Carpatho-Rusyns are one of the major ethnic groups of Pennsylvania. From the time they settled the state’s small towns and cities in the late 1870s until the present time, Carpatho-Rusyns have left an indelible mark on the state, and their story should be told. This blog is about a project that will do just that. Read more

Monday, February 23, 2015

Emigration from Prykra to America in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Príkra, Slovakia (Прикра -- Prykra) in the Svidník district
(From Michal Blicha, Richard Custer, and Vladislav Grešlík, Príkra, Prešov, Slovakia: Akcent Print, 2006.)

Large-scale emigration of Rusyns from villages in the Carpathians to the United States began in the 1870s and reached its peak in the years immediately preceding World War I. In 1884 Rusyns established their first Greek Catholic church in the town of Shenandoah in the hard-coal mining region of northeastern Pennsylvania, which served other communities until they established their own Greek Catholic, and later Orthodox, churches. It was also in the 1880s and 1890s that Rusyns established their own fraternal organizations and newspapers.

Immigrants sailing to the United States on an Atlantic Ocean passenger steamship, around 1906. (Photo: Edwin Levick, courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Our immigrants first lived in Pennsylvania towns where coal mining was the main occupation and life was difficult. These are immigrant homes along the “street of rocks” in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, in 1891.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Almanacs in Carpatho-Rusyn History and Culture

Another article I wrote for the 10th anniversary almanac of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, the Rusyn-American Almanac of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society 2004-2005, was the introduction, which also served as a survey of almanacs published throughout Carpatho-Rusyn history in the European homeland and the U.S.

Since various Rusyn immigrant-founded organizations' almanacs are an essential source in writing the history of Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants in Pennsylvania, I am happy to reproduce the article here. (Click each page to view it larger-size.)

“Porač Comes to America”

In 2004 I led a project to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, observed that year. The Rusyn-American Almanac of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society 2004-2005 appeared in 2005, a 200+ page treasure-trove of articles on Rusyn culture and history.

One of two articles I wrote myself specially for this publication was “Porač Comes to America,” a background and overview of emigration to the United States from the Carpatho-Rusyn-inhabited village of Porač, Spiš County. With several areas of Pennsylvania being the destination for immigrants from Porač, I'm happy to reproduce the article here. (Click each page to view it larger-size.)