American Spaces, Irish Places: Assessing Three Urban Communities in 19th Century Irish-America

Author(s): Nicholas Ames

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

American industry drew millions of Irish immigrants during the 19th and early 20th century, profoundly shaping the face of modern America. This research investigates how Irish communities in the U.S. responded to local conditions within different types of urban spaces, influencing the way communities and subsequent identities within Irish-America were formed. Focusing on three industrial cities – Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH, and Clinton, MA – I use historical newspapers, maps, archival records, city directories and oral histories alongside GIS and social networking analyses to comparatively map the physical changes of the 19th to early 20th century communities in response to these local historical and social pressure. Within this study I explore how ‘scales’ of urbanity influence community life, with Pittsburgh’s prominent steel industry contrasting the transport industry of Cleveland, and the mill town of Clinton embodying small-scale production. By investigating how cultural localism introduced by new (albeit historic) immigrants becomes transformed into social communities unique to each urban space, I aim to identify how different local conditions may be impacting how contemporary immigrant communities develop within different U.S. spaces today.

Cite this Record

American Spaces, Irish Places: Assessing Three Urban Communities in 19th Century Irish-America. Nicholas Ames. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450271)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25951