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Detroit, Michigan

Like other industrial cities of the USA Detroit attracted a Lithuanian community well before World War II and even World War I. Detroit Lithuanians worked at the automobile factories of what was the world automobile manufacturing capital. It still is the home to Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. During the 1930 census, 4879 Lithuanians lived in Detroit.

The old Lithuanian district of Detroit

Many Lithuanians settled in the Detroit-Hamtramck area. As population changed, those businesses and organizations dissolved or moved elsewhere. For most of the 20th century, Lithuanian life in Detroit centered in the area southwest of downtown, today's Mexicantown, around the key institutions of St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church and the Lithuanian Hall.

St. Anthony Roman Catholic Lithuanian Church was built in 1920 in Southwest Detroit at 1750 25th Street. The massive brick building has two floors. The main church is on the second floor, while the first (ground) floor once housed a Lithuanian school. Later it turned into a chapel where ordinary Sunday Mass was held. The diminishing parish no longer needed a main upper church; the elderly found it hard to climb the stairs. Also on the first floor, a large hall for parish meetings after the mass was located. Its walls were covered with pictures of Lithuanian cities, a list of people killed by Russian soldiers on January 13, 1991, and similar memorabilia. Another small room was dedicated to a museum. The church was closed in 2013.

St. Anthony Lithuanian church. The building to the left is Lithuanian Hall. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

A nicely renovated building on the opposite side of W Vernor Highway still bears the words Lithuanian Hall on its facade and there are some Lithuanian memorabilia surviving inside.

Detroit Lithuanian Hall

Detroit Lithuanian Hall

Now owned by the same non-profit real estate developer as St. Anthony church and transformed into its offices, it was originally built in 1921 by the leftist Lithuanians who did not attende the church (for the religious, the church doubled as a secular club and activity hub but the non-religious needed their separate institution for that). At least some of the members were communists, as "Destination Lithuanian America" researchers learned after finding Lithuanian communist materials still saved by the new owners. Also surviving are the architectural elements such as the former ticket booth that would have sold to sell tickets for the events in the hall above, the stage and more: despite the reconstruction, relatively little has been changed.

Main Hall now serves as an open office space. At one of the walls there is Lithuanian memorabilia

Main Hall now serves as an open office space. On one of the walls there is Lithuanian memorabilia.

It can only be assumed that back then Vernor Highway served as a frontline between the two opposing groups of Lithuanians: the religious majority and the anti-religious minority. With the popularity of leftist beliefs declining among Lithuanians, the Lithuanian Hall closed and was later used for community celebrations (holidays, weddings) by the parish.

St. Anthony Lithuanian Chruch (left) and the Lithuanian Hall (right)

St. Anthony Lithuanian Chruch (left) and the Lithuanian Hall (right)

Next to the Hall, there is Val Bauza Funeral Home, also an institution in the area.

However, like all over Detroit, some buildings are now abandoned or burned down. Detroit population more than halved after the 1967 racial riots and the city is now 85% black (African-American). Most whites, including Lithuanians, moved to the suburbs. The area around St. Anthony church is now, however, dominated by Hispanics and is known as Mexicantown. It is claimed by Lithuanians to be safer than the average Detroit area. While most Lithuanians moved to the suburbs, Mexicantown still has the largest percentage of Lithuanians in the Detroit city. Currently, it is the Hispanic population that the former St. Anthony church is serving the most, as the first floor is now taken by a charitable institution that teaches the recent immigrants English for free. The non-profit real estate developer owns more buildings in the area than just the church and Lithuanian Hall and aims to rejuvenate the district; according to the interview with its employees by the "Destination Lithuanian America 2018" team. At one point, merely some 30% of the district's buildings were being used, while now this percentage rose to 80%. The developer, a non-profit, gets its often-ecological renovations funded by the government authorities, in return pledging to rent the renovated properties to lower income tenants for a fixed price.

Val Bauza (Lithuanian name) Funeral Home. The house was constructed in 1930 when the city and the Lithuanian district were still thriving. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

St. Anthony parish was at its peak immediately after World War 2 when a large number of the Lithuanian intellectual elite emigrated to the USA fearing Soviet persecutions. In these days the church was too small for the congregation and many people had to participate in the Mass from outside the building. In some 1985 the church was damaged by fire but repaired afterward. Until 2009, the daily mass was still celebrated, twice daily on Sundays. However, in 2009, the priest retired and only a single weekly Lithuanian Sunday mass remained. There was no mass in any other language, therefore the building became scarcely used and its parking is used by the owners of Lithuanian Hall in weekdays. In 2011, the bishop of Detroit decided to abolish the parish, which was done in 2013 as the parish was officially merged into the Divine Providence Lithuanian parish (see below).

St. Anthony Lithuanian Church main hall (2nd floor) interior as it looked before closure (2012). Currently, it is similar, but the religious and Lithuanian items, as well as pews, have been removed, and the premises are used for exercise classes and are available for rent for special events. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Southfield Divine Providence Lithuanian complex

The current Detroit's Lithuanian church is Divine Providence located in the suburb of Southfield (255335 West 9 Mile Road). In fact, it is not simply a church but rather a complex of buildings, including a large events hall, the Lithuanian cultural center, a social hall, a small parish museum, a Lithuanian Saturday school, and several monuments. Many Lithuanian organizations use this venue for their activities: folk dance group, sports club, boy and girl scouts, Daughters of Lithuania, etc.

Divine Providence Lithuanian church of Southfield

Divine Providence Lithuanian Church of Southfield

The complex was designed and built in 1972 by Lithuanian-Canadian architect Alfredas Kulpa-Kulpavičius. Initial designs were even more elaborate but the diocese-imposed costs-cap required the Lithuanian community to prioritize function over details. Therefore, the church lacks the "ethnic grandeur" of most other big-city post-WW2 Lithuanian churches but it still has many Lithuanian details inside. Among those are stained glass windows by the famous designer Vytautas K. Jonynas and wooden relief pieces by Jurgis Daugvila. Among the stained-glass windows, the most impressive is the one with St. Casimir and Vytis, while wooden carvings show the Hill of Crosses of Šiauliai and Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis.

Divine Providence church interior

Divine Providence Church interior

Woodcarving inside the Divine Providence church

Woodcarving inside the Divine Providence Church

Stained glass window by V.K. Jonynas

Stained glass window by V.K. Jonynas with patriotic motives, such as Lithuanian coat of arms

The complex of buildings is located in a spacious wooded area with three monuments close to the church: Jurgis Jurgutis memorial (who was the first honorary consul of Lithuania in Michigan), a traditional cross with a metallic sun and the oldest one - statue of Jesus that has been relocated from the previous locations of the parish.

Sculpture dedicated to the consul of Lithuania Jurgutis

Sculpture dedicated to the consul of Lithuania Jurgutis

Lithuanian cross at the Divine Providence church

Lithuanian cross at the Divine Providence Church

Although the church and the other buildings of the complex have been built in 1972, the parish is much older than that. Unlike St. Anthony, the Divine Providence church has moved together with its community (two times). Its roots are in the St. George church within Detroit City limits (constructed in 1908).

The site of the St. George Lithuanian church

The site of the St. George Lithuanian Church, one time at the northeast corner of Westminster and Cardoni Streets.

In 1949 a new Divine Providence church was constructed further from the center and Lithuanians moved there. During the 1960s highway construction program, plans caused both churches to be demolished to make way for more convenient city commutes.

The site of the first Divine Providence Lithuanian church

The site of the first Divine Providence Lithuanian Church, at one time located on Schaefer Road near Grand River Avenue.

At the time, the bishop of Detroit did not want the continued existence of the ethnically Lithuanian parish, seeing ethnic parishes as slowly disintegrating (a fate then already suffered by numerous Polish parishes of Detroit). After lengthy discussions with Detroit Lithuanians, however, the bishop conceded that Divine Providence Parish would retain its ethnic status, with the stipulation that its membership would consist of Lithuanians only and whose financial support would depend entirely on its parishioners. Lithuanians thus collected the necessary funds to build and support a new Divine Providence Church in Southfield.

Lithuanians who moved into suburbs and ceased visiting the city typically would also leave the then-remaining Detroit Lithuanian parishes (St. Anthony and St. Peter) and join the Southfield one. That's why the "urban parishes" had few parishioners and eventually closed, with only the Divine Providence parish retaining younger members and recent immigrants who invariably settled in the suburbs).

After St. Anthony Church was closed, many artifacts were salvaged and moved into the Divine Providence church.

Not far from the Divine Providence Lithuanian church there is the Holy Sepulcher cemetery where many Lithuanians are buried, some under rather elaborately patriotic tombstones. Unfortunately, the idea to create a Lithuanian section in the cemetery failed to materialize, as a result, the Lithuanian graves are spread out in several sections.

Other Lithuanian sites in Detroit

An interesting Lithuanian memento may be found in the eerily empty streets of downtown Detroit. On a building on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Times Square corner (Parker-Webb Building) hangs a memorial plaque with a sole Lithuanian inscription „Čia gimė Fluxus įkūrėjas Jurgis Mačiūnas“. The English translation is not provided (it would be „The founder of Fluxus George Mačiūnas was born here“). In reality, Jurgis Mačiūnas was born in Kaunas, Lithuania (1931) and emigrated to the USA in 1948. As "Destination Lithuanian America" project volunteers helped us to discover after a long period of mystery about the plaque, the plaque was installed by Gilbert Silverman, an avid collector of Mačiūnas works. He used to have his premises in the building. At one point, he decided to create a memorial plaque and gift it to Kaunas city where Mačiūnas was born; however, Kaunas never installed the plaque and, ultimately, it was sent back to Silverman by Mačiūnas's relatives. Then, Silverman installed it on the building he had premises at. Interestingly, this made the plaque kind of a Fluxus artwork on itself - a false memorial plaque for oneself in some random city is definitely Mačiūnas's style. In addition to the plaque, there is a false door on the side of the building with "FLUXUS" written on it. It was determined the “FLUXUS” sign was not Silverman’s doing.

False Jurgis Mačiūnas memorial plaque

False Jurgis Mačiūnas memorial plaque

Parker-Webb building on which the Mačiūnas plaque is located

Parker-Webb building on which the Mačiūnas plaque is located

Wayne State University Detroit campus has a Lithuanian Room in its Ethnic Heritage building, the Manoogian Hall. The room is actually a classroom, room number 288, located on the second floor. It has been established in 1978, an important year, marking the 60th anniversary of Lithuania's independence declaration in 1918. All of its walls are covered with murals symbolizing the essence of Lithuania. They include the major buildings (both extant and demolished), patriotic symbols, historical images (e.g. Battle of Žalgiris), ethereal famous creations of Lithuanian artist M. K. Čiurlionis, all grouped into three coherent scenes. The explanations of each detail in each mural are available in English. In addition to the murals, there are other objects of Lithuanian ethnic art.

Fragments of the murals of the Wayne State University Lithuanian Room.

Fragments of the murals of the Wayne State University Lithuanian Room. On the left, one may see Lithuanians in national folk costumes in front of the Kaunas Vienybės Square. In the center, there is a close-up of the Liberty statue there and people laying flowers under it. On the right, there is Vilnius University and people of old era in front.

The room, however, has not been renovated for a long time, leaving parts of its details damaged and the informational plaque that explains all the details still declaring that Lithuania is under Soviet occupation. The building and the room may be accessed by everyone when there are no lectures inside. The designers of the room were the famous Lithuanian architect Jonas Mulokas, as well as his son, architect Rimas Mulokas, while Vytautas Augustinas created the murals.

Fragments of the Detroit Lithuanian room murals. Vilnius University on the left, while famous fortifications of Lithuania (Trakai Castle, now-demolished Vilnius fortifications) and the Battle of Žalgiris soldiers are on the right

Fragments of the Detroit Lithuanian room murals. Vilnius University on the left, while famous fortifications of Lithuania (Trakai Castle, now-demolished Vilnius fortifications) and the Battle of Žalgiris soldiers are on the right

Detroit also had St. Peter Lithuanian church. The building, opened in 1921 and closed in 1995, has no Lithuanian details, although a publically-funded community center (All Saints Neighborhood Center) operating there since 1997, put up some historical plaques in the first room beyond the entrance. The church is wooden although during its late Lithuanian era its facade used to be covered in bricks. However, the original exterior has been restored now. In fact, the modest building was initially planned to be temporary but the parish never grew enough to build its own "permanent" and larger building. Like St. Anthony's, the church has a basement (dug by parishioner's hands) where Lithuanian used to meet after the mass. Church statues and furniture have been donated to Lithuania. So was a large Lithuanian style wayside cross that used to stand in front of the church.

St. Peter Lithuanian church of Detroit

St. Peter Lithuanian Church of Detroit

Lithuanian memorabilia in the foyer of the St. Peter Lithuanian church

Lithuanian memorabilia in the foyer of the St. Peter Lithuanian Church

 


The map

All the Lithuanian locations, described in this article, are marked on this interactive map, made by the "Destination Lithuanian America" expedition (click the link):

Interactive map of Detroit Lithuanian sites

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  1. Lankiausi Detroite 2012 m. kovą. Buvo labai įdomu sudalyvauti Šv. Mišiose Šv. Antano lietuviškoje bažnyčioje. Džiugu, kad pavyko – naujos informacijos paie mišių laiką internete nėra – tebėra sena informacija, kad Šv. Mišios laikomos kasdien, o sekmadieniais – du kartus. Iš tikro laikomos tik sekmadieniais rytais – laimė, kaip tik tuo laiku ir atėjome.

    Neįprasta kunigui lietuviškai prašant pasimelsti už vyksupą girdėti ne Audrio Juozo, bet anglišką Detroito vyskupo vardą. Kadangi buvau per verbų sekmadienį nustebino ir amerikietiškos verbos – palmių šakelės (vietinius kitokios nustebintų).

    Bendruomenėje daugiausiai vyresnio amžiaus žmonės, vienas buvo 102 metų amžiaus. Tai antrosios bangos (~1950 m.) imigrantai, kai kurie jau gimę Amerikoje, bet labai prisirišę prie lietuviškos bendruomenės. Priėmė labai maloniai, ne vienas priėjo pasisveikinti (dalis lietuviškai, dalis angliškai), aprodė bažnyčią, įleido į šiaip uždarytą didžiąją salę. Daug iš to, ką čia surašiau, sužinojau iš tos parapijos narių – kitur internete ar knygose to nėra užfiksuota. Amerikoje įprasta, kad su į bendruomenę atėjusiais nepažįstamais bendraujama, tuo tarpu Lietuvoje taip būna labai retai – šiuo atveju Detroito lietuviai panašūs į amerikiečius. Ir šiaip mišios jiems ir bendruomenės susitikimas – po mišių visi kelioms valandoms susirenka parapijos salėje, kvietė ir mus prisijungti. Prieš mišias irgi nėra tabu, kaip Lietuvoje, ne pašnibždomis kalbėtis tarpusavyje pačioje koplyčioje.

    Klebonas buvo atsiųstas iš Lietuvos, aptarnaujantis ir kitą Detroito parapiją, o patarnavo ne lietuviai. Dalis giesmių buvo lietuviškos, dalis angliškos, atliktos vienuolių. Lietuviškas parapijonys giedojo labiau.

    Tuo tarpu J. Mačiūno memorialinę lentą aptikau visai netikėtai vaikštinėdamas po ištuštėjusį Detroito centrą.

    Pats Detroitas paliko didžiulį įspūdį, visgi kadaise turtingiausias JAV miestas, dabar toks tuščias ir niūrus. Atmosfera, kokios niekur kitur nėra – pusiau apleistas pirmojo pasaulio didmiestis, su greitkeliais, išdegusiais prabangiais namais, apleistais dangoraižiais ir žemės ūkio paskirties žeme bei parkingais ten, kur stovėjo milžiniški prekybos centrai. Tikrai verta apsilankyti, nors dauguma vietinių amerikiečių turbūt jus atkalbinės, kaip atkalbinėjo ir mus, jiems žlugęs Detroitas tam tikra jų šalies piktžaizdė.

    Apsilankymas lietuviškoje Šv. Antano bažnyčioje buvo vienas įdomiausių kelionės momentų.

  2. The Lithuanian Hall,across Vernor from St. Anthony’s, was owned by Mexican Americans when I was a little girl in the 1950’s. it was called “Espanos Unidos” and the Lithuanian community rented space for various social activities. So many of my formative experiences took place in that hall, or at St. Anthony’s.

  3. 1. Actually, the priest at St.Anthony did not just die. He finally got real tired and retired – went back to Lithuania – to Birstonas in fact, where he had purchased a house on the shore of Nemunas. 2. Back in the 1940’s, the Lithuanian Hall, across the street from St. Anthony, was purchased by the Spanish, not the Mexican community, and therefore it was called Hispanos Unidos Hall. In those days there actually was a Spanish community in Detroit ! Mexicans were few in number and relative paupers, in no financial position to purchase large buildings.

  4. Labai aciu! Wonderful information! My father and his mother emigrated to Chicago, then to Detroit, around 1950. Mt Lithuanian- born wife and I have kept the heritage alive with our daughter, and she attended Divine Providence Lithuanian Church (Southfield) Saturday school.

  5. In 1938-39,,I was 2-3 years old. My parents had a store on 24th street near West Vernor Highway. My sister was born in 1938. My mother was very busy running the store (my father worked for Ward Baking Company) and caring for a newborn. So she asked the nuns at St. Anthony’s if I could attend school there. They agreed. So I attended in a classroom with students of several grades. At the end of the school year, the nuns said I could return in September and I could go into the first grade, as I had learned what I needed to become a first grader. My parents were unable to afford the tuition, so I didn’t return. I did learn to speak some Lithuanian and said my prayers in Lithuanian. Imagine, a little Irish girl saying her prayers in Lithuanian.

  6. My mother and father owned Altytaus Bar on Michigan and 23rd street. Detroit MI
    The name Alytaus is the city where my father’s family came from in Lithuania.
    My father and mother were very instrumental in assisting many of the displaced people from Lithuania after ww2 to help them accimulate to the United States.

  7. I remember going to 7th and 8th grade there.I became an altar boy there and remember the hall across the street had a small store on the ground floor had many a cherry coke there

  8. My grandfather, Antanas Zimnicky, came from Alytaus too, moving to Scotland in the early 1900s. He and my grandma married in 1905 and emigrated to the US in 1906. They helped found St. Peter’s

  9. I just stumbled on this page and I’m so glad I did! My great grandfather came from Lithuania (Pasvytinis, near Joniskis) in 1917, and our family Americanized very quickly – consequently, we were not particularly involved with the greater Lithuanian community. We originally settled down in Chicago, but we’ve been migrating eastward ever since, and I myself live in Detroit. Finding a page like this helps me to establish a connection with my roots, thank you!

    • Youtube is too egotistical to undo any changes. To say they may have implemented a few feature which needs detracting? Le gasp, never.Integrating "More Videos by User" and "Related Videos" is a slap in the face.The "Comments" section is ridiculous. I won't be Rating or Commenting on Videos any longer.All changes make perusing on Mobile useless.

  10. Gerb.p. Žemaiti, pasiklausiau Jūsų internete lietuvių abėcėlės tarimo.
    Dėkoju ir labai vertinu už Jūsų pastangas mokyti lietuvių kalbos. Esu mokytojavusi Amerikiečių mokyklose, taip pat mokiusi savo vaikus ir anūkus lietuvių kalbos. Kalbu iš patirties. Išmokyti juos tos labai paprastos, logika pagrįstos abėcėlės “lietuvišku” metodu neįmanoma. Raidžių garsus reikia jiems pristatyti taip, kaip jie tariami, BE PRIDĖTŲ GALŪNIŲ. Yra nesąmonė vardinti raidę B kaip BĖ, nes jie tą suprastų kaip du garsus, o tada reiktų valandų aiškinimo. Mokytojai tiek laiko skirti negali. Reikia viską supaprastinti. O tas yra lietuvių kalbos ypatingas privalumas, kad raidžių tarimas nesikeičia!! A visada tariama A, B visada B, C visada C. (Mažas išimtis, pvz. Ą su nosine, lengva paaiškinti – raidės su nosine tariamos ilgiau), taigi, ne bė, cė, dė, f (kodėl ne ef?), o paprastą a,b,c,d,f, ir t.t. Čia ne istorinis, bet efektingas mokymas.

    • Dėkui už komentarą. Minėti tarimų įrašai buvo daryti Omniglot svetainei apie alfabetus, o ne tiesiogiai mokymuisi (nors ateityje galvoju padaryti ir specialiai mokymuisi).

      Kalbant apie mokymąsi, tiesos jūsų žodžiuose yra. Tačiau yra viena problema – sprogstamųjų priebalsių (angl. plosives / stop consonants) neįmanoma ištarti po jų nesakant jokio balsio. Todėl, manau, ir atsirado sakymai “bė”, “dė” ir t.t., pasirenkant balsį “ė”. Nes po sprogstamojo priebalsio, kad jis būtų suprastas, reikia atverti burną – o tai ir yra balsis.

      Geras variantas mokyti, atsižvelgiant į gimtąją kalbą, galbūt yra analogiškų garsų radimas mokinių gimtojoje kalboje (dar geriau: radimas gimtojoje kalboje atvejų, kai ta pati raidė tariama vienodai, kaip lietvių kalboje). Pavyzdžiui, aiškinant “g” anglakalbiams galima pasakyti, kad ji “visuomet tariama tik kaip žodyje golf”, o “ž” anglakalbiams galima apibrėžti kaip “s” žodyje “measure” ir pan.

  11. My Mothers family migrated from Lithuania and resided on a street that started with a M in the Luthuanian section off of Vernor Highway. Their name was Tauktus. Would be interested in any information about them that anyone could provide.

    • We may offer you heritage search services in the Lithuanian archives if you are interested. You could learn more about the lives of your forefathers while they still lived in Lithuania.

    • Hi, David. My Lithuanian paternal grandparents lived on Cahalan just west of Mullane Street until their death in 1982. Please check familysearch.org for starters regarding your mother and her family. There may be census information on them depending when they lived in southwest Detroit. Also, Ancestry.com has many Polk City Directories available on their site. Ancestry, Library Edition, is accessible at most public libraries. Polk City Directories are available at the Burton Historical Collection, Main Library, Woodward Avenue, Detroit. Finally, there are Facebook groups helping me with my Lithuanian ancestry search. Please check there, too!

  12. Jieskau Adomuko arba Jono Butaviciu gyvenusiu Detroite arba jo apylinkese seimos nariu. Jie mano mamos ata, dedes.

  13. We got married in 1956 at the Church of Devine Providence. Father Kundrat married us. My mother donated the full size painting of Jesus on the cross in back of the alter We no longer live in Michigan. Trying to find out what happened to it after they tore the church down to build a freeway. By the front door was a plaque that said it was in memory of Frank Radville donated by Anna and Helen Dawahare. I hope it was not destroyed. And yes we are Lithuania, but like for so many the name was changed. Any information would be truly appreciated.

    • I meant to write Anna and Helen Radville not Dawahare.

    • Hello,
      Your e-mail was forwarded to me by the site administrator. Since it has been at least 60 years since the painting was donated, it is difficult to determine its whereabouts. It may have been donated to the Archdiocese of Detroit, who may have given it to another parish. It is possible that the receiving parish may have closed. There are many variables. I will provide you with some resources so that you can research this further: Archdiocese of Detroit – http://www.aod.org; tel. (313) 237-5800. Divine Providence Lithuanian Church, 25335 W. Nine Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48233, tel. # (248) 354-3429, pastor – Rev. Gintaras A. Jonikas; website: http://www.divineprovidencechurch.com.
      Hope you find this information useful for your purposes!
      Good luck in your endeavor to locate the painting. It may also be helpful to know the exact size of the painting and the artist’s name and date of painting.
      Sincerely,
      Divine Providinc

  14. My greetings to all Lithuanians from me, an Italian-American, highly respectful of all Lithuanians (my cousin married a Lithuanian). My parents were married in Detroit, Michigan, in St. George’s church in 1935. We lived on Hindle avenue. Down the street at Hindle and Westminster was St. George’s church and school. I started school there in September 1940. My Italian mother would say that I was able to recite prayers in Lithuanian. Years later, in 1959, I was attending medical school in Baltimore, Maryland. One evening during that summer, I attended a Catholic youth meeting at a suburban Baltimore home. As the event concluded, I was walking out the front door, and, in front of me, was a priest. Since I have a good heart, I asked the priest if he had a way to get to where he was going. He said…no. It was surprising since he had gotten out to suburban Baltimore some way. I offered him a ride to wherever he was going. He said he was going to the Baltimore Cathedral, in downtown Baltimore. I said that I lived in downtown, also, since I was in medical school, there. And, I attended that church. So, as we were driving along, he said he was visiting the Baltimore Cathedral for a 3 month stay—from St. George’s church in Detroit! I have always remembered that evening. Now, I think I would like to re-learn the Lords Prayer that I learned from the Nun’s—in Lithuanian!!

  15. Thanks for all the information

  16. this is a wonderful site. So many helping and sharing. My grandparents Andrew and Teophillia Zlatarinskas used to visit their friends in Detroit form Chicago in the 1920’s and 1930’s. i still recall many of my grandmothers stories. And her showing me her pictures form her visits. i am glad I kept many of her pictures.

  17. I have just very recently discovered that my paternal grandmother, Petrona, or Patricia Misukaitis is Lithuanian through DNA.
    Her mother, Margaret Misukiatis and sisters, Mary and Theresa moved from Pennsylvania after her father (William’s) death in the early 1920’s.
    I am writing this to try to posibly gain more information through possible connections, knowing that they belonged to St Anthony’s Parish.
    In 1940 the Federal Census shows that Margaret was a Lodger with the Karl Belskas Family on 25th Street, as was a John Zenimikais, a proprietor of a “beer garden.
    I am looking for information on the Misukiatis surname, in the Detroit area and to learn more about my newly found Lithuanian Heritage. Thank you.

    • If you are interested in what is available about your ancestors in the Lithuanian archives, we may provide you archive search services in Lithuania. As for their life in Detroit, perhaps someone who knew them will read here. You may also check our articles about the Lithuanian sites in Pennsylvania to have a better idea about what was their life like before moving to Detroit area.

      • Thank you so much for the valuable information.
        I’m so happy to have discovered this page.

      • My family is also a Lithuania-Pennsylvania-to-Detroit family and I’ve been doing a lot of digging. What services are available?

        • We offer search services in the Lithuanian archives. We may check the records for births, marriages, deaths, the existence of passports, real-estate-ownership and other such information. While information like births, marriages, deaths typically exist for everybody (unless the records were destroyed, which is not that frequent but happened e.g. during the major church fires in some cases), there may be much other information that is rarer (e.g. court cases, if a person participated in them).

    • Susan,

      Please join us at Linking our Lithuanian Ancestors-Detroit, a Facebook group-
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/1761665584129332/
      Thank you!

  18. Great informational site (stumbled across it accidently via FB).

    My Great-Grandfather John Ploplis (1875-1943) was from Bartninkai, Jurbarkas, arrived to Detroit in 1896 via New York. He married my GGM Anna Klara Lukomska in the eastside church St. Albertus near Hamtramck. They were the second couple to be married there. John’s brother Mathias (1874-1911) arrived 1 year earlier. I do not any information of the family in Lithuania. I do have a few fotos.

  19. Augustinai

    Tavo nuotrauka Val S. Bauza Funeral Home 1930 25th Street Detroit Mi 48216 siais smetais mini savo 60 m. kaip patarnauja yopac Lietuviams SLaidotuviu reikalais. Savininke yra Laidotuviu Direktore Yolanda Zaparackiene. AZ


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