depot, french canadians, frog town, little falls history, midtown little falls, midtown neighborhood, our lady of lourdes church, polish catholics, polish immigrants, summit hill, west side versus east side, zoomski's midtown cafe
We are officially part of a neighborhood. Crazy for Small Falls, I know, but it’s true. (Little Falls is only 8,000 strong, for those of you unfamiliar with the joint.) A longtime friend purchased a restaurant a few blocks from our house and altered the name from Zoomski’s to Zoomski’s Midtown Cafe. The eatery sits in a strip of businesses along a street several blocks from the downtown area and a bunch more blocks from the east end shopping development near the highway – midway between the two areas, thus “Midtown.” This particular strip used to be an industrial area, complete with railroad tracks and the first depot in town. (Small Fallsians will know of the depot on the west side of town. That’s an 1899 addition. Ask me how I know that. 😉 )
What Hubby and I didn’t realize until after hearing about the Zoomski’s Midtown Cafe was that a set of the businesses near the cafe has a sign that also says “Midtown.” Certainly two signs makes this a done deal. We’re part of the Midtown ‘Hood, y’all!
There used to be other recognized neighborhoods in Small Falls. There was a Frog Town; I believe it was on the northeast side of town, where the French-Canadian cemetery is. There was also Summit Hill, also not far from our house, which, as its name suggests, is on a hill. Some of the prominent past townsfolk used to live there. The west side, which refers not only to it being on the west side of town, but on the west side of the river, has been its own distinct community since before there was officially a Little Falls. It was actually mapped as Little Falls West and was settled primarily by Polish immigrants. The west siders and east siders have long had a rivalry, which supposedly led to fist fights on the bridge, although I haven’t been able to confirm that in my research. The rivalry did, however, lead to the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes Church on the west side after east side Polish Catholics refused to build a new church near the river so the west side Poles could get there without traveling too far. The east side Polish Catholics decided to build their church as far away from the river as they could.
Okay, enough of getting sidetracked by local history. Back to the idea of having a named neighborhood …
It’s almost like having an alternate identity in the city. We’re Midtowners. We can do something fun with that. What, I’m not sure at the moment, but still, it’s inspirational in a weird way.
So, how many blocks are typically included within a named neighborhood? Does anyone know?