Good homes will be furnished these helpless children

While we were in new Richmond, Ohio, I interviewed Beth Dearwester who told me about several generations of her family who lived aboard a shantyboat in a shantytown at the mouth of Mill Creek in Cincinnati and were considered disreputable riffraff, occasionally charged with fighting, petty theft, and “loitering.”

It was common place for children living aboard shantyboats (especially those whose women are found to be “loitering“) to be remanded to the custody of the county or state and given to other families.

Thus, her great-grandparent’s generation knew little about their families beyond being ne’er-do-wells and “gypsies“ (actually Beth’s research revealed they were Slavic not Romany).

#OhioRiver #OralHistory #Interviews #Shantyboats #Shantytowns

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