Past Events 2016

Below is a listing of year 2016 past events.

Note: For a listing of all videos in past years, go to: Videos on YouTube

If you have trouble playing these youtube videos, please let us know at email:


YEAR 2016

December 16, 2016 --
This Meeting rescheduled for April 25, 2017 (Tuesday) after cancellation for weather.

"Pittsburgh Holocaust Center"

Speaker: LAUREN BAIRNSFATHER, PhD., Director

Lauren Bairnsfather

November 8, 2016 (Tuesday)

Special Lecture: "The Story of St. Francis of Assisi"

Speaker: MICHAEL FOLEY, Rector
Church of the Redeemer (our church)
Rev. Foley

Rev. Foley will share his recent visit to Assisi, Italy and information on St. Francis.

from wickipedia:
St. Francis of Assisi, after whom Pope Francis has taken his name, captures the spirit of many Catholics because church history regards him as the pre-eminent figure passionate about imitating Christ's life.

He is known also as a patron saint of Italy, the founder of the Franciscan order of the Friars Minor, an admirer of nature and a servant to poor and destitute. The brown robe of the Franciscans is iconic.

"Who doesn't know Francis of Assisi, who abandoned everything from wealth and prestige and who became poor himself," Vatican deputy spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica said, explaining how the saint inspired Pope Francis' name.

"Francis of Assisi is a great, great figure in the church but known especially for connecting with fellow Christians and many people outside the Christian family," Rosica said.

For more information on history of Church of the Redeemer visit Church of the Redeemer website

October 18, 2016 (Tuesday)

Date was changed -- Oct. 11 was the observance of Yom Kippur, therefore, we held our meeting on Oct. 18.

"Historical Overview of Carnegie Mellon University"

Speaker: HOLLY HIPPENSTEEL, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Carnegie Mellon University
Holly Heppensteel

Ms. Hippensteel will present a historical overview of the university from its beginnings to its present-day prominence.

From CMU website

The story of Carnegie Mellon University is unique and remarkable. After its founding in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical Schools, serving the workers and young men and women of the Pittsburgh area, it quickly became the degree-granting Carnegie Institute of Technology (now called College of Engineering) in 1912.

"Carnegie Tech," as it was known, merged with the Mellon Institute to become Carnegie Mellon University in 1967. Carnegie Mellon has since soared to national and international leadership in higher education-and it continues to be known for solving real-world problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and more at the CMU website.

About The Speaker (From CMU website):

Holly currently serves as an Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in the Office of the Dean. Through this role, Holly stewards cross-functional divisional efforts in the areas of graduate student support, academic integrity, assessment, risk management and functions that guide the strategic planning of the division. She is also a Housefellow for students that live in the graduate student housing pilot in Tartan House as well as the Doherty Apartments community. Additionally, Holly serves as a College Liaison with the College of Engineering (CIT), a role that allows Holly to support specific students and departments within CIT namely INI, BME and all incoming students prior to declaring their major. Holly is also a deputy Title IX coordinator specifically supporting students with questions and/or concerns related to the university policy against sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Holly has been an integral member of the CMU community for thirteen years in a variety of roles. She was born in Chambersburg, PA but grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida before returning to Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. in Sociology from La Roche College, her M.A .in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Kent State University

September 13, 2016 (Tuesday)

"Jewish Pittsburgh"

SHHS Member and faculty member of both Pitt and CMU Dr. Burstin

SHHS member Barbara Burstin, Ph.D., is the author of a new book that will be of great interest to many Squirrel Hill residents: Jewish Pittsburgh, part of the Images of America series produced by Arcadia Press. The book contains more than 200 vintage photos, some of which have never been published before. Through these pictures and accompanying text and captions, Dr. Burstin chronicles the development of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community from the 1840s to the present. Chapters include “Who are the Jews?,” “Destination Pittsburgh,” “Making a Living,“ Community Institutions,” “Jews in Social Justice, Civic Reform, Politics and Education,” “Jews in America’s Wars,” “The Struggle for Israel,” and “Jews in the Arts, Medicine, and Sports.” The book highlights noted Jews who have made significant contributions to both the Jewish and general Pittsburgh community, ranging from Rabbi Aaron Ashinsky to Myron Cope.

About the Author:
Dr. Burstin teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, including Osher classes. Her courses deal with the American Jewish experience, the U.S. and the Holocaust, and now a new course on the history of Pittsburgh. In addition to Jewish Pittsburgh, Dr. Burstin is the author of Steel City Jews, a history of Pittsburgh and its Jewish community from 1840 to 1915, and its sequel, Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War, to be published late in 2015, which looks at the community in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. She has also produced a film, A Jewish Legacy: Pittsburgh.

For more information about Pittsburgh’s Jewish history and to order Dr. Burstin’s books online, go to her website: Pittsburgh Jewish History . com.

July 26, 2016 (Tuesday)

This is Rescheduled -- January date was canceled because of weather.

"150 Years of Beer at Penn Brewery "

speaker: LINDA NYMAN,
Co-Owner of "Penn Brewery"

Linda Nyman

About the Speaker:
Linda Nyman has been a co-owner and Director of Marketing for Penn Brewery since 2009. She has worked in marketing, brand management, and consumer promotions for over twenty years and held positions with HJ Heinz Company, Sara Lee Corporation, and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare prior to acquiring Penn Brewery with her two business partners. During her career she has worked on such well-known brands as Aquafresh toothpaste, Kiwi Shoe Polish, and Weight Watchers food products. A native of Pittsburgh, Linda holds a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marhsall College and an MBA from University of Chicago.

From Website: Penn Brewery website

“Although the modern-day Penn Brewery was started in 1986, our roots actually lie far back in 1848, with the Eberhart and Ober families, Germans who settled in the Deutschtown neighborhood in the City of Allegheny, now Pittsburgh’s NorthSide. Eberhart and Ober opened three breweries on the site where Penn exists today, and three of the original E&O brewery buildings remain. These buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and boast many unique architectural features. Perhaps the most notable of these is a labyrinth of stone caves and tunnels which was constructed to chill, or “lager,” barrels of beer in the days before refrigeration became commonplace. Penn is one of just a handful of remaining US breweries that still has lagering caves.

E&O brewed beer at this location for several decades and eventually merged with a number of other regional breweries to become part of Pittsburgh Brewing Company in 1899. Beer production continued until 1952, under such labels as E&O Pilsner and Dutch Club………..” read more at the pennbrew website.

July 12, 2016 (Tuesday)

"Auto Dealership and Service Stations in Squirrel Hill over the Years"

speaker: MORRY SABLE,
Member of Family that Owned "Sable Motors" and "Sable Chevrolet" in Sq. Hill

July 9, 2016 - Pittsburgh Bicentennial Parade

On Saturday, July 9 the SHHS joined the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Celebration. Behind an exciting SHHS banner made by Member Audrey Glickman, we joined the parade of descendants of Pittsburgh Mayors, re-enactors, music and local cultural and heritage groups through the city of Pittsburgh.

June 14, 2016 (Tuesday)

"Marketing the Presidency"

speaker: STEVE MIHALY,
Retired Vice-President of the H.J. Heinz Co., and Political Historian"
Steve Mihaly

Bio from Steve Mihaly:
I am the recently retired Vice President of the HJ Heinz Co., Pittsburgh. My wife Kathy is a substitute school nurse in the North Allegheny and Deer Lakes School Systems, and we have lived in Gibsonia for over the past 20 years. We have one daughter, Katie, who currently lives in Hot Springs Virginia where she is a Guidance Counselor at Valley Elementary.

I began collecting political americana at the age of 10, and have now been collecting for over 50 years, with a collection that now encompasses over 20,000 items. However, this journey started out very humbly and simply. As a young kid, my parents loved to go to antique shops, garage sales, and flea markets.....travels that I did not particularly enjoy. However, I did enjoy American History and one day my dad bought a handful of old political buttons at one of these garage sales and gave them to me. Thus, it gave me something to do and seek out as I was dragged around to these events. From this, I’ve met hundreds of interesting people, including 4 US Presidents. I’ve been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines across the country, including in this area, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Beaver County Times, The Butler Eagle, and Pittsburgh Magazine. For February, my wife daughter and I are on the front cover of Pine Township Neighbors, which has 10 pictures and a 3 page article on our latest adventures. In the article it mentions that I will be speaking at a couple of local historical societies in the near future, as well as that I’ll have a display of Penna. Presidential memoriabilia this July in Harrisburg. In March I spoke at the Beaver County Historical Society, and later on in that same month I spoke at the Westmoreland County Historical Society. I believe if you Google “Stephen Mihaly-Political Buttons” you’ll also find several articles about me and my political collection from newspapers around the country. Today, I still enjoy the thrill of “the hunt” and in particularly, sharing my love of political history.

About the Presentation From Steve Mihaly:
I developed the “Marketing The Presidency” presentation 2 years ago in response to a friend’s request that I speak at the Joan Crawford Distinguished Speakers Series in Maryland. Most folks, when they hear the word”marketing” think of it as a relatively modern day term, but in terms of presidential candidates, from George Washington to today, candidates have been marketing themselves, their ideas, or marketing against their opponent, from the beginning. In particular, the presentation focuses on the array of “odd” artifacts that candidates have produced to get the candidate’s name and ideas in front of the electorate. Thus, some of the items in the presentation include a James Monroe snuff box promoting the Monroe Doctrine, a Teddy Roosevelt cast iron door stop, an Eisenhower bar of soap with Ike’s image on it and the words “Clean Up With Ike” and a Richard Nixon shower head where the water comes squirting out of his mouth, just to name a few. Thus, the presentation tends to focus on the whimsical, while at the same time, explaining to the audience why the candidate would actually produce such an oddity and what is the historical significance behind it.

Pictures of a few of the items in my “Marketing The Presidency” presentation.

Photo 1-- 1961 game of “Bluff” picturing caricatures of John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev; a Nixon shower head (water flows out of his mouth); a wind-up Jimmy Carter peanut toy; a bar of soap that pictures Eisenhower and the phrase “Clean Up With Ike” and a Goldwater “Fan Club” fan and a Goldwater wooded ruler that says “Goldwater-A Leader Not A Ruler.”

Photo 2 -- A group of Beaver County and Penna. presidential items. The Teddy Roosevelt tray is a 1904 campaign and advertising piece from a liquor store in Beaver Falls.

Photo 3 -- Some Allegheny County political items that I'll be showing at the presentation.

June 4, 2016 (Saturday)

Tour of "FRICK PARK" held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Tour Guide: Susan Rademacher, Parks Curator for Pgh. Parks Conservancy

SHHS last toured Frick Park in 2011 and we will visit other areas of this large and beautiful park in 2016.

TOUR TIME: 9:45 am to Noon

COST: $ 5 for Members, $8 for Non-Members

Maximum group size limited to 25

STARTING LOCATION: Reynolds Street Gate House
map to starting location


Information from
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

"The largest of Pittsburgh’s regional parks at 561 acres, Frick Park is also the youngest. Although Henry Clay Frick bequeathed the original 151 acres to the city in 1919, the park did not open until 1927 after additional land had been acquired. Most recently, 106 acres were annexed to the park as part of the process that created the Summerset at Frick Park housing development and restored the Nine Mile Run stream valley. Now Frick Park stretches from its northern borders in Point Breeze down to the Monongahela River."

May 10, 2016 (Tuesday)

"The Evolution of Bridges in Pittsburgh"

speaker: TODD WILSON,
Engineer and Author
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, P.E., is a civil engineer whose passion for bridges has spanned his whole life and led him on quests to photograph bridges in all 50 states and four continents. He is especially interested in the history of bridge building in Pittsburgh, with its cast of monumental engineers such as John A. Roebling, Gustav Lindenthal, and George S. Richardson.

In his presentation, Mr. Wilson will talk about the large and diverse collection of bridge types that is a necessity in a city with hilly topography intersected by three mighty rivers—the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio—and deep valleys and ravines. He will explain how engineers, architects, and contractors conquered the challenging terrain and how the resulting bridges were carefully designed not just for function but also for aesthetics, covering the planning, construction, and sometimes, demolition, of bridges that defined Pittsburgh, ranging from its first covered bridges to today’s skyline-defining spans.

About Todd Wilson:
Todd M. Wilson, P.E., is a Project Engineer at Homestead-based GAI Consultants, Inc. He currently serves as a Trustee of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and the History and Heritage Committee Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pittsburgh Section.

Growing up in Squirrel Hill, as the son of an art teacher and a photographer, Mr. Wilson has been interested in bridges his whole life. Even in kindergarten at St. Philomena's, he was already drawing and photographing bridges. After graduating as a valedictorian of Taylor Allderdice High School, his love of bridges led him to pursue a degree in civil engineering, graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an additional major in Engineering and Public Policy.

In 2007, he co-created , one of the largest bridge websites on the Internet. In 2009, Mr. Wilson founded the Historic Bridge Weekend, an annual event in which historic bridge enthusiasts—engineers, historians, photographers and hobbyists—gather to attend presentations and visit historic bridges. In 2010, Mr. Wilson was named one of the ASCE's Ten New Faces of Civil Engineering. In 2011, Mr. Wilson was named one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40, and in the same year he received the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Civil Engineering’s Recent Alumnus Achievement Award.

NOTE: SHHS Members Helen and Todd Wilson are coauthors of Pittsburgh Bridges, a recently released book in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. The book has photographs, diagrams and descriptions of more than 140 of Pittsburgh's past and present bridges, including the wide variety of bridges in the Squirrel Hill and East End area. The book can be purchased at local bookstores and at and other online booksellers.

April 12, 2016 (Tuesday)

"White Indians (Captives) on the Western Pennsylvania Frontier"

Author, Historical Researcher, and SHHS Member

R. Vendeland

Join historical researcher, published author, and professional storyteller Roland Vendeland to discover the fates of white settlers forced to live among Native Americans. War and disease depleted populations among 18th century Native Americans who captured frontier white settlers to “adopt” into their families and tribes. Listen to these authentic stories: two white women killing their captors to escape; bare-footed escape into “Fox Chapel;” young white man adopted by the Caughnewagas who became a missionary to Native Americans; Pennsylvania women who chose to live among the Seneca; The Girty's, Squirrel Hill Brothers who fought with Native Americans against whites.

March 8, 2016 (Tuesday)

Getting to Know Our Neighbors: "Shootin' the Breeze: A Neighborhood Evolution and Pictorial Process of Pittsburgh's Point Breeze"

speaker: SARAH LAW, Author, fellow Breezer, and SHHS Member Sarah Law

Shootin' the Breeze: A Neighborhood Evolution and Pictorial Process of Pittsburgh's Point Breeze
Join author, fellow Breezer, and SHHS member, Sarah Law on a Point Breeze journey from General George Washington and "The Great Road to the West" to the electricity of Pittsburgh's Gilded Age. Discover the five Point Breeze authors of the 20th century and return to Bakery Square - steps from the now infamous Point Breeze Hotel.

About Pittsburgh's Point Breeze:

Named for the famous early-19th-century Point Breeze Hotel that stood at the corner of what is now Fifth and Penn Avenues, Point Breeze has been home to some of the wealthiest families in Pittsburgh and the country. Moguls such as Carnegie, Westinghouse, Frick, Mellon, and Thaw all resided in Point Breeze, thus christened “Pittsburgh’s Most Opulent Neighborhood.” H.J. Heinz owned the first car in Pittsburgh, which was garaged at his estate in North Point Breeze, and present-day Wilkins Avenue was originally the private road to the 650-acre estate of senator, ambassador to Russia, and judge William Wilkins. However, many of these prestigious estates were later razed and divided to become smaller residential lots, driving the real estate market to create more homes to accommodate 20th-century families. In later years, the Point Breeze neighborhood became the home of several well-known authors, including Annie Dillard, Albert French, and David McCullough, as well as professional athletes Willie Stargell of the Pirates and L.C. Greenwood of the Steelers and everyone’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers.

Author Bio:

Sarah L. Law has been a Point Breeze resident for over a decade. A member of the Frick Art & Historical Center and an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University, she is indebted to the vast archival collections, personal interviews, and cherished individual photographs used to compile this heartfelt snapshot of Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze. Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto has also graciously contributed a foreword to the book.

February 9, 2016 (Tuesday)

"History of the City Theatre:
40 Years of New Plays in Pittsburgh"

speakers: Reginald L. Douglas, and Clare Drobot

from CITY THEATRE website

Founded in 1975, City Theatre began as the City Players, a touring company that performed in schools, parks, and housing projects. By the end of the decade, the City Players were offered residency at the University of Pittsburgh, and, with an official home, City Theatre was born. read more at their website.

Tracy Brigden (Artistic Director): The 2015-2016 season will mark Tracy’s fifteenth year as City Theatre’s Artistic Director. Most recently at City Theatre, she directed Midsummer by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre and Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler. Past City Theatre directing credits include the world premiere of Hope and Gravity, the American premiere of The Monster in the Hall, the world premiere of Louder Faster, and productions of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,Abigail/1702, Seminar, Time Stands Still, Precious Little, The 39 Steps, Shooting Star, The Clockmaker, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Other City Theatre directing credits include the premieres of plays by Christopher Durang, Adam Rapp, Keith Reddin, Eve Ensler, and Helen Edmondson, among others. Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, Tracy was Associate Artistic Director of Hartford Stage in Connecticut and Artistic Associate for Manhattan Theatre Club. Other directing credits include productions at both regional and New York theatres, including Atlantic Theater Company, TheatreWorks Palo Alto, Westport Playhouse, the Hangar, CATF, and Pittsburgh Public Theater. Awards and honors include Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 Under 40″ and the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Production and Best Director.

Reginald L. Douglas is the Artistic Producer of the City Theatre Company, and a director with a passion for new play development. Reginald has worked extensively throughout the country at venues including the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Playwrights Center, McCarter Theatre, Luna Stage, the Wild Project, Pershing Square Signature Center, Drama League, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Culture Project, Theater Row, BRIC Arts Media, DR2, Soho Playhouse, Billie Holiday Theatre, Horse Trade, Baruch College, and many others. Reginald has developed and directed plays by many acclaimed writers including Jerome Fellow Josh Wilder, Obie Award-winner Nikkole Salter, Laura Brienza, Amy Evans, Angelica Chéri, James MacLindon, Natalia Naman, Bil Wright, and several others. In addition, Reginald has received fellowships from New York Theater Workshop and the Lark Play Development Center; is a member of the Actors Studio’s Playwrights and Directors Unit; and has assistant directed for several leading players in the field on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally. His work has been hailed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, Talkin' Broadway, Stage Buddy, and other leading publications, and his production of Master Harold…and the boys was named one of the Top 10 shows of 2014 by The Star Ledger.

Clare Drobot (Director of New Play Development): Clare has worked in theater as a dramaturg, literary manager, and casting associate since 2005. Prior to joining City Theatre she was the resident dramaturg/producing associate at Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean University. Clare was also a literary associate for Passage Theatre in Trenton and ran the reading series Untitled at Happy Ending in New York. Clare has worked in various capacities at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The McCarter Theatre, The BE Company, Two River Theater, Theater for the New City, Laura Stanczyk Casting, and New Dramatists. She has helped to develop works by Dominique Morisseau, James McManus, Chisa Hutchinson, Tammy Ryan, Kathryn Grant, Tom Matthew Wolfe, Erik Gernand, and Darren Canady among others. She is a Carnegie Mellon graduate and a member of LMDA and the WGA.

January 12, 2016 meeting canceled due to weather