Boston, Massachusetts is most often recognized as the most Irish city in America. Many Irish immigrants came to Boston in the 1800’s. According to historian Guild Nichols, 37,000 Irish fled to America between 1846 and 1855 to escape the potato famine. Thus the Irish made their mark. The Irish Heritage Trail in Boston documents this history and famous Irish immigrants.
Irish immigrants went to other major cities. New York City is known for its St. Patrick’s parade and of course St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In the Battery Park area of Manhattan there is the Irish Hunger Memorial
dedicated to raising awareness of the famine in Ireland. Chicago remembers the Irish every year by dying the river green and also holds a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Many Irish immigrants went to Philadelphia. In the Penn Landing area there is a memorial that commemorates the Irish history and the Irish contribution to the building of America. Also in Pennsylvania, is an interesting site of Irish heritage – the Old Jail House Museum in a town called Jim Thorpe. Some Irish coal miners were held there before they were hung for crimes that they claimed they did not commit.
In other parts of the country you might be surprised by ties to the Irish. Between Amarillo and Oklahoma City on I-40 lies the town of Shamrock, Texas. It has a handful of hotels such as Irish Inn and the Blarney Inn. In a city park, you can even kiss the Blarney Stone – a supposed a piece from the original Blarney
stone. Emmetsburg, Iowa also has a blarney stone to kiss. This town rich in Irish heritage was given the “Blarney Stone” as a gift from the city of Dublin, Ireland.
In South Dakota, some citizens in Sioux Falls came together to erect a Potato Man Statue in memory of the Irish who perished during the potato famine. In Charleston, South Carolina there is a memorial dedicated to the contribution the Irish made to the state through many building projects in the 1800’s. Another memorial in Columbia, South Carolina is in recognition of the Irish who built the canal there.
Dublin, Ohio celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in a big way since it was named after THE Dublin, Ireland.
The city is known for its golf courses – another tribute the Irish with the fairway greens? Oh we can’t forget The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Tours of the football stadium are offered throughout the year on Fridays.
If you have been to these sites or know of some others Irish sites, let us know. Any members have some tips for visiting THE Ireland?
May the luck of the Irish be with you on your travels!