From Hungary to Toledo, Ohio ~ with love.

A typical Magyar Village Home in the Palocs
A typical Magyar Village Home in the Palocs

        One wonders how the housewives did it. Those Hungarian homes were small. How did they bundle everyone in one sleeping room ? How did they store the flour, the clothes, the pots and pans in one storage room ?  The women kept the hens cooped together, the animals fed and the floors swept with all their family under their feet.

       The homes in these villages at the time were the size of this particular house in this picture from Jablonca. The architecture looks very familiar. A row of these Magyar cottages will stand out in any  American working class urban neighborhood. Tightly wedged in the shadows of the smokestacks of the factories, they are usually built of brick, in one or one and a half stories with a flat front facade, two windows and an archway. The archway will either be in the corner or the center of the facade. In the city locations, most of these homes will be built right up to the edge of the sidewalk to permit more yard room in the back for their usual outdoor activities like jam making, soap making, herb growing, smoking meats or sausages. Women did laundry in the back yards and families tended vegetable gardens along with many fruit trees. They kept their country traditions intact right in their own backyards.

       Birmingham, the Hungarian section of Toledo, Ohio, is on the National Historic register for it's historic ties to it's Magyar culture. Many of the homes still retain their native forms. You can read about it in this scholarly treatment in AmericaneJournal that I found online. It describes the "Birmingham" ways perfectly  at http://americanaejournal.hu/vol2no2/szentgyorgyi   

       Birmingham is also the host of a yearly summer festival. Updates featured on their own website at http://birminghamethnicfestival.wordpress.com/