Posted on July 1, 2018
In the spring of 1903, 317-acre Ivey Farm was purchased to address the need for an orphans’ home in Virginia. Over time, the current buildings were added and Presbyterian Orphans’ Home thrived as a place for displaced children. The directors found that meeting the physical, spiritual and mental needs of the children was most important. The property included a school, working dairy farm, an orchard and countless forms of recreation. The value of quality education, spiritual development and recreation was paramount. Fishing, baseball, football, swimming and exploring the outdoors are some of the activities that filled the children’s time.
115-years later, the Presbyterian Orphans’ Home, now known as HumanKind, follows the same philosophy. With state regulations now focusing on family placement through foster, HumanKind has expanded services to address the ongoing needs of both children and adults across Virginia. Foster care programs, childcare resources, early childhood education, mother/baby bonding, lactation consulting, financial literacy, mental health services and much more occupy the buildings on campus. The historic campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is used by countless local organizations as a place for recreation. The property is the home course for several cross-country teams; a place for camping, fishing and outdoor exploration. The pool is used through the summer as a resource for camps to swim and learn water safety. A plan to formalize recreation fields and a handicap accessible pool is currently underway.
“Play is an important element in the life of everybody, especially children. Money invested in play apparatus and a place in which to play, is well invested and will contribute to the glory of God as surely as any social work.”
– Dr. William E. Megginson, Presbyterian Orphans Home Superintendent 1918-1943
Historical information reference, Feed My Lambs by Mary Jo Shannon, 2003