In 2006, Hampton High School English Teacher Mary Louise Ellena and her students from the After School Writer’s Club decided to try to capture memories of Polish Hill. The project involved a series of field trips to the neighborhood, numerous interviews with longtime residents, and many after school meetings and Saturday morning working sessions. Through it all the students and their teacher developed keen insights into what it was like growing up in an ethnic enclave like Polish Hill.
The book they produced, Polish Hill Remembered, depicts a rich culture and heritage that thrived for decades a few miles from the heart of the City of Pittsburgh. The book is not a detailed history, but a volume that preserves a set of remembrances and provided a glimpse into an era that was already fading. The book is still available on the Polish Hill Remembered website and at the Heinz History Center gift shop.
This Thursday, November 15, Mary Lou Ellena, whose students produced Polish Hill Remembered, will be keynote speaker as part of the public lecture series sponsored by the Lawrenceville Historical Society. This free event takes place at 7:00 p.m. in the McVey Auditorium at Canterbury Place, 310 Fish Street. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, email the Lawrenceville Historical Society at LHS15201@gmail.com.