead! The cooks nwame was... let me call Donnie and get back to you! Life is good. Stay well.

by Ronnie Knight on Oct 27, 2016 3:45 pm • linkreport

Should be. 24 years in the Navy. Alot went down in those years. You and I got into a fight in the hall way when I had my cast on. Wasn't really fair. Ha ha. Boys will be boys. And to correct the name in my last post it was the baltrishes.

by David Lam on Oct 27, 2016 3:50 pm • linkreport

Mrs Procter was the cook

by David Lam on Oct 27, 2016 6:11 pm • linkreport

Sorry it was Hudson with the fight

by David Lam on Oct 27, 2016 7:10 pm • linkreport

That's right! Her name was Mrs. Proctor. She used to call me Casanova after a catcher for the Washington Senators. I guess because I played on our high school's baseball team... What years were you at the Home? What year did you graduate from High School?

by Ronnie Knight on Oct 27, 2016 8:02 pm • linkreport

It was nice to read the comments about the German Orphan Home, where I lived from 1960 to 1972. I have enough stories to write a book and memories to last a life time. I am thankful to have had my brother Ronnie and my sister Debbie to help me through the difficult times. I lost contact with everyone at the home except for Ray Morrison, who is like a brother to me. We were raised together for 12 years and graduated from high school in 1972. We went our separate ways but still stay in touch. It was a pleasant surprise to read the post from Laurie who was my first date to the Junior Prom. At the GOH, we were not allowed to date, and my Junior Prom date with Laurie was the exception. I was thankful that Laurie accepted the stupid rule of not being allowed to date which allowed us to "go together". I look forward to another German Orphan Home reunion.

by Donnie Knight on Oct 29, 2016 1:09 pm • linkreport

You can bet that my parents were thrilled to let me "go with" a boy who had to follow that stupid rule. Hope you are well and life has been good to yoy.

by Laurie on Oct 29, 2016 1:20 pm • linkreport

Do you remember running away with my brother Donald.

by David Lam on Oct 29, 2016 8:56 pm • linkreport

No, not really. What years were you at the Home?

by Ronnie Knight on Oct 29, 2016 9:06 pm • linkreport

The Mr and Mrs Rhodes were the head honchos when I was there. Drove a white Cadillac. Got the belt from him a couple of times. Ha ha.

by David Lam on Oct 31, 2016 6:18 pm • linkreport

David, I remember the belt! At the old home it was a rubber hose and let me tell you- it hurt ALOT! I got the rubber hose one time and couldn't sit for days... not to mention the bruises!! On another note Mr. Rode died many years ago. His wife Cleo passed away a few years ago. Now, if you can remember, what years were you at the home? Did you stay until you graduated high school?

by Ronnie Knight on Oct 31, 2016 6:32 pm • linkreport

I can't remember when I got there. I know it was the new home with the statue over by the girls dorm. I got out in time for the 8th grade. When I was there I went to Douglass elemtary with my feed me badge for lunch

by David Lam on Oct 31, 2016 6:42 pm • linkreport

Ray Jenkins used to tear me up in the big field out front playing football. He couldn't stand it that could catch. Played wide receiver at my junior high and a bit in high school. Then girls took over. Lol

by David Lam on Oct 31, 2016 9:28 pm • linkreport

I played on the grounds of this property as a child. 1950-1960 until they erected Marbury Plaza. We would pull the survey stakes out when the contrustion company would put them in. We thought this was OUR property, OUR playground and they were the trespassers. It was so sad to see our beautiful field turned into brick and concrete. There was also another property called The Ruppert Home on the same tract of land. It was a home for the elderly. Looked like a castle and was built in 1902. We played in what use to be the stables for that property. A beautiful structure. Would watch many of the residents take a stroll past our home on what we referred to as "The Lane" It was a little road that went from the home out to Good Hope RD. Having trouble finding of pic of that structure.

by Sharon Winkler on Nov 1, 2016 9:01 am • linkreport

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