Masonic Orphanage

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Established in 1924, this orphanage was home to children between the ages of 3 and 13, but it closed it’s doors in 1994. Since then several projects have been planned for the facility, but none have taken root and the buildings remain empty. I spent a couple of hours there last weekend and was pleasantly surprised by the good condition the structure of the main building seems to be in. Alexandria, LA.

More photos here.

17 Responses

  1. Judith Harris Evans says:

    Enjoyed the pictures a lot. Have not been back since 1967. Wish there were more pictures. It makes me sad to see it so empty because when I lived there it was so full of life.

  2. Linda says:

    As a child traveling from Texas to Louisiana to visit my grandmother we would pass by the building and wonder about all the children that might live here. As I was adopted when I was three days old.

  3. Jennifer B says:

    I believe my grandmother lived there in the 1930′s after the depression. She was very bitter about it and I wasn’t able to get much info about it before she died. Very sad.

  4. Tracy Friberg says:

    I just visited the orphanage on 5/20/12 as I was told, there soon will be construction of apartments built around this blissful place. I am a photographer; my view points are history and nature. I was over whelmed with my imagination with the beauty I see it today how it must have been back in the day. The landscaping was breathtaking; the beauty that still stands with the building was amazing. I over looked the black mold growing went in and took many photos. My mind was in the time, as I think it was a beautiful home for children to grow and learn. I wish there was funding or a way to bring what was back. I feel blessed today to have been able to visit this home for many. I would love to meet someone that grew up there. You can find me on facebook my name is Tracy Friberg or my page is photos by Tracy Friberg. I will be posting some beauty I still see. Blessings to all!

  5. Sandy says:

    There are more than one masonic orphanages. Perhaps I missed the info somewhere… I can’t find the location that this one was in. Locations are important when you are trying to find one in your family history.

  6. Kathy Bartlett says:

    This is the second time I have visited this site because of how sad I become when I see these pictures, We used to visit this orphanage when me and my sister were little girls and became quite famaliar with some of the residents that lived there. We lived in Baton Rouge and my father belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Baker La. When we visited there we met and fell in love with a little girl named Lotta, she was about three years old. Later on after our first meeting which was at a picnic on the grounds, we start getting permission to bring her home with us and she would stay for our summer vacations, when we would go to church, everyone fell in love with her too , everyone she met, loved and adored her, we tried to adopt her but her mother would not sign the papers so we could, after she was there for awhile, her little brother Alvin came to stay there too. I have always thought of her and her little brother and hoped they ended up well and having a healthy and happy life. I can tell you that when we would go there, the residents we met all seemed to be happy and healthy. We would go for picnics on the grounds and we always got to go see their rooms where they slept. When I was a little girl going there it was somewhat scary and cold, looking back on that experience now, I can tell you I can’t help but cry and get upset to know that this little girl and all the rest of the residents had to live in the dormitorties(mispelled) where the beds were all lined up against the walls and in two rows against each wall. The bathrooms were all big and cold and could be very scary. There was no personal contact with the House Mothers except to be told what to do. No one to hold them, tell them stories at bedtime or just to be there if they had a bad dream. I just can’t help but get upset when I think about this but I can tell you one thing, that little girl made us all feel like we had met an angel, she was always the sweetest, cutest and most loving little girl we had ever met or will ever meet. She called my parents, Mother and Daddy and thats what was so hard when we could no longer have her in our lives any longer. It was a very sad day whe we had toi take her back and know we could no longer come and get her again. I know it had to be devasting to her as well.

  7. Kim says:

    Wow, thank you so much for your story, quite heartbreaking. :(
    I hope Lotta and Alvin are leading happier lives now, as well as all the other children who lived there at the orphanage.

  8. Kathy Bartlett says:

    Thanks so much for your response, Do you have any ideas on how I can find out anything about them or search the records of the orphanage to find out anything? Thanks Again

  9. Kim says:

    Hi Kathy, sorry but I really don’t know how you can find that kind of information. I don’t even know who owns the property now. There is a groundskeeper who lives in the house on the property so you might try stopping by and asking him what he knows. Otherwise I would contact the city of Alexandria to find out who owns it and where the paperwork went!

  10. Chuck beard says:

    I lived there between 1965-1969. It was as cold and lonely as has been posted. I am still angry at my experience. I see it is being torn down. It helps me a little to know this but my pain of those memories will never go away. I am 54 and still remember the beatings. House mothers were old and the younger ones were perverted. I’m sorry to ruin someone’s thought of a great place. We’re there good times. Yes some. But does not make up the emotional detachment I have in the world today. I wish I could talk to anyone who lived there. Validation would be healing.

  11. Kim says:

    Hi there, I’m so sorry to hear you had a hard life growing up there. Maybe someone else who lived through it will see this blog post and contact you.
    I believe they are now converting the main building into an apartment complex.. I for one wouldn’t want to live in a once-orphanage.

  12. DoGooder says:

    My brother and I were temporarily placed/parked in the Masonic Home in the spring of 1957, a few months before Hurricane Audrey hit South Louisiana. I was four years old. I remember spending one Christmas in the orphanage, then we were kidnapped away by our dad. I want to tell all of the other kids who were there how much I truly appreciated their concern and caring for us, i.e., how much compassion the other well-meaning kids reached out with their empathy, touching my heart. I will always remember the strong sense of “us against them” that was shared between those who had no parents.

  13. Marcia says:

    My father lived there… its my understanding that the Masonic Lodge has the records. I drove through today and am going to check out the records tomorrow.

  14. Linda Adair Gregg says:

    Chuck Beard, I lived there 1959-1960, and then again 1962-1964. Your memory serves you well, I believe; because it is the same as my memory. The physical and emotional abuse took its toll on me, too. Kathy Bartlett, your assumption is correct. I remember when the “good people” came for a day or for a Christmas shopping trip.Then they were gone. I well remember my housemother ripping up the gifts my “good people family” bought for me right in front of the entire dorm full of girls; slapping me all the while. When I was almost 13, I shared with my housemother a letter that contained news of re-marriage from my mother — and all about how she wanted to come get me and take me home. The housemother cruelly laughed at me, screamed at me that no one loved me then or ever would, and that I’d be a “The Home” (that’s what it was called) until I was 18. I decided then and there to prove her wrong. I succeeded.

  15. DoGooder says:

    Sad to read that, Linda.

    I, too, remember the couples coming at Christmas and taking one of kids us to a toy store to buy a gift for another child at the orphanage.

    Long story short — that I’ve written about as a writer.

  16. Nicole Sisk says:

    I just discovered my mother and her sisters lived in a Catholic home in Alexandria not sure what years though. I would love more information.

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