Milestones in Our History
1883-1886 ~ The Beginning
Following the close of the Civil War in 1865, Swedish immigrants flooded to the United States. Many of the immigrants arriving from Sweden during the period 1868-78 remained in the eastern states because of lack of funds to continue their journey to the Midwest…. It did happen that both parents died and left children alone in the new world.
Orphan children became the great concern of the church fathers. They were being raised by strangers who did not teach them the Lutheran faith. The G.A. Children's Home was built as the first united effort of the New York Conference of the Augustana Lutheran Church, with the support of 43 congregations in the conference. The Home was named after King Gustavus Adolphus who laid the foundation of modern Sweden.
The Gustavus Adolphus Children’s Home opens.
1927 ~ Children's Home Transitions
J. Oscar and Lillian Peterson, well known in the community, became Superintendent and Matron of the Home where both had been residents. They set a new direction for the home, as the need for an orphanage diminished and there were fewer orphans to be housed.
1930 ~ Care for the Aged
Lutheran Home for the Aged opens.
In the 1920’s and 30’s it became apparent there was a need for a residential setting for the elderly, who could still care for themselves. Family trends had changed and there were no longer three generations in the home to care for the aged. Five Lutheran Churches of Jamestown and Falconer agreed to support the new endeavor.
1967 ~ A New Infirmary
Hultquist Infirmary is built.
It was funded with a gift from Marguerite Hultquist as a memorial to her departed husband Earle O. Hultquist, to care for those who needed infirmed care as they aged.
1968 ~ Transforming G.A.
The Gustavus Adolphus (G.A.) Children’s Home is rebuilt.
The1960’s were a transition period for the Children’s Home as the Home became a treatment center for youth with family and social challenges. A five section building was erected replacing the original structure.
1978 ~ The Learning Center
A stand-alone Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center is constructed.
The construction of the Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center provided a means for a comprehensive program of remedial and special educational opportunities for the members of the Children’s Home program, for grades five through nine. (Presently the Learning Center provides academic opportunities throughout twelfth grade.)
2005 ~ Foster Care Begins
Therapeutic Foster Care – West Seneca opened its doors in March 2005.
Community based services begin such as Outpatient Rehabilitation, Therapeutic Foster Care, Senior Life Matters and smaller, traditional style homes for Grace Community Services.
2006 ~ G.A. Wall of Fame
August 2006 – was a re-dedication of G.A. and a celebration of our 120th anniversary. G.A. also inducted our first group of six former-residents into G.A.’s Wall of Fame.
2008 ~ Foster Care Expands to Meet the Growing Needs
The Therapeutic Foster Care Program celebrated the expansion of 2 additional TFC offices located in Arcade, NY and Jamestown, NY broadening services to children and families in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and surrounding counties. G.A’.s TFC Program now offers three convenient offices across Western New York.
2010 ~ Residential Program Receives Facelift
May 2010 – G.A.'s residential program recieved a facelift and a community open house and ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of G.A. renovations.
2011 ~ 125th Anniversary
August 2011 – Celebrated our 125th anniversary and inducted 5 former residents into G.A.’s Wall of Fame.