Sunday, July 29, 2012

Women's Work

The women in the photo appear pleasant although few are smiling. Surely they welcomed a short break from the heat and noise inside the building to pose for the photographer. Their employer, the New Colorado Laundry at 2207 Larimer Street, was the kind of business that hired women in the early 1900’s, since they could be paid little money and required minimal training. Many ladies from Globeville worked at one of the commercial laundries in downtown Denver, such as Silver State at 2441 Broadway, Ideal at 2500 Curtis Street and Enterprise Laundry at 17th and Champa, all within a couple of miles from Globeville.
These women weren't pursuing satisfying careers but supplementing the family's income with the kind of jobs available to them. Steve Machuga remembered, "My mother worked outside the home when I was growing up, scrubbing floors and cleaning rooms at the Brown Palace Hotel for 50¢ a night. She walked with two other ladies from Globeville, up 38th Street to short Larimer and 20 blocks to the hotel. The street car cost 10¢ each way, so they walked."  
Many other Globeville ladies worked as "domestics" doing cooking, cleaning and laundry in the homes of Denver's wealthier citizens. There were also situations available in the many local family-owned taverns, with the bar in the front of the building, living quarters for the family in the rear, and rooms upstairs for the men employed in the smelters. Newcomers like Jennie Hocevar could prepare meals for the family, pack lunches for the boarders and begin the process of learning English and American ways. Jennie later worked at Cudahy, trimming the fat from meat as it came down the chute. “I trimmed more than anybody else and I couldn’t even speak English,” she remembered.
Most women in the 1900s regarded work was a necessity and appreciated the kind of job that would help their family live a better life.

Photo used with written permission from Agnes Tanko. Her mother, Mary Holland, is one of 
the young women in the photo.

Jennie Hocevar Sadar, photo used with written permission from Dorothy Nevelos

Friday, July 13, 2012

Orthodox Food Festival & Old Globeville Days

Strains of accordion music waft across Argo park, accompanied by the aroma of roast lamb, Romanian cabbage rolls, Mexican tamales, German sausage and Serbian Povitica. Tamburitzans perform while patrons enjoy ethnic food favorites, European beer and the potent plum brandy, Slivovitz. Each July since 2003, Globeville invites all of Denver to join in the celebration of its ethnic diversity, a characteristic that continues to define the neighborhood.
The festival takes place Saturday July 14th (11:00 am - 9:30 pm) and Sunday, July 15th (11:00 am - 5:00 pm) at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Cathedral and Argo Park, 349 E. 47th Avenue at Logan Street in the Globeville neighborhood. Admission is free. Sample foods from Russia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Greece, Mexico and Italy. Relax under the tents to experience ethnic music and dance, enjoy the children's activities, visit the craft and gift booths, iconography exhibit and tour the historic Orthodox Cathedral with its stunning icons and images. Dance to the music of Willie & the Po' Boys, Saturday 7:00 - 9:30 pm.
The event is co-sponsored by Holy Transfiguration of Christ Orthodox Cathedral and Globeville Civic Association. Call 303-294-0938 for more information.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Polish Heritage Continues in Globeville

Poles began arriving in the area that would become Globeville in the 1880s before the town was incorporated in 1891. Seeking jobs in the Argo, Grant and Globe Smelters, a small number settled in the 4500 to 4800 blocks of Washington, Pearl, Pennsylvania, Logan and Grant Streets, and on Emerson Street near the Platte River. Poles were never as numerous as the other groups who arrived in Globeville but they made their presence known by establishing fraternal organizations that would provide assistance in the event of injury, illness or death - common occurrences in smelters. There was St. Martin’s Society, Lodge #134, of the Polish National Alliance founded in 1889 and Group 62, St. Joseph’s Society of the Polish Union of North America organized in 1897. In addition to these insurance organizations, Poles formed the Polish Literary Club, the Polish Harmony Club and the Polish Falcons, all social groups for young adults. All the organizations worked to build St. Joseph's Polish Catholic Church in 1902 and the school in 1926. All these institutions had the preservation of Polish culture as an integral part of their existence, hoping to convey that heritage to the next generation.  
As Poles succeeded in improving their lot financially and providing a better life for their children, they moved out of the Globeville neighborhood. (construction of two interstate highways through the heart of community accelerated their exodus.)
But Polish culture lives on in Globeville at St. Joseph's Polish Catholic Church, with Mass in both English and Polish, and celebration of traditions such as the Corpus Christi procession through the neighborhood. Classes in the Polish language are taught at the school, and Polish choirs and the Krakowiacy dancers hold regular performances.

Krakowiacy singers

Altar for Corpus Christi Procession

St Joseph's Polish Catholic Church