The Sisters of Mercy ran the orphanage for its duration until closing in 1978. The building was designed to house up to 100 boys but that figure reached as high as 250 during the war years.
As many as 2,500 boys went through the doors over the 66 years of operation. Interestingly only a very small number were orphans, the figure being around 4%. The boys were from poor families that couldn’t afford to keep them. However, the vast majority were boys from “broken” or troubled families. During the orphanage’s life, the role call for the Sisters of Mercy posted to St. John’s rarely reached more than 5 at any one time. A difficult task to care for so many!
A west wing and a chapel was added in 1919, then a new east wing and a rear room during the 1920s. A hall was then constructed and completed in 1932, and an extension to the south wing in 1938.
In 1975, due to declining numbers, and after 71 years in operation, the home took in a small number of girls from St Joseph’s Girls Home in North Goulburn. The Boy’s Home was closed in 1978. However, the few boys and girls who were left were transferred to cottages which were adjacent to St. John’s and care continued with the Sisters of Mercy until final closure in 1981. It is now a reportedly haunted location.
This is a great photography location though it has changed over time from birds making a complete mess and people trashing it, though i must say Graffiti adds nice colour/ character to such locations unfortunately this can have a offset of other things.
Unfortunately 0n the 4/11/15 - A fire caught hold in the building's second storey at about 4pm and went into the roof's cavity. Some 50 firefighters are onsite including crews from Goulburn, Crookwell, Moss Vale and 20 RFS personnel.