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The Lost Neighborhood Collection

The Lost Neighborhood Collection

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The essays and articles for this book, THE LOST NEIGHBORHOOD COLLECTION, form a history about a part of Jamestown, New York, that was lost to urban renewal in the late 1960s and early 1970s when a good number of homes and, in some cases, entire streets were demolished. Nevertheless, although the physical structures are gone, memories of life in the old neighborhood have remained strong in the hearts and minds of its former residents, so much so that many of them wanted to tell their stories once they were invited to do so. This book provided a place for them to narrate their personal histories, and all of these stories were collected over a period of five years from 2005 to 2010.

We often know the story of how and why immigrants came to the United States, but it is the stories of what happened next -where they lived, how they lived, and how they raised their children that are presented here. Some of these narratives are highly autobiographical, some reach beyond family boundaries, yet all reflect the vibrant life of this old neighborhood, for what is a neighborhood if not its people? The spirit of those lives shines brightly in these personal, intimate histories, and the closeness of the families who shared so much of their daily living is what inspired these people, decades later, to want others to know what that part of the city was like and also what was lost. I feel honored to have had a hand in helping to tell these stories and hope that this book will add an important chapter to the history of Jamestown.

This book has been written by people whose patience and dedication to their task allowed them to write from the heart, simply and with feeling.



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