Beginning in 1907, or maybe earlier, there was an annual Orphan’s Day at Ontario Beach Park. At first it was only for the children at Rochester Orphan Asylum (now Hillside). In 1908 they started adding other orphanages. By 1917 they had included the three Catholic orphanages (St. Patrick’s, St. Mary’s, and St. Joseph’s), two Jewish (Jewish Orphan Asylum and Jewish Sheltering Home), the Industrial School, Church Home (now an old age home) and the Dorsey Home (for African-American children).
Orphan Day was organized by the Rochester Automobile Association. First they would start with a parade through downtown Rochester and then drive north to the Park. There, the orphans were given free admission and rides on the amusements. They also got candy, peanuts, corn fritters, ice cream cones, and a boxed lunch.
All the picture in this post were taken by Albert R. Stone who at that time was employed by the Rochester Herald newspaper. These pictures are on the Rochester Public Library website (as part of Rochester Images).
Next: Last year of the amusement park.