Living as I do in Hamilton’s Corktown, I like to acknowledge the areas’ Irish history at this time of year.
The first Hamilton map to identify “Corktown” was published in 1842. Corktown received its name from County Cork in Ireland, the major embarkment point for many Irish Canadians.
The best land in the growing town of Hamilton had already been taken by the time they arrived, so many Irish immigrants found themselves crowded into poor housing in the least desirable part of town. While the area was boggy, it was also sociable. Here, on rented ground, the newcomers erected rough shacks, and later, more substantial frame houses. They cultivated garden plots and kept milk cows, pigs, chickens and goats to reproduce their lives at home.
To make ends meet, the Irish families did what they could and received little pay for long hours of work paving roads, laying sidewalks, digging foundations, construction, and so on.
In honour of these hard-working folks who built my lovely home in 1900, I celebrate them each year on Saint Patrick’s Day – a cultural and religious celebration occurring annually on March 17th, the death date of the patron saint of Ireland (c. AD 385–461).
The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.On St. Patrick’s Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories (the “wearing of the green”). St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.
People who have an Irish background may hold Irish themed parties and serve traditional dishes, and I emulate their lead each year by preparing an Irish feast for my family with dishes such as Colcannon, Cheddar & Chive Guinness Bread. and Sweet Onion & Beer Soup (recipe: https://fredastore.com/2014/10/30/ale-hail-the-gangs-all-here/ ).
In the meantime, I have also assembled a gallery of my jewellery creations featuring shamrocks, celtic knots, and many shades of green to help you celebrate “The Wearing of the Green” on St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!