Polish-Americans in Reading, PA

I remember my maternal grandmother telling me about growing up in a Polish neighborhood in her hometown of Reading, PA. I recall hearing about a Polish festival and participants (including my mother?) dancing the polka. What was it like to be part of such a community?

I read a bit about the Polish immigrant population in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, so I knew about their existence in Pennsylvania (aside from my own family of course). However, I wanted to learn all I could about Reading’s Polish-American community, but until now, I hadn’t found any information …

A reference in an annotated bibliography (The Peoples of Pennsylvania) finally provided some historical evidence of a Polish-American community in Reading in the early 20th century, although I do not know its size. A newspaper was published for that community, starting in 1909, named Gazeta Readingska:

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88080884/

Both the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg have this newspaper, so research trips to access their collections are planned for sometime in 2019 (and who knows what else I’d find?). The newspaper may be in Polish, but I still want to see it!

Author: polishamericangirl

I'm a librarian and amateur historian who runs a women's memoir book club. I'm working on a memoir project about my own family.

One thought on “Polish-Americans in Reading, PA”

  1. Polishamericagirl,
    I have been trying to reach you. June 2019 Email me back either way if you are interested in what I have. See my message below. Jamie
    message:
    I have something that may be of great interest to you. I recently came upon something very unique to Reading, PA. My mother-in-law’s neighbor moved out of his home recently and into a nursing home (lives in Land O Lakes, FL) . Bob was about 72 years old and had family roots to Reading, PA. I have acquired some of Bob’s personal items. One item I have is a Vintage metal foldable Stereoscope viewer made in Germany, along with a book of 36 black and white photos of the Berkshire Knitting Mills. They were all taken in the 1920’s, shows many different people working in various departments, cafeteria shots, the main buildings outside, kitchen, the officers of the co. Thun, Janssen, and Oberlaender, sales dept, etc. Very interesting photos and really of no interest to me. I have an ebay store and was going to put them on auction and sell the scope and photos all together. Is this something you would like to purchase from me directly before I list them on eBay? Such a wonderful piece of history. I was wondering if maybe your Grandmother is in one of the photos. There are quite a few photos of women working in each of the departments. Please let me know if you are interested in buying these, I could send you some pictures showing what I have. You can contact me via my email: jamie2tampa@hotmail.com

    Like

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