7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May, 15, 2012
Harlem Road Community Center
4255 Harlem Rd, Amherst
Members: Free; Non-members: $5 donation
Contact: Charles Peszynski
East Side Neighborhood of Former Times
Presentation by: Peter Jablonski
Peter Jablonski will present a program on Buffalo's East Side Polish neighborhood of former times at the monthly meeting of the Polish Arts Club Wed., Sep. 19.
Peter is the son of Fred Jablonski who wrote the book, Dynamics of an East Buffalo Ethnic Neighborhood. His program will be based on that book.
The book focuses on the area bounded by Babcock, Clinton, Fillmore, and William but it also includes a discussion of the Broadway Market and the Central Terminal. Much of it is about the meat packing plants located on the site of the present post office but Peter will also include a few other sites such as Precious Blood Church and the Schreiber Brewery in his lecture.
Peter said that his father first became interested in the meat packing plants in the early '70's while compiling information for Precious Blood's 75thanniversary jubilee book. Through his research, the elder Jablonski learned that the church had been built by Irish-American livestock agents who were major figures in the meat packing industry. A few years later, when he was studying for his master's degree at SUNY Buffalo, he needed a topic for his thesis that would tie in economic, religious, and ethnic issues. His new-found interest in the meat packing plants lent itself well to this endeavor. Even though he completed his thesis in 1976, it was not until the centennial of the Pan-American Exposition in 2001 that he had it published in book form. Since then, over 2000 copies have been sold.
Since his death in 2006, Peter has continued to promote his father's book because he believes “it's important for people to understand their roots, their heritage, not just their roots from Poland but also what [their forebears] did when they arrived in America”.
Throughout his lecture, Mr. Jablonski will use an overhead projector to show pictures of the meat packing plants, stockyards, and other landmarks of the neighborhood. He will also display a number of artifacts from the neighborhood such as lard tins and other products from Dold's and a wood crate and sign from Szelagowski's.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
New members are always welcome. A membership application can be requested at check in. Call President Charles Peszynski at 631-3717 for more information.