Polish Town Fair Map, "Visit a European Village Without Leaving the U.S.A.," Riverhead, 1980. (From the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Image © copyright Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
With Riverhead's annual Polish Town Fair under way this weekend, we found a map of the area in a 1980 Polish Town Fair Supplement in our library collection. The publication's front cover reads: WITAMY Means Welcome to Polish Town, USA!
How it all started: Back in 1975, a small group of Riverhead citizens of Polish descent met to discuss plans for the national bicentennial celebration, and came upon the idea of a street fair to be held in the section of Riverhead known as Polish Town, home to generations of immigrants from Poland beginning in the late nineteenth century. The idea was to create a street fair that gave visitors the experience of a Polish village--through music, dance, and, of course, traditional foods. The fair was also intended as a tribute to the original Polish immigrants, men and women who came to Riverhead to work on farms, build a beautiful church, and grow a community. St. Isidore's Church, built in 1906, is the oldest Polish Catholic church on Long island.
The Suffolk County Historical Society's Research Library
is seeking to grow its genealogy resources on Polish immigrants
to the Riverhead area and all of Suffolk County.
If you can help, please contact our library staff at
631-727-2881 x103 or firstname.lastname@example.org