The Emil Kubek Project is a scholarly resource dedicated to researching and publishing the history of the Slavic and Eastern European communities in Pennsylvania’s Coal Region.
The First West End Walking Tour
On Sunday, November 22, 2015, the Kubek Project held the first walking tour of Emil Kubek’s Mahanoy City. Over 100 individuals participated in the event, which was led by Nick Kupensky (Yale University), included speeches and presentations by Father James Carroll, OFM (St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church), Erin Frey (Bucknell University), Paul Coombe and Peg Grigalonis (Mahanoy Area Historical Society), and Michael Cheslock and Gary Senavites (owners of John Žinčak Smith’s mansion), and featured musical performances by Drew Skitko (Philadelphia Opera). St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church hosted the introductory lecture, Ruth and Derrek Davidson opened the West End Cafe for a degustation of Lithuanian boilo, Michael Cheslock and Gary Senavites invited the attendees into their home, formerly John Žinčak Smith’s mansion, and Mary Ellen Farnsworth and a team of volunteers prepared traditional Carpatho-Rusyn cuisine for a reception in Kubek’s honor at St. Mary’s Center. Emil Kubek’s birthday cake was donated by St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, the Mahanoy Area Historical Society designed the tickets for the event and provided the Lithuanian boilo, Hungarian wine, and Schuylkill County beer, and Joan Goodman at the Kaier Mansion Bed and Breakfast provided accommodation for the organizers. The Center for Sustainability and the Environment provided the programs, Carol High (Bucknell University) arranged for Bucknell students, faculty, and staff to be transported from Lewisburg to Mahanoy City on a Bucknell shuttle, and Shaunna Barnhart (Bucknell University) coordinated the generous financial support of many departments and programs at Bucknell University, including the Provost’s Office, the Comparative Humanities Program, the English Department, the Place Studies Program, the Stadler Center for Poetry, the Center for Sustainability and the Environment, the History Department, and the Geography Department. In additional to these contributions, Kupensky and Frey’s research project in the summer of 2015 was supported by an ActionResearch@Bucknell grant, and Kupensky’s fieldwork in Slovakia was supported by a travel grant from the Comparative Humanities Program. In total, Emil Kubek’s Mahanoy City was the result of over $10,000 in grants, donations, and in-kind contributions.