Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Youngstown Books

20160422_160834In case you haven’t figured it out, on Mondays through Fridays, this is a book blog. I thought that today I would bring books and Youngstown together. It is obvious that we like to read about Youngstown and remember the city where we grew up. Along the way, and particularly since I began this series of posts, I’ve acquired a number of Youngstown books (I haven’t read them all yet!). They appear in the picture above, spread out on my kitchen table. Below, I say a bit about them. For books in print, I’ve included links (usually to Amazon) in case you want to add them to your Youngstown shelf!

Aley, Howard C. A Heritage to ShareYoungstown: Bicentennial Commission of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio, 1975. Published for our national bicentennial in 1976, this gives a year by year history of Youngstown and surrounding areas up until that time with feature articles and “it happened in…” for each year. This was a gift from my son who found it in a used bookstore in Columbus.

Allen, Bobbi Ennett, ed. Recipes of Youngstown. Lenexa, KS: Cookbook Publishers, 2014. This grew out of a Facebook group of people sharing Youngstown recipes and was published to benefit Lanterman’s Mill.

Allen, Bobbi Ennett, ed. Recipes of Youngstown 2Lenexa, KS: Cookbook Publishers, 2015. One cookbook was not enough for Bobbi’s group. The proceeds from this book are being used for the Tyler History Center’s “Recipes of Youngstown Kitchen” which will be dedicated on May 7. I posted about this here.

Bruno, Robert, Steelworker Alley: How Class Works in Youngstown. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. Robert Bruno is a professor in Chicago who grew up in Struthers who described as well as anyone I know what it means to be working class. I reviewed the book here.

Hatcher, Harlan, The Western Reserve. Indianapolis: Bobbs, Merrill Co., 1949. Harlan Hatcher is a former Vice-President of Ohio State. He wrote a number of history books about Ohio including this one, which describes the New England roots and development of northeast Ohio. My copy is even signed by him and has a picture of Lanterman Falls on the frontispiece.

Marino, Jacqueline, and Miller, Will, Car Bombs to Cookie Tables. Cleveland: Belt Publishing, 2015.  An anthology of articles under the headings “Loss”, “Family”, “Work”, and “Rise.” Most are short and give an unvarnished look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Youngstown.

Peyko, Mark C. ed., Remembering YoungstownCharleston: The History Press, 2009. Another collection of historical articles, more of a celebration of Youngstown’s history that includes beginnings, the rise of the steel industry, sports and popular culture, the arts, colorful figures, and icons of the Mahoning Valley like Idora Park.

Posey, Sean T. Lost Youngstown. Charleston: The History Press, 2016. Just arrived this week with stories of Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Republic Rubber, The Elms Ballroom, The Uptown, The Paramount, The Newport, and communities like Brier Hill and Smoky Hollow.

Potter, Carol and Shale, Rick, Historic Mill Creek Park. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2005. Found a signed copy in a local bookstore of this collection of photos of our beloved park from its founding by Volney Rogers.

Skardon, Alvin W. Steel Valley University: The Origin of Youngstown StateYoungstown: Youngstown State University, 1983. Written by a professor of history at Youngstown State and providing the history of the university up until 1983.

Summers, Susan J. and Ekoniak, Loretta A. Slovaks of the Greater Mahoning ValleyCharleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2011. A pictorial history of the Slovak migration to the Mahoning Valley–pictures of families, workplaces, churches and more.

Welsh, Thomas & Geltz, Michael, Strouss’. Charleston: The History Press, 2012. A history of one of the two great department stores in downtown Youngstown. I hope someone writes this history of McKelvey’s some day.

Welsh, Thomas & Morgan, Gordon F., Classic Restaurants of Youngstown. Charleston: American Palate, 2014. One of my favorites covering all the great restaurants all over Youngstown with lots of pictures.

I know there are a number of other books about Youngstown and its people and history. I’d love to hear about your favorites and hope this might help you find some enjoyable reading as well. For some, these are just a walk down memory lane, or the rediscovery of a recipe that mom made. But for others, and particularly those living in Youngstown, to know what the city could be may serve as an inspiration for what the city can be.

What are your favorite Youngstown books?

[Like to read more posts on Youngstown. Just go to the top of this page (or the link here) and click on the menu item “on Youngstown” and you can read them all!]

14 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Youngstown Books

  1. I own and really enjoy “Youngstown: Postcards From the Steel City” and “Youngstown: Images of America”, both by Donna DiBlasio. I also own “Irish in Youngstown and the Greater Mahoning Valley.” All three are are Arcadia Publishing titles, which published a few of the titles you wrote about and focuses on hyperlocal subjects.

  2. Not sure it’s still in print but this is a great book about the history of Mill Creek Park.

    “The Green Cathedral: History of Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio” by John C Melnick

  3. Clingan’s Chronicles by Clingan Jackson (Youngstown Publishing Co. 1991).
    His ancestors settled along Dry Run Creek (now McKelvey Lake) before John Young founded Youngstown.

  4. No Y-yown collection is complete without The Green Cathedral: History of Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio Hardcover – 1976 by John C Melnick

  5. After reading Joseph Butler’s tome, The History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley published in 1921, the year my father was born, I look at my hometown in a totally different way. He goes waaaaay back. He explains the Connecticut connection and how the townships were established. The exploitation of the valleys resources until they ran out. Building the canals then filling them in again for the railroads. At the turn of the 20th century, guys like Wick and Campbell telling JP Morgan and Carnegie to pound salt and building their own steel mill. What’s going on today in Youngstown is just one more story in the history of this great city. I hope someone is keeping notes.

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