The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Cleveland’s Slavic Village by local author Sandy Mitchell and the Slavic Village Historical Society. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images from the historical society and the Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State University, as well as public and private sources.
Slavic Village began as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, a parcel of land surveyed and populated with East Coast residents seeking adventure and fortune in the 19th century. As industry came to the Cuyahoga River valley, immigrant workers- first Irish, then Poles and Czechs-settled in the area to be near jobs in the rolling mills, chemical plants, and garment factories.
They left their mark on the neighborhood's architecture, food and culture, and many of their descendants still call the area home. Slavic Village has produced a number of interesting personalities, including Olympic sprinter Stella Walsh and former Cleveland mayor and current United States congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Highlights of Cleveland’s Slavic Village:
• A portion of the profits from the book are going to the Slavic Village Historical Society.
• The area that is now called Slavic Village was originally part of Newburgh Township; a community that was first settled in the mid-1860s and once rivaled Cleveland in size and stature.
• Slavic Village is home to seven Catholic parishes. The most visible and historically important of these is St. Stanislaus Church, a Polish Shrine church, on East 65th Street. The church was literally the center of the Polish community in the late 19th and early 20th century.
• Today's Slavic Village is a melting pot of decedents of the original Polish and Czech settlers as well as African-American, Puerto Rican and Appalachian residents.
Author Bio: The mission of the Slavic Village Historical Society, founded in 1995, is to instill and increase the historical knowledge of Slavic Village and adjacent communities. The society operates a museum and educational center, maintains an archive of historical photographs and news articles, and gives talks around the area about Slavic Village history. Sandy Mitchell is a full-time writer, a lifelong Clevelander, and a resident of Slavic Village. Mitchell uses photographs from the Slavic Village Historical Society and the Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State University as well as public and private sources. She is also the author of Cleveland's Little Italy.