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MANUFACTURING AND MINING COMMUNITIES
The Extent to Which Immigrant Colonies Exist
The wide-spread existence of immigrant industrial communities or colonies in the United States at the present time may be realized, when it is stated that in the territory east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers there is no town or city of industrial importance which does not have its immigrant colony or section composed of Slavs, Magyars, North and South Italians, or members of other races of recent immigration from southern and eastern Europe. In the South and Southwest, because of the large areas devoted almost exclusively to agriculture, the immigrant community is less frequently met with than in the Middle West or East. In the bituminous coal mining territories of West Virginia, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, immigrant colonies in large numbers have been developed in the same way as those in the coal mining regions of Pennsylvania. Eastern Europeans have also attached themselves to the iron and steel producing communities of the Birmingham District in Alabama; and a large Italian colony, as is well known, exists in New Orleans, a considerable number of whose members are employed in the cotton-mills of the city and in the manufacture of cigars and cigarets.
South Italians, Cubans and Spaniards have entered the cigar manufacturing establishments of Tampa and
Key West, Florida, and have built up colonies in these cities. Outside of New Orleans, however, no recent immigrants in the South are cotton-mill operatives. Southern mill owners have frequently tried to introduce southern and eastern, as well as northern European and British immigrants into their operating forces, but all attempts have resulted in failure, because of the refusal of the present cotton-mill workers, recruited from isolated farm and mountain sections of the southern states, to work alongside recent immigrants. This same intense race prejudice on the part of southern wage-earners of native birth has rendered impossible the extensive employment of southern and eastern Europeans in other branches of manufacturing in the South, and has consequently prevented the development of immigrant industrial colonies, except in the instances already mentioned and in the case of a number of agricultural communities, principally located in the Mississippi Valley.
Types of Immigrant Communities
Whether located in the South or elsewhere, however, immigrant communities, which have come into existence because of the recent industrial expansion and the resultant influx of wage-earners from southern and eastern Europe, are of two general types.
The first is a community which by a gradual process of social accretion has affixt itself to the original population of an industrial town or city, which had already been established before the arrival of the recent immigrants. Foreign communities of this character are as numerous as the older industrial towns and centers of the country. The textile manufacturing centers of New England and the Middle States, such
as Fall River, Lowell, and New Bedford, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire; Providence, Rhode Island; and Paterson, New Jersey; cities in which other industries are located, such as paper manufacturing in Holyoke and boot and shoe factories in Haverhill and Lynn, Massachusetts; hardware, cutlery and jewelry, located in New Britain and Meriden, Connecticut; or leather finishing and currying, as in Wilmington, Delaware; clothing manufacturing, as in Rochester; collars and cuffs in Troy; hosiery and knit goods in Cohoes and Utica, New York; oil-refining in Bayonne, New Jersey; or cities engaged in diversified manufacturing, as Passaic and Newark, New Jersey, all these have colonies or sections populated by recent immigrants.
The same condition of affairs is found in the iron and steel, glass, and other older manufacturing cities and towns of New York, Pennsylvania and the Middle West. As representative types of this class in connection with the manufacture of glass, Tarentum, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, West Virginia; Steubenville and Rossford, Ohio, may be mentioned; and as typical iron and steel localities, Steelton and Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Youngstown, Ohio; and South Chicago and DeKalb, Illinois. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or the Pittsburgh District, is practically made up of industrial towns or cities engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel, glass, and allied products, each of which has an immigrant colony or section composed of households of wage-earners of recent immigration.
As representative of a community of this class, the developments which have taken place in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, may be described. The first iron furnace was established in Johnstown in 1842. Expan
sion in the local iron and steel industries developed the city and increased its population. Welsh, Irish, Germans and English were exclusively employed in the local industries from their establishment until 1880. During the past thirty years, however, the labor forces have been recruited from southern and eastern Europe. Slovaks, Poles, Magyars, Croatians, Servians, North and South Italians, Syrians and Bulgarians have in constantly increasing numbers found employment in the local iron and steel mills. As a result, about 60 per cent. of the population of Johnstown at present is of foreign birth, and is largely representative of races of recent arrival in this country. The native Americans and Welsh occupy two wards in the city. In addition, there are three distinct foreign colonies or sections. One is made up almost exclusively of South Italians, another of 5,000 Slovaks and Croatians, and the third, the most important, which has a population of 15,000 in round numbers, contains representatives of all races of recent immigration.
The second general type of immigrant community has come into existence within recent years because of the development of some natural resource, such as coal, iron ore, or copper, or by reason of the extension of the principal manufacturing industries of the country. These communities usually cluster around mines or industrial plants, and their distinguishing feature is that a majority of their inhabitants are of foreign birth and recent immigration. This type of immigrant community is common in the bituminous and anthracite coal mining regions of Pennsylvania and in the coal producing areas of Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma. In the Mesabi and Vermilion iron ore
ranges of Minnesota, as well as the iron ore and copper mining districts of Michigan, many such communities are also found. The usual mining community of this character consists of a small town or urban center in the vicinity of which mining operations are conducted at a number of points. These outlying mining locations are generally connected with the urban center by steam or electric railroads. The town of Windber in western Pennsylvania, by way of illustration, has a population of about 8,000 persons, and is the center of twelve mining camps. It was founded in 1897 by the opening of bituminous coal mines, for which purpose 1,600 experienced Englishmen and 400 native Americans were brought into the locality. With the opening of the new mines southern and eastern Europeans were attracted to the community, and at the present time eighteen races of recent immigration are numbered among its mine workers. The town of Windber proper has a section occupied by native Americans and three foreign colonies. The outlying mining villages consist of company houses in which recent immigrants live almost exclusively. The southern and eastern Europeans have their churches, banks, steamship agencies and business establishments in the town of Windber itself, to which they go to transact their affairs and to seek amusement. Food and other articles are principally purchased in the company stores of the mining villages.
Altho not so numerous, communities of this type are not infrequently established in connection with the leading industries, such as the manufacture of iron and steel, glass, cotton and woolen goods. Gary, Indiana, is an industrial community largely made up