The first orphanage in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the destination for area Native American and parentless children, was built in downtown Marquette in the 1870s and called “Rock Street”, followed in 1881 by a Catholic home named after St. Joseph in Assinins. However, already in 1903, these two orphanages were overfull, due to a ruthless campaign of removing infants from their Native American mothers. Frederick Eis, a Bishop residing in Marquette, soon began to petition funds for a new orphanage in his city, one that would become the biggest orphanage in the region.
The Holy Family Orphanage opened in 1915 and initially intended to serve white children only. Despite this, its first residents were 60 Native American children and 8 sisters, all transferred from Assinins. The building was eventually going to sustain about four times that number of little boys and girls in the care of Nuns until its closure in 1967.
There was a lot of praying, and even non-Catholics, be they Native American or Protestant, were forced to follow the exact regimen: at 6 a.m. they are their breakfast, at 9 a.m. they had class, with some of the afternoon set aside for play.
Late in the day some children had chores taking care of the various livestock kept in and around the building while others cleaned. After a bath, the children would retire to their dormitories until the next day, and so time went on.
During this time rumors began to circulate of the horrible abuse and neglect suffered by children at the hands of Holy Family Orphanage caretakers, with many victims being subjected to cruel and extreme forms of discipline as punishment for breaking rules.
The orphanage’s administration building remained open for a period of time after its closure, but was finally closed in 1981, at which point the abandoned facility had already developed a reputation for being haunted.
In 2016 the building was renovated and reopened as a low income housing facility called the Grandview Marquette Apartments.
You can take a look inside and even put a deposit on one of the available units!
And what about ghosts?
One spirit said to haunt the location is that of a young boy who was allegedly beaten to death by a nun, as well as a number of other children who passed away under suspicious circumstances. Many residents living at the Grandview Marquette Apartments have also reported hearing the disembodied sounds of children laughing or crying, witnessing glowing orbs and flickering lights, or experiencing other unexplained paranormal phenomena, such as objects being moved by an unseen entity, or feeling a strange presence. One popular urban legend claims that during the building’s use as an orphanage a young girl died of #pneumonia after being locked outside during a winter storm. According to legend, her body was put on display in the orphanage before being buried to discourage other children from breaking the rules. Although these rumors are unable to be confirmed, many residents have claimed to encounter the spectral figure of a young girl, or hear the sounds of disembodied cries of anguish. But, of course, these are only stories….
Images from web – Google Research