Children's Industrial Home Records, 1900-1944

Overview of the Collection

Children's Industrial Home (Tacoma, Wash.)
Children's Industrial Home Records
1900-1944 (bulk)
1900-2007 (inclusive)
1.0 cubic feet, (1 box)
Collection Number
Collection contains records from the Children's Industrial Home, a temporary home and service agency for children in Tacoma.
Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room, Special Collections & Archives
1102 Tacoma Avenue South
Tacoma, WA
Telephone: 2532922001
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Children’s Industrial Home was founded by a group of Tacoma women in 1890. First organized as the Women’s Lend a Hand League, then renamed the Woman’s League in 1892, it was incorporated as the Children’s Industrial Home in 1908. According to records in this collection, the organization’s stated purpose was to “find orphan, destitute and ill-treated children, receive them into legal custody and care for them until they are placed into approved and suitable homes or legally adopted; and further, for the protection of children who have lost one or both parents.” In 1904, the organization acquired six acres of property, including an orchard and a three-story house suitable for 30 children. Soon a nursery building was added to care for children under three years old. Eventually, as many as 72 children at a time lived in the large home. Due to its size and location at the top of a hill, the building quickly became known in Tacoma as the Home on the Hill.

From its beginnings, the Children’s Industrial Home was supported almost entirely by private citizens in Tacoma. When possible, parents of children in the Home provided funds to assist with their care. The Home on the Hill housed children between the ages of birth and 14 years old. In 1926, Mrs. Jessie Dyslin donated land and funds to establish the Jessie Dyslin Boys’ Ranch as a home for boys who were over age for the Home on the Hill. Around the same time, the Children's Industrial Home opened a Girl’s Club as a residence for girls of high school age who needed a home while finishing school.

In 1944, a furnace explosion extensively damaged the Home on the Hill and the building was demolished. The nursery building was used as a temporary home until a new home was completed in 1950. In the mid-1990s, the Children’s Industrial Home was renamed Gateways for Youth and Families.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Materials include a Register of Admitted and Dismissed Children, 1900-1944; Minutes of the Children's Industrial Home 1927-1932; the official bylaws of the Woman's League; and two scrapbooks and a small assortment of slides, 1952-2007.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Children's Industrial Home Records; MS-087; box [ ]; Northwest Room Special Collections, Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donated by Gateways for Youth and Families, February 2014.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Child welfare--Washington (State)--History
  • Orphanages--Washington (State)
  • Women--Washington (State)--History

Corporate Names

  • Children's Industrial Home (Tacoma, Wash.)

Geographical Names

  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)--History