As a city full of rich diversity, immigrants from around the world have called Trenton their home. Families seeking a better life have been welcomed to the Capital City with open arms and vast opportunities for generations. Like today, the 20th century was a defining moment for Trenton’s migrant community. By understanding the experiences of communities that have settled here in our past, we are better equipped to support the next generation of immigrant populations.
On Sunday, March 26th, the Trent House Association will host “Stories from Trenton’s Past – Immigrant Workers at Roebling Factories.” This fascinating conversation will kick off at 2 pm at the William Trent House Visitor Center at 15 Market Street, Trenton, NJ 08611. This event is free, but space is limited, so advanced registration is required. If you plan to attend, please RSVP here: Register – William Trent House. Also, although the event is free, if you wish to make free-will donations, you can support the organization here: Donate.
The John A. Roebling’s Sons Company is amongst Trenton’s most famous businesses. True to the “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” motto, Roebling Company steel and wire were utilized worldwide in structures still standing today. As a massive industrial powerhouse, Roebling was Trenton’s largest employer at the time. Many laborers of those working at the factory were immigrants of Eastern and Southern European descent. Recently, a box of documents was discovered that offer meaningful insights into the lives of these workers and their experiences in a new community. Two sociology students from The College of New Jersey are here to uncover this fascinating past.
Attendees of this event will be amongst the first to witness what was found in these recently discovered documents. The presentation will explore why the nationality of immigrant workers was recorded as hyphenated American, such as Italian-American, in some cases but not in others. The lives of two workers born in Italy will be highlighted as examples of how the Roebling records can be used in classrooms to make the history of immigration to the United States come alive.
The Trent House Association is a volunteer group devoted to supporting and uplifting the mission of the Trent House Museum. Since 1936, the Trent House Association has enriched Trenton with insights into its historical past. They carry out these efforts via continued research, public education events, and accessible opportunities to learn more about the city’s rich past. The 1719 William Trent House is a designated National Historic Landmark listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Per their mission, they seek “to share the authentic history of the house, property, and people with our communities, connecting the past with today and tomorrow.”
The United States is, first and foremost, a nation of immigrants, and through their stories, the fabric of our country is woven. Any questions before attending may be directed to the contact form here: Contact Us – William Trent House. If you wish to be a part of uncovering this captivating story, be sure to RSVP today.