The Cathedral Home for Children

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From youth mental health care to crisis shelters, we are meeting critical needs for children and families. We are a trusted youth services organization at the forefront of care and mental health.

 

For over 110 years, we’ve been saying yes when youth & families have the courage to ask for help. Let’s elevate care, advance social justice, collaborate with compassion and change the system of care for youth & families.

For the most up-to-date information, head over to cathedralhome.org

 

Location and Contact Information:

4989 N 3rd St, Laramie, WY, United States, 82072

(307) 745-8997

info@cathedralhome.org

History

In 1984 the Laramie Soup Kitchen started with a $200 federal grant from the Church Women United. At that time the Soup Kitchen was located in the Salvation Army building. In 1988, the facility moved to the undercroft of St. Matthew's Cathedral, its current location. The Laramie Soup Kitchen is a non profit organization, maintaining a cooking staff, driver who picks up donated food from Safeway and a custodian. Volunteers from the church community, bussinesses, individuals, and other community organizations assist in the kitchen, food service, and clean up each day. Some funding is provided through community, county, state, and federal grants. Most funds are in kind donations from individuals, organizations, and churches.

 

History of St. Matthew's and the Cathedral Home

In 1921 the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming found a good solution for ranch girls all over the state and region. It was to form a girls’ boarding school in the heart of Laramie. The Ivinson Mansion had just become available as the 91-year-old widower Edward Ivinson had decided to deed his large house over to the Diocese for that purpose.

Quickly the Jane Ivinson Memorial Hall School for Girls (also known as the Cathedral School) was inundated with applications from families eager to take advantage of this opportunity. The house underwent $22,000 in renovations which included adding a bathroom to the formerly unused third floor of the house, where at least 20 beds were set up. The mansion also had a chapel, infirmary, “Principal’s” residence, kitchen, and dining room. Note that “school” is used loosely for both the boys’ and girls’ facilities. The “schooling” part was provided by UW.

 Classes were at University Prep. After-school activities included archery, music, drama, and calisthenics. Special events like formal teas were instituted to develop skills and proper manners. By 1924, there was a clear need for more dormitory space, so a wealthy Episcopalian, Charles Voorhis of Wisconsin, who owned a ranch near Dubois, Wyoming, was persuaded to donate funds for a separate dormitory building. It opened as “Virginia Cottage,” named for Voorhis’ daughter. Neither father nor daughter spent much time, if any, in Laramie.

 In 1973, when the Laramie Plains Museum Association obtained the property, Virginia Cottage was renamed to honor Alice Hardie Stevens. She was instrumental in raising the funds to secure the Ivinson Mansion property for the Association. It has since been almost tripled in size to become a rental events center.

 With the success of the Cathedral Girl’s School, the Diocese decided to establish a boy’s dormitory as well. At first the Cathedral School for Boys was in the former St. Joseph’s Hospital (at 15th and Grand, now demolished), which had closed many years earlier. Then a wealthy woman in New York City, Mary Sherwood Blodgett, supplied the necessary funds for a new building. Sherwood Hall, named for her father. It was opened as a residence for boys on the Cathedral grounds at 4th St. in Laramie in the late 1920s. As with the girls, the boys took their high school classes at UW Prep.

 Sherwood Hall became Hunter Hall after the boy’s school closed. The girl’s school closed with the class that graduated in 1958. Paved roads and automobiles made a big difference in commuting times. The rural districts combined into one, which probably made it possible for the county-wide district to afford school busses.