Irish Americans of Cleveland

History of the Cleveland Irish

Expansion Continued: Irishtown

from The Irish Americans & Their Communities of Cleveland
by Nelson J. Callihan &
William F. Hickey

Within two years after the Famine struck Ireland, the Irish population of Cleveland had soared to 1,024, and more were on their way. The influx of newcomers from the Emerald Isle truly shattered the serenity of the native born. The banks of the Cuyahoga could no longer contain them and the Yankees were forced to code more territory. The Irish moved both eastward and westward along the lakefront. They established a ghetto extending from the shoreline to Superior Avenue in the vicinity of what is now East 9th Street. They also slid westward and filled the area between the Lake and Detroit Avenue to about West 28th Street. No matter, it was all just one from of swamp or another.

From that initial expansion they would go on to establish other pockets of Irish power, east and west, sometimes leapfrogging established Yankee communities. The Newburgh section is the prime example of this, but in that case, as in all others, they were simply following work opportunities…