11th Spring Walk Heads For The Hill

May 06, 2018 at 6:20 PM


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            For many years, it was the home of a multitude of corner stores, churches, schools, and several ethnic communities. Decades worth of DuBois residents referred to it as Polish Hill.

            But, that was many years ago and things have changed for this area of DuBois.

            The DuBois Area Historical Society will take a look back at this section of town during its 11thAnnual Spring Walk on Saturday, May 12, at 10:30 a.m. The walk is free and open to all. The walk will start from the parking lot of St. Michael the Archangel Church, the lot next to the rectory (pastor’s home).

            Leading the walk will be Virginia (Okonski) Schott, who lived in the neighborhood for many years. By searching her own memory, and chatting with former neighbors, Ginny has gathered many stories and anecdotes to relate during the course of the walk. 

            “The Hill was the home of immigrants, families who relied on hard labor in the mines, and later in the railroad car repair shops, to enable them to seek the American Dream,” she said.  “By building their community around their church, their schools and their clubs they were able to maintain the culture of their homeland while allowing their children to enjoy American freedoms.”

            The time period of this walk will be the 1950’s to 1960’s, a time very different from our own 21st century. Potato chips were fried and packaged in a small shop behind the Pulaski; fast food was kielbassa prepared by Johnny Gluczyk, and students ran home for lunch every day.

            The tour course will cover approximately one mile:  over Ridge Street to Weber Avenue, to Hubert Street then up Washington Avenue. Participants are advised the walk includes a fairly steep hill and goes over some uneven ground, where sidewalks are overgrown.

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