It's an incredible and humbling experience to begin a life in a foreign country with many hardships, but Worcester, Massachusetts, was a mecca for many Armenian immigrants.
At the beginning of the 20th century, millions of immigrants came to the United States in search of a better life and greater opportunities for their families. However, the Armenians who emigrated from their home land between 1894 and 1930 were escaping a devastating genocide that tore their country apart. With little to their name, these new citizens embraced their new home, and for Worcester, they became an integral part of the culture and history of the town. There were mills that provided work, and both the first Armenian Apostolic church and the first Armenian Protestant church in America were built in this city, and both helped to build the foundations for a community that was to enrich the city and slowly resurrect arts and food that celebrates Armenian culture. The Armenian picnics that were an integrating influence in the early years continue even today as a gathering of clans and as a memorial for those lost.