Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Festivals marking a 4th year


     I have some faith. Even in humanity. Maybe only that some of you have enjoyed the Questions and the Answers to the History Contest of the last few posts. Hope and faith can hold more than that.

     I enjoyed it.


      For this upload I admit to being just that close to providing  another installment that might be a tad overdue. A deeper layer of regional historical significance. A larger, more in depth study. The very type which have hopefully made their mark on this here blog.

     Then, with the whip of a snow flurry,  a touch of frosty cold, I rather suddenly took a turn and thought about the holiday. A precious time it is.

     As we approach further into the holiday season, of hustle and bustle, I also enter farther into the fourth year of my own brand of blogging. This was enough to make my mind up to throw out something else. A simple tribute to a revered and wonderful season, just on the sentimental side.

    Right now, probably like many others, I'm facing a BUNCH of gift wrapping, ribbons, tags; (not to mention the baking), although I did much of my Christmas shopping online. But, not all of it! It's time to get out the vintage holiday sounds of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. Or, download music to your taste with corresponding streaming video from the internet by phone, i pad, memory stick, etc., and honor the spirit of it all. While we ready ourselves for a partly, or completely traditional holiday, (those from other countries with no interest, atheists, party poopers and whatnot, all we can say is, ignore this or better yet, get on board the Christmas train!), finish placing the beautiful decorations in their proper niches.

   Before moving on, I pray let's not overlook the obvious:

   the real and holy meaning of Christ's birth and purposes on earth behind all the hype and glamour of our preparations.


       Below, are a only a handful of winter options to choose from.

      A sample located in Westmoreland County certainly could include the following:

      They call it "An Old Fashioned Christmas Tradition", and the Overly's Family Christmas has been at it for a long time. The prices begin at $15.00, Sunday thru Thursday, 5:30 p. m.- 9:00 p. m, 10:00 o'clock on weekends.  A lot has been added on over time. With train rides, carol singing and photos with Santa, the whole evening experience will be available until the New Year of 2017. Their operating schedule is here. You can also contribute to the Care and Comfort Campaign for destitue animals at the Admission Gate. They're at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds on 115 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg.

    The Laurel Ballet Performing Company is presenting "The Nutcracker" at the Palace Theater, also in Greeensburg.  The phone number for tickets is 724-836-8000.

    If it's a bit late to make that one, check out "A Christmas Carol" at The Geyer Performing Arts Center at 111 Pittsburgh Street in good ol' Scottdale. The dates are Dec. 15-18. Tickets are available.

   The Westmoreland Heritage site has an events calendar where the whole month of events can be looked into for more ideas.


   Next, let's take a gander at a couple of items from Fayette County:

   Santa will be at the Uniontown Public Library on by 1:30 p. m. on Dec. 17! SO, let the kids check him out. I hear the Nativity in the Pennsylvania Room is really a special sight. Many libraries contribute in various ways to the season, so allow some attention for your local ones as well.
  
    For those wishing for a more classic experience, the Bessontown Singers will be performing Handel's MESSIAH. Yep, with choir and orchestra, at the St. Peter's Church on Dec. 11, at 5:00 sharp.This promises to be an inspiring evening.

    
                       
                

      One little request, please don't forget to donate to your favorite charity. If someone isn't sure which one, then I suggest something like The Salvation Army, whether it's in Fayette County, or Westmoreland, whatever is most convenient. Even a quick handout at a bell ringing person at a storefront where you shop for the holidays. A pretty no nonsense bunch, they really try their best to help those in need, so give them a little something, OK? Merely do what you can manage, that is enough. Giving has a way of making one feel, well, sort of, fulfilled. No preaching here. A little charity at this time of the year goes a long distance, and (whispered) such things are said to be good for the soul!

     Mt. Macrina Manor has its Drive Through Live Nativity scene on Dec. 11th in North Union Township, between 5-7 p. m. That's quite a beautiful site for those with a deeper religious persuasion. Ah, the Holy Family, the wise men, and...the angels.

                                      

                       
       I could go on and on. But, you know what? We should all take a brief walk around our neighborhoods, let's ask about and look around. The local churches, many of them, sponsor terrific Christmas shows. Not a member? Step into one nearby and they will most likely make you very welcome, indeed. Along with the higher, subtle manifestations of the occasion,  these pageants can be a fun, yet meaningful time to put aside an hour or two, at least once in a while. Much peace and love-filled emotion abounds.

      In other manners, perhaps be a little adventurous; a nice quiet evening ride through town or countryside will give most anyone a charming glimpse of brightly colored lights: red and greens, silver and gold, brilliant homes and softly glowing window candles, flashing sleighs, happy snowmen and glittering, incandescent sights to warm a chilled body or a cold heart.

     If these possibilities aren't your cup of tea, then simply make your home a brighter place, whether with fiber optic villages, or the unique feel of a favorite evergreen Christmas tree. The old days may be gone, yet we can bring back a true feeling of the magic as we still indulge in holiday treats, some cocoa, a box of chewy candy, pondering for a moment or two indulging ourselves while sitting with the kids reading "A Night Before Christmas."

    Have you been to a fort lately? I want to share such experiences soon.

    F/WFH will be back before you know it with a NEW substance-filled post of local historical interest. We just might be in the mood for a tidbit of Pennsylvania trivia and involvement in the election process at the time of the Inaugural in January as well. Do stay tuned.

     Bless you all,
     young and old, boy and girl, guys and gals. However you decide to celebrate the Yuletide as this year rolls to a close, remember a touch of Victorian tradition.

     Do have  A MERRY CHRISTMAS
                        A HAPPY NEW YEAR !

Sunday, November 13, 2016

An Interview with the President of the Dunbar Historical Society


    Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History is proud to present an entertaining and informative question and answer session with the President of the Dunbar Historical Society, GUY ROSE. By all accounts this man is quite a popular gentleman and deeply interested in their regional history.

   
    Representing the Fayette County town named after Colonel Dunbar of French and Indian War fame once known as Frogtown and Dunbar City. The Society was founded in the year 1995. It's mission statement is to provide "an avenue to discuss, discover, collect and preserve any material that will establish and illustrate the history of Dunbar", and goes on to say, "to ensure that present and future generations can share in and understand their rich heritage." A quality outlook from the start.

   
   Mr. Rose has been the President of the Society for approximately three years. I had a few problems with different versions of Word, sorry for that. On that issue, Guy and his wife Pat, were seemed very understanding. Surprisingly, my brother Scott knew him from their days working at the Anchor Cap factory in South Connellsville, (something I had no awareness of when contemplating this written interview).


     Now remember, the History Contest from the last posting will end on this Friday, so hurry up and get those important submissions in soon
     The Winner along with the Answers will be provided in the next post. Good Luck!

 

Interview with the Dunbar Historical Society President:


     First, I was pleased to receive a phone call from Mr. Rose. I had the opportunity to converse with him and the chance in getting to know him personally while discussing various integral concerns.


   I really appreciate you personally taking the time to help us learn the underpinnings of your opinions, ideas and experiences with the Society you head in a region that contains so much fascinating history! WELCOME!


  1st Question:

    What primary impetus originally drove you to this deep interest in Dunbar?

  I was born in Dunbar, lived there in my youth and wanted to return to my roots.


  2nd Question:

      How do you and your fellow officers find time for your every day pursuits while investing so much time and energy into the various duties of the Dunbar Historical Society which include the Community Fest?

  We make time when there is a need.


   3rd Question:

     Here's a two parter:  First, Any thoughts about how the Society keeps the price of membership so reasonable? Second, what is the most meaningful aspect of the reconstructed coke oven?

  We use our members to promote and grow the Society and the oven is the center of Dunbar...a part of Dunbar.


   4th Question:

   Are there any associations with surrounding historical societies, and do you feel your Society is particularly close knit?

 Connellsville, we share information.


   5th Question:

    Would you name a few of the Dunbar sites or items that uniquely interest or intrigue you the most; perhaps the largest seated torso glass sculpture in the world, donated and returned to Dunbar by Donald Trump, the Sheepskin Trail, the clean up of the local Dunbar Creek, or maybe the unique collection of many photo albums and museum quality artifacts, or something else completely?

 Seated torso starting in Dunbar and its long journey back home.

 
    6th Question:

    What all is involved in the approach and research aspects to the Society's Newsletter?

  Using Facebook to keep every(body) posted as to what events the historical society has scheduled and posting new historical information.


     7th Question:

     Are you and your fellow officers' families also interest and excited by local history, and if so, how much?

 
   We cherish our Dunbar history and future involvement of new members.


    8th Question:

   What do you enjoy most about the monthly meetings?

 Discussion about society involvement in all the activities we plan.


     9th Question:

    Is there any other information you would care to pass on to visitors to the blog?

 Please visit our website and give us your input. 


     10th Question:

     Lastly, how long have you been President of the Dunbar Historical Society?

   Three years.


     Again, I want to give a big Thank You for allowing us to get a close up examination on Dunbar and its in-depth history along with your important personal observations. (The involvement of Secretary, Donna Myers and Guy Roses' wife, Pat are, of course, much appreciated).

   On a personal note, I hope Mr. Rose remains active as President with capable officers for many years to come.


   Here, I would like to include the address and phone number so visitors can make contact with them freely. Please seriously consider  JOINING up with the wonderful Dunbar Historical Society and doing your own small part in helping to preserving their amazing history

    Located at 42 Bridge Street, Dunbar, Pa. 15431; phone, 724-227-8800. Fri. - Sat. 10:00 A. M. to 2:00 P. M.

    The Monthly Meetings are at the Center on the second Wednesday of each month at precisely 6 o'clock.

    There is also the Facebook Page Guy refers to- "Friends of the Dunbar Historical Society."


   
   
Let's give a big  *Thank You*  to Guy Rose for undertaking this interview!

 
 

A History Contest: Winners and Answers!

  The time limit of submissions for the contest sponsored by Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History has passed on Friday , Nov. 18, at 10:00 P. M.

The acceptable answers to the 12 questions appear below:
 

Question No. 1

   What famous Revolutionary War hero is buried in a cemetery in Greensburg, Pa?

    Arthur St. Clair


 Question No. 2

   What unusual relic or item from Fayette County had a replica which was once kept at the West  Overton Museum?

      An exact copy of the Indian petroglyphs from Perryopolis


   Question No. 3

   Give the name of the third President of the Braddock Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the American Revolution from the year 1932?

     J. Espey Sherrard


   Question No. 4

    In what vicinity was a plausible trace of the Braddock Road discovered which is also close to the  actual location the Turkey Foot Road probably crossed it? (HINT: This was related exclusively on this blog). Come on folks, haven't you read these posts? (That's still only ONE question!)

       Walnut Hill, Kingview Road, Crossroads, or George's Trading Post, on the border of Upper Tyrone and Bullskin townships, are all acceptable answers.



  Question No. 5

    Properly describe the 1700's location in which Jacobs Cabin existed according to warranty surveys? (The information can also be found on F/WFH). Legendary or mythical sites are not included here.

       At or near West Tech Drive,  the old Sony complex, now the RIDC building, between Mt. Pleasant and Hempfield townships.


   Question No. 6

     Before he moved on to Kentucky, the pioneering hero James Smith of Bedford County moved to what region in the late 1770's to mid-1780's where he later had a warranty survey?

       Near the waters of Jacobs Creek in Bullskin Township, Fayette County, in what was then Westmoreland County and previous to that, Bedford County.


   Question No. 7

     Toward the late 1960's and early 1970's, what music store once had outlets in Connellsville, Mount Pleasant and Scottdale?

      Brown's, sometimes known as the Record Center.



   Question No. 8
      A two part question:

    What ultimate authority gave the order for the building of the Turkey Foot Road, and who were the two men were responsible for this, one of which accomplished his work in Fayette and Westmoreland counties?

      George Washington, while Nathaniel Greene passed down the particular orders through Colonel George Morgan; the two road builders were: Colonel Providence Mounts and Captain Charles Clinton, (in that order)


    Question No. 9

    Tell the name of what popular establishment use to be on the right side at the corner of Pittsburgh Street in Scottdale at the second traffic light back in the !960's into the 1970's?

       The Nut Shop



    Question No. 10

     What well traveled author was the previous President of the Mount Pleasant Glass Museum?

    Cassandra Vivian



     Question No. 11

   What man held a warranty tract survey and an earlier, contested land claim within what became Bullskin Township, Fayette County where tradition said he arrived by 1767?

   Adam Hatfield (the first which was in the locality of Laurelville and was contested; the second, a survey warranted in his name of property which eventually became the Pleasant Valley Country Club).



  
     Question No. 12
(Here's a three part one, so do your best! TWO answers will be acceptable):


  Include one of the two months while giving the date Colonel James Burd build his fort, what was one of the known previous names for this place and who was involved with the earlier work on or very near to it?
   

        Late Oct. to early Nov. 1759, Redstone Old Fort, the Hangard; Captain Trent (in that order)



    
    
      NOTE: Unfortunately no one submitted the correct answers to 11 out of 12 of the questions, therefore there was no winner to be accepted and receive the $25.00 prize. I personally felt the degree of difficulty was not extreme, though it might of been on the tricky side. The responses were on the sparse side and rather disappointing. The format may not be repeated unless comments are favorable. IF good feedback is received, I will seriously consider holding another contest, possibly with answers that would appear easier, or would allow for more incorrect answers and still carry the prize.

LET THE BLOG KNOW IF VISITORS ARE INTERESTED! Thank you.
 
 More exciting historical topics will be explored in the near future, so please check back.
              

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Local HISTORY CONTEST!

  It's about time to up the anty, so to speak, and create what should be a popular idea: A HISTORY CONTEST. Right here on ol' Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History to test your status and knowledge base.

 How much of this blog have visitors actually spent the time to read ? This will probably be a key issue on the path to succeeding. While not all the answers to the questions provided below are available in the various posts, some of them definitely are.

  This is not the along the same line as any other type of contest; we will even go back to the dimly lit past of  southwestern Pennsylvania for quite a few.

 

  First, here are the details-


   RULES For Entry

    I've tried to keep things simple.

   Whether through newspaper articles, history magazines and books, with a smattering from other sources, about all has been done to conceivably assure the answers are correct. Please understand, the final decision for answers must remain with the blog as to what constitutes the proper responses.

     21 days are allocated for the reception of all entries to be received and processed from the day of posting. Not 20, not 22. No entries can be accepted that do not contain an attempt in some form to answer all of the questions.

    11  of the answers given must be correct to win!

   There will be only one winner allowed. The details will be publicized soon after the deadline is up, right here on the blog, so stay tuned.

  IF there is a TIE, which is doubtful, a TIE-BREAKER will be announced.
 Either way, the correct answers will also be provided in a future posting as well.


  The evening of November 18th, at 10 O'clock is the deadline. 

Please keep that date in mind.


   You CAN WIN $25.

    
This is for real, would I kid about something like this? Why, of course not! There are a few toughies, but I didn't want to make the contest too easy, OK?

 If nothing else comes of the idea, I hope visitors to the site will have some fun with this and give it a shot!




                                      



    Question No. 1

  What famous Revolutionary war hero is buried in a cemetery in Greensburg, Pa?


     Question No. 2

    What unusual relic or item from Fayette County had a replica made of it that was once kept at the West Overton Museum?



      Question No. 3

  Give the name of the third President of the Braddock Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the American Revolution from the year 1932?


       Question No. 4

      In what vicinity was a plausible trace of the Braddock Road discovered which is also close to the  actual location where the Turkey Foot Road probably crossed it? (HINT: This was  related exclusively on this blog). Come on folks, haven't you read of it? (That's still only ONE question!)


     Question No. 5

      Properly describe the 1700's location in which Jacobs Cabin existed according to warranty surveys and can you name the present county? The information can also be found on F/WFH). (Legendary or mythical sites are not included here).


      Question No. 6

      Before he moved on to Kentucky, the pioneering hero James Smith of Bedford County moved to what region in the late 1770's to mid-1780's where he later had a warranty survey?


      Question No. 7

      Toward the late 1960's and early 1970's, what music store once had outlets in Connellsville, Mount Pleasant and Scottdale?

         Question No. 8 
Two parts:

     What ultimate authority gave the order for the building of the Turkey Foot Road from Cumberland Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pa; and who were the two men responsible, one of which accomplished his work in Fayette and Westmoreland counties?


      Question No. 9

    Tell what popular establishment use to be on the right side at the corner of Pittsburgh Street in Scottdale at the second traffic light in the !960's into the 1970's?


      Question No. 10

    What well traveled author was the previous President of the Mount Pleasant Glass Museum?


      Question No. 11

What man held a warranty survey, or claims to two large plots of land in Bullskin Township where tradition said he arrived by 1767?



    Question No. 12 
(Here's a three part one, so do your best! TWO answers will be considered an acceptable response):


   Include one of the two months, while giving the date Colonel James Burd built his fort under the orders of General Forbes, also what was one of the known previous names for this place and who was involved with the earlier work on or very near to it?
   

        
   THAT'S  IT folks.

     Again, if by chance there is a TIE, a tie-breaker will be published later in an effort to award one winner only. Only first place will be awarded and acknowledged.

    Believe me, I could of done things to manipulate a few of these to make it that Much Harder. If visitors hold a strong feeling that these questions are far too difficult, do let me know. At another time we might plan a contest with different rules. It all depends on how things go with the present one.

     You Can Do It! WRITE IN. I'll be anxiously waiting and hoping for one of you to truly be the lucky, knowledgeable individual to claim this prize. It is, alas, admittedly rather small, but part of the fun is getting to the finish line!

                                    * WINNER ! *

   No Paypal, sorry. You will either have to leave an address on the blog comments, or preferably email me privately with the proper information so the MONEY can be sent to YOU, most likely by money order.

            SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND EXPERTISE
                             ENTER SOON!

  GOOD LUCK !

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Happy Birthday

photo of Bald Eagle courtesy of the NPS


   I want to wish a brief, but meaningful Happy Birthday to the National Park Service. For all you have done to preserve and present the visual, audio and special grounds of our history to the public at large, congratulations!

   To institute and celebrate this honor, there are commemorative coins being printed up in three limited editions. By the way, there is also a President Reagan Series, Birth Coin Sets, Uncirculated  Coin Sets are being offered on their site. Some of these are really quite attractive. A list of the various National Parks are included with much other information.

   The National Park Service is 100 years old this year ! There is so much to learn about.

  
    Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum

   Histbuffer, ( a k a, me),  received a small request in the mail not too long ago and I mean to honor my promise. In doing so, I'm now throwing a 'plug' in to the Mount Pleasant Glass Festival and Museum.  The plug isn't really necessary as this is a great service to the community! It is really something to see and experience. Notice, there are two separate links to check out above.

   Located at 402 East Main St. at Suite 600, phone number- 547-5929, the Glass Museum opened its doors in 2013. Opening hours are between 11:oo a. m. to 3:30 p. m., Mon. - Sat. They have quite a variety of glassware available for perusal, and represented our the three local glass companies: Bryce, Lennox and L. E. SMITH. Ms. Philips-Haler succeeded Casandra Vivian as the new Director. There is a research library and a gift shop for those interested. They also have  "The Glory Years, Mount Pleasant" exhibit opened recently.

   Admission is FREE, folks! So please consider making a donation.

   Keep an eye out, there are many festivals going on this fall all through Westmoreland and Fayette and the surrounding counties this fall and autumn is a beautful time of the year to head into the hills. You should try to keep a few on your weekend itinerary, if you can manage it!

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