Lenten Fish Frydays and Polka Dances: Creating Community in Working-Class Cleveland

This week I joined about 40 Clevelanders for Belt Magazine’s industrial tour of Cleveland. It was my first time visiting this part of the city, and we were lucky to have Dr. John J. Grabowski, a Cleveland native and professor of history at Case Western Reserve University, as our guide.

I enjoyed learning about Cleveland’s industrial heritage and talking with fellow tour-goers afterward about some of the changes the city is undergoing, but the building where we met before and after the tour, the Slovenian National Home (a.k.a. “the Nash”) on E. 80th Street in Slavic Village, fascinated me the most. In this post, I’ll incorporate some of what I learned on the tour itself into a discussion of the Slovenian National Home as a social and cultural center for working-class Clevelanders.

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