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Orphan Trains (2009)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Erath, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2009-02-27

Duration: 00:08:57

Subjects: Bernard, Alice | ORPHAN TRAIN | ADOPTIONS | History


  • Sanford, Shauna Producer
  • Fortenberry, Rex Q. Photographer
  • Bernard, Kaye Interviewee
  • Bernard, Alice Interviewee
  • Dinkins, Mary Interviewee
  • Babin, Connie Interviewee
  • Whinham, Charlie Host
  • Sanford, Shauna Host


This segment from the February 27, 2009, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Shauna Sanford’s interview with Alice Bernard of Erath, who at age 92 is believed to be the last living orphan train rider who arrived in Louisiana. In the early 1900s, thousands of children from New York City were given up for adoption by their struggling immigrant parents and put on “Orphan Trains” to live with other families throughout the country. Bernard discusses her difficult childhood, her adopted family, her journey to learn about her biological parents, the lasting pain from her experience, and her love for her large family. Sanford also speaks to three of Bernard’s daughters, Kaye Bernard, Mary Dinkins, and Connie Babin, about what they have learned from their mother. Hosts: Charlie Whinham and Shauna Sanford