|Lost Childhood: Galveston, 1900|
In 1900 a horrible hurricane tore across Galveston Island, Texas. On the west side of Galveston, at 69th Street on the seawall, was St. Mary's Orphanage, established by Catholic Sisters of Charity. The two dormitories were home to 93 children and 10 nuns.
As the winds increased and the water began to surge over the seawall, the nuns gathered the children around and led them up to the second floor of the girls' dormitory. They all heard the crash of the boys' dormitory as it collapsed and was carried away by the flood waters.
Each nun took clothesline rope and used it to tie between six to eight of the youngest children to themselves, hoping to protect them. Three of the oldest boys climbed onto the roof of the orphanage.
The death and destruction in Galveston was unbelievable. More than 8,000 died and their bodies were littered throughout the city. All 10 nuns and 90 children died in the storm. The sisters were buried wherever they were found, each with the children still tied to them.
Today, where St. Mary's orphanage once stood, there is a Walmart.
I made this piece in 2010 and Seth Apter chose to include it in his book, The Pulse of Mixed Media. Seth is an extremely talented artist and I appreciate greatly his generosity in letting me share my art with you.