Search Close
Plan Your Visit
Outside View of the Indiana Historical Society Building
Plan your visit
Tuesday through Saturday10 a.m. - 5 p.m
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Save $2 per ticket (adults & seniors) when you purchase online.
Purchase Tickets
Indiana Experience Admission $15 Adults$14 Seniors (60 and over)$5 Youth (ages 5 through 17)$2 Access Pass HoldersFree Children under 5Free IHS MembersFree Educators and Military Free parking with admission in IHS lot off New York Street.

The Largest Syrian Colony Outside of New York

May 25, 2023

Below is an excerpt from a recent article in the IHS publication, Traces.

By 1900 there were vibrant Arabic-speaking communities across Indiana, including in Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Michigan City. But Fort Wayne was special, at least according to its Syrian residents. Alixa Naff, who developed the Smithsonian Institution’s collection on Arab American history, wrote that Fort Wayne “was among the largest and most flourishing [Syrian] peddling settlements in the United States.”

The immigrants who settled in Fort Wayne, like other people from Greater Syria, which included modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine, were part of a mass immigration of perhaps half a million people—one out of every five Syrians—from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Americas before 1920. The reason they arrived in Fort Wayne was because it was a quickly growing community that offered economic opportunity, especially for those going into the peddling business.

Click here to read the full article in PDF format.

If you’d like to read more articles like this from the Indiana Historical Society’s award-winning publication, Traces, become an IHS member. You can join for as low as $50 a year.

Share this post:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share with Email
Facebook Comment
Thanks for Reading! If you enjoyed reading our blog, try our InDepth Stories
map of area around IHS location
Drop us a line
Let's talk
Full Staff Directory
Our Hours
ExhibitsOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayWilliam H. Smith Memorial LibraryOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayHistory MarketOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayStardust Terrace Café HoursOpen 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Never miss a story!
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202(317) 232-1882
© 2018 Indiana Historical Society Privacy Policy
The Indiana Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization.