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Du Bois, Pennsylvania

Although DuBois is a rather small city (pop. 20000), it had an especially old St. Joseph Lithuanian Church that was founded in the 19th century. The current Romance Revival building was erected in 1924 (State St and South Ave corner). Inside there are pretty stained glass windows with the names of Lithuanian donors, while the basement used to serve as a parish hall. In 2012, after some older Lithuanian parishes were closed, the DuBois church became the oldest surviving Lithuanian parish in the Americas. However, the church was closed and sold to the Orthodox Christians in 2018. The cornerstone says "St. Josephs Lithuanian R C Church AD 1924".

DuBois Lithuanian church.

The interior of DuBois Lithuanian church.

The bottom of the stained glass window with the name of the organization that sponsored it written.

DuBois Lithuanians are traditionally buried in a separate St. Joseph Lithuanian cemetery. The cemetery has wooden freestanding stations of the cross (a unique arrangement) that mark the cemetery quarters. Each station has a name of a Lithuanian donor on them (some stations have been lost, however).

DuBois Lithuanian cemetery with the wayside shrine in the distance.

Moreover, the cemetery has a large Wayside shrine that was built with the support of the Knights of Lithuania organization in memory of the parish priests Urbonas, Barr, and Rakauskas in 1979. The three crosses once had wooden sculptures on them but they have since deteriorated and were removed. St. Joseph statue that used to stand in front of the now-closed Lithuanian church has also been moved to the cemetery.

Wayside shrine of the DuBois Lithuanian cemetery.

Lithuanians make up 3% of the Du Bois inhabitants.

Previously, Du Bois also had a Lithuanian Independent Club which has been closed since ~2002 after alleged financial improprieties by some officers. It had been opened in 1900 and had its current building completed in 1960 (according to the cornerstone). The "Litts Club" name still remains on one sign, but the main name is now "Luigi's Villa" and the building is used for wedding receptions and other functions. As a Lithuanian Club, it failed to outcompete the nearby Polish club, which, jokingly, was mentioned as one of the goals when erecting the new clubhouse.

Surviving sign of the DuBois Lithuanian club.


The map

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

Interactive map of Pennsylvania Lithuanian sites

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  1. I was born in DuBois. This was the place all my family flocked to for special occasions. They were always bowling and playing cards. The males of the family snuck-off to the Litts for great fun and aggravation to the females of the family. Dubois may be small but it holds so many happy memories for me.

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