In 1849, a cholera epidemic devastated Cincinnati, taking the lives of 4,114 residents. The First German Protestant Aid Association proposed creating a home for the orphaned children and established the German General Protestant Orphan Asylum in Mount Auburn. In 1851, the annual Orphan Feast and parade began and was one of the largest one-day festivals in Cincinnati for 137 years. In 1949, the desire to move the children from the city to the country drove the purchase of 60 acres in Anderson. The orphanage's name changed to Beech Acres after the beech trees lining the property. In the 1980s, with the need to serve children in a community setting, Beech Acres Parenting Center closed its residential services and expanded into the community and schools with parenting programs, classes, mental health services, foster care, and parent coaching to strengthen families for children.