Old Records Found From Defunct Gallaudet Home for Aged and Infirm Deaf-Mutes

Gallaudet Archives is happy to announce the acquisition of a large set of records from the Gallaudet Home in upstate New York.

Originally called the Gallaudet Home for Aged and Infirm Deaf-Mutes, it was founded by the Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, the eldest son of Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, in 1886 as a nursing home for elderly deaf. The home was destroyed by fire in 1900, but was rebuilt and stayed in operation until 1973, when it went out of business.

The Gallaudet Home’s records were thought to be lost after the closing, but earlier this year three large tubs of documents were anonymously left at Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie, New York. After examining the documents, church officers decided the documents would be better kept at Gallaudet and generously donated them to the Gallaudet Archives.

“I received an email about the possible donation of the Gallaudet Home records during my vacation, and I immediately made a reply to accept the donation before the records could disappear again,” said Michael Olson, Gallaudet Archives senior archivist. “For years I have received many requests about the whereabouts of the records-patrons wanted to know if their ancestors lived at the Gallaudet Home. I always had to reply that we don’t have the records. Now, we are happy to have them.”

The records cover a period from the 1920s to the 1970s and include annual reports, ledgers, and other financial documents, signage, guest books, correspondence, and more. These should provide an excellent resource to researchers interested in the history of the Gallaudet Home.
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Photos courtesy of Gallaudet University Library Deaf Collections and Archives.

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