“This Place Was My Home”: Student Reflections on Living at the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children (1930–2009)

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2016





Publication Title

Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies


Using twenty-three oral history interviews as a foundation, this article examines the student residential experience at the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children (SSVC) between 1930 and 2009. The interviews were conducted with alumni of the school a few weeks before its closing in 2009. Founded in 1895 in the small village of Scotland, Pennsylvania, this state-funded industrial school provided a home to children from veteran-affiliated families. Whether sent to the school by their relatives or through social services, most children came to Scotland due to difficult circumstances or because their families thought it would be a safer, healthier environment for them. This article, focusing on how students found a sense of home and family in Scotland’s strict and orderly community, gives insight into the lived experience of these particular students and suggests what life was like for thousands of children in this unique and important Pennsylvania institution.


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