(Westminster, Maryland, United States) – Although the Greek community in Carroll County in Maryland is fairly small, it is an important segment of the population. To honor this particular aspect of the population, the Historical Society of Carroll County’s Emerald Hill in Westminster in Westminster is hosting an exhibit titled, “Yearning to Breathe Free: Westminster’s Greek Immigrants.” The exhibit opened on September 24, 2016 and will only be open for two more days – on October 1 and October 8.
The goal of the exhibit is to not only honor this segment of the population, but to tell the story of the Greek immigrants who came to this area and to the United States as a whole during the 20th Century. Each of this immigrants has their own story to tell, and it is important for us all to understand the events that drove them to seek better lives outside of Greece. This exhibit seeks to do just that.
For the most part, people began coming from Greece and into Carroll County starting in the 1880’s. Then, there were two huge waves that spanned from 1890 to 1924. In this part of the United States, the majority of the Greek immigrant population came during one of those waves. Many places throughout the United States has a similar story, however, which gives this exhibit universal appeal.
The exhibit is set up in much the same way that Ellis Island is. By offering artifacts such as visas printed in Greek and evidence of other documentation, it gives the information historical credibility. People will also have a chance to learn a bit about Greece’s history so that people can understand the motives of the Greek people who came to the United States during that time. There will also be information about how the Greek immigrants served the community, such as joining the armed forces and setting up local businesses.