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New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a small state, it has merely a million inhabittants. However this region of New England used to be rich and attracted many Lithuanians ~1900; today there are around 7000 of them and the city of Nashua (pop. 85 000) is their heartland.

One apartment building of Nashua is called Casimir Place after the Lithuanian saint Casimir. This is because it has been built next to the former St. Casimir Lithuanian church, closed in 2003. To the very last day it served Lithuanian-language mass and had flowers of Lithuanian flag colors surrounding its altar. The church building still stands and now also houses apartments.

Nashua St. Casimir Lithuanian church. Google Street View.

Pre-War Lithuanians (~1000) have been attracted to Nashua by its massive textile industry. Its golden era was short however as the Great Depression forced many mills to go bankrupt and the last one closed down in 1949. Some Lithuanians were already too rooted to move away however and ~700 still live in the city. Unlike many other post-industrial American core cities Nashua enjoyed a true rennaisance and was not affected by the White flight. Even the "Money" magazine named it "The best American city to live" twice. Massive textile mills of the golden era where the forefathers of local Lithuanians worked at are now considered heritage and may still be seen.

Nashua has two Lithuanian cemeteries. The Holy Cross cemetary at Hudson suburb has a Lithuanian tricolor perpetually waving over it. In 1928 a second cemetary has been established near the airport (Lithuanian Co-Operative Cemetary, Carmichal Way, ~400 graves). It lacks a tricolor but the surnames here are Lithuanian as well. Nashua library has Lithuanian books and hosts some Lithuanian events.

Hudson Holy Cross cemetary with both US and Lithuanian flags waving over it. Google Street View.

Manchester city north of Nashua has a street named after Lithuanian city of Kaunas.

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  1. Excellent article. Thank you. Jay (Zalanskas) Cook. New Hampshire

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