The Resource Records


Records, 1949-1999
Inclusive dates
  • The Fresh Air Fund records are housed in 39 archival boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title, with ephemera, index cards, and oversized materials arranged to the rear. The collection documents the history of the Fresh Air Fund in Virginia and West Virginia. These materials were gathered by Alice Trissel, Virginia fund representative from 1968 to 1995
  • These records include annual reports, clippings, correspondence, histories, memoranda, minutes, pamphlets, photographs, scrapbooks, and other sundry materials. The attendance records comprise the largest section of the collection and contain information on the host families and children from 1954-1993. The records are organized chronologically, then alphabetically by committee. Virginia and West Virginia were divided into eleven area regional committees: Augusta, Broadway/Timberville, Charlottesville, Dayton/Bridgewater, East Rockingham, Harrisonburg/Parkview, Madison, Potomac Valley, Richmond, Shenandoah, and Winchester. These records contain the most comprehensive information on the children and host families, including name, address, occupation, and racial preference. The index cards also contain records of children and host families from 1954-1960 and 1976
  • The administration of the Fund's New York office is well documented in the administrative policies, correspondence, manuals, and memoranda. Minutes and agendas for the Friendly Town Conferences can be found in the annual meeting materials. Also of note are the chronological files which contain a variety of materials including correspondence, flyers, and newsletters. These files were maintained in their original order, although materials included in the files may be found elsewhere. Therefore, cross-checking of materials may be necessary to yield all the information on a particular topic
  • Also of note are the contest entries and correspondence of the Fresh Air Fund children. The correspondence contains numerous letters from children who stayed with the Trissel family over the years. The collection also contains photographs, posters, publications, and copies of the Fresh Air Fund's newsletter, WHAT'S IN THE AIR. The publications include annual reports, brochures, leaflets, and pamphlets produced by the Fresh Air Fund
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Additional physical form
The scrapbooks are also available on microfilm (Misc. Reel 2286)
Biographical or historical data
  • The Fresh Air Fund was established in 1877 by the Reverend Willard Parsons, minister of a small rural Presbyterian parish in Sherman, Pennsylvania. Parsons organized members of his congregation to provide country vacations for children from New York City tenements. Starting in 1882, the NEW YORK TRIBUNE began sponsoring the Fresh Air Fund.
  • The Fund is made up of Fresh Air children and Friendly Town host families. The children are from low-income families, with the majority receiving some form of public assistance. Friendly Town host families are volunteers who live in suburban communities and small towns. The children stay for a two-week period with the host families during the summer. Since 1877, the Fresh Air Fund has sent more than 1.6 million disadvantaged New York City children to visit with volunteer host families in Friendly Towns in the 13 Northeastern seabord states and Canada.
  • In Virginia, the Harrisonburg Kiwanis Club sponsored the first Fresh Air Fund children in 1896. In the 1930's the program was discontinued and not reinstated until 1954. In 1955 Alice Trissel became the Rockingham County (Va.) chairperson and the fund representative for Virginia and West Virginia in 1968. Trissel remained fund representative until her retirement in 1995. As of 1999, the Fresh Air Fund was still in existence.
Cataloging source
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
Trissel, D. Lloyd and Alice
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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