St. Joseph Society

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The St. Joseph Society.

  • Founded in 1897, this fraternal society helped its members in times of illness and financial hardship. Polish immigrants began arriving in Salem in the late 19th century to work in the cotton mills and other factories.
  • The western end of Derby St. became the heart of the Polish community. The society built St. Joseph Hall, a three story headquarters in 1909.
  • The large hall on the second floor was used for weddings, dances, plays and other social events.
  • In the twentieth century, the society became more of a social organization, hosting dances and fielding baseball and basketball teams for youths in the region.
  • By the 1980's the Polish community started to break up and people moved to other regions as they assimilated. St. Joseph Hall was sold to the National Park Service in 1988 and is now used by the Park Service.

See Also