Browse Exhibits (3 total)
This exhibit showcases a number of early newspaper articles around early abuse claims at St. Joesph's from the middle and late 20th century and early 21st century. The purpose of showing these newspaper clippings highlight the fact that as abuse claims started to surface in the late 20th century, victims did not receive justice nor were they believed. It wasn't until the early 21st century and the tell-all Buzzfeed article, in 2018, that brought the entire investigation to the forefront. After the investigation was published, the Burlington Police department created a task force to "achieve a public accounting" of the child abuse and decide whether these crimes should be prosecuted. As Louise Piche, of Shelburne, responded to comments to the Vermont Attorney General, she said that the allegations have continued to come out time and time again, but they have not been listened to. This selection of documents highlights that the attention to these claims have been fleeting over the past 30 years and it.
This exhibit presents historic photos of St. Joseph's orphanage from the 20th century. Children at St. Joseph's were often stripped of many human attributes, such as their birthdays, siblings, and even names. The children experienced unrelenting physical and psychological abuse. These photos highlight certain aspects of the orphanage and contribute to the history of St. Joseph's. They provide insight into the environment of St. Joseph's and serve as a starting place for stories to begin. These photos offer context to the stories told by residents but they do not capture the intense physical abuse and mistreatment of the children. Although many of these photos may be staged to hide the abusive treatment, some photos capture clues and trigger memories from the past.
This exhibit highlights interesting and unique stories from St. Joseph's. The exhibit starts with a story about poisonous berries being sent anonymously to St. Joseph's. These stories, although several reminisce on happier times of being reunited or the care given to children with special needs, these stories primarily highlight the dark history of the orphanage. The orphanage separated families and was known for abusing the children, but this exhibit highlights that this history is not just one of abuse. St. Joseph's had a tremendous impact on all individuals that were associated with the orphanage.