Miami Children's Home a cherished memory for reunion attendees - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Miami Children's Home a cherished memory for reunion attendees

Miami Children's Home in the 1930s (Source: WTOL) Miami Children's Home in the 1930s (Source: WTOL)
Reunion attendees reminisce about their time spent at the Miami Children's Home (Source: WTOL) Reunion attendees reminisce about their time spent at the Miami Children's Home (Source: WTOL)
MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) -

People at a Saturday afternoon picnic in Maumee all had one thing in common; all of them, at one time or other, lived at the old Miami Children's Home on River Road.

They call themselves 'homies.'

The home operated from 1885 to 1996.

It took in thousands of orphans and kids from broken homes and was a safe haven for most of them.

"Oh without a doubt, especially with the depression and different things happening. People didn't have the money to take care of kids. So that's why they ended up in the home," said Jack Hiles of the Maumee Valley Historical Society.

Oftentimes there were picnics on the grounds of the home for the kids.

Years later at the Saturday reunion picnic, you find each and every one of them has a story to tell, a positive story of how the home affected their lives.

"Well in the dark days you want to remember the rainbows and the rainbow was the family of girls," said Debbie Wilcox-Gehr.

Carol Simms agrees.

"I loved it. I loved it out there. I had so many friends and if I was out in the world I would never have had as many friends," said Carol.

The picnic is held every year.

Not everybody knows everyone else, but they all feel a special bond and a need to share their experiences.

"Well believe it or not my parents didn't want me. Out of eight of us kids I was the only one put out there. To this day I'm grateful they did because my brothers and sisters all went through nothing but child abuse," said Timothy Power.

Yet another touching story from the 'homie' reunion about a place that's long gone but will never be forgotten.

The Miami Children's Home closed for a combination of reasons: fewer kids were living there and more were being adopted or taken into foster homes.

The buildings were torn down in 2004.

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