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Santa Claus at the Healey Asylum, Lewiston, c.1950

Contributed by Franco-American Collection

The Healey Asylum (Asile Healey) was an orphanage operated by the Sisters of Charity of Ste-Hyacinthe, a religious order from Quebec who were invited to Lewiston to help care for the Franco-American population.

The Asylum opened in May 1893 on the corner of Ash and Bates Streets in Lewiston to accommodate the boys under the care of the Sisters who had previously been living at their convent on Sabattus Street.

Although originally conceived as an orphanage, the Healey Asylum functioned more like a boarding school for needy families. Boys were cared for until the age of 12, as the sisters considered it improper to care for boys as they reached puberty.

The Asylum was named after Bishop James Healy (1875-1900), the second Roman Catholic Bishop of Maine, who donated $5,000 to its construction. In 1968, the orphanage became a daycare center; in 1970 it became part of the federal Model Cities program.

The sisters continued to work there until the Asylum closed in 1973.

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Other Information

  • Title: Santa Claus at the Healey Asylum, Lewiston, c.1950
  • Subject Date: circa 1950
  • Town: Lewiston
  • County: Androscoggin
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photograph
  • Dimensions (cm): 30 x 21
  • Object Type: Image

For more information about this item, contact:

Franco-American Collection
USM, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 753-6545

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