Slate Valley to display new exhibit

To celebrate immigrants from the Carpatho-Rusyn Mountains, the Slate Valley Museum will open a new exhibit in conjunction with this month’s First Friday on June 7.

“Preserving a Heritage, Building a Community: The Carpatho-Rusyn People of the Slate Valley” will look at the experiences of these people in this area at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century and how it influenced local culture.

This innovative exhibit explores the complete lives of immigrants, from their arrival into the valley to their daily lives and experiences in the slate industry as well as how they maintained their cultural identity while becoming American,” museum officials said.

During First Friday, the museum will also unveil its newly digitized oral histories, which will allow visitors to see and hear interviews with community members about their firsthand experiences.

This Carpatho-Rusyn theme will be present in the museum throughout the 2013 season.

Immigrants from Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe came to the Slate Valley with little knowledge of the slate industry but with a desire to improve their lives. They filled the growing demand for laborers to work in the pits of quarries where the jobs were the most dangerous and the lowest paid, officials said in a release.

Promised good jobs and housing, many lived in tenements like those on River and Water Streets in Granville, unsympathetically labeled “Hun Alley,” while working for a mere 12 cents per hour. Most immigrants were young, single or recently married men who hoped to make their fortunes and return home, officials said. The wives who did follow their husbands or those married in America took in boarders to help with the family income. Women acquired more authority in their new lives because if they took in enough boarders, they could earn as much in a week as their husbands.

Across the river at the Pember, there will be food, music and art as well.

Watercolorist Betty O’Brien, who maintains a teaching facility in The Shirt Factory and offers a variety of watercolor classes and workshops, will be showing her work.  Dolores Thomson, who has been creating with clay for more than 20 years, will display her pottery, officials said. Her work has been shown in galleries and art fairs throughout upstate New York.

And Debby Loomis, a fabric artist, will be showing her quilted handbags.

First Friday at both museums is from 7 to 9 p.m.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekender – 03/27/15

Northshire Freepress – 03/27/15

Lakes Region Freepress – 03/27/15

North Country Freepress – 03/27/15

Classifieds 03/25/14

Search for Sasquatch resumes, forty years later

Statue 2

By Dan King It’s been 40 years since the first reported Sasquatch sighting in Whitehall and now the quest to […]

Apathy leaves trustee seat vacant

Candidate pic Ken Bartholomew

By Dan King Whitehall’s mayor-elect, Ken Bartholomew was hoping someone would emerge to take his old trustee position, but that […]

Jane O’Shea resigns, cites issues with board

Jane O'Shea BW

By Derek Liebig A Granville principal is resigning at the end of the school year because of a disagreement over […]

Whitehall Elks honor three for service

New Elks officers are sworn into office

By Dan King Ken McKee, an old Whitehall Elk, used to tell his kids that the acronym BPOE stood for […]

Reelected, incumbents face challenges

By Derek Liebig Members of the Granville Village Board will be together for at least two more years. Incumbents Dean […]

Keough to plant community garden

Jensen Keough

By Dan King A Whitehall High School student has come up with a creative way to support local charity and […]

Whitehall school officials want bobsled club back

By Dan King Until this year, Whitehall High School was the only school in the country with a bobsled club, […]