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  • Writer's pictureTedd Long

Birmingham: Toledo's Melting Pot

The ethnic heritage of East Toledo originated with French-Canadian families like the Navarres early on and later a prominent French community settled in the East Broadway and Greenwood area.  Many immigrants came from the Alsace-Lorraine region, between Germany and France, bringing names like Gladiuex, Tschirret, and Hollerbach.

In the 1890s, the National Malleable Castings Company moved from Cleveland to Front Street near Consaul and grew rapidly from 200 men when it opened in 1890 to over 1,600 by 1915. At the same time, many other companies opened operations in East Toledo, including the National Milling Company, Toledo Furnace (which later became Interlake Iron), Trotter Lumber Company, Craig Shipbuilding (Toledo Shipbuilding), and May Coal Company. Word went back to Eastern Europe, and Hungarian families began coming to work here. Once here, they sent money home to have more family members shipped over to work in the mills, furnaces, and foundries of East Toledo. The lure of good paying jobs and humble homes also brought Italian, Slovak, Czech, German, Polish, Bulgarian, Greek, Hispanic and African American families to the east side of the Maumee.   

Birmingham truly was Toledo’s melting pot. Today, Tony Packo's serves as headquarters for the neighborhood.


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