In the early 1880s, an idea arose in the Lodge Bratri v Kruhu of the Czech Slovak Benevolent Association that people of Bohemian nationality needed a community building dedicated to their societies and culture. In August 1887, Bohemian…

Long before John Patton, one of the victims in the 1916 waterworks tunnel disaster, had ever thought about coming to Cleveland, the city had been digging water intake tunnels under Lake Erie. In the post-Civil War era, pollution of the Cuyahoga…

The area around Broadway Avenue and East 55th Street was originally developed by Irish and Welsh immigrants, but in the 1880s large groups of Polish, Czech, and Slovak newcomers moved into the area for work in the Cleveland mills and steel yards.…

In a city with a history as rich as Cleveland, one would have no problem finding a building, landscape, or district recognized either nationally or locally for its historical significance. Places like the Terminal Tower, Rockefeller Park, or the West…

It's not unusual to read a story about nineteenth or twentieth century working class immigrants who scrimped, saved, and did without to raise funds to build some of Cleveland's grandest and most enduring sacred landmarks. What is unusual, however, is…

If your ancestor was a Czech or Italian immigrant who lived on the west side of Cleveland, there's a good chance he or she worked at the Joseph & Feiss Company, or at least had a relative or close friend who worked there. A Cleveland business since…

If you are driving south on East 55th Street near its intersection with Broadway Avenue, you will notice on the left at 3289 East 55th Street a beautiful art-deco style grey limestone building that seems oddly out of place with the single family…

Irish immigrants flocked to Cleveland after the potato famine in 1848. Along the Cuyahoga River in Ohio City grew a concentrated Irish neighborhood known as Irishtown Bend. It was so named because of the Irish shantytown located along one of the…

Founded in 1919, Hotz Café, located at the corner of Starkweather Avenue and West 10th Street in the Tremont neighborhood, is believed to be Cleveland's oldest tavern. The current owner, John Hotz, is the grandson of the founder, John Hotz, Sr., a…

According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, when the new Our Lady of Mercy church opened in October 1949, its Slovak-American parishioners called it "The Little Cathedral on the South Side." The exterior of the small church does, in fact,…

Founded in 1904, St. Mary Orthodox Romanian Church was the first Romanian Orthodox parish established in the United States. Originally located on Detroit Avenue, the parish's development and eventual relocation to Warren Road parallels the story of…

Alta House is a landmark building in the Little Italy neighborhood. Constructed in 1900 by John D. Rockefeller Sr., and named for his daughter Alta Rockefeller Prentice, Alta House started as a settlement house for the immigrants coming over from…

At 22300 Fairmount Boulevard there stands an old farmhouse that, according to County records, was built in 1877. As such, it is among the oldest houses in Shaker Heights. While a question exists as to whether it was built by Jacob Strong, Henry…

The oldest homes in Shaker Heights were not built by Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen. They were built instead by migrants and immigrants who came to Warrensville Township in the first half of the nineteenth century to farm. They arrived in large…

Lemko Hall may be best known as the location of the wedding reception in the 1978 film "The Deer Hunter." The facility’s rich non-Hollywood history is less well known. In fact, few people know the meaning of the word Lemko, which refers to a Slavic…

While much of Tremont's Ukrainian population moved to the suburbs in the decades following World War II, the Ukrainian-Museum Archives remains a presence—drawing international recognition for its extensive collections. The museum started in 1952…

Some of the names on the stalls in the produce arcade at the West Side Market -- Calabrese, DeCaro -- have been there for generations, while others -- most notably those of Middle Eastern descent -- reflect a more recent crop of fruit and vegetable…

Slovenian migrants have built National Homes at the center of their communities wherever they have moved throughout the world. Cleveland's Slovenian National Home is the cultural center for Cleveland's Slovenian community and the largest facility of…

The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame Museum--located at 605 East 222nd Street, Euclid, Ohio, is filled with artifacts and memorabilia from polka stars of yesterday and today. Some of the highlights include "America's Polka King" Frank…

They say "a hot dog is only as good as the mustard that goes on it," and who would have known this better than Cleveland's own mustard icon and food purveyor, Joseph Bertman? Bertman Original Park Mustard and the Bertman family name are synonymous…

A Romanian settlement grew and flourished along Detroit Avenue between West 45th Street and West 65th Street from the 1900s to the middle of the century. The self-contained neighborhood housed a variety of businesses both owned by and catering to…

Located on West 65th Street near Detroit Avenue, St. Helena Romanian Catholic Church marks the site of Cleveland's largest Romanian enclave during the early 20th century. St. Helena's was built under the guidance of Father Epaminonda S. Lucaci, the…

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church sits on the corner of Buckeye Road and East 90th Street in Cleveland's Lower Buckeye neighborhood. In the late nineteenth century, the neighborhood became home to thousands of Hungarian immigrants who…

The construction of city-run public bathhouses in Cleveland began around the turn of the twentieth-century as municipal leaders became concerned about health and sanitation in the city’s teeming immigrant neighborhoods. Many of Cleveland’s…

Located along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and opposite the Greek Garden, the Ukrainian Garden was inaugurated in 1940. The garden is composed of a series of brick and stone courts connected by paved walks. The South Court of this formal place…

Originally named the Yugoslav Cultural Garden, the Slovenian Garden is located near the intersection of St. Clair Avenue and East Boulevard, adjacent to the Polish Garden. Over 100,000 people paraded in support of the Yugoslav Garden's dedication…

Dedicated on October 5, 2008, the Serbian Cultural Garden features a central plaza with a marble cube and circular concrete seating. The plaza also contatins the garden's message: "Only Unity Saves The Serbs". A pebble mosaic surrounds the cube. It…

The plot of land that makes up the Rusin Cultural Garden is located along East Boulevard. It was dedicated in June, 1939. Most Rusins immigrated to Cleveland in the period from 1880 to World War I. The Rusins are an Eastern Slavic ethnic group who…

Not in the original chain of gardens, the Romanian Cultural Garden was inaugurated in 1967. This wide expanse of green space, surrounded by evergreens and maples, is home to a life-size bronze statue of twentieth century musician and composer George…