The Fred Finch Children's Home (aka Fred Finch Orphanage) was started in 1891 by Captain Duncan B. and Eunice C. Finch. It was named after their son, Fred, who had died of tuberculosis. Their daughter, Eunice A. Finch had also died young, leaving them childless.
In his grief, Duncan would wander the docks of Oakland, passing homeless orphans living in dismal circumstances. On one of these walks, Alexander said, Duncan Finch decided to take action in his son’s memory, so that the city’s vulnerable youth would not be neglected or forgotten. 3
The home opened with one child on January 1, 1892. Within several months, they had 25 children.
In 1895. the home was greatly enlarged; at the time they had 85 children in residence. 1
Around the 1950s they changed their focus to "troubled youth".
Now it is the Fred Finch Youth Center located at 3800 Coolidge Ave.
Former residents of note include writer William Saroyan, who was placed there after his father died in Fresno.
The Finch family is buried in plot 37 in Mountain View Cemetery. 2
Links and References
- Fred Finch Children's Home, Oakland
- Fred Finch Youth Center
- Free celebration Saturday to mark Fred Finch center milestone East Bay Times June 23, 2016
- ah01005_13998 Lora Webb Nichols Papers, American Heritage Center
- The Fred Finch Asylum at Fruitvale Has Been Much Enlarged San Francisco Call March 2, 1895
- Fred Finch on FindAGrave.com
- Fred Finch Youth Center prepares for 125th year of mental health and social services Oakland North December 2, 2015