KARLIN was a Czech settlement established ca. 1890 near E. 55th St. and Fleet Ave. Named after a Prague suburb, Karlin reflected a common pattern of Bohemian settlement: a move to the outskirts of the city to form a new neighborhood rather than occupy an area abandoned by other groups. Originally, Czechs who came to Cleveland in the first migration of the 1850s settled in the FLATS, while settlers of the 1870s and 1880s inhabited KINGSBURY RUN. The original neighborhood, centered around Croton St. near E. 37th, spread toward Union and ultimately to E. 55th and Broadway, which led to the founding of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in 1883. The CZECHS of the later 19th century found the Broadway area too crowded, so they moved into the adjacent area near Fleet and E. 55th. The residents of this new area, Karlin—so named by an early settler who opened a saloon and meat market in 1891—initially attended Our Lady of Lourdes parish, but they grew so numerous by 1902 that St. John Nepomucene Church was built in the neighborhood. This parish, named after one of the patron saints of the Czechs, became the religious hub of the area. By the 1980s, part of Karlin, along with the Polish neighborhood of Warszawa, was known as SLAVIC VILLAGE.

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