This year the John Kollar Slovak Literary and Library Society, or the Kollar Club as it’s better known, will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
The club is inviting former, present and hopefully future members to partake in the celebration. The event will take place on Saturday, July 27 at the club, 3226 Jane Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203. The festivities will start with a blessing of the organization and members at 1:30 p.m. followed by traditional Slovakian food and music. There will be door prizes, auctions and drawings. Admission is free.
The John Kollar Slovak Literary and Library Society was founded 100 years ago in “The Hollow” of Pittsburgh’s South Side. The organization came into being during the great wave of immigration during the age of industrialization. Members worked in the coal mines, glass factories, and steel mills in the area.
The Slovak migrants from the villages of Niedzica and Frydman migrated to Pittsburgh’s South Side. The immigrants wanted and needed to form a club where they could go to socialize among their own ethnic group and have activities like singing and dancing.
They decided to name the club after John Kollar, a great Slovak literati and poet. They chose the name because it was a place where many immigrants went to learn to read, write, and speak English.
The Kollar Club was also a place where they could learn of events taking place at home in the old country since there were no telephones or internet. Today there are classes at the club to teach Slovak and the Slovakian culture and continue to support their creed “to cultivate raising moral standards and education among Slovak youths and Americans of Slovak descent.”