Recently I was looking at some old aerial shots of Geneva and was shocked to see how big Geneva Girls School really was. You know how it is, you go back to somewhere in your past and it always looks bigger? That’s certainly true in this case.

Whether intended or not, the Department of Corrections isolated inmates from family and friends by building this ‘reform school’ a long way from where inmates lived. Because of poverty and lack of transport, it was almost impossible for most families to visit their children. How would you feel if you were a parent in that situation – traumatized with fear of what was happening to your child; helpless that you couldn’t be there to protect and comfort them; guilty that you were powerless to advocate or make a difference to their situation? And when they return home, they are different people than you kissed good-bye.

This picture is from 1974 – the Fox River and water treatment plant is on the left. Can anyone remember the buildings and what they were for? What are the names of the cottages; is Geneva bigger than you remember? Please share with all readers what you recall by leaving a comment.

Click on this thumbnail and it will connect you to the Historical Aerials site so you can get a better picture, zoom in closer and look at the surrounding areas.

Thanks for sharing this picture with us, Steve. I appreciate your support of this site.