While the areas of North 4th and 5th Streets are currently part of Indiana State University, It used to be known as Little Syria, home to many immigrant families.
“I could go through and tell you where every store was located,” said Ray Azar.
As the tarp came off of the newest historical marker at 5th and Cherry, the memories came back.
“I think there were 66 Syrian American owned grocery stores at one time in Terre Haute,” said Azar
While the homes are no longer in the area, ISU and the City of Terre Haute want to show the impact of those founding fathers is still very much alive in the city.
“Today many of these Syrian families remain in Terre Haute and contribute immensely to our community as educators, doctors, lawyers, civil employees, and business owners,” said ISU President, Deborah Curtis.
For the 2nd and 3rd generations in attendance, the event shows respect to the fore fathers and the challenges they faced and the life lessons and values they passed on so their children could continue the legacy to this day.
“Back in the early 1900’s they came over on boats. No english language. They made it. They persevered. They were hard workers. They worked morning noon and night and quite frankly you see a lot of that even today,” said Kal Ellis.
“They always tried to press upon the children that an education is what you need and i think that message came through,” said Azar.