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Father Flanagan House

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Photos Shared on Instagram

Take a tour of ​Father Flanagan’s former ​residence and see many of his personal belongings!

Stop by the campus in early December for the annual Father Flanagan House Museum Irish Christmas open house. The open house features the homemade tradition of a true Irish Christmas with historic Christmas quilts, old-fashioned ornaments from the 1920s to 40s and antique toys from the 1920s.

The Flanagan House’s décor and furnishings interpret the year 1929. Many of his personal belongings are on display in his bedroom and study. One of his most prized possessions — a desk made for him by his boys — is the centerpiece of the study.

A statue of Father Flanagan, a gift from the Boys Town National Alumni Association ®, stands in front of the house, surrounded by memorial bricks honoring Boys Town alumni. The life-sized bronze Father Flanagan statue was created by Nebraska artist Fred Hoppe and donated to Boys Town by the Boys Town National Alumni Association. It was dedicated in October, 2002 during the 85th Anniversary celebrations at Boys Town. An identical statue was unveiled in Father Flanagan's home town of Ballymoe, County Galway, Ireland in October 2001.

The house was constructed in 1927 and was Father Flanagan’s home until 1941, when he moved to the rectory of Dowd ​​Memorial Chapel.

  • Read the Transcript

    It is made up of more than a quarter million pieces of wood from practically every part of the world, 39 kinds in all. It weighs 320 pounds and took more than 3 years to build. It was a labor of love, a gift from the citizens of Boys Town to their protector and mentor. This was no ordinary desk, it belonged to Father Edward Flanagan. Father Flanagan's desk began as a project in the Manual Training Department class of Mister John Thomas. It was started on August of 1936, and originally, the boys hoped they could make it by the end of the year so they could give it to Father Flanagan as a Christmas gift. While working on the desk, the boys hid the project so it would be a total surprise, but the boys soon discovered that goal was not realistic. In fact, the project would take more than 3 years and the labor of 20 boys to complete. Finally, at Christmas in 1939, the boys delivered their special, heartfelt present to the beloved priest. The desk became one of Father Flanagan's most prized possessions. He understood the dedication and hard work that went into the project, and he also knew how much pride the boys took in doing the job the right way. Mister Thomas said, at the time, that most of the woods used in the desk were donated by friends of Boys Town. He also said the equipment donated to the home by various manufacturers made the construction possible.

    In many ways, the desk represents what Father Flanagan stood for and believed in. He believed the boys who left his care should be prepared to be productive members of society. Because of that, he wanted the boys to learn a skill or trade, and he believed with the proper upbringing and love, success would follow.

    Today as in those early years, Boys Town provides its students, both boys and girls, the opportunity to learn job skills that will help them after they leave the home. With a growing need for skilled tradesmen, Boys Town has expanded its career readiness center, and now offer classes in construction, welding, small engine repair, health occupations, and many other trade and skilled labor areas. Every year, thousands of visitors admire Father Flanagan's desk, as they too were his former residents at Father Flanagan House in the village of Boys Town. The desk is a timeless reminder of one of the most famous projects ever undertaken by the youth of Boys Town, and of the love of the boys decades passed, had for the man who gave them a new start in life.

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