among the Irish was much more than a troublesome annoyance; it was a sin which he simply could not tolerate. And thus did the Famine Irish encounter the native American, rooted in New England Puritanism, in Cleveland.
Early Irish Settlements in Cleveland
And what happened? Power was in the hands of the nativeborn American in Cleveland. His reaction to the Irish immigrant followed several somewhat predictable stages, First, he generally withdrew altogether from any part of "his" city in which the Irish settled. Thus he consigned to the Irish territory which he had once felt was his own, or areas which had previously been uninhabitable. On the West Side he gave the Irish the territory near the Cuyahoga River, including a peninsula running along the shore of Lake Erie which the Indians a half century earlier had abandoned because of its fever breeding swamps. It was called Whiskey Island, and it soon became a major shantytown, honeycombed with saloons and infested with prostitutes. Next the Irish were given the west side of the Cuyahoga River bluffs and there built a ghetto of tar paper shacks, pictures of which still exist in Cleveland's Main Library. This area was called Irishtown Bend. And on the East Side of the river, where the mercantile city was beginning to bloom,:the Irish were forced into ghettos along the shore of the lake or in the swampland north of what is today the financial center of the city but what was in the 1840's and 1850's .....(continued next page)