The Orphange was chartered in July of 1892 by the State of South Carolina
with the mission of providing a safe, secure, loving home environment for orphans and destitute boys and
girls in need. The Orphanage was located at 20 Franklin Street.
In 1937 the City of Charleston constructed an administration building and four
dorms for the Orphanage on a 220-acre farm. The beautiful site on the Ashley River is where the Orphanage
is still located. Starting with four boys, the Orphanage grew to 360 children in two years and by 1896 the
number on roll reached its peak of 536 children.
This building at 20 Franklin Street, was designed by Robert Mills (designed the
Washington Monument), and was constructed in 1833 for the care of sick and disabled seamen. After the Civil
War, it became a school for African American children. From 1895 to 1937 the building was the home of Jenkins
Orphanage until a fire caused severe damage and the orphange moved to its current home.
The film clip from 1928 is in front of this building.