Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Bicentennial Moment: Finns, Hungarians, Slovaks

Cultural History of Grandon, Fairport, Fairport Harbor

All communities have ethnic groups in their origins.  Fairport was no different.  Land, opportunities, religious freedom, and education were just some of the reasons to settle here.  For Fairport's immigrants it was these ties that bound them ----- Commerce on Lake Erie & The Grand River

The Finnish People:

  • First sons & daughters of Finland arrived in NE Ohio in 1872
  • Most arrivals hailed from the Vaasa Province (western Finland)
  • Primogeniture prevailed
  • 1868 Aksel Sjoberg family arrived in Titusville, Pa.  Followed the railroad to Chardon, Ohio
  • Panic of 1873 ---depression led to few new arrivals until 1880
  • Settlers came to Ashtabula Harbor, Girard, and Burton
  • Iron Ore & Standard RR Gauge
  • 1886 – Penn. & Lake Erie Dock Facilities
  • 1887 – Finnish population swells to over 200 in Fairport / Finn Hollow
  • Pohto, Ollila,Killinen, Katila become notable names
  • Kasvi Temperance Society founded – 1893   (525 Eagle St.)
  • Mayors of Finnish descent – Rendrick, Asuma, Kaukonen, Ritari
  • Second Wave after WWI (40), last wave after WWII (30 families)

The Hungarians:

ü     From 1871-1913 over 2 million Hungarians arrived, mostly settling in Pa., N.Y., N.J., and Ohio
ü     26% of these immigrants arrived in Cleveland/ NE Ohio, nearly 11% of them right here in Lake County
ü     Cultural Heritage / isolation/ return/ lost heritage
ü     St. Michael’s Byzantine, Hungarian Reformed, St. Anthony’s of Padua

The Slovaks:

v    1884  --- Michael Pillar
v    M. Pillar & Michael Bendick ---worked the iron ore docks
v    Paul Locotosh- 1885
v    John Matsko, Joseph Kocak, Michael Petro, George Paytosh, John Pennock…dock workers
v    George R. Cage (Tug), John & Michael Volanski (Freighters)
v    1884-1911 – immigrants arrived here in great numbers
v    1912-1929 – most arrived from Pennsylvania

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