| The Industrial School for Girls was founded in 1853 and incorporated in 1855 "for the purpose of training to good conduct, and instructing in household labor, destitute or neglected girls." This was "the first reform school for girls" in the U.S. The brick school building, located on Centre Street, Dorchester, was constructed to house the school in 1859. The Industrial School for Girls accommodated 30 girls from six to fifteen years old and trained them in good conduct and habits of self-support. Those who were received by the school generally came from homes which were broken up by the death of one or both the parents, or by desertion, or rendered unfit by drink or crime. The girls attended public school, and were besides thoroughly trained in housework, sewing, etc. On leaving the school for service, usually at age 18, the girls were generally placed in country families, where they might still be controlled to a certain extent by the managers of the school.
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The Dorchester Book. Boston: George H. Ellis, Printer for the Branch Alliance of Christ Church (Unitarian), Dorchester, Mass., 1899.
King's Hand-Book of Boston. Boston: Moses Corporation, 1889. 9th ed.
Thirteenth Annual Report of the Board of State Charities of Massachusetts. Boston, Mass., 1877.
Proceedings of the [Twenty-eighth] National Conference of Charities and Correction. Boston, Mass., 1901.