Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Orphanages and Orphans

Carson College for Orphan Girls

An aerial photograh of the Carson College for Orphan Girls from 1922.

This aerial photo of Carson College for Orphan Girls from 1922 shows the college and nearby Flourtown, Pennsylvania. In the early twenty-first century the school was operating as Carson Valley Children’s Aid. (Library Company of Philadelphia)

Library Company of Philadelphia

Carson College for Orphan Girls, founded in 1917 by Robert and Isabel Carson, in the early twenty-first century remains anchored by several buildings erected from its founding to 1932. When the school formally opened in 1918, ten students were enrolled. Enrollment peaked in 1931 at 124 girls, a majority of them from Philadelphia.

Girls received an education through classes and field trips, and they performed chores around the school. They also worked on the Carson farm, which provided much of the food consumed at the college. Older girls often received vocational training and could earn money during the summer months. The girls also attended local church services on Sundays.

In 2008, Carson College merged with the Children’s Aid Society and was renamed Carson Valley Children’s Aid. The school operates as both a residential and day school, providing regular and special education. Carson Valley Children’s Aid serves boys and girls between sixth and twelfth grades.

2 Comments Comments

  1. My husband’s grandmother was raised at Carson College after her parents died when she was very young. In fact she and her husband were married on the grounds of Carson College.

    Robin Thompson Posted March 11, 2018 at 7:47 pm
  2. When we first moved to Flourtown I attended kindergarten on the grounds of Carson Valley, at Mother Goose cottage, a magical place. Later we lived down the street from Carson Valley School in the 50’s and 60’s on West Mill Road, and we always had four or five children who lived in Carson Valley School in our elementary school, Flourtown Elementary on Wissahickon Rd. They were mostly girls, but a few brothers, too. They all left before high school, presumably because by then they were able to live with their mostly single working Moms and let themselves into their homes after school without supervision. I remember so many of their first names, and their faces, but there was never a chance to say goodbye. They just disappeared.

    Linda Crowley Horger Posted September 14, 2019 at 2:30 pm

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