Sto Lat - A Hundred Years of the Wisniewski Family in America

by Chris Wisniewski

Book specifications:

- Paperback
- Trim size 8.5 x 8.5 inches
- 214 pages
- over 120 black & white   photographs

Price $25.95 + tax and shipping

In the first decade of the twentieth century, two young people each left their small farming villages in northwestern Poland and traveled, alone, to America in search of a better life. Władysław Wisniewski and Dominica Rutkowska met in Norwich, Connecticut and married. They raised ten children on a hundred and fifty acre farm in the rural town of Preston. Władysław peddled wood, chickens, and produce in Norwich. For a family that was often short on cash, they had a wonderfully rich life. This is their story — a story of self reliance, resourcefulness, family, and pride. As one of Władysław's sons once said of their family, "They didn't have nothing, but they kept it nice."

Sto Lat is an oral history based on extensive interviews with eight of the ten children in the family. The book documents the way Polish immigrants lived in Southeastern Connecticut in the first half of the 1900s, including:

- Stories from the Palmer School, one of the one-room school houses in Preston, Conn.
- Farming practices of the day.
- Descriptions of daily chores on the farm.
- Typical foods eaten on the farm, including the family's secret favorite.
- Stories of the 1938 hurricane that devastated Southeastern Connecticut.
- Descriptions of entertainment in the Norwich area.
- How the family maintained their Polish traditions while assimilating into their new country.
- Extensive coverage of the experiences of two of the Wisniewski sons in
  the Navy in World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters.
- Plus stories of ordering live foxes through the mail, Aunt Apolonia and her moonshine business, and the proper way to make a slide whistle out of a tree branch.

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Click to order a copy of Sto Lat - A Hundred Years of the Wisniewski Family in America.

"Sto Lat" means "One Hundred Years" in Polish. It is also a song commonly sung as a toast for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.

Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech żyje, żyje nam,
Niech żyje nam!

Click to order
a copy of
Sto Lat: A Hundred Years of the Wisniewski Family in America

Price $25.95 + tax and shipping

Also available in Norwich, Conn. at the Backus Hospital Gift Shop and at Slater Museum.

For more information
on Sto Lat, contact
Chris Wisniewski at:
or call
Read a tribute to my dad, who was a significant source for the information in Sto Lat, as well as my inspiration to start saving my own family's stories many years ago.