OHHAMILT-L ArchivesArchiver > OHHAMILT > 2000-06 > 0961809630
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Subject: [OHHAMILT] Mt.Alverno Boys' Protectory
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 21:20:30 -0400
From: The History of Delhi Township by Larry Duba and Sue Brunsman, 1994
The Mount Alverno Boys' Protectory:
"Work and worship" was a way of life to the Brothers of the Poor of St.
Francis Seraph, and the philosophic basis of the environment which they
provided for the poor and neglected boys who were placed in their care. The
brothers arrived in Cincinnati in 1837 and for a number of years conducted a
home for boys in the basin area at Bank Street. Like other religious orders,
they realized that one could feel closer to God if one was close to the good
earth and separated from the disorder of the rapidly growing city.
Consequently, the Brothers decided to move to the Delhi highlands in 1869,
the same year that the Sisters of Charity arrived. The order purchased the
W.Q. Adams estate of 106 acres in Section 10.
The area had been known as Mount St. Peter, but the Brothers changed the
name to Mount Alverno in honor of their patron, Saint Francis of Assisi who
had received the gift of the stigmata while on Mount Alverno in Italy. The
name of the institution was the Protectory for Boys but it was commonly
known as Mount Alverno.
Brother Michael Dux was appointed superior of the Delhi convent, and the
brothers moved into the old Adams homestead. The farmlands and vineyards of
the estate were cultivated by the brothers, who with the help of several of
the older boys, did all of the manual labor themselves. Part of their
philosophy of training children to become productive, devout individuals was
to teach by example as well as by the word. By 1880 over two hundred boys
were living at the Protectory and many more had graduated. (Many boys were
enrolled at Mount Alverno instead of being sent to the Ohio State
With their own hands, too, the Brothers quarried limestone from the property
to provide building blocks for the construction of a school, chapel, and
additional living quarters. The impressive limestone structure was ail but
destroyed by fire in 1906; it took a year to rebuild. Another fire in 1923
destroyed the main barn.
The community of boys and brothers at Mount Alverno was practically
self-sufficient. Over eighty-five acres of land, including the hillsides
were under cultivation. The brothers practiced soil conservation by
terracing the hillside and kept up on the latest in "scientific" farming.
They raised corn, barley, and hay for their dairy cattle and steers.
Everything that was produced on the farm was used by the residents."
The school existed from 1871 to 1972 when the school and land were sold for
a housing development. The Proctectory was demolished that year.
Though the boys' home is no longer in Delhi, the Brothers of the Poor of St.
Francis are still in Cincinnati. I would check with them for records.
Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis
324 Donham Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226