Cecile Wendt Jensen is a native Detroiter. Her grandparents arrived in Detroit in the 1880s and 1890s from Russian Poland, West Prussia, Posen, and Galicia. Cecile has taught in public schools for 30 years in traditional and electronic art, art history, and social studies. She is a certified genealogist and develops Web sites, videos, CDs, DVDs, and databases for genealogists of all ages.
Detroit's Polonia, Michigan (Images of America Series)by Cecile Wendt Jensen
More than a century has passed since the first Poles settled in Detroit. The first communities were established on the east side of Detroit, but the colony expanded rapidly to the west neighborhoods, and Poles in Detroit still identify themselves as East- or Westsiders. The pioneers left Poland for freedom of language and religion, and to own property. They
More than a century has passed since the first Poles settled in Detroit. The first communities were established on the east side of Detroit, but the colony expanded rapidly to the west neighborhoods, and Poles in Detroit still identify themselves as East- or Westsiders. The pioneers left Poland for freedom of language and religion, and to own property. They replicated village life in the big city, living in close-knit neighborhoods anchored by the parish church. Polish immigrants made cigars, built railroad cars, molded stoves, established businesses and breweries, and moved into the political arena. The struggles and triumphs of these early settlers are on display in the pages of Detroit Polonia, a photographic history that links future generations with their Polish heritage.
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Why on earth would anyone be interested in a book called Detroit¿s Polonia if they were neither from Detroit nor Polish? The answer is because Wendt Jensen has painstakingly compiled, edited, and composed a brilliant pictorial history that speaks volumes on the human condition¿ and, if you happen to be a Polish Detroiter¿ well, that¿s just icing on the paczki. This book is fascinating collection of stories told through hundreds of compelling photographs accompanied by a clear, caption-style text that is peppered with humor, loaded with interesting factoids, and filled with historical accuracy as well as the integrity of tireless research. This elegant book takes us on a wild journey from a 1900¿s photo of the boys down at Olschefsky¿s Saloon, to turn-of-the-century Polish nuns, the 339th ¿Polar Bear¿ WWI Infantry, a dolled up ¿Stella the Riveter¿, a heart wrenching, Depression-Era Eviction photo, and oh yeah, who could forget Eleanor Roosevelt¿s September 9th, 1935 Detroit stop on the Slavonic Rhapsody tour??? Detroit¿s Polonia chronicles the life and times of an overlooked and previously underrepresented segment of immigrants who came from Poland with little more than a dream and who ultimately crafted a soulfully rich heritage for not only Detroit and America, but for future global generations. Sto Lat!