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 much more than that, of course.

     So...I enjoyed it and trust others did too.

      For this upload I admit to of been just that close to providing another thorough installment that might be a tad overdue. A deeper layer of regional historical significance toward 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. As in previous years. Here and Here.

     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.

                        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.

 More exciting historical topics will be explored in the near future, so please check back.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


  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.

                             ENTER SOON!


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!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Recognition: An Updated Honor Roll


  The original idea behind updating this aspect of the blog began as just a spur of the moment idea quickly put into action. Since the heady, early days and months presenting regional history there has been scattered responses to the acknowledgement toward those that have been in some way associated with this blog. Whether this was by correspondence, collaboration, or some other type of connection. Some of you have been particularly close and some more of an acquaintance. There are references to them throughout this blog.

   Now, at a crossroads between work on a few newer planned posts, I made the decision to briefly visit the topic once again. Revisiting the link will help give a perspective on what this is all about. If I had any hesitation on redoing something on this order, it was knowing most visitors might not experience a heavy interest, so please bear with the subject matter for a small break this month while gaining an inside look at things. Links are given to help inform those that are interested with added  info on these folks. This is all Free of Charge !

   I realize these mentions are just names to most folks, yet most of these associations are very meaningful in some way and they are appreciated. Those that held a major influence or were rather more directly involved, are presented first and foremost. Those of a 'minor' level, though still on a par worth gaining a place here are shown next. Finally, those persons somewhere near the periphery are not forgotten or ignored: they do appear last. You might ask the question, why are so many on a first name basis? This is only because there may be a question if they would care for any extra attention in this manner and what should be fairly obvious is I don't really like to  ask, personally. Alright then.

Just finished: a 2nd round of' business cards for the blog

   Most here to see if they are named should be aware who exactly is being referred to. In my way of thinking, that is what matters. Correspondents and affiliates come and go through the years making a tougher task of including them or not. So... I did the best I can. The categories are more for convenience and certainly not intended to denigrate any, but only in an attempt to elevate!

   Those that are not in touch anymore, regardless of the reasons, I still miss the input.

   The old adage of  'pointing the way down the road and up around the bend' still holds true.


       Jeff Hann- I only see him occasionally, but we still continue to correspond. He is a valued friend and a guy who has made strides in  historical discovery with important follow up research which I admire. HATS OFF !

     Cindy S. - Here's a lady who I discovered works very near to me. I recently came to know her and the close connections to my own paternal ancestry who possesses great added heritage I am now learning more about! (I am so sorry for the passing of her mother a while back).

     Art Kenner - Another relative, good guy and history enthusiast. He resides in Texas and we have corresponded frequently! We may yet be able to meet in person some fine day. (A sad note of condolence to him and his family toward the recent death of his father, Lewis).

     Keith Romesburg - My cousin and friend from the Bullskin Historical Society who I hope to come upon more often. A compatriot and history buff in his own way as well. I love the guy AND he is a relative in the Miner/Hatfield/Wilson tradition!

      Jay Stern - An informative individual who lives in the local area who gave some great tips on some subject matter.

       Chris Espenshade - A knowledgeable and well known archeologist, he provided me the opportunity to present further evidence of the historical underpinnings of the Turkey Foot Road and Braddock Road near the borders of Upper Tyrone and Bullskin Townships in Fayette County and made recommendations partly based on this which was very thoughtful.

   , (here's the old one for comparisons), author, Lannie Dietle who has given me advice and involved in some posts.

    NANCY H. - A helpful and a generous person I don't hear from much any longer. One of the first people in our region who followed my blog closely AND let me know it! My hat is still off to her.

    Lannie Dietle - An major, well established author who was instrumental in giving me quality advice and was often in frequent correspondence and collaboration who is due to be out with a new book soon. His influence can be found in various parts of this blog, including a guest post.

    Kim Brown - The President of the Bullskin Township Historical Society. They are celebrating their 20th year.

      Although Kim would probably be the first to admit we haven't corresponded much regularly as in the 'old days' and I am lax on attending meetings, she recently published another article of mine, (finally), in the Fall Quarterly Newsletter about Iron Bridge. You need to become a member to receive the output of the newsletter for yourselves. Hint: two articles are here for you to check out - the original one from May of 2014, "Meeting of the Townships"  and - "An Update on Iron Bridge and the Great Road." You can catch my involvement in a 2015 Fall Heritage Festival visit AND my small (apparently low key ?) night at the Bullskin Fair! There is a photo of the Grange Hall provided by Kim Brown for perusal.

    To Scott Wilson, my Bullskin brother, a quick word. (He can be seen below on the left, next to my brother Mark on the rather poor quality photo). His rare insight and sense of direction has at key moments afforded me needed guidance in various areas. Indeed!

    Bobbi Kramer - an author in her own right who has lent a hand in one of the blog posts here at Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History and someone I've talked to off and on about the subject of historical research.

     Bob Hatfield - I am attempting to garner some historical information on relatives of Devil Anse Hatfield and the famous branch from West Virginia. He is a great, great nephew. This really is intriguing stuff too.

      Jamie Lambing: A one off helper in the area of Smithton who provided good photos and helped further my understanding of the place!

    My parents, Wayne Wilson and Sylvia Hoover Wilson, although dead, you are both in my thoughts and heart every day and an inspiration.

      Anthony: We use to have in depth conversations which took much time. Now he is a busy man with his own websites, editing, preparing articles, on and on. I miss his blog tutelage as I felt he was a near expert when it came to writing. I fondly recall his offers of needed advice as he was there for ME when he could be.


    Barb, Tristan, and Angie, not necessarily affiliated with F/WFH, still they are Facebook friends. Hey, I just wanted to mention them! Jade, who works at the Bedford Museum, (please get the email thing better under control!) Rob E., Dwaine Fuoss, the eccentric Indian artifact collector, Imelda another history-minded and generous woman; John Connor, who I haven't seen in some time, an old work friend and a nice guy,  ETC.

    Many of these people do not know of each other. They have in common the fact of reminding me this effort is worthwhile. Whatever their involvement, large, small, important or occasional, I wanted to do them an honorable mention. For those that care, as it is understood most of these kind individuals certainly do not require or desire any acknowledgements, per se; regardless, you are in reception of a hearty, old fashioned  

                      C ON G R A T U L A T I O N S !

     By the way, the formatting may be a bit off so it shouldn't be taken too seriously; don't worry about that.

    Do you feel any wish to be included here? Well, get in correspondence or collaboration with ol' Histbuffer and see if you can provide any pertinent info, ideas, or research angles and maybe, guess what? 

    * YOU will be more than welcome to be a part of this eclectic "Group" TOO ! *

     We will return with more Ancestor material, an excursion I made on my vacation to Bedford, but I haven't managed to get down to Fort Necessity yet; a History Contest is in the works as well! So, keep coming back and check it out soon. Thanks for your continuing patronage. Your interest is so special and has made the development of these posts all worth the time and effort! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

George C. Marshall of Uniontown

    Note: As many of you likely know, I have been in the habit for well over a year of publishing posts on a Sunday. Well folks,  this time around, I just decided to forego the habit providing another chapter on Uniontown on a Monday instead.

                      The above photo of George C. Marshall is from 1946

      George Catlett Marshall was surely the most famous and influential human being ever born in Uniontown, the county seat of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

      Early Career and History

      George Marshall arrived in this world and his hometown on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1880, the son of George Marshall and Laura (Bradford) Marshall. Later in life he married Elizabeth Carter Coles, in 1902. After the death of Elizabeth, he married his second wife, Katherine Boyce Tupper in 1930.

     Marshall was a member of the Episcopal Church; his Alma mater was the Virginia Military Institute. In college he was a VMI Keydets tackle on the All American Southern Team and was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the army. George saw action in the Philippine-American campaign of World War One, the Western Front and later under General John Pershing in the Muese-Argonne Offensive helping to defeat the German Army.

   . In 1916 he returned to America to be aide-de-camp of the commander of the Western Department and former Chief of Staff, Major general J Franklin Bell. Eventually he returned to duty for mobilization of the First Division in France and from there Marshall became connected with directing training and operations in planning strategic military attacks. In World War Two he was closely involved in the Chinese Civil War arena and working closely with the War Department in various positions and functions, too many to be related in the scope of this article. He was promoted to brigadier general in October of 1936 and was made Chief of Staff in 1939. He received five star rank in December of 1944.

    Although criticized for some of his choices and his perceived delays in the Pearl harbor Attack, after his time as instructor of the War College, he was instrumental in recommending American generals to top commands. The list includes the famed George Patton, future President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the gifted Omar Bradley.

   During a storied career in the U.. S. army, from 1902-1959 he received many awards. Among these were the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star, Silver Star, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (Great Britain), the Grand Cross Legion of Honor (France), the United States Congressional Gold Medal and in 1953, the Nobel Peace Prize for the plan of recovery for Western Europe. He also received numerous foreign military honors and decorations as well.

    Marshall became the 50th Secretary of State, and was also the United States Army Chief of Staff, and the third Secretary of the Defense Department. Winston Churchill was gave him the moniker, "organizer of victory" for his success in leadership of the Allied Forces. He became the chief military advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    After a commencement speech at Harvard University in June, 1947, where he suggested the Europeans should properly devise their own economic plan of rebuilding with assistance from the United States, his name was given to the Marshall Plan which was developed by the State Department. He kept a home in Leesburg, Virginia known as Dodona Manor.

   Describing his unique abilities and role, Orson Wells may have said it best, when in an interview  he emphatically stated, " Marshall is the greatest man I ever met...a tremendous gentleman, an old fashioned institution that isn't with us anymore."

   The general was portrayed in at least nine movies, including 'Saving Private Ryan', a 1998 film starring Tom Hanks. Many streets and buildings across America are named in his honor, which was well deserved. Nearby, in Uniontown we have the Marshall Elementary School. Also quite a few books were written about him and foundations were created through his influence, patronage and prestige.

  This was certainly a native born son we can all be particularly proud of, especially in our neck of the woods!

   General George C. Marshall subsequently died in Washington D. C. on October 16, 1959 at the age of 78. He was buried in Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.


   Marshall never forgot how special his hometown was to him; when fielding questions from reporters on a visit during WW2, he deflected their questions to observations of the historic landmarks of the city-a place of fond memories he always treasured with great attachment.


    A bronze statue of George C. Marshall stands in Uniontown at the corner of Main and Pittsburgh streets at the Memorial Park named after him, the birthplace of this great man and military genius.

    John Marshall

  George Marshall was a distant relative of John Marshall, a former Chief Justice of the United States and leader of the Federalist Party. To provide a brief synopsis of his life, Chief Justice John Marshall, a descendant of colonist William Randolph, was born in a log cabin close to Germantown, Virginia on September 24, 1755. During the years 1782 to 1795, he held an array of offices, mostly political. Working his way up in position, he became Secretary of State in 1800 and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1801.

Chief Justice John Marshall, 1832
    This Marshall spent one year at Cambell Academy with  a certain classmate also named 'John'. In fact it was future President, John Monroe.

   As John was growing up, his idol was said to be none other than our most famous general, George Washington. Washington was a friend of his father, Thomas Marshall, land surveyor of Lord Fairfax. At the age of twenty, Washington so inspired young John Marshall at the beginning of the Revolutionary War that he entered the Culpepper Minutemen, a state militia. He was duly appointed lieutenant.The unit was then absorbed into Virginia's Continental Army 11th Regiment where they soon achieved success and he was then promoted to an officer of the 3rd Regiment under the authority of Colonel Morgan.

Marshall's depiction on the 1890 $20 Treasury Note

       He was active in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown where he was wounded in the hand. At Valley Forge he was made the chief legal advisor to General Washington. In a visit to Yorktown where his father was stationed, he met Mary Willis Ambler, his future bride. In 1780 he studied law at the college of William and Mary at Williamsburg. He was sent to the state convention as a delegate to ratify the Constitution in 1788, and among other notable achievements, Marshall was an envoy on a diplomatic mission to France; in 1799 was elected to the House of Representatives and was Secretary of State under John Adams. He joined the Supreme Court in 1801, and was heralded as the fourth Chief Justice in the history of the young country, later to develop into the greatest in the world. While Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he was instrumental in many high profile landmark cases, helping to define the law in the pivotal historical processes of early America.

    A unique man exemplifying courageous qualities in an amazing time; John Marshall served faithfully until his death in Philadelphia on July 6, 1835 when the Liberty Bell was rung to honor his funeral procession at a ripe old age. There is a park and a marker at his birthplace where his home once stood, near Midland, Virginia.

     Thanks for visiting. As always, any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please return to my site for further adventures in regional history!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Intimating Irwin

   Yes, in case you are wondering, it took a minute or two to find a proper header for this one.

  The Borough

    Although the Borough of Irwin was claimed to of begun in simple form at an earlier date, from Jacktown Hill to Veterans Bridge, it was incorporated back in 1864. Located on Route 30 twenty-two miles southeast of Pittsburgh and nearly a square mile in size, the borough lies near the geographical center of North Huntington township. The township holds the honor of being a part of Westmoreland County when it was created out of Bedford in 1773.


   The Forbes Road lay to the north and the Braddock Road was further to the southwest, but as a Reverend Dietrich once pointed out in no uncertain terms, this did not deter early settlers from finding in the Brush Creek Valley between the Big Sewickley Creek and Turtle Creek an ideal position for living quarters: "It must have been an inspiring sight to view its winding expanse from some high ridge as the lone explorer crossed the surrounding water-shed to see the irregular hills and dales, carpeted with the original forests in shades of green and brown."

   In a rather unique situation with the unanimous decision of the council in 2013, the borough purchased the Lamp Theater from The Westmoreland Cultural Trust for the price of one whole dollar to hold on to a grant for $500,000 while matching the funds needed for this acquisition. Quite a feat in itself. Last year they even drew in a big talent from this region with The Clark's.

   One mile to the west of the Pennsylvania Turnpike they perform quality Concerts in the Park at the Irwin Park Amphitheater, properly enough named, precisely at 6:30 in the milder months of the year. This has been taking place, without fail, (as far as I am aware), for twenty-six years to date. These concerts bring in talent from all around the region and are FREE to the public to attend and enjoy, (brought to you by the Irwin Civic Activities Committee).


Downtown Irwin looking north from Main and Fourth Street intersections


 As the borough developed into the late 1800's, later concerns of Irwin centered around the large coal deposits, the Westmoreland Coal, controlled by George Ross Scull, and the Penn Gas Coal companies being two examples, while iron foundries, mills and the mirror factories helped build Irwin into a booming town putting it firmly on the map. The modern population hovers near the 4,000 resident mark.

  If there is one thing going for Irwin today, they have a good choice in restaurants-the Firepit, Cenacolo and the Arena Sports Grille know how to serve up a meal! The town also does a big Annual Christmas House Tour in December.

   A Piece of Local Heritage

   Brush Hill, the former Scull House was named for John Irwin Scull who married his daughter, Mary and became the founder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This historic mansion was first built in 1798. Incorporating the once popular Federal Era type architecture, the structure itself said to be made of fieldstone and sandstone. The particular style used associates the site with classicism of Regency, (late Georgian), and french Empire architecture closely connected to ideals of the early American republic which derived much of its founding aspirations from ancient Greece and Rome. For those with more than a casual interest, famous architects of the style included Benjamin Latrobe, Thomas Jefferson and Charles Bulfinch. In the 1950's the place was upgraded from a state of disrepair by a denist, Dr. John Hudson. "Brush Hill" was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

    Later, according to a Tribune-Review article from December of 2007,  Brush Hill house was further restored by owners Don and Dilly Miller. During renovation some archaic finds were made.

 Nearby Indian Paths

   More particular material may be found at As the good Reverend further related, the township was conveniently crossed through with the four important Indian trails of Nemacolin at Circleville running to the Mon river eastward and then south to Scottdale and on through Dunbar's Gap to the Great Meadows; the Allegheny-Laurel Hill Trail which in the east found it's origin at old Shannopin's Town traveling west near the Allegheny River through Pittsburgh to Ligonier and to Bedford, which he correctly explains was the basic route of Forbes' army in the eventful year of 1758.

   Then there are the lesser trails through New Florence and the Ligonier Valley southward and a trail north of New Kensington heading to the Juniata and on to the Susquehanna river system. Of course, later this was on the "great road" of the Lincoln Highway and a part of the first railroad, the Pennsylvania R x R, in fact.

  Colonel John Irwin

    Saving information that may well be the best for last, the founder of the town was John Irwin, born to James and Jane Irwin in 1811. Through the inheritance of his father's lands he soon became a leading merchant and the most prominent member of the early community.

    Colonel John Irwin was born in Ireland in 1740 and arrived in the colonies in the year 1762. The gentleman in question was known to be at Fort Pitt in 1766, while he may of seen some action there as he was the army's Chief Commisary Officer and was stationed here for a time. After the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, an early settler of Westmoreland County, he made the purchase of the Brush Hill tract at the mouth of Bushy Run to the south near Fort Walthour. He then proceeded to build a cabin near the 'Scull House' to the east of Irwin later occupied by his grandson. While there, he became a trader, mostly in the lucrative fur market with the nearby Indian folk. It was also burned by the Indian raids in 1782.

  Finally, John lived in a stone house near the year 1792 and took up permanent residence after his other establishments had burned to the ground. In spite of these conditions he was the Deputy Commissioner for the Western Divison of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, naturally a proud reminder of the origins of this location. By 1821, in infirm health, he resigned his illustrious position as Associate Justice of Westmoreland County and died in 1822.

   It was the colonel's nephew of the same name that founded the borough of Irwin.

   In 1783, his brother James came to America and joined John in this region and created what was to become Jacktown or Jacksonville. By the creation and opening of the Pittsbugh and Greensburg Road, the place gained advantages as a stagecoach stop and developed a sense of early business, and by becoming a toll road in 1816, the boom of progress slowly, yet inexorably began.

  Thus we have noted another part of our exciting Fayette/Westmoreland history.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Uncovering Uniontown Part 1: A Princess In Uniontown


   This post is Part One of a planned series on Uniontown, the county seat of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. 

   Instead of accessing and addressing the large volume of information and much of the routine, though meaningful material tirelessly researched, and then adding my own insights on various aspects of the old city, we will be examining what I feel are the more fascinating historical subjects in reasonably sized installments. Hopefully this will be appropriate in avoiding overly large articles with many chunks of data stretching endlessly to the bottom of the page and help hold the visitor's interest more easily.

   A Princess In Uniontown, really?

   Yes, indeed there was... once upon a time.

   Read on for this exciting true story:

   Princess Lida of Thurn and Taxis, as she became known, was not born a princess. Her life spanned the years 1875-1965. She was an American heiress and socialite and was later considered a bit on the controversial side, especially when it came to lawsuits and the actions as well as some of the personal dealings of her sons.

   Her husband was Prince Victor, 1976-1928, whom she married on November 1, or as some accounts have it, on Nov. 2nd in the year 1911. (These facts are verified partly according to the New York Times, Feb. 16, 1914 and other articles).

    Through her first marriage she became Mrs. Gerald Fitzgerald, but her birth name was Lida Eleanor Nichols of Uniontown, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Her first husband was Gerald Percival Fitzgerald of Ireland whom she met in 1899. When he moved to Fayette County he set up the small town of Shamrock, near New Salem in Menallen Township. They later divorced in 1906 with Lida receiving a large alimony settlement from Parliament to make the arrangements of the final separation legal.  In her rather humbler beginnings, this lady was the daughter of a grocer, John Nichols, and his wife Lenora.

     Lida Eleanor Nichols, later to become the illustrious Princess Lida, was the niece of Joseph V. Thompson, a big banker and coal operator of his time.

     Her second husband's full name was, according to the new princess, 'Victor Theodore Maximilian Egon Maria Lamoral.'  This was the identifying name she showed proof of in court when she went to London to sue Josephine Moffat, a New York showgirl pretending to royalty as "Her Royal Highness Josephine", who wrongly claimed the title of Princess of Thurn and Taxis. These kinds of happenings were great fodder in the heady days of the early twentieth century, and all the more so since this woman was a phony, pure and simple, losing the injunction to the real Princess with a penalty of $500.


    The region of Thurn and Taxis actually has a board game named after it! The princely coat of arms shows two red dragons and two castles; this certainly makes plenty of sense in representing two cities; it also show an animal, possibly a badger, in the middle. Sorry, no armorial lingo is being included here.

   Some Historical Background on Thurn and Taxis

     The capital of the district was the once Imperial city Regensberg of Bavaria, once a sovereign principality before 1806 and losing its noble status after the fall of the German Empire in 1918. They were also Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, a Catholic order of chivalry founded in 1430. The order still exists in two branches, Spanish and Austrian. It appears the historic style of the title for the prince is "His Serene Highness." Quite impressive. Would this mean Lida's title was "Her Serene Highness"?

   Except for a minimal amount of time for the most part, she moved to the Austrian Republic to be with her husband in Europe and only returned for a while when Prince Victor became an officer of the Austro-Hungarian Army at the start of World War One and headed back to Europe by 1920. Following the death of Prince Victor in Vienna, she spent her time alternating between her residences in New York City, Uniontown and in Europe.


   While residing in Uniontown her home, shown above, was at the corner of South Mount Vernon Avenue and West Main Street. She died in New York at the age of 90 on December 6, 1965. Most of her art, antiques and valuables were sold at auction in 1966.

    I'll be back soon with another post on our amazing, and sometimes, illustrious history.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Cluttered Nook

  Hello again, good folks! 

   I decided to upload a little perspective originating from my tiny world of computer land, basically consisting of what is usually considered a 'regular' blog post.

   In this instance, visitors to the site will get a glimpse of the kind of experimental treatment seen...somewhere ELSE, but only rarely here, I am quick to add. Please don't expect me to modernize to a greater extent as it just isn't my way and would probably be counter productive. I seriously doubt you would want to see it change to such a large extent. Nor do we get the impression that would be a requirement. THIS is a 1 Time event. There aren't even any links, imagine that!

   For those of you that are only browsing through, this is a blog about old history, ancestry and lost times in Westmoreland and Fayette counties of southwestern Pa. in the good ol' US of A; with dates, names and places. I also chose to include a degree of local tradition and culture. OK, I hope that is a close enough definition of what normally takes place where you are at this moment.

Attempt at a 'Normal' Blog Post:

   Naturally, the working format is rarely tainted with a large splattering of humor, fifteen, no, sixteen  pics of cousins, tales of my personal triumphs and tragedies, endless gym work outs, quick exciting stops for slurpees, or how not to burn bacon. No casual info is included about the old china, recent barbecues, roof repair or wrecked cars. Nor is this a copycat rip off of money making, "how-to" forums. That is an explanation of what you won't find, and I am content most would NOT prefer to read such babble. As such things are always kept at a reasonable minimum and at arms length, people will have to search elsewhere for such tidbits, and those forums and blogs are available in spades, ad infinitum. For the moment this could be a refreshing change of pace. Just maybe. If there are any apologies to be made, I am in a lighter mood, and am not trying to offend anyone, only deciding to briefly indulge a whim by sharing another aspect of blogging.

 Thanks for taking some time out and spending some minutes with me here where I work privately and diligently on YOUR history and MINE. This has become more than a hobby to me and less than a career. And I hope no one is too bored with my inclusion of a personal glimpse of life. Do let me know. (Of course, it's a bit late to change things now that it's out of the bag, you understand!).

 What you see, and don't see on the photos:

   First of all, the photos are not the best; sorry about that. As dark as they appear, you are lucky to notice anything, so I do hope your eyesight is fairly keen.

  Yes, it's just an Acer computer you may observe there in the dim lighting, The same for the flat screen monitor and most of the wires loose and crawling like science fiction tentacles everywhere. They're alright and do get the job done, so calm down now, alright? I'll be careful not to get too tangled up and become one of the 'fallen and can't get up' unfortunates.Actually, a perfectly rid up and sparsely furnished social networking zone kind of turns me off. Too neat, shiny and unused looking.


   The computer is not exactly "NEW", and pretty much just a basic model from Walmart.  still we're dealing with 64 bit, with all the glut of ads, some obvious and some hidden in the start menu almost demanding I go on a reckless shopping spree for tons of brand new software and those forced passwords the moment I powered it up. What progress. At least they have allowed the opportunity to revamp the start menu so it is not so darn intrusive.


   Ah, the nostalgia for the simple 90's when I was learning about firewalls, adapters, clunky added gadgets and DOS. Ah well...never mind, then. Some go all the way with classy expensive programs and amazing graphics. I would remind people of an old adage called, "keeping costs down' and 'less is better.' Alright, 2 old adages. Point is, they don't interest me that much anyway, but I do find the usual stuff like PDF, Adobe and free anti-virus programs sufficient and well needed. A few newer software programs are nice, I'll grant that. I discovered flash drives and equipment like external hard drives long ago, so I'm not completely in the stone age, thank you.

  We have the fairly new Windows 8.1. Da-dah! H'mmm, I did try to love this BEFORE moving on, and like many, was kind of excited at first. But since this draft was first on the drawing board I've upgraded to Windows 10. Are there those here that feel it is an improvement? Regardless, I am definitely not a real fan of 8, though a few things appear to of improved in 10. I don't consider myself extremely savvy or technically sophisticated, you can clearly count me in for that skeptical movement;  and if asked, I generally use the newer versions of Firefox for added privacy and security, and Internet Explorer 11, finally more HTML5 compliant with hardware acceleration. I hesitate with the Chrome toolbar, though there are advantages to the speedy browser. In fact, there are almost too many browser types to become familiar with anymore. They also managed  to implement the Do Not Track service, mostly to keep up with Firefox. I am yet to use Maxthon, though it has good reviews for night viewing and compatibility.

   Anyway, I was upgrading from the dreaded, but beloved, XP back in early 2015. At least I upgrade when it is absolutely necessary, when there is no choice in the matter. I was so 'use to it' and the thorny little diagnostics needed to keep it in decent shape were an exercise in patience, geek forum instruction and memory, that does contain hidden dividends, you know. OK,  just being slightly testy and defensive, and you probably noted that.

   Have you ever experienced the following senario? I actually fixed a rebuilt computer once, Hewitt-Packard? (Why am I using a question mark? Again.). Um, I was made rather nervous when a tech at a nearby outlet strongly advised me to 'bring it in' or otherwise 'you'll be sorry' giving the non-reassuring and alarming advice that 'you won't be able to fix it' , especially 'All ON  YOUR  OWN' ! The barely veiled threats were replete with the image of blown circuitry, burnt plastic, melted keyboard, temper tantrums, horrible hacking, root kit troubles and so forth not to be contemplated by a sane human being. So, I took the insulting, rude challenge very seriously and put in the indefatigable and herculean effort of trying everything and slowly narrowing it down, (saving some money too),  and did it anyway. How about that, buddy! And so, with the extra software I practically demanded, I can pompously say I patched the problems up MYSELF and it ran for another whole year or so. Maybe it wasn't really worth the effort, BUT I was thrilled that I managed the achievement. You'd have to use your imagination here toward the extent of the damage and viruses involved, what a mess! But you get the picture.

  Enough about computers! I say that reluctantly.

 Various Excuses and Analogies in a weak attempt to entertain my more restless, discerning visitors:

  I am running ever so slightly behind on polishing a few posts for future upload. My choice is narrowed down to four, that's right, four and two are most likely. Nothing really drastic, it never is. Sooo...while you wait, am attempting something entertaining for your distinct benefit, however humble and insignificant it may really turn out to be. I am simply unwinding right now with a wine cooler and chocolate chip cookies, oddly enough.

  It is sort of likened to a doctor or dentist office, (but much more pleasantly!), though I do caution, the wait may be much longer. HERE, you just can't beat this. Come back more often, very cheap rates, stay as long as your heart desires, speak your mind any amount you wish, well, after the comments are cleared with admin - (me, of course),  and leave quicker, if you so wish. No vehicles required, no uncomfortable prodding and gowns to wear either. You make your own appointments at the History Doctor. I can recommend knowledgeable colleagues ans specialists, if you don't find the help you want. What a bargain! No psychological couch in sight, as I won't go that far; you're on your own there. There are no nasty prescriptions or bad news to take back to your husband, wife or children, only a supplement to your education and it's all a fascinating journey. You wouldn't want that kind of professionalism from yours truly, the danger might be too great, alright? You've been summarily and unnecessarily warned.

Now notice the little hints of notes and letters that are a permanent display, or maybe you shouldn't look that closely. Well, now, I didn't say to look at the dust! (Is that cat hair too?) Or to call it 'junk', it's not exactly, just sort of 'cluttered' and a bit messy, is all. Anyway, that's some idea what my hard drive folders look like, except they are much more of a maze and the hellish confusion more deeply hidden--- * argh and gasp #. There is no maid in sight, (where did she go? oh another one quit because of our demanding schedule). I don't worry about the place being spotless and spic and span, I'm afraid. Tsk, tsk. The occasional upkeep simply must suffice. Not comparable to some of the wonderful and majestic homes with spacious manicured lawns you see from your Facebook friends and acquaintances that clean, shine and rid up constantly. I think these persons upload such a bulk of photos and intrepid videos, (no I won't name names), partly because they are ONLINE. It isn't all that bad at my place really. Hell, maybe it's worse. I am a bachelor, understood?! Alright then, now that we've gotten that straight.

   Well, a little exaggeration does make for a better 'gabby' blog post, one would suppose. Take it easy, I'm just having a bit of fun for a change. Now you realize why the posts are usually fairly normal and spot on!


Some Rambling and Petty Complaints bordering on venting:

The lamp came from when I moved from an apartment in Connellsville in 2005 and they sold me the furnishings for a pittance. Then I moved fairly fast to Ruffsdale to a trailer court. That was because a lawyer from Washington, D. C. bought the apartment complex and wanted to raise the rent and do visitations whenever she felt like it. My lawyer, (God hopefully rest his soul), was puzzled with the lease, it was a real doozy, believe you me. Basically claiming myself as the party responsible for everything, including the furnace, and shoveling the sidewalks while I lived on the third floor! I ended up leaving much behind on the most recent move, even a bulky air conditioner, as it was just more convenient not to box so many odds and ends I somehow gathered over 15 years, seemingly willy nilly, including a really comfy leather chair that was too big for where I was moving to.

  A small amount of items around for sentimentalism were from an unnamed female work friend from the late 90's that, still to this day, owes me exactly $1190 that was borrowed in installments with startling promises made no matter that I treated her very well and even still talked to her right up until she started telling me the many things I must do with my life; how I need someone to 'grow old with' no matter who or what qualities this theoretical female would exhibit; that I probably should talk to her own mom, about 'things', huh ? (who, by the way, is getting disabled benefits yet, in the time I knew her, never acted like her back bothered her at all. Ah, she was on the Dart ball team too), ,All too well reminding me of the not so good old days. Hey, I was counting it up; obviously for good reasons and how pathetic she was and, probably IS. Don't worry, I will not tell you about her alcoholic sister who had a 13 year old daughter when I lived in Greensburg. I just won't do it to you! But, wait: or of a pretty oriental bank manager, first name Shana, sort of the old online dating thing, you know what I mean. Well, she lived in California and through instant messages soon insisted she loved me and told me if I ever rejected her it would be "traitorous 'in her book" ! Then she promptly began ignoring my conscientious messages or e-mails.

  This particular internet 'friend' had two psychiatrists, murderous dreams, (she was committing them herself), told me to 'keep checking her profile' only to discover various hardcore porn references and chat rooms, (a long time ago, your right),  and that she was 'coming out', then promptly told me I was being nosy by pointing it out, while she strongly wanted me to fly with her to Disney World! Nope, I won't subject you to all that either, and you just can't make that stuff up folks. Well, if you are possessed of a greater imagination than I, you might be able to, but WHY would anyone insist on doing such a strange thing?  I am sure I got off easy on that one while living way over here in Pennsylvania. These happenings were fewer and farther between that it may sound like. Some day I'll ramble about my good experiences with more normal people; but that could get a little boring and we don't want that.

  This was a quick rundown of my own deservedly forgotten personal history.This is NOT indicative of much of my more normal life events and circumstances.

  Do I still hold out hopes for another maniac to associate with? One that either slowly coaxes your hard earned money from your pocket, or maybe a girl that could decide to knife you to little pieces in bed? To look at it in one way, I feel I've had my share. Most people do fine with all their personal situations, some, well, they just get crazier. Have you noticed this kind of experience?

  Now, I am absolutely comfortable having friends of both sexes, please don't take this the wrong way. These were experiences that took place once upon a time in a interpersonal galaxy long, long ago, and will most likely not happen ever again. Everyone knows there are two sides to every story and all that. Mine is the correct one, please understand. Sorry, that part wasn't very entertaining, but it was true to the letter. The last diatribe was ALMOST left out and you could be thinking, we sure wish it was. BUT...

   I've somehow managed to have some great relationships and am thankful for those. I have never gotten use to moving, or renting moving vans and all that, no matter if I did it every six months. Also, I threw out a bunch of clothes, even if it was a slight rip or little stain, that was a good excuse to toss out most of those sweaters and sports jackets. Enough about moving, right? Disney World had to wait, and the lamp is fairly nice, ah, from my first real apartment. Well, compared to an unreal apartment. Alright. Life is good. You were entertained or at least amused and bemused by the stories if this is to be admitted.

 The other stuff:

 The old computer hutch is from my brother many moons ago when I kept my first expensive computer at his house for convenience while I...moved and didn't take it with me for some time. Do very many of you all remember Windows 95, 98, 2000 and ME ? Well, the old hutch was almost left behind when I moved at the beginning of 2014, but decided to take it along and I'm not sure why I agreed to keep it or why I even mentioned this at all.

  There are various memorabilia, items as Christmas gifts and souvenirs from trips around here, as well. That is a miniature Eiffel tower from Paris and a statue of a knight too:


  The Pan Am airplanes are from 1987 from Pittsburgh to New York and back on a leg with Aer Lingus to Ireland for a 15 day tour. Sometimes I break out the Ireland sweatshirt from the mothballs on St. Patrick's Day. Yep, I managed to find the money back in those heady and youthful prosperous times. No big deal. I think I enjoy the knightly stuff because it is rusting faster than me, and the fact I was a voracious reader of Arthurian books when I was a teenager. OK. By the way, I had the second best dart ball average most of the time at the local Eagles, something I use to be, rather oddly conceited about. That was where I had won the rather cheap little guy from.  Valuable stuff. Well, some of it is obviously not THAT valuable. IF there ever is a blog about European travel, say a travelogue from the 80's, well, you'll be the first to hear all about the details from those heady and active days.

An uncalled for aside of varying meaning:

  I am a Christian y'all, a truth I don't bother to hide no more than I would a form of patriotism as an American. I have great respect for tradition and yet, am not the most traditionally, provincially minded person out there. We're all different, just to be a bit philosophical about it. We're not suppose to be the same, are we? So I don't mind being myself and you shouldn't either and so, there are crosses around the house which I happen to favor. Thank you very much.

  If you're NOT religious or even patriotic, (geez, shame on you!), that's sort of your business in the long run. If you are and it is a private matter, you can elect to keep it that way. I don't personally agree one's beliefs should be kept under a bushel kind of thing. God knows, I need some spiritual guidance and protection. The Bible is an extremely fascinating book on different levels, including the theological perspectives, and I might add, have read it through more than once. Enough said.

  Spot an ashtray? Surely you didn't actually see... oops I thought that was well hidden away. Really I am trying to quit with electronic ones and an occasional puff. Please don't attack me mercilessly folks, it's not heroin or crack! No one is perfect, except you know Who. At least I hid the whiskey bottles and handcuffs; yes, I am really  kidding now! Now isn't this the kind of post you find fairly often and sometimes wonder why you are sitting there taking it all in? This happens even more frequently on Facebook, you know that, don't you?

  I do own a few valuable things, though not many. They are not in this room and some are not here in this vicinity. Neither are my pool trophies, or trumpet from the high school band, or...all under heavy and complicated lock and key in my lead bunker 12 feet under ground, of course watched over by part-time security guards, and with guns, large, dangerous ones. Or, in a safe deposit box, got that?! Good. I am being slightly facetious. How much you might ask? If you really care, it's best let's leave it to guess work. I would only state this is not the best place to come straggling in the wee hours for freebies that aren't tied or bolted down.

  Steelers, Penquins and Pirates are an interest. No more than being a normal sports enthusiast; anyway, I hate it too much when my team up and loses. I am not into every score, trade and statistic, however tiny, just a basic understanding of the moves and calls, key players and watching the games being played out and routing for the home team. Sometimes screaming loudly, especially when there is 'cheating' going on! Uh-huh. I only related this as I don't believe I'm obsessed with too many things. Alright, regional history, you've got me there. That is putting it nicely.

  I do admire old knives, swords and daggers, though I don't own many old ones; just a small collection mostly made up of reproductions. How many of us can afford the genuine article? Looking very closely, there is one in the corner of the first photo.


  I have a few of my mostly old, moldy oil paintings 'hanging around' from the old days when I had to escape the smooth talkers and unstable girls with nightmares for some quiet time. This one was very early, I think from the 1980's and borders on amateurish. The ones still within sight are mostly landscapes, and my Mom had a few she was really fond of. Been there a long time from the days before the Laurel Art Club. There's a plug for them, you know. (Your welcome!). There is actually another plug on the earliest Braddock Road post where I went to the old Mennonite cemetery. Have you noticed that? Let's see a show of hands! Ah...never mind then. Another painting hangs in the living room. I guess it is in the same spot on the wall because my mom liked it, as she cherished the few florals I painted for her, so why move it?

  Is it necessary for more photos of me?

  Finally, that is a pic taken against my will, kicking and dragging and biting... no, not really and this could mildly interest a few curious folks that desperately NEED and WANT to see my face.


   I know another blogger who has been online for more than ten years and he only now gave an interview and a clear photo of himself to the public, though it is fair to state, he had his stalkers to contend with. That's what I would call being very private. The quality of this photograph is somewhat questionable, but you must understand, this is important to keep my shy, retiring image continually vague and mysterious. Often I generally choose not to be too highly placed where it belongs, so that my amazing, though shy personality and encyclopedic intellect, wit and wisdom do not interfere with the normal operation of a rather bland, but never drab, historical website. Could you fall for such shenanigans? I hope not.

   On a serious note, I do trust the visitors are smart and observant enough to have no misunderstandings comprehending all that is written here. It's that simple. And, to be pretty honest and out front with you, my intentions are partly to keep you from discovering just how very mundane much of  my routine really is. Now the secret is out for all to know. The other parts of my life may not be quite this mundane..  A personal preference of mine. Although if you click on the link to the Heritage Festival at Mt. Vernon from last year, there are photos of yours truly. Enough said.

Part of a cluttered poem:

   Sighing in the mist of the quiet, early hushed morning, as the diamond dew sparkles more loudly; I take a lasting swill of my imported coffee from the jeweled and fabled cup, pausing to finally remove my white gloves and gold neck tie,  gazing thoughtfully at a Victorian poem of Wordsworth in green shadow to my right, the aromatic hint of thunder congeals in the odor of beans and the dawning gray light flecked with red and orange, tearing away memories like paper thin leaves as I lie down under a tree of walnut to dream or to awake..etc.

   Here is a shot of what is behind my nook, and a part of it with a small library, mostly of my parents and some holiday stuff we don't really know what else to do with yet. (Actually, I decided this would bore you so much, I just left it out!)  There are a few bookcases with lots of different types of reading material in the back room and I know how to use them! Really, I've always loved books. Much of our reading these days, is done on the internet or Kindle; a great advantage in these digital times. Personally, I wish there was more room for access to had actual,  physical ones that were more valuable in the monetary sense. That's alright, the content is what's so important.

  That's probably more than you should be aware of, or you may rather desire to be informed about! OK, so you may gather I am not the most open person with my daily Facebook and Twitter fixes. Certainly I have a Facebook membership of course. (WHO DOESN'T?!) I don't really need to be constantly uploading photos from my newest smart phone or IPad. I do have my history blog and, for me, with a couple other hobbies thrown in, that is basically enough. Consider yourself more informed about old Histbuffer. That should do it for another few months...or maybe even years.

A Very Small, But Much Needed Perspective:

  Yes, there are unicorns, rare airplanes, a fancy sword in the corner, as I am partial to a medieval outlook in rare moments; a castle as a gift from Blarney in Ireland...etc. Guess I come across as a mystical idealist. I'll hope for this much.

 With a straight face here, I confess that it is with strong emotions I regret my parents and others  weren't alive to see this website. The surprise on their faces could of been quite a special sight and I'm positive they both would've heartily approved at the modest success it has seen in the last two and a half years of service and dedication. What advice they could of given me too! Just maybe the words of wisdom would include not to attempt too many normal blog posts. Lol.

   I think most people would agree I've branched out quite a bit since starting the blog in late 2014, yes, with my father then my mother passing in the first half of that somber year.  Count them. Three whole years after their deaths. I have moved locations with various issues on my former dwelling-various issues with my present habitation; I have changed jobs in the middle of last year, and have many minor concerns, like health care on different fronts, further adventures in historical research, and...too much else on an even smaller scale to relate, really. So in the scheme of things I may of missed out on a few opportunities and struggled briefly with changes as I wrote up blog posts. All in all, I may be humoring myself when I say that I feel I've done fairly well. One has to grow, even if this takes place on a slower level as I would of chosen under other circumstances. We can't have everything exactly the way we want it, can we? Some of you have also grown with me. Some having very little to do with me, certainly in any personal way. I hope that time has been good to you and there has been an even mixture of curiosity and fascination toward the readership of Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History as a minor or, on a rarer note, possibly major part of your own lives.

   I know, sincerely, I've had immense enjoyment providing visitors with a stream of veritable history. Looking forward to more great regional stuff.

  An Overly Melodramatic Final Goodbye:

   We'll see you soon. You've heard more about me than you should of, huh? So, bye!

   Oops, what's the beef, not catchy enough? Crap...

  Try this: If by chance I'm not wearing a disguise, we might get lucky and meet in person, who knows? Most likely to fall immediately in love and travel on your money to Switzerland to have a madly wild and somewhat depraved honeymoon while I quickly find a rare medical excuse to slip away to meet some old colleagues in Stresa, Italy for a rousing time at an exclusive nightclub. But then, you'd probably notice my peg leg and buck teeth, glass eye and weird twitch, so maybe I'll deny admitting who I am, mumble my apologies and claim to be the third son of a rajah or the distant relative of Odin. An obscure but extremely interesting, sensitive, yet powerful and influential inside trader and all around international playboy. Just for a second you'll fall for it, right?!

   Nah. See, it just wouldn't work out.

   Now it's time to head back to the shadows and the security of a secluded paneled den with a favorite potpourri and hidden doorways and secret stairs leading to the real strangeness of ...The Attic, (see what happens when people expect too interesting a blog?), for more research for upcoming posts.

   Please check back.

   Not to pull a tooth or a medical miracle, or even about my somewhat drab sheltered nook where there is ever so much musing, a glass of red wine and staring out at the flowers around the hedge, and that's about all. More mundane and normal in contrast with my earlier times. Here I am a pretty fair amount of the time, to carefully prepare another relation of our fascinating regional historical background, in this, our heritage in Fayette, Westmoreland, and the surrounding counties of southwestern Pennsylvania.

                If anyone must see a close friend of the female persuasion that is a dear part of my life...well alright then. Below is a photo of my fourteen year old Mascot, Gypsy, quite a character in her own right:


   Thanks again for reading along and indulging me a while in catching a peek at the other side of things! I relished every minute of it.  
See ya soon for the next post!

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