In 1908, the first long-term Polish settlement in Virginia was established in Norfolk County, now Chesapeake. The Piast colony, named for Poland’s first royal dynasty, was called Sunray after the Virginia Railway Company depot that opened here in 1910. The immigrants first worked in mines and factories on the East Coast and then moved to this farming community platted by the Southern Homestead Corp. of Norfolk. They had to dig drains and grub the stumps of timbered lands, but soon built prosperous family farms. They maintained ties with the Polish diaspora and continued to be joined by new colonists for decades.
Date Installed-Dedicated: December 21, 2013
Year On Marker: 2013
Original Sponsor: Sunray Farmers Association
Geographic Location: Chesapeake
Physical Description of Location: 621 Homestead Rd., Chesapeake, VA 23321. Marker is in front of the old Sunray Schoolhouse.
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