117. From Cracow to Polish Town: The History of a Polish Enclave in the Weir Creek Ministerial District, New Kent County, Virginia. Thomas L. Hollowak, 2020. paper. 355 pages.
[ISBN 978-1-887124-54-6] $25.00
This history tells the story of a small group of Polish immigrants and their families who created a Polish colony in New Kent County, Virginia. They settled along what is today Polish Town and Mount Nebo Roads. Determined to become truck farmers, they purchased between 50 and 100 acres in the Weir Creek Ministerial District.
By 1920 the enclave consisted of ten families and St. John of Kanty Roman Catholic Church. This number would vary over time. By 2020 only two families, descendants of these Polish farmers, remain on their family’s farms. Agriculture, as the principal occupation of those who once lived there, has diminished if not entirely disappeared. What endures is the church’s cement porch and steps, its cemetery, and the road’s name. These remnants commemorate this Polish enclave that once existed in this still mostly rural community.
The families chronicled are: Ciaston, Danish, Dzula, Franzyshen, Gorecki, Grymulski, Holowak, Hrubienski, Kotcko, Krisnow, Kubicz, Lubno, Nebro, Nowakowski, Ocinski, Paskiewich, Phillipowski, Poznanski, Staniuf, Staskiel, Sulewski, Zarensky and Zawodny.