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Greek Americans of Cleveland, Inc.
12550 Lake Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
Phone (216) 226-3796
Fax: (216) 274-9536
Greek Americans of Cleveland, Inc., has published in 2008/9 the third edition, revised and expanded, of the history book about the Greek Americans of Cleveland, by Mike Vasilakes and the late Themistocles Rodis, PhD.
The new edition contains 40 percent more information, photos, and graphics than previous editions, which had limited distribution.
This edition holds 460 pages that include graphics, tables, and more than 500 photographs.
It explores in greater detail the roots of the great immigration from Europe to the United States in 1815, the events that delayed the emigration of most Greeks until the mid-1890s, and the forces that precipitated emigration from Greece to America and to Cleveland. Private funding, which covered all printing expenses, lent impetus to obtaining almost 100 additional oral histories, as well as research that traced the arrival of the first Greek immigrant to Cleveland in 1870: a woman born in Greece who married an Irish merchant seaman in Piraeus, Greece, immigrated to the United States, and settled in Cleveland. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2:
The elusive search for the first Greek immigrant to settle in Cleveland produced some interesting results that expand on earlier editions of this book. Meanwhile, a historical trek to a "kaffenion" (coffee house) paints a vivid picture of immigrant life as it existed as the birth of the twentieth century approached. The kaffenion was a place where Greek men could relax in a strange land, but it also acted as a support network. During the height of its popularity, which coincided with the peak immigration years, a coffee house could be found within every other doorway along Cleveland's Bolivar Road.
An unusual (perhaps unique) aspect of this third edition is that it includes the history of all four of Cleveland's Greek Orthodox Church Communities. It also details the creation of a single corporation that operated as many as four churches as a united community, as well as that of a now-defunct church group, oral histories of another church that existed during the early 1900s, and the efforts to establish a break-away church community in 1927. Also included are the histories of church-affiliated groups (choirs, psaltis, Philoptochos, acolytes, Greek Schools, youth groups, et al), as well as many of the 32 village and national societies, many of which still exist and flourish, and independent Greek Schools and tutors who taught in the homes of Greek immigrants, a practice that exists to this day.
Other chapters include a description of businesses; media (newspapers and radio programs); dramatic arts; Greek bands; and political organizations. "The Family Album," a separate section that contains individual family histories, has been expanded.
All proceeds from this edition are dedicated to the Themictocles C. Rodis Scholarship Fund, which is being administered by the John Manos Chapter, Order of AHEPA, as part of its annual scholarship program that benefits high school students.
The third edition is available at all of the Greek Orthodox Churches in Cleveland — or from Greek Americans of Cleveland, 12550 Lake Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107 .
The book sells for $35. (Add $8 for UPS shipping and handling.)
Checks should be made payable to "Greek Americans of Cleveland".
View the third edition Table of Content here (pdf 107 KB).
For more information, contact Greek Americans of Cleveland.
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