The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal brotherhood of the Masonic Order, negotiated with the City of Springfield to build an orphan's home. In 1894, the city arranged with the heirs of Alexander McCreight to assume ownership of their 84 acre farm, which they then donated to K of P. Frank Packard was hired to develop a Cottage Plan for the home, which opened with the 1st cottage in 1895. By 1903, there were 3 cottages (2o girls in Cottage 1, 60 girls in Cottage 2, and 60 boys in Cottage 3), an administration building, an auditorium, hospital, barn and power facility. 182 children, ranging from age 3 to 18, were in the home. Three other cottages were built nearby for the employees, and in 1924 a cottage was built for babies. The Facility closed in 1944 and was mostly demolished. In 1944, the Sisters of Mercy bought the ornate buildings of the former Knights of Pythias home and in 1945 reopened some of the facilities as Mercycrest, a home for the elderly.