Between 1854 and 1929 orphans from New York City and other places out east sent nearly 150,000 children to the homes of farm families in almost every state, particularly in the Midwest.
It is estimated that some 1500 children came through the Sparta Depot in that time frame....
Some of the children ended up at the Wisconsin Childrens Center The center was home for orphaned, abandoned or needy.
Opened in 1885 and closed in 1976 by Govenor Lucey, who closed the facility and had the fencing ripped out and put around his executive mansion in Madison.
All incoming children were required to have a physical examination and were kept isolated from the rest of the children for two weeks.....
The children were kept in the buildings that were called the "hospital" which were used more to isolate the children who had become sick, more than it was able to treat them, it did however perform medical attention including "minor sugeries"....
This is the same building today we call, "The House of Shadows"
Between the two buildings there were tunnels for the steam pipes to run. It was the first place that workers first witnessed supernatual events.
Voices of people were heard, some calling for "mommy", lights would go on and off mysteriously, figures would move mysteriously through the location.
Because of these events and the 320+ children who perished at the Wisconsin Children's Center, "Wisconsin Ghost Investigators" were asked to come to Sparta.
During the investigaion these were some of the unexplained events found:
One investigator commented, "I get the impression that the site has a character all of it's own."