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The Poles at Turners Falls.
A Wedding in Town Nearly Every Week--Frequently Land in the District Court.
It is quite an unusual thing when there is not a Polander wedding at Turners
Falls each week, which are in themselves lively events and generally wind up
in the district court. The bride and groom most generally walk to church with
some of their friends and the interpreter where the ceremony is performed, after
which they return and the entertainment commences. They all join in purchasing
the refreshments for the event, a large part of which is in kegs or half barrels
and quite a number are used, as the festivities are kept up all day and a large
part of the night. The time is mostly spent in dancing and singing, and while
these times generally wind up in a misunderstanding it is rarely that anyone
is hurt and they always have the money to pay any fine imposed.
There are three settlements in town one on L street, one at South End and the
other at Montague City. Most of them work in the brickyards and the John Russell
Cutlery works and are industrious and thrifty. There is a large settlement at
Turners Falls and there are two stores. They live mostly on rye bread and bologona
sausage or smoked meat. They are good workers and with all their faults will
in time make good citizens.
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This article neatly sums up the ambivalence many felt about Polish emigrants in the towns of Franklin County, Massachusetts. On the one hand it describes them as "industrious and thrifty," but on the other it characterizes them as hard-partying and hard-fighting. This article principally comments on the increasing number of Polish-born immigrants to the county. In 1890 only 90 persons listed in the county were born in Poland; by the 1900 census there were 724. By 1920, more than 2,000 Polish-born lived in Franklin County out of a total population of 49,361. For many native-born and other European immigrants, Poles were seen as being very foreign, perhaps because of their language's Slavic roots.
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"The Poles at Turners Falls" article from Greenfield Gazette and Courier newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Sep 29, 1900
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 5.5"
| width 3.0"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Article
| accession # #L02.152
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