Lithuanians Journeyed to U.S. to Work Anthracite

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, an estimated 300,000 Lithuanians journeyed to America. This number is hard to document fully because census records did not officially recognize Lithuanians as a separate nationality until the twentieth century, and the country’s people may have been reported as Russian, Polish, or Jewish. Several cities and large towns in the Anthracite coal fields attracted Lithuanians. Shenandoah (Pa.), in northern Schuykill County was one of the major settlements in the 1880’s. It earned itself the nickname, “the Vilnius of North America”.