Book Captures Irish History in Cleveland

Irish Americans are now one of the largest and most active of the many ethnic groups represented in Cleveland, as demonstrated by the much-anticipated and well-attended annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. In February, Arcadia Publishing released "Images of America: Irish Cleveland", just in time for the parade and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Authors Judith Cetina and John Myers methodically researched the Irish heritage in the Cleveland area and display the results in over 200 images.

In the early 19th century, the Irish arrived in Cleveland in search of opportunity. Construction on the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1825 attracted many Irish who were seeking employment. After the canals were completed, many who survived grueling labor conditions left northeastern Ohio, but others became dockworkers and shipbuilders.

The Roman Catholic Church became a mainstay for Irish immigrants, and parochial schools offered Irish youth an education steeped in faith and knowledge. Irish pride is evident by enthusiastic participation in clubs, festivals, cultural organizations, and public service.

Highlights of Irish Cleveland include the following:

  • Images and stories from Whiskey Island, a primarily immigrant piece of land that many Irish immigrants lived on while working on the Canal.
  • An 1893 photograph of the Irish German Society. Irish and Germans were the two largest ethnic groups in Cleveland.
  • Images from the steel strike and the United Auto Workers strike.

"Images of America: Irish Cleveland" (priced at $21.99) is available at area bookstores, independent retailers and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at 888-313-2665 or Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. 

Betsey Poore

Betsey Poore is a Marketing Specialist for Arcadia Publishing and the History Press. 

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 11:02 AM, 03.08.2015