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Armenians in Cleveland, OH

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Cleveland, OH

Early Days: Armenians first came to Cleveland (Ohio) around 1906 when the American Steel & Wire Company, based in Worcester, MA opened multiple new branches in the Cleveland area. American Steel & Wire, being based in a highly Armenian populated city, had a number of Armenian workers, some of whom chose to relocate to Cleveland. The initial count during these years was about 50 Armenians in the Cleveland area, but by 1913 the number had doubled to 100. Many of these Armenians were young men with no families, who had come to the US seeking employment and opportunity. By the early 1940s the Armenian population of Cleveland had reached 1,500 and by 1960 it was at about 2,500. During the 1970s and 1980s a small numer of Armenians came from Iran and Lebanon as turmoil and wars broke out in those countries.

Today: Armenians have come and gone from Cleveland area over the years, but the population has held on to about the same 2,500 since the 1960s. The community boasts two churches (Prelacy and Diocese), a weekly Armenian radio show, and is sill very much active in its Armenian ways and promoting the Armenian culture and history to non-Armenians in the area. In September of 2010, the community innagurated the Armenian Cultural Garden which is home to the "Alphabet" monument honoring the Armenian alphabet and the nation of Armenia.

It is also worth mentioning that a small population of Ohio Armenians resides outside of the Cleveland area, in cities such as Columbus (~150 miles / 240 km south of Cleveland) and further south. These scattered Armenians are congregated together by a monthly church service and other occasional gatherings mostly organized through their website: http://www.ohioarmenians.us/.


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