Thinking about My Dad’s Old Haunt

Yours Truly sipping soda at Green Gables with owners Pete and Mary Loncaric. Circa 1965
Yours Truly sipping soda at Green Gables with owners Pete and Mary Loncaric. Circa 1965

Feeling nostalgic today.  Maybe it is a combination of Kennywood’s annual Croatian Day and thinking about Duquesne, my Dad’s birthplace and childhood home.  He passed away last year over the Labor Day weekend which probably stirs all three memories into one big whirlwind. Whatever the motivation, I realize a blog about Duquesne Croatians would not be complete without recognizing Green Gables and the Loncaric family as major contributors to Duquesne past.  Read about it here….

Franjo Salopek’s Face Identified

Franjo and Bara Salopek of Duquesne, PA are seated next to the bride and groom in this photo.
Franjo and Bara Salopek of Duquesne, PA are seated next to the bride and groom in this photo.

I am always excited when someone identifies a face in one of the Croatian Marriage photos posted on this site!  Recently Mary Ann was able to identify her grandfather, Franjo Salopek, as the man with a mustache seated next to the bride in the photo above.  I am quite certain that his wife Bara is the woman seated on the right, next to the groom.  This is especially exciting to me, because the bride and groom happen to be my grandparents!

Franjo was born 15 June 1878 in Ogulin, Croatia.  He was previously married to a woman named Anna until her death in 1917.  The couple had five children: Tomo, Mijo, Anton, Josip, and Mate.  A photo of their son Tom’s marriage to Cecelia Machek is also included on the Croatian Marriages page.

Franjo and his second wife Bara had four children: Mary, Manda, Agnes and John.  According to the 1930 and 1940 United States Census records, the couple resided below the tracks at 28 Superior Street, Duquesne.  After the steel mill expansion in 1941 they resided at 218 North 1st Street, Duquesne – next door to my grandparents! Thank you, Mary Ann!

Bekavac Faces Identified

Salopek Wedding -- Bekavac crop for pja websiteA family living an ocean away from Duquesne found an old photo that helped identify two faces in the wedding party of my grandparents, Anthony Joseph Salopek and Catherine Ann Kučinić. The faces belong to my great-aunt Frances Salopek Bekavac and her husband Mate Bekavac.  Can you identify anyone in the Duquesne Croatians Wedding Photos posted on this site?  Please contact me if you can!  Thanks Marina for your investigative work — and for the photo!

Eureka! — I found it!

RTdLokLT9It is always exciting when I find something interesting about Duquesne in old newspapers.  But, when I encounter a piece of information that I actually have been searching for, it is even more exhilarating! Recently I discovered the location of Duquesne’s “original” Croatian Hall, so I must share my discovery with all of you.  Can you guess where it was?  Read the article as see for yourself!  Lost Croatian Hall — Found!

Fireworks and Croatian Sluggers Post

MIke Spanitz for articlePicnics, fireworks, and baseball season in full swing — I just couldn’t resist researching an article about the Duquesne Croatians baseball team! Did they really exist?  For how many seasons? Were they any good? I don’t consider myself a sports writer, so please excuse any stylistic faux pas.  Just enjoy my latest article Fireworks and Croatian Sluggers for what it is, and Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

Duquesne Sleuthing

inspectorOur good friend, the Duquesne Hunky, posted a marvelous panoramic photo of Duquesne, Pennsylvania taken in 1938 which includes a complete view of the neighborhood “below the tracks”.  This entire neighborhood was razed for the steel mill expansion in 1941, but you can view it on this photograph along with the rest of the city.  Zoom in and join the sleuthing to help identify old buildings that no longer exist by visiting here.  I have also added the link on my most popular page “Businesses Below the Tracks”.

Part 1 of a Documented History of My Great-Grandmother

Puškarić Ana 1886 - 1930Part 1 of a Documented History of My Great-Grandmother

I just posted Part 1 of a documented history about my great-grandmother, Ana Puškarić Kučinić Puskarich, who lived from 1886 to 1930. Part 1 of her history includes information about her family of origin and marriage to Mijat Kučinić.  Originally she was one of Duquesne’s Croatian Immigrants, then moved to Washington, PA.

Duquesne Croatians — Nick Lee Hollow

Nick Lee 03 for postDuquesne Croatians — Nick Lee Hollow:  Nick Lee Hollow was more than a place our parents played as children.  At one time the hollow was home to many Duquesne families.  A few people inquired about Nick Lee Hollow, and as  result I did a little research on the subject.  Read my latest article, Remembering Nick Lee Hollow. Photos courtesy of the Mifflin Township Historical Society.

Duquesne Croatians — Smidgen of Croatian

1910 Chart Croatians below the tracksA Smidgen of Croatian in Duquesne:  Just how many Croatian immigrants lived in Duquesne at the turn of the twentieth century? An analysis of the 1910 United States Federal Census might help us draw more accurate conclusions about the early Croatian immigrants to the city of Duquesne.  Read details of my most recent research.  Feel free to comment or contact me via the site.