True Lithuania

Lithuanian heritage map to expand into Canada

2018 08 05. "Destination Lithuanian America" Lithuanian heritage map will be expanded into Canada.

Launched in 2017, the map now covers ~550 Lithuanian sites in New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions (17 states). After the expansion, the map will include some 600-700 Lithuanian sites and cover ~90% of the total eligible Lithuanian locations in North America. The map is interactive and thus offers not just the exact locations but also pictures and detailed information about each site, aimed at tourists and locals alike.

Eligible locations marked in the map include Lithuanian churches, Lithuanian cemeteries, Lithuanian clubhouses and museums, Lithuanian monuments, graves of the famous Lithuanians, locations named in Lithuanian, etc.

Sites to be added to the map

The 2019 expansion will cover Canada as well as the western parts of New York state.

The map of the 2019 expedition (left)

The map of the 2019 expedition (left)

Some of the famous locations that will be marked and written about include:
*Churches of the Lithuanian refugees who fled the Soviet occupation: out of 13, 7 still offer Lithuanian mass
*Lithuanian-Canadian cemetery in Toronto that has some well known Lithuanians buried there
*Historic Lithuanian House of Toronto
*Wilno town, named after Vilnius, Lithuania
*Lithuanian heritage in the Western New York state and on both sides of Niagara Falls
*Delhi town of merely 4000 that has a lively Lithuanian community and church
*Lithuanian-Canadian archives
*Lithuanian camps in the Canadian woods
*Wasaga Beach that became a Lithuanian resort in Canada
*The grave of Charles Bronson, the famous Hollywood actor with Lithuanian roots

You may follow the expedition on Facebook "True Lithuania".

Augustinas and Aistė by the grave of Lithuanian president Antanas Smetona during the 2018 expedition

Augustinas and Aistė by the grave of Lithuanian president Antanas Smetona during the 2018 expedition

Massive work done already

The map is being created by Augustinas Žemaitis, the owner of True Lithuania, joined by his wife Aistė Žemaitienė. This year it is partly supported by the Lithuanian Foundation of the USA as well as private money. In order to create the map, Augustinas visits every location, marking its GPS coordinates and taking photos. Local Lithuanians also tell the stories of the Lithuanian heritage sites which are written down and added to the "Global True Lithuania" encyclopedia of Lithuanian-American sites. In 2017, the expedition took 16 days and some 200 people helped and in 2018, it took 25 days and some 300 people helped. This year, it will take 21 days.

In previous years, the mapping garnered significant attention in Lithuanian, Lithuanian-American, and American press.

The expanded map will be published online before December 2019. The Global True Lithuania articles on Lithuanian heritage will also be updated by then.

The results of the previous-years project may be read at the online encyclopedia of Lithuanian-American sites in articles for each location. Connecticut, Illinois (Chicago, Kewanee, Spring Valley, Springfield, Rockford, Waukegan, West Frankfort, Westville), Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachussetts (Athol/Gardner, Boston, Brockton, Merrimack Valley, Springfield, Worcester), Michigan (Deroit, Grand Rapids, Custer, Manchester, Muskegon), Missouri (St. Louis), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (New York City, Upstate New York), Ohio (Cleveland, Dayton, Akron, Youngstown), Pennsylvania (Coal Region (South), Coal Region (North), Du Bois, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh), Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington (DC), Wisconsin.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis

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