The Industrial Belt of the United States is the area of the country that borders the Great Lakes. Stretching from the Buffalo region of upstate New York, through Pennsylvania, into Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois to eastern Wisconsin, this region was the center of American industrialization. As industrial jobs moved first to the South, then later exported to other countries, the abandoned factories that dominate the region became its calling card: The Rust Belt.
We are collecting the histories and stories of the people who have moved through this area in the last 300 years. Beginning with the indigenous people who populated the land prior to the first wave of European settlement, through to the "new immigrants" of today (people coming here from the Middle-East and Asian countries, as well as new immigrants from South America and the Caribbean), we are creating ways of uncovering and recording those stories. From traditional interviews through to connecting via social media, we hope to create a portrait of the rich diversity that is thriving and rejuvenating the region. Visit our blog to add your story.