Celtic Junction Arts Center

Weaving the traditions of Dance, Music, Art & Language

836 Prior Avenue
St. Paul, MN, 55104

Tour! Connemara Patch Irish, October 1

1-4pm. Open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by parent. Adults $5. Rain date is the following day, 1-4 PM Sunday, October 2.  Printable tour flyer.

This walking tour will take you to what used to be known as the Connemara Patch, an early Irish shanty town bordering Swede Hollow. Explore the area and learn about early Irish immigration.

In the heart of the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, see the revered American Indian White Cliffs, Carver’s Cave and the historically significant 7th Street Improvement Arches. Hear about Ed Phelan’s murderous past, John Hay’s body washing up in Carver’s Cave and the scandal surrounding the Connemaras! 

Who were the Irish lads and lasses who survived the ocean voyage and hash Minnesota winters? What was life like in the shanty town? Who built stone homes, farmed the rich fields, and laid the rail road west?

Which of the Irish made international fame? Who shaped the social fabric? The culture and the arts?

Hear the Highland bagpipes under the stone bridge. Have some refreshments. Enjoy a day of discovery and fun. Touch on the lives of Archbishop John Ireland and Dillon O’Brien and their combined effort to populate the territory with Irish Catholics.

Learn from Natalie O’Shea how the story of the Connemara Patch inspired her to partner with Norah Rendell to write and produce an original play featuring young Irish dancers and musicians. What message did they so want to share? What lessons to be learned? 

During this unique time of immigration and homesteading, there were heartbreaking circumstances. But there were also heroic stories of survival, community spirit and resilience. Get Up Your Irish debuted in March of 2011 at Stepping Stone Theater and through song, music and dance, depicted the life in the early Irish shanty town of Connemara Patch. A slice of St. Paul history not to be forgotten.

Meet at The Celtic Junction. Bring your camera and bottled water. Dress for the weather. 

Reserve ticket by calling 651-855-8518 or email mcco81@gmail.com. Please provide name, address and two phone numbers and the names of any additional people in your party. Limit: 30 adults.

Deadline: September 27. Register early. Limited space. Registration closes when tour is full. Waiting list names accepted and contacted when there is an opening or another tour is scheduled. 

Your guides will be Natalie O'Shea and Teresa McCormick.