Lorne Farm

Dates: 1902-1926


Lorne Farm (sometimes known as Lorne Home) opened in 1899, although initially it housed only elderly men. In 1902 a new wing for children opened, and the children from Bowmont Street Home moved in (a few boys seem to have been admitted to Lorne Farm prior to that date).

The home was located on 95 acres of land, with 5 acres in garden and orchard, and the rest for pasture or cropping. Residents of the home worked on the farm. In 1908 an Education Department official complained of the “workhouse atmosphere” of the place.

There were 41 children living at Lorne Farm in November 1903. By 1921 the number had dropped to 31 (27 of them boys). Of these 31, only 3 were orphans, but none had two parents living together – 12 were illegitimate and 8 had only one parent living. Numbers declined with pressure from the government and Education Department for children to be fostered. The children’s department closed in 1926 with the last seven boys in residence moving into foster care.