Hemingford County, Minnesota, 1930 - Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930 Summary

It was the winter of 1930 and Dorothy had been put out of the Grote household in the middle of the night. It was freezing cold, but Dorothy preferred the cold to living in the Grote house. She managed to walk the four miles to the schoolhouse where she was found asleep in the woodshed by Mr. Post. He was the caretaker of the schoolhouse and also drove the children to school each day, so he knew Dorothy. He took care of her until Miss Larsen arrived and assumed responsibility for her. After Mr. Sorenson was informed about Dorothy's circumstance, he tried to rebuff the girl's accusations as a mere overreaction to her treatment by the Grotes. Miss Larsen would not let him send Dorothy back to the Grote home, which was Mr. Sorenson's solution to the problem. Instead she took Dorothy home to the boarding house where she lived. It was supposed to be only for a day or two until Mr. Sorenson could make new arrangements for Dorothy's care. Unfortunately, Dorothy became ill with pneumonia and had to stay much longer than anticipated.

Mrs. Murphy, the boardinghouse owner, was also from Ireland, she was drawn to Dorothy because she had been mistreated and was Irish. Mrs. Murphy, who can be quite stern and bossy to the ladies who rent rooms from her, was nothing but kind to Dorothy. She nursed her back to health, provided clothes for her, and allowed her to help around the house, thus making Dorothy feel safe and secure for the first time since she had been in Minnesota. Dorothy was awed by the fact that she had her own room and was given proper meals.

Unfortunately, Dorothy knew this situation would eventually come to an end. It did on the day Mr. Sorenson returned to the boardinghouse and told Dorothy she would either have to be placed with another family or be sent back to New York. He informed Dorothy the problem with placing her is because the women of the two previous households found her insubordinate. He told her she needed a more adaptive view on her situation. She had to take whatever is given to her without complaint because she is an orphan.

Mrs. Murphy had a family in mind for Dorothy. The Nielsen family had lost their child to diphtheria and now needed a child to help them run their general store. Dorothy was not happy about leaving the boardinghouse, but she understood this was what must happen. She met with the Nielsens and they were satisfied with her. She was going to live with them, so she packed her things and prepared for her move across town. Miss Larsen, as a good bye gift, gave Dorothy a copy of Anne of Green Gables.

In Spruce Harbor, Molly is enjoying her talks with Vivian more and more. She is beginning to see how Vivian and she have more in common than she first thought. She understands that they both are orphans and both have been moved from home to home, often through no fault of their own. Vivian is opening up and telling Molly stories from her youth that she had never told anyone before. She explains her lack of desire to share this part of herself with even her husband by saying, "Sometimes it's easier to try to forget." Molly for her part wants to try and find out what happened to Vivian's mother and sister. She does some research at the local library and finds out that Vivian's little sister, Maisie, was adopted by the German family who lived across the hall from Vivian's family. But, by the time she finds the information at the library, Vivian's sister has been dead for five months.

Molly is also having issues with Jack, because his mother has been telling him that Molly is not actually working in the attic. Terry, Jack's mother, thinks that all Molly and Vivian are doing is talking while looking at the items in the boxes. This in a way is true, but Vivian does not want to reduce the amount of items she has stored in the attic, because they mean so much to her. Jack is afraid that if Vivian finds out the real reason she is working in the attic, his mother will be fired from her job. His mother lied for Molly and told Vivian that Molly needed to do the hours for school, and not as punishment for stealing. So Molly and Jack have an argument about his mother's role in how Molly spends her time with Vivian. Jack is also unaware of Molly using Vivian for the portage project.

At school, in Molly's American History class, the students have a discussion on the way the Indians were treated by the American government. During the course of the discussion Molly reveals for the first time her Indian heritage. Some of the students are supportive of her and her point of view on the subject. She feels that the Indians were treated badly by the government, much like the Irish were treated badly by the English government. She is beginning to see another common ground she has with Vivian.

Molly is consciously beginning to see the similarities between her life and Vivian's. She sees how they both had been treated badly by the very people who were supposed to be taking care of them. She also sees how they are both from ethnic groups which were treated unjustly by others in positions of power. Molly is finding herself feeling empathy towards Vivian, which leads to her trying to find out what happened to the surviving members of Vivian's immediate family.

Related Links:

Orphan Train Hemingford County, Minnesota, 1930 - Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930 Quiz
Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930-1931 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1939 Summary
Hemingford, Minnesota, 1940-1943 - Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011 Summary
Orphan Train Summary
Orphan Train Quotes
Orphan Train Important Characters
Orphan Train Quiz
Literature Summaries

To link to this Hemingford County, Minnesota, 1930 - Hemingford, Minnesota, 1930 Summary page, copy the following code to your site: