Neighborhoods They Settled In:  Clark/Fulton, Old Brooklyn, Stockyards, Tremont, Broadway, Central, Goodrich, St. Clair.

First Immigrants 1870


Polish immigrants began arriving in Cleveland in 1870.  They settled in Berea to work in the stone quarries, and also near the Newburgh Steel and Wire Company in Cleveland.  At the outbreak of the Second World War, ten Polish settlements were evident in Cleveland.  Some of these were:


Warszawa Section centered around St. Stanislaus Parish, around E. 65th and Fleet (known today as Slavic Village)

Krakowa Section centered around Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, around E. 71st and Grant Ave.

Poznan Section centered around St. Casimir Parish, around E. 79th and Superior

Kantowa Section centered around St. John Cantius Parish, in the Tremont area

Jackowa Section centered around St. Hyacinth Parish

Josephatowo Section, centered around St. Josaphat, near E. 33rd and St. Clair

Barbarowo Section, centered around St. Barbara at Denison Avenue




1.  Late 1870’s – West slope of the Cuyahoga River near Columbus and Fairfield.  This neighborhood was known as Kantowa.  By 1897 enough Poles lived here to warrant forming St. John Cantius Church.  The Poles in this area were from the Austrian and Russian sectors of Poland.


2.  Late 1870’s – Marcelline (E. 71st St.) and Grant Avenue – This neighborhood was called Krakowa.  By 1885 there was a Polish owned grocery store.  Because of the farming done here and the poultry, this area was also called Goosetown.  By 1889 Sacred Heart of Jesus Church was founded.


3.  1880s – E. 65th Street and Francis Avenue – This neighborhood was called Jackowa.  By 1907 there were enough Poles to establish St. Hyacinth.


4.  Late 1880’s – East 79th and Superior.  This neighborhood was known as Poznan because the immigrants came from the Prussian sector of Poland.  St. Casimir Church was established here in 1893.


5.  1892 – Madison and West 177th Streets – By 1906 this area had enough Poles to create St. Hedwig Church.  People settled in this area due to jobs at the National Carbon Company in Lakewood.


6.  1890-1900 – The Barbarowa Neighborhood was formed.  In 1906, St. Barbara church was built on the southside of the Brookside Valley.  In 1913 it burned down and in 1926 the new church was built on Denison Avenue.  This neighborhood was close to the Grasselli Chemical Company.


7.  1895-1900 – E. 33rd and St. Clair – This neighborhood was called Josephatowa.  In 1908, St. Josephat Church was founded.  This neighborhood was close to Otis Steel Works.


8.  About 1910 – The Warszawa Poles began to move to Garfield Heights to the Turney/Warner/Garfield Heights Boulevard section.


9.  About 1910 – Other Warszawa Poles began to move to the Harvard and E. 131st area.  In 1914, St. Mary of Czestochowa Church was founded at E. 142nd and Harvard.


10.  1925 – Garfield Heights – This area held the wealthier Poles of Cleveland.  In 1925 SS. Peter and Paul Church was built at Turney and Garfield Heights Boulevard.


11.  1930’s – West side Poles began moving southwest along Broadview and Pearl Roads.  In 1936, Corpus Christi Church was established at Biddulph and Pearl Roads.


12.  1940-1970 – Cleveland Poles began moving to the suburbs of Parma and Brookpark.


13.  1940-1950 – Cuyahoga Heights and Maple Heights became areas with a large number of Poles.




In 1873 Franciscan Father Wolfgang Janiec was assigned to minister to the spiritual needs of the Poles.  By 1880 land had been purchased and in 1881 the first Polish School and church were completed.  St. Stanislaus Parish was located at E. 65th Street and Forman Avenue and was the mother church for Cleveland Poles.  Today it is a brick church completed in 1891.  Other parishes were:


1888 – Sacred Heart of Jesus (spawned from St. Stanislaus)

1891 – St. Casimir

1894 – Immaculate Heart of Mary

1898 – St. John Cantius

1905 – St. Barbara

1905 – St. Hedwig - Lakewood

1906 – St. Hyacinth (spawned from St. Stanislaus)

1908 – St. Josephat

1913 – St. Mary of Czestochowa - Corlett area around E. 131st and Harvard

1925 – SS. Peter and Paul - Garfield Hts

1935 – Corpus Christi - Biddulph and Pearl Roads

1943 – Transfiguration


Father Anton F. Kolaszewski was removed from St. Stanislaus parish by the diocese in 1892.  He was sent to New York and returned to Cleveland in 1894.  He then established Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.  However, he had defied diocesan authority and he and the parish members were excommunicated.  Dissatisfaction with a diocese directed by German and Irish interests eventually led some Cleveland Poles to join the independent Polish National Catholic Church.  These were:


1914 - Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Kantowo neighborhood

Holy Trinity

St. Mary's

Good Shepherd

All Saints


The two major fraternal organizations were the Polish Roman Catholic Union (PRCU) and the Polish National Alliance (PNA).  The PNA constructed meeting halls in three of the major neighborhoods.  One was in Kantowo - the Polish Library Home.  The Poles later moved to the suburbs.  As early as 1910 they followed the streetcar lines out of Warszawa to Corlett.  Others moved to Garfield Heights and Parma in the 1920's.  In the 1950's they were living in Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights and Parma again.  When industries closed in the Fleet Avenue area in the 1960's, there were few Poles who stayed in Cleveland.




Polish Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland by:  John J. Grabowski, Judith Zielinski-Zak, Alice Boberg & Ralph Wroblewski

Polish Roots by Rosemary A. Chorzempa


Fraternal Organizations:
Polish National Alliance 1880
Association of Polish Women  1913
Polish Roman Catholic Union of America  1873
Association of Poles in America  1895
Alliance of Polish Women in America  1898
Polish National Union of America  1909
Polish Falcons of America (Fitness) 1909
Polonaise Arts Club
Polish Academic Society
Alliance of Polish Singers in America
Harmonia Singing Society
Harmonia Chopin Singing Society


1942 Report by the WPA:

Most of the Polish immigrants coming to Cleveland secured employment in the heavy industries, particularly the steel mills.  In 1848 there were only 4 Poles in Cleveland.  In 1890 there were 727, but pioneer Polish settlers estimate that at least 5,000 people lived in Cleveland in 1890.  The oldest and largest Polish neighborhood is the Warsawa section.  It was established around the Cleveland Rolling Mills in Newburg but is now the Broadway/E. 65th Street section of Cleveland.  These steel mills at Jones and Broadway are now a part of the American Steel and Wire Company.  By 1873 the Poles were numerous enough to organize them into a separate congregation.  The Bishop gave them permission to use St. Mary’s Church on the Flats to begin with.  Eventually the Warsawa settlers organized their own parish which was St. Stanislaus.  The large majority of Poles are Roman Catholic, but there are more than a dozen Polish Roman Catholic Churches in Greater Cleveland today.  There are also National Catholics of which there are 5 churches in the city.  There are ten Polish settlements in Cleveland.  The Warsawa section has its business center at Broadway and E. 65th Street.  This is the largest neighborhood of Poles.  Second to Warsawa is the Poznan section.  These are the residents Pulaski, Bellevue, Korman and Simon Avenues between St. Clair and Superior.  St. Casimier’s church is the religious center for this neighborhood.  Another district is Jackowo or Hyacinthville.  This community extends along Francis Avenue from E. 55th to E. 65th.  The other Polish communities are as follows:


E. 71st Street from Harvard to the City Limits

West Bank of the Cuyahoga River, formerly known as Lincoln Heights, which includes Professor, Literary, College and Jefferson Avenues.

Superior Avenue near E. 33rd St.

Madison Avenue in the vicinity of W. 117th St.

Denison Avenue and W. 15th St.

Stickney Avenue area in Brooklyn

Turney Road in Garfield Hts.