Lots of folks do Irish bucket lists but here is an Irish American one. This one’s heavy on history and the incredible role of the Irish in American from, what began as a Famine-starved people in the New World.
1. Great Famine memorial in New York:
Close by the 9/11 site, this wonderful depiction of a famine Irish cottage and field built smack in the middle of a great city is very moving.
2. Ellis Island and Castle Garden:
Where the first ancestors from famine times onwards touched earth again after leaving Ireland, both places are hallowed ground.
3. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA:
The tale of the first Irish Catholic family to reach the White House remains as gripping as ever.
4. Chicago’s only Irish Castle, Givins Irish Castle:
Certainly the oddest sight in Chicago's Far Southwest Side, this building is a replica of castle on Ireland's River Dee, built by a nostalgic and wealthy Irish-American for his fiancée, in 1885.
5. Shamrock, Oklahoma Ghost Town:
An oil drilling town once populated by 10,000 mostly Irish, at the height of the Cushing oil field boom.
How strange to walk along roads named Tipperary, Cork, Dublin, Ireland, St. Patrick or Killarne. Buildings were painted green and the newspaper was called the Shamrock Brogue. About 100 still live there and hold an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
No word on whether they allow gays to march!
6. Gettysburg Irish wolfhound memorial to the Irish brigade:
Located on the actual battlefield lies a very moving memorial to the fallen Irish, fighting for the union in the decisive battles of the US civil war.
7. Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York:
Built with the widow’s mite and donations of hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants seeking their own place of worship. Here it was the Ancient Order of the Hibernians held off the “Know Nothings” as they attempted to burn the church. A sacred place in every respect.
8. Murphys, California, gold rush town:
John and Daniel Murphy, from Wicklow, were part of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party, the first immigrant party to bring wagons across the Sierra Nevada.
They earned a living as merchants, but like many others, began prospecting when the California Gold Rush began and eventually the town was called after them and known as "Murphys."
The Murphy brothers themselves, however, made far more money as merchants than as miners. In fact, John was so successful that he left town at the end of 1849 and never returned, having a personal fortune of nearly $2 million. Roughly $20 million in gold was discovered in Murphys and the surrounding area
9. Phoenix, Arizona Irish Cultural Center:
Right on the edge of the desert an amazing place, redolent of old Ireland
As the brochure notes: The mission of the Irish Cultural Center is to provide a link between the people of Arizona and the people of Ireland and other Celtic cultures. Programs, classes, festivals, exhibits and special events include history, music, art, dance, literature, drama, crafts, language, travel, sports and traditional activities.
The Center is owned by the City of Phoenix and is operated through public private partnership with the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation.
10. Tammany Hall:
Tammany Hall, New York, had several addresses but the most famous or infamous was completed in 1868, tat 141 East 14th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues. The building was not simply the clubhouse of a political organization it was the birthplace of countless political careers and the launching point for Irish power in America.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore