1. I never knew St. Thomas had this much history behind it. Mom will be interested in this.

  2. Wasnt there also an unwed home for young pregnant girls in Eastlake.

  3. My great great Aunt had 3 children there temporarily after her her husband deserted them. The 2 older ones escaped the fire, but the 6 month old baby died in the fire. So sad…

  4. When I was a boy we would sneak onto the grounds and talk to the girls that often policed the area….. It was a beautiful building…….the nuns could run quite fast in the long garb and habits…..I never got caught…….

  5. I love this whole area I spent every summer of my life in the East Lake Community . I recently went there just to look and was shocked , very sad that such a beautiful place is gone so far down , At first I thought I was in the wrong place but I found my uncles house and went to the park , very very sad .!!!!!

    1. Me too Elizabeth. I miss living there. A great place to grow up back in the day. I had a super slam childhood and much of it was in South East Lake and East Lake in general. It is going through a positive change but it is slow in developing.

    2. I’m glad and I hope it does gets positive change it was awesome growing up in that area and even after my son was born I continued to come in the summer he has a love for it as well I’m glad you commented thank you it’s nice to know that someone else saw or felt like me about East Lake. I will always visit Birmingham Angelo Denison Roberson

  6. I used to live near that place on 3rd and 82nd.

  7. My uncle lived at 11 south78thst How I still miss those days !!!!!

  8. I was born on Division Avenue across from the fire station (#19). My brother and I use to beg our parents to go to the orphanage and adopt us a baby. ❤

  9. I have been looking through my Grandmother and Great Aunt’s photos. I knew they were raised in an orphanage in Birmingham and found news paper clippings about my Aunt (entered Army 1941) stating she had graduated from Blessed Sacrament Academy and nursing program at Erlanger. Was St. Thomas the only orphanage in Birmingham in the 30s?

  10. <3 Hi…. I have no idea how I was tagged with this post…I have tried to untag myself from it, but no luck so far. Pretty neat history article there though 😀

  11. I too grew up in East Lake. It was a fabulous community. I walked past the Orphanage once a week walking home from my piano lesson. There was supposed to be a spiral tube for exiting the upper floors in case of fire.

    Does anyone remember the “Dinky” streetcar, and Brooks Drugstore on the corner of 81st St. and Rugby Ave.? We ran and played all over the mountain above 9th Ave. and 81st St. and up to the fire tower! Fond memories.

  12. I would like to know if there is a place to contact to find out when my father and aunt were in attendance at the orphanage. I know they were there when the 1910 census was taken. She was there in1914; he was gone by 1914.

    His name is William A. Baldauf, born June 11, 1900
    Her name is Cleopha A. Baldauf, born June 3, 1903

  13. The last photo is often mistaken due to the mislabeling. It’s actually Howard College – East Lake Campus.