This panorama photograph is entitled "The Children of Irishtown." It was taken on September 21, 1930, at a party organized for the local children by the St. Nicholas Brotherhood Organization. The building at the center is the "Russian school" at 64 Cleveland street. According to available information it began as a converted three-room private home about 1900. At this time it housed grades one through three and was used in the mornings for general education in English and in the afternoons for Rusyn and religious education. A man named Mr. Walsh is recalled as serving as English language instructor during this period. During the first decade of the 20th century, local government increasing required tax-funded public education for children and about 1915 a building that was to be used as a public school was obtained a few buildings to the west of the Russian school. It is believed that about 1918 a major addition was made to the original Russian school building, maintaining the original front but extending the building far to the back of the property. This was a communial project and to finance the addition, each Irishtown family and working single man was asked to contribute fifty dollars. At this time the building was being rented during mornings and early afternoons by the overcrowded public school to contain the 4th and 5th grades. During late afternoons the building was used for Rusyn language and religious education. It was the church choir directors that led language studies - Mr Pelesh served a long period in this position. The church priest taught catechism. Evenings and weekends the building was used as a community center. This picture and information about its origin was provided through the courtsey of Peter Kosenko. The Koches family lived in the house to the left. The house on the right is the home of John F. Goobic, Sr. The earliest known photograph of the school is from about 1918 and is in rather poor condition. The reproduction here has been heavily retouched.
In 1999 the building is no longer being used as a school, rather it is called the "Russian Club" and functions primarily as a social club and saloon.
For those people interested in attempting to identify individuals in the picture, high-resolution images are available. Because of the shape of the picture, the far left section, the left-middle section, the middle-right and the far right portions of the picture have been converted into separate close-up high-resolution images. Although the panorama picture has been divided into sections, each section is still quite large and may take time to download. In addition, the images may have to be scrolled on some computer screens because of the image size. Below each image there is a list of the individuals so far identified. If readers can supply any missing information, please contact the author.