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

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