Saturday, March 15, 2014


When we were doing research on the many communities of Harlem back in 2011, we found a wonderful blog by Tommy Read who grew up in Irish Harlem up until the 1950s.  Irish Harlem?  The Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Hamilton Heights by 135th Street and Amsterdam was the last Irish part that was flourishing north of 96th Street up until the middle of the last century and the above photo shows the boy's Annunciation Church School Basketball team circa 1943.

West Harlem had the railroad tracks mostly built by Irish immigrants and that community stayed uptown for a few generations.  Mr. Read was documenting his childhood years in retirement and we had contacted him for details in the past but found out that he passed away later on in that year.  The Vinegar Hill blog still is online with many wonderful stories and unfortunately not many folks are left to tell the history of this rich part of Harlem's past: LINK


  1. Rice High School continued to attract nice Irish boys, if no longer from the neighbourhood, through at least the 60s.

  2. Actually Sanou it continued through to the 70's. I went to Bishop DuBois up on Sugar Hill and Rice was our rival school, even though both schools were run by the same order of Brothers. Anyway, most of the boys in my class ('73) were first generation Irish-American as well at Rice. The Irish boys predominated on the sports teams. There was a significant Irish American presence on Sugar Hill from about West 148th St. to West 153rd St. from Amsterdam Ave over to Riverside Drive. A lot of the boys at DuBois & Rice were from the Woodlawn section of the Bronx. Lower Washington Heights had a significant Irish population straight through to the mass "Exodus" of 2970

  3. Happy St. Patrick's Day Spike Lee!

    1. Well that's a stupid comment.