Cuyahoga River Scene, c. 1880

Cuyahoga River Scene, c. 1880
In the era of rapid expansion that followed the Civil War, an area know as the "Triangle" on Cleveland's near west side was booming with industrial activities. This center of industry provided an ideal setting for production - iron works factories were located near railroad tracks, ship-building plants were founded on the river, and ore docks operated along the Lake.

The Triangle was also the home of thousands of Irish immigrants who had been attracted to the area by jobs in the different industries. Living conditions in the Triangle were less than ideal. The factories, plants, and mills belched smoke and soot into the air day and night. A steady stream of oil, grease, and toxic substances was discharged into the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie.

By the time the Village of West Cleveland was incorporated in 1871, the Triangle was an overcrowded, boisterous, and grimy neighborhood. Residential subdivisions of the new suburb were accessible by both street car and foot to the Triangle, making the location very appealing to the working class immigrants who lived in the noisy and unhealthy environment of the Triangle.
| Source: Text courtesy of James Dubelko
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