Below is a listing of some of our past events.
April 9, 2013 (Tuesday)
"A History of Ten Thousand Villages: The Role of the Presbyterian Church"
Speakers: KAREN HORST,
Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach Manager,
and SUSAN SCHNEIDER,
Original Founding Member of the Pittsburgh "Ten Thousand Villages"
from the website: pittsburgh.tenthousandvillages.com
Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh is celebrating 15 years! We are staffed by over 60 dedicated volunteers and offer a wide range of outreach programming that connects local organizations to artisans around the world.
Ten Thousand Villages in Pittsburgh, PA, is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 130 artisan groups in some 38 countries, we are part of a network of over 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products.
As one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations, Ten Thousand Villages has spent more than 60 years cultivating trading relationships in which artisans receive a fair price for their work and consumers have access to distinctive handcrafted items. We seek to establish long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans are under- or unemployed, and in which they lack other opportunities for income. A founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Ten Thousand Villages sees fair trade as an alternative approach to conventional international trade.
March 12, 2013 (Tuesday)
"The YWCA in Pittsburgh since 1869"
Speaker: Magdeline E. Jensen,
Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh
Information from YWCA Website
Since its proud beginnings in 1869, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh has championed social progress for women and children. YW women have advocated for fair and equitable conditions, challenged social and racial injustice, and empowered women and their families. Created by women -- for every woman -- the YW has forged a trail of leadership, advocacy, and action wherever it has recognized a community need.
Today, we strengthen our community by creating and advancing opportunities for all women to seek equality and self-sufficiency. Building on programs with roots in nineteenth century social reform, we promote housing, employment, education, and civil rights for people of color, women, and children.
Magdeline E. Jensen, CEO
Magdeline (Maggie) Jensen has served as Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh since November 2007. Her selection by the YWCA’s Board of Directors to take on the YW’s CEO responsibilities is a tale of transferable management and leadership skills.
Prior to joining the YWCA, Ms. Jensen performed as Chief Federal Probation Officer in Arizona – and was the first woman selected to hold that position. As Chief Federal Probation Officer, Ms. Jensen managed a $15 million operation of the U.S. Probation Office for nine years across the state. Ms. Jensen worked in Washington, DC as an administrator for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the headquarters of the Federal Courts, helped develop national sentencing policy and functioned as liaison to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. While in Washington, she was an instructor at the Federal Judicial Center and a Professorial Instructor at American University in the Department of Justice, Law and Society, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Thurgood Marshall Child Development Center. She has hands-on experience connecting people in need to community resources from her experiences as a U.S. probation officer in San Diego and as a deputy probation officer in Contra Costa County, CA. She was also a Lecturer at California State University, Hayward in the Department of Criminal Justice for five years.
Ms. Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and a Master of Criminology from the University of California, Berkeley, CA. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University, the “Kitchen Cabinet” of the Bayer Center for Non-Profit Management’s 74% Study “Exploring the Lives of Women in Nonprofits”, the Civic Advisory Committee of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative, and a member of the Board for The Program for Offenders, Inc. She is also on the Advisory Committees for the professional journals Federal Probation and the Federal Sentencing Reporter.
February 12, 2013 (Tuesday)
"The Fall and Rise of Pittsburgh Labor:
From the "Stogie Strike" to the Congress
of Industrial Organizations"
Speaker: CHARLES McCOLLESTER,
Author of "The Point of Pittsburgh" and director of the Pa. Center for the Study of Labor Relations, and professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of PA.
McCollester has written a new and different history of Pittsburgh --"The Point of Pittsburgh" -- and by doing so has assembled in a remarkable way a history of this country. --from:William Serrin, former labor and workplace correspondent for The New York Times
Charles McCollester is the director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations and a professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Louvain in Belgium. He was a machinist and the Chief Steward of UE 610 at the Union Switch and Signal in Swissvale Pennsylvania. He edited Fighter With a Heart: Writings of Charles Owen Rice, Pittsburgh Labor Priest (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996).
The "1913 Stogie Strike" -- The most successful strike in Pittsburgh during this period was the IWW led strike of the stogie workers in the Hill District, in 1913. Led largely by Jewish immigrants and socialists, the stogie workers had been denied membership in the AFL in 1912. They joined the IWW the following year and went on strike for eighteen weeks.
January 8, 2013 (Tuesday)
"The Development of the August Wilson Center"
Speaker: OLIVER BYRD,
Founder and Interim Co-Director, August Wilson Center
from the August Wilson website:
One of only two major arts institutions in the world named for Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans utilizing the rich history, legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania as a foundation.
December 11, 2012 (Tuesday)
"Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition --
History and Current Projects"
Speaker: WAYNE GERHOLD, Treasurer, Sq.Hill Coalition
from the SHUC website
The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition was founded in 1972. It’s mission, as set forth in the By-Laws is “… to improve the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh through educational and cooperative endeavors of individuals and groups from the area seeking to enhance the physical and social attributes of the community.”
Key milestones in the history of the Coalition cover a range of issues, including but not limited to, Education, Public Safety, Business District Improvements, Land Use, Parks and Recreation, and Long Range Planning.
November 13, 2012 (Tuesday)
"Civil War and Pittsburgh"
Speaker: DAVID ALBERT
About the Speaker:
David Albert , a retired Air Force officer, has been a student of the Civil War for 40 years, taking master's level courses and numerous noncredit courses and tours. He co-taught the Civil War elective at the U.S. Air Force's Air Command and Staff College and was a Civil War docent for 12 years at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. He taught a similar course for Elderhostel and for the College for Seniors at the University of North Carolina Ashville. He is an OLLI member.
He is currently teaching classes on the Civil War for the Osher Program at Pitt and CMU.
WQED -- "SQUIRREL HILL IN A NUTSHELL"
Michael Ehrmann, SHHS's Chairman, will be interviewed for this TV program.
Monday, October 22, 2012 from 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Program will be repeated Monday, October 22 at midnight
and again on Sunday October 28 at 2:30 pm.
Squirrel Hill is not only Pittsburgh's largest city neighborhood but also one of the most complex. In a time of declining city population, Squirrel Hill has grown. It has become the Pittsburgh's own Ellis Island, a mecca for varied ethnic groups moving to Pittsburgh, and home to the most unusual restaurants and stores in town. It's also becoming a model for city living.
There's so much to see - in only 30 minutes, but you'll enjoy Squirrel Hill in a nutshell.
October 9, 2012 (Tuesday)
"History of Meadowcroft Rockshelter"
Speaker: DR. JAMES ADOVASIO,
Provost, Director, Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute,
From Heinz History Center
Meadowcroft Rockshelter, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, provides a unique glimpse into the lives of prehistoric hunters and gathers. This archaeological site has revealed the earliest evidence of people in North America, dating back 16,000 years.
This National Historic Landmark, located in Avella, Washington County, Pa.,( 36 miles west-southwest of Pittsburgh) is a massive rock overhang beneath which the earliest known inhabitants of the Upper Ohio Valley camped 16,000 years ago. Subsequently, the site was revisited by Native Americans and, ultimately, Euro-Americans all the way up to the present. It is currently the longest occupational sequence in North and South America.
The Rockshelter, named a National Historic Landmark in 2005, has provided archaeologists with a rare glimpse into the lives of the first people to arrive in the New World.
The first prehistoric artifacts were discovered in a groundhog burrow at the site in 1955 by property owner and museum founder, Albert Miller. In 1973, the first professional excavation of the Rockshelter was conducted by the Cultural Resource Management Program (CRMP) of the University of Pittsburgh and directed by J. M. Adovasio. Subsequent University of Pittsburgh field school excavations took place from 1973-1989. More recent research and excavation has been directed by J. M. Adovasio through the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute (MAI). The excavation protocols used at Meadowcroft are still considered state-of-the-art and the site is widely regarded as one of the most carefully excavated sites in North America.
About the speaker from Mercyhurst College website:
Adovasio, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona and his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Utah. He served as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and as professor and chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Adovasio achieved world acclaim as an archaeologist with his excavation of Meadowcroft Rockshelter, 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pa. Meadowcroft has been widely recognized as the earliest well-dated archaeological site in North America with evidence of human habitation dating to circa 16,000 years ago.
In 1990, Adovasio accepted the positions of chairman of the Department of Anthropology / Archaeology and director of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, which is widely recognized as the preeminent archaeological research program in a small to medium academic setting in North America. Adovasio also served as a commissioner with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (1995-2001) and has published nearly 400 books, monographs, articles, and technical papers.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities at Mercyhurst, Adovasio will continue to teach and do research at the college.
"Since his arrival at Mercyhurst, Dr. Adovasio and his carefully selected faculty of specialists have built an internationally renowned science program, attracting top students from all over the world," Mercyhurst College President Dr. Thomas J. Gamble noted. "In addition, the depth and breadth of his knowledge of and commitment to Mercyhurst make him the ideal choice for provost."
September 11, 2012 (Tuesday)
"History of Calvary Catholic Cemetery"
Speaker: CHRIS MOTTO,
Family Service Manager,
The Catholic Cemeteries Association
From Catholic Cemeteries Association
In 1886, the diocese established the Calvary Cemetery Association and Calvary Cemetery, a 200-acre tract of land in the Hazelwood area of Pittsburgh. The first burial took place in June 1888. Calvary Cemetery remains the largest of the diocesan cemeteries. Today it includes a beautiful chapel mausoleum, a large garden crypt development, the exclusive Cardinal Wright Oratory crypts, a large priests’ plot, and Shepherd’s Rest, a mausoleum set aside for the entombment of bishops of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. A total of 152,238 interments and entombments have taken place at Calvary Cemetery as of 2008.
Article from Tribune Review, September 8, 2006:
Calvary Cemetery is the resting place of three Pittsburgh mayors -- David L. Lawrence, Richard Caliguiri and Bob O'Connor.
The 200-acre cemetery in Hazelwood counts several other notables among the 150,000 people interred there.
Harry Stuhldreher, the Notre Dame quarterback who was one of the legendary "Four Horsemen," is buried at Calvary. So is boxer Billy Conn, the "Pittsburgh Kid," who nearly went the distance with Joe Louis in 1941, despite being outweighed by 25 pounds.
A modest stone marks the grave of James "Pud" Galvin. Known as the "Little Steam Engine," the Hall of Fame pitcher was the first man to win 300 games, in a career that began just 10 years after the Civil War ended.
The tombstone of actor Frank Gorshin, best known as The Riddler in the "Batman" TV series, fittingly features a question mark, as his green leotard did. It follows the inscription, "What does it all mean?"
The first U.S. infantryman killed fighting the Germans in the trenches of World War I, Pvt. Thomas Enright, was returned to Calvary for burial.
Two prominent brothers who died within a day of each other this summer are buried there -- Common Pleas Judge Walter Little and Anderson Little, the host of a long-running radio program about Pittsburgh's black community.
Another pair of brothers was buried in an unmarked grave at Calvary for decades.
Ed and Jack Biddle, two death row inmates at Allegheny County Jail in 1902, were sprung by the warden's wife but shot by police as they fled in a sleigh for Canada.
Mel Gibson and Matthew Modine played them in the 1984 movie "Mrs. Soffel." A headstone was placed on the brothers' common grave afterward.
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh established the cemetery in 1886. About a quarter of the grounds are undeveloped, said Chris Motto, family services manager for the cemetery.
O'Connor's mother, father and other relatives are buried at Calvary.
"His family is here, and this has always been his community," Motto said.
August 2012 -- No meeting -- enjoy the summer!
July 10, 2012(Tuesday)
Founder of the Sq.Hill Historical Society --
Preservation Architect and Architectural Historian
"Recent Preservation Projects and Surprising Pennsylvania Connections"
Terry Necciai will speak at the SHHS about several projects he has undertaken since he last lived in Squirrel Hill ten years ago. A preservation architect and architectural historian, he specializes in small community-based projects, museum projects and tax credit certifications. In these projects, he analyzes and documents historic buildings and provides guidance for other architects and owners on how to treat them.
He helped start the Squirrel Hill Historical Society before moving to Maryland in 2002, but now lives in Philadelphia.
The presentation will be illustrated. The projects will include lighthouses, a Civil War Museum, preservation plans for business districts, and a study of farm landscapes. Though scattered around the Mid-Atlantic region, they have surprising connections to Pennsylvania, in most cases specifically to familiar Western Pennsylvania themes.
June 5, 2012(Tuesday)--
Note this is a change in date !!
"History of UPMC's Sports Medicine Clinic and the
History of Sports Medicine"
Speaker: DR. FREDDIE FU,
David Silver Professor and Chairman of
the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at UPMC
Freddie H. Fu, M.D., has been the chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) since 1997, where he is the David Silver Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has been the head team physician for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics since 1986.
Dr. Fu is known worldwide for his pioneering surgical techniques to treat sports-related injuries to the knee and shoulder and his extensive scientific and clinical research in the biomechanics of such injuries. Because of his reputation, Dr. Fu attracts both athletic and non-athletic patients from all over the globe.
Because of Dr. Fu's medical achievements and their impact locally as well as world-wide and his many contributions to enrich the Pittsburgh community, at the end of 1999, Pittsburgh Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential Pittsburghers of the 20th century. He is consistently listed in the magazine's annual "Best Doctors" issue. Also in 1999, the Allegheny Cycling Association gave Dr. Fu its award for Outstanding Service to the Cycling Community in recognition of Dr. Fu's sponsorship of many local cyclists and his constant support of many local cycling events. In May 2002, the YMCA of Pittsburgh honored Dr. Fu with its 28th Annual Person of the Year award. And, in 2004, Dr. Fu was named Vector’s Pittsburgh Man of the Year for Community Service.
A brief look at Dr. Fu's extensive community involvement includes service as co-chairman of the Pittsburgh Local Organizing Committee of the 2005 Summer National Senior Games - The Senior Olympics; chairman of the board and executive medical director of the City of Pittsburgh Marathon Inc. from 1985 through 2003; company physician and member of the board of trustees for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; and team physician for Mt. Lebanon High School. Dr. Fu is also involved in the WQED Children's Festival Chorus and honorary board member of the Parental Stress Center. He has served as honorary chairman for various functions of the Pittsburgh Employment Alliance and is an active member of the Organization of Chinese Americans.
WALKING TOUR -- Schenley Park
Saturday, June 2
Time: 10 am to Noon
Starting Location: Schenley Park Visitor Center (across from Phipps Conservatory)
Cost: $3 for members --
$5 for non-members -- maximum group size 25
Send check payable to:
c/o Mike Ehrmann
5638 Northumberland Ave.
Pgh., PA. 15217
This tour will be held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
"Situated in the heart of Oakland, Schenley Park has come to be Pittsburgh's civic park. Created in 1889 with land donated by Heiress Mary Schenley, the park now contains 456 acres of trails, woods, and attractions."
May 16, 2012 (Wednesday)
Channel 4, on the 6 pm TV News, aired an interview with our chairperson, Michael Ehrmann,talking about the Squirrel Hill Historical Society. This is part of a "Pittsburgh Now and Then" series looking at Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
Look at WTAE "Pittsburgh: Then & Now"
May 8, 2012(Tuesday)
"Marcellus Shale -- History, Production Methods
and Current Issues"
Speaker: DANIEL BAIN,
Professor of Geology and Planetary Science,
University of Pittsburgh
As Marcellus Shale activity sweeps Western Pennsylvania, a new University of Pittsburgh database reveals that approximately 7 percent of Allegheny County’s land has been leased for drilling and extraction since 2003. In addition, the number of properties in the county leased for oil and gas exploration increased by 322 percent between 2008 and 2009.
Environmental concerns around the drilling and extraction processes have sparked interesting discussion. This meeting will help understand the basics along with issues that may concern all of us.
Read current Post-Gazette article:
"Corbett outlines plans for Marcellus Shale Fee"
About the Speaker (From Pitt Newsletter 2007)
"In January 2007, the Department of Geology and Planetary Science grew in number and in stature with the arrival of Drs. Emily Elliott and Daniel Bain from Menlo Park, California, where both had completed post-doctoral appointments with the U.S. Geological Survey....Dr. Bain, a native of southeastern Ohio, brings a wealth of research experience in geomorphology, geochemistry, and hydrology to the Department."
April 10, 2012(Tuesday)
"Black Baseball in Pittsburgh"
Speaker: ROB RUCK,
Author and Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh had both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. Sports played a major role in shaping Pittsburgh's black community.
About the Author:
Rob Ruck, Senior Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh, The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic, Rooney: A Sporting Life, and the recently released Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game.
His documentary work includes Kings on the Hill: Baseball's Forgotten Men, which won an Emmy for Cultural Programming, and The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game. He was on the committee that elected eighteen players from the Caribbean and the Negro Leagues to the Hall of Fame in 2006 and recently served as an advisor for Viva Beisbol, the permanent exhibit on Latinos at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
An undergraduate at Yale University, who did his doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh, Rob lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Maggie Patterson, his co-author for the Rooney book.
March 13, 2012
"The Whiskey Rebellion and Wigle Whiskey,
Pittsburgh's New Artisan Whiskey Distillery"
What do they have in common? Come and Find Out!!
Speaker: ERIC MEYER,
Co-Proprietor, Wigle Whiskey
WIGLE A Rebellious Whiskey from their website:
Wigle—which is pronounced to rhyme with squiggle—is named for a good-natured man who was sentenced to hang for his unsinkable love of whiskey. In 1794, Phillip Wigle—traditionally pronounced Vigol or Weigel—defended his right to distill in a tussle with a tax collector. He unwittingly helped spark the Whiskey Rebellion, which pitted Pennsylvania distillers against George Washington's troops.
February 14, 2012
"A Sustainable Community Future: What type of projects should Squirrel Hill favor?"
Speaker: ERIC OSTH, Principal at Urban Design Associates
ERIC R. OSTH
About the Speaker:
Eric R. Osth, AIA, LEED AP
Eric’s interest lies in the relationship of architecture and urban design. As principal and architecture studio director, Eric leads architecture projects within UDA’s master plans and also within rich, unique contexts around the world that require specialized knowledge of the practice of traditional architecture and
urban design. His design emphasis focuses on invention and the incorporation of modern requirements within a traditional language of building as they relate to
place and context. Eric is also a student of strategies of proportion and patternmaking in contextual research.
Prior to joining UDA, Eric worked for Merrill & Pastor Architects (now Merrill, Pastor & Colgan) in Vero Beach, Florida on architectural commissions in Seaside, Windsor, and along the Atlantic seaboard. He also worked as a Senior Urban Designer at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM) in San Francisco, where he led design teams on projects that included design of a new district center in Shanghai, China.
Education and Professional Affiliations:
Eric earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami with honors. Subsequently, he was awarded a University Fellowship to the University of
California, Berkeley, where he earned a Master of Urban Design degree. He has taught as a Lecturer in Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America in New York City.
Eric is a registered architect in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Utah and served as President of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2011.
"Member and Friends Appreciation Night" -- Refreshments will be served.
Speaker: MICHAEL EHRMANN, Chairman of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society
TOPIC: "Historic Preservation in U.S."
December 13, 2011 (Tuesday)
"History of Jewish Residential Services"
Speaker: DEBORAH FRIEDMAN
Jewish Residential Services
from their website:
Jewish Residential Services provides residential and rehabilitative services to people who need support in their everyday lives because of psychiatric or developmental disabilities. JRS helps people learning to live with long-term disabilities to establish dignified, stable, productive and satisfying lives for themselves as members of the JRS community, their families and of the greater community. JRS offers a culturally rich, Jewish environment which is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and which encourages participants to build upon their strengths and grow to their fullest potential.
November 8, 2011 (Tuesday)
"History of Homewood Cemetery"
Speaker: MARILYN EVERT
Homewood Cemetery Historian
Homewood Cemetery from their website:
The Homewood Cemetery is part of the American Cemetery Movement of the 1800s. The cemetery was founded in 1878...a Lawn Park style. At the time of the Cemetery's foundation, the East End was already home to some of Pittsburgh's most wealthy and influential families.
The Cemetery is currently undertaking a major restoration effort to maintain the Lawn Park intention of the cemetery's design.
Read more that their website.
October 11, 2011 (Tuesday)
"The Thaws of Pittsburgh, Allegheny and the East End"
Speaker: DAVID GRINNEL
Chief Archivist at the Heinz History
and JOHN CANNING
Vice-President of the Allegheny City Society
One of the most significant families of 19th century Pittsburgh was that of William Thaw. Aside from Thaw himself, his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Dohrman Thaw, his second wife, Mary Copley Thaw, and their son, Harry Thaw made the headlines of the region's newspapers for several decades. This program will tell the story of the Thaw family.
Heinz History Center
Allegheny City Society
Change in Date
September 20, 2011 (Tuesday)
"August Wilson -- A Personal Rememberance"
Speaker: SALA UDIN
Former Pittsburgh City Councilman
About the speaker:
Sala Udin, August Wilson, and Rob Penny co-founded the Centre Avenue Poets' Theatre Workshop in the Hill District, Pittsburgh in 1965. Along with this workshop, the three men also co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in 1968. Sala Udin also opened a Black bookstore called New World Books in 1992.
Udin's major theatrical work is that when he starred as Becker in the August Wilson play Jitney in October 1982 at the Allegheny Repertory Theatre.
Sala Udin spent 11 years as a Pittsburgh City Councilman beginning in 1997 when he was elected to finish out the term of late Councilman Christopher Smith who represented District 6. While serving as a City Councilman, Udin was one of the officials involved with a referendum petition to the City Charter which would result in the development of a Citizen Police Review Board.
Sala Udin is currently the president and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership's Pittsburgh chapter. Coro is a national, non-profit, non-partisan educational organization supported by foundations, corporations, and individuals.
In addition to his work with Coro, Sala Udin helped to found the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. The August Wilson Center "engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating, and shaping the art, culture, and history of African Americans in Western Pennsylvania and people of African American descent throughout the world."
July 12, 2011 (Tuesday)
"The Story of Unitarian Universalism in Western Pennsylvania"
Speaker: Kathleen Parker,
Adjunct lecturer in history at the University of Pittsburgh
From the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh website:
"Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion born of the Jewish and Christian traditions. We keep our minds open to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience, and reason should be the final authorities in religion. In the end religious authority lies not in a book, person, or institution, but in ourselves. We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds. We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. Ours is a free faith.”
Read October 3, 2010 article in the Post-Gazette --"Exhibit addresses how Unitarian Church has evolved".
June 14, 2011 (Tuesday)
"The Jewish Community of Pittsburgh -- Finding Your Family Roots"
Speaker: Robert Zavos,
Vice President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh
Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh was organized in 1982 to provide a forum for and assistance to members interested in researching their ancestors. JGS Pittsburgh offers its members research techniques, informative lectures and teaches modern research techniques on and off the internet. We are a member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies - more than 75 organizations Worldwide.
Saturday, June 11, 10:00 AM
Tour of "FRICK PARK" held in conjunction with the
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
TOUR TIME: 10 am to Noon
Meet at 9:45 am
Frick Environmental Center
2005 Beechwood Blvd.
Cost: $5 ($3 Members)
Maximum group size 25
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, 2011 (Tuesday)
"Petroleum Pioneers in Pittsburgh's East End"
Speaker: Al Mann,
Former Energy Engineer with Gulf Oil/USDOE and
Current President, East End/East Liberty Historical Society.
In January 2008, the East End/East Liberty Historical Society published a book through Acadia Publishing.
"Pittsburgh's East Liberty Valley"
Book Description from Acadia website:
Pittsburgh's East Liberty Valley originally consisted of lush hunting grounds used by many Native American groups. In the 1700s, British general John Forbes instructed George Washington to build a military road from Fort Ligonier through the East Liberty Valley to the forks of the Ohio River. In 1758, Forbes traveled this widened trail, first named for him, now known as Penn Avenue. Many plantations were established after the Revolution, and the village grew, with its tollhouse and taverns serving stagecoaches and Conestoga wagons en route to Pittsburgh. By the 20th century, East Liberty was one of the wealthiest suburbs in America. Many famous firsts occurred here, including the building of the nation's first gasoline service station and the founding of the National Negro Opera Company. The area also boasts many famous residents, including Billy Eckstine, Erroll Garner, Gene Kelly, Dick Powell, and Lillian Russell. Through vintage photographs, Pittsburgh's East Liberty Valley salutes the area's rich history.
See Acadia Publishing website for more information.
April 12, 2011 (Tuesday)
"University of Pittsburgh -- Past, Present and Future"
Speaker: G. Reynolds "Renny" Clark,
Vice Chancellor for Community Initiatives and Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
From Pitt Website:
The university that began in a humble log cabin has evolved into an internationally recognized center of learning and research. Medical breakthroughs, amazing discoveries, and brilliant victories dapple its long history. For 215 years, Pitt has been making the world healthier, safer, and more tolerant, but there is always more work to be done... (See Pitt website for timeline and history)
About the Speaker:
Gordon Reynolds (Renny) Clark is a native of Western Pennsylvania and a 1965 graduate of Geneva College, from which he received the Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and the College’s highest award, the Life “G” in 2005. He currently serves on the college's Board of Trustees and chairs the Board’s Institutional Advancement Committee.
Renny is very active in a number of cultural, civic and sports organizations and serves on the boards of: Advisory Board of the Salvation Army of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Family House, Greater Pittsburgh Council - Boy Scouts of America, Jumonville Foundation, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Allegheny County Parks Foundation, Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development, Regional Industrial Development Corporation, United Methodist Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, United Way of Allegheny County and the Advisory Board of the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
Renny and his wife, Linda, have two grown children and reside in the City of Pittsburgh. Formerly he resided in Franklin Park, a suburb of Pittsburgh where he served as the Mayor for five years and was a 30-year veteran of the Franklin Park Volunteer Fire Company where he served as Fire Chief for 18 years and prior to that as Assistant Fire Chief for 11 years. He was also a Board Member and Secretary of the McCandless-Franklin Park Ambulance Authority, where he chaired the annual fund drive campaign and served as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Borough from 1980 to 2008. Renny and Linda are active 30-year members of Ingomar United Methodist Church where he has served in numerous leadership roles.
Renny retired from the former Westinghouse Electric Corporation in April 2000 after a 34-year career where his responsibilities as Chairman of the Westinghouse Foundation included corporate philanthropy and community sponsorship programs. He also served as Executive Director of the Corporation’s staff services functions, including managing the Executive Headquarters Building, Research Center facilities, Corporate Aircraft, and Corporate Security. In 1998, he received the Order of Merit - the Corporation’s highest employee recognition award.
In August 2000, Renny joined the senior administrative team at the University of Pittsburgh where he is now Vice Chancellor for Community Initiatives and Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chancellor with responsibilities for governmental relations, local economic and community development initiatives and the daily operations and programs of the Chancellor’s office.
March 29, 2011 (Tuesday)
This meeting was originally scheduled for January but canceled due to weather.
"The Paris of Appalachia"
Pittsburgh: Past, Present and Future
Speaker: Brian O'Neill
Mr O'Neill will have copies of his book for sale and will happily sign them.
Information from Post-Gazette website
Post-Gazette columnist Brian O’Neill’s new book The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-first Century, describes what makes the city unique, loveable and occasionally frustrating. Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman calls it, “a great conversation on a Pittsburgh tavern barstool.” Actor and Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton says, "This guy gets it." Order today – for a limited time, each copy from the PG Store is signed by O'Neill.
Brian O'Neill is a winner of the Associated Press Managing Editors of Pennsylvania award for column writing, a past winner of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers' Keystone Award for column writing, as well as a winner of regional honors.
A graduate of Syracuse University, O'Neill lives on the city's North Side with his wife and two daughters.
March 8, 2011 (Tuesday)
"Carnegie Mellon - The Innovative University"
Speaker: Daniel P. Resnick,
Professor Emeritus of History
and Director, Center for the History of the University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon has developed a global reputation as the quintessential American Research University. Why and How??
Dr. Resnick's talk and slides will deal with the history of Carnegie Mellon, the themes developed with his colleagues in "The Innovative University".
See"The Innovative University" website and his current research on American Research Universities since the Second World War.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Resnick came to Carnegie Mellon in 1966 and remained here for most of his working life. His research, publications, and scholarly network ties have been in four areas: the history of Europe; the interdisciplinary history of literacy; public education, K-12; and higher education and the American University.
February 8, 2011 (Tuesday)
"Rachel Carson and Her Legacy"
Speaker: Patricia DeMarco, PhD
Executive Director, Rachel Carson Homestead Association
From website: Rachel Carson Homestead
"It is here in southwestern Pennsylvania that this little girl, who grew up to become "one of the most influential people of the 20th century," according to TIME magazine, developed her love or nature. The youngest and only child of three to attend college, Rachel Carson was a published writer by age 10. In addition she began a life-long love of the ocean - perhaps inspired by her daily view of the great Allegheny River. As a young adult, Rachel went on to finish degrees in biology and marine biology.
Her gift for writing and love for nature developed eventually into a literary outlet. She authored three books about the ocean and became a successful writer. Her fourth and perhaps most famous work was Silent Spring - a warning about the dangers associated with the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides and their potentially adverse effect on the environment and human health. Carson promoted the need for more extensive research before releasing chemicals into our environment."
January 11, 2011
This meeting was scheduled for January but canceled due to weather. Rescheduled for March 29, 2011
"The Paris of Appalachia"
Pittsburgh: Past, Present and Future
Speaker: Brian O'Neill
December 14, 2010 (Tuesday)
"More Than 57 Reasons to Visit and Volunteer
at the Heinz History Center"
Speaker: Joe Arnold, Heinz History Center Volunteer
Heinz History Center website
From the pre-revolutionary drama of the French & Indian War to the legendary match-ups of the Super Steelers, discover 250 years of Pittsburgh history at the Senator John Heinz History Center.
The History Center presents the most compelling stories from American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection, all in an interactive environment perfect for visitors of every age!
November 9, 2010 (Tuesday)
"History of Wightman School"
This meeting held at
Wightman School Community Building
5604 Solway Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217-1264
Speaker: Natalie Kaplan,
President and Co-Founder of the Carriage House at Wightman
Wightman House History
Ulysses J.L. Peoples built Wightman School as a sub-district of the Colfax Schools. The original building was only five rooms and an office. Later, the same architect was contracted to enlarge the building, adding eight rooms, a library, and a third floor gymnasium. The Romanesque style of the new wing is decorated with ornate cherubic friezes, intricate stained glass windows and a highly elaborate facade on the stage.
As owner of the building, Carriage House Children's Center, Inc., has developed a strong renovation plan focused on bringing the building into the 21th Century while preserving the 19th Century charm.
October 12, 2010 (Tuesday)
"Getting to Know our Neighbors:
History of Greenfield"
Speaker: Author: Anita Kulina-Smith
Anita Kulina will take us on a virtual history tour of Greenfield, which until 1868 was part of Squirrel Hill. With photos of current locales linking you to the past, you'll learn the history of sites you may drive by every day. She'll take us back as far as the days when Squirrel Hill was a hunting ground for Indians, and she'll show us sites which in the past were coal mines, brickyards and forts. She'll tell us stories of bootleggers, prizefighters, acrobats, "white Indians" and other renegades.
Everyone who attends this talk will receive access to a free downloadable ebook detailing these historical sites. With this ebook, you can take this tour at your leisure and actually walk in the footsteps of the fascinating people who were the early residents of Squirrel Hill and Greenfield.
Anita Kulina is a writer living in Squirrel Hill. Her book about Western Pennsylvania, “MIllhunks and Renegades,” is sold in gift shops, bookstores and at Amazon.com, and will be available for purchase at the October 12 talk.
Anita last spoke to our group in 2005 reviewing her book "Millhunks and Renegades—A Portrait of a Pittsburgh Neighborhood"
Effective September 2010
Our new meeting location:
The Church of the Redeemer,
located at 5700 Forbes Avenue
September 14, 2010 (Tuesday)
This meeting was originally set for February, but canceled due to the snow.
"The Landscapes of Squirrel Hill, Frick and Schenley Parks.
GEOLOGY UNDERLIES IT ALL"
Speaker: Albert Kollar, M.S. Geologist
Section of Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
From Website: Carnegie Museum of Natural History: Invertebrate Paleontology
INVERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY - A SUBDISCIPLINE OF GEOLOGY
In the past century the discipline of paleontology has grown and evolved from a science of "collect and name" to one that integrates sedimentological, ecological, and evolutionary principles into a cohesive discipline that merges life science and earth history. As such, modern paleontologists must be as proficient in geology as they are in the biological sciences. The history of invertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, its collections, staff, and their backgrounds parallel the history of paleontology.
WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA DISCOVERIES:
The investigation continues of the rocks of the Pittsburgh region for evidence on late Pennsylvanian climate change and how it might affect tetrapod (vertebrate) evolution during the Carboniferous.
A reinvestigation of the holotype euryterid trackway in Elk County, Pennsylvania is underway.
JULY 13, 2010 (Tuesday)
"History of Frick Park"
Speaker: Susan Rademacher,
Parks Curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
As Parks Curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy since 2007, Susan is responsible for revealing, preserving, and promoting the cultural significance of the Pittsburgh Parks. She oversees planning and design of capital projects, develops design standards, and investigates the cultural, landscape, and social history of park landscapes.
Susan was founding Executive Director of Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy in 1991, leading the Conservancy in producing a nationally renowned master plan, completing numerous historic restoration projects, securing major national grants, creating a volunteer program that has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars of value in ecological restoration, and increasing public awareness and appreciation of the Kentucky city’s acclaimed system of Olmsted-designed parks and parkways.
At the same time, Susan served as Assistant Director of Louisville’s Metro Parks Department, establishing the Planning and Design Division. In that capacity, she was responsible for master planning, capital project development, and construction for the entire system of 122 parks and 6 parkways, golf courses, and community centers. Major projects included strategic planning for a 7,000-acre expansion of the parks system known as the 21st Century Parks project, creating the Shawnee Parks Sports Complex, restoring Frederick Law Olmsted’s Baringer Hill in Cherokee Park, reconstructing the historic Iroquois Amphitheater, and re-launching the Mayor’s Committee for Public Art.
Susan was the Editor in Chief of Landscape Architecture magazine from 1984-1987, and was a founding editor of Garden Design magazine. She is the author of several books and numerous articles in the field of landscape architecture, and has lectured and taught at many American institutions and universities, including the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, J. B. Speed Art Museum, Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, the University of Pennsylvania, U.C. Berkeley, and Harvard University. Born in Columbus, Georgia, Susan graduated from Miami University and was a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
JUNE 8, 2010 (Tuesday)
"The Names of Pittsburgh" with emphasis on Squirrel Hill
Speaker: Author, Bob Regan
Research Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a consultant specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Data from the publishing firm "The Local History Company"
Bob Regan once again mines the rich vein of Pittsburgh's history by continually finding new lenses through which to view the past. His previous two books--The Steps of Pittsburgh and The Bridges of Pittsburgh--were received with acclaim, drawing fans from the Pittsburgh diaspora around the world. Undoubtedly, The Names of Pittsburgh will do the same as Regan explores the names of the men and women--not to mention scientific paraphernalia, patents, astronomical terms, grape varietals, et al.--from the region's history which dot the landscape. Each provides a segue into a broader discussion of some aspect of Pittsburgh's past.
The book is accompanied by 100 photos, maps, and illustrations, most of them historic. It also includes 10 maps suggesting areas for independent exploration of The Names of Pittsburgh.
About the Author:
Bob Regan is a research professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a consultant specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His professional career includes senior level positions in the federal government, major corporations, and universities. His personal interests revolve around bicycling, and he manages, despite the Pittsburgh climate, to cover 2,000-3,000 miles a year doing so.
He is the author of two other acclaimed books about the city, The Steps of Pittsburgh/Portrait of a City, and The Bridges of Pittsburgh, both done with photographer Tim Fabian. This is his first solo look at the region.
JUNE 5, 2010 - Saturday --
"WALKING TOUR of Chatham University"
Note: On this walk we had the exceptional treat of visiting one of the grand private homes on Woodland Road -- a wonderful restoration of a 20th century arts and crafts home that is both handsome and livable.
This tour was held last year (2009) and was quite successful. Chatham University dates its beginnings back to 1869 where it was first housed in the Berry Mansion on Woodland Road. Today’s campus consists of buildings and grounds from former Mansions of such Pittsburgh notables as Andrew Mellon, Edward Stanton Fickes, George M Laughlin Jr. and James Rea.
Elements designed by the renowned Olmstead Brothers for the original Andrew Mellon estates are included in the present campus. Chatham’s campus was designated an Arboretum by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.
It may be several years before we schedule another Chatham Tour.
TOUR TIME: 10 am to Noon
Starting Location: Chatham University Mellon Center on Woodland Road
Cost: $5 ($3 Members)
Maximum group size 25
April 13, 2010 (Tuesday)
"Noteworthy Bridges in the Squirrel Hill Area"
Speaker: Todd Wilson, EIT, Civil Engineer with AECOM
Creator of www.bridgemapper.com (and son of SHHS member Helen Wilson)
Todd Wilson, EIT, traffic engineer a civil engineering company in Pittsburgh, PA, and lifelong bridge enthusiast. Todd has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Todd is the author of a website that provides historic bridge information for thousands of structures throughout the country. The most complete coverage will be in the western Pennsylvania area.
March 9, 2010 (Tuesday)
Held at the Squirrel Hill Library
Corner Forbes Ave.(5801) and Murray Ave.
entry at the rear on Marlborough Avenue
"Celebrating 100 years" -- Mary Brown/Ames Memorial United Methodist Church in Squirrel Hill
Speaker: Pastor Jim Cannistraci
The history of the Mary Brown/Ames Unted Methodist Church The Turner Graveyard is adjacent to the Church on Beechwood Boulevard and has the distinction of of being the second oldest cemetery in Allegheny County, with Trinity Episcopal in Downtown the first oldest. The Turner Graveyard is where many pioneer families of the city's 14 and 15 wards are buried.
February 9, 2010 (Tuesday)
due to the 22+inch Snowfall that gave
all of Pittsburgh an interesting experience for days!!
January 12, 2010 (Tuesday)
"HISTORY OF THE PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY (PSO)"
Speaker: Chuck Vogel
Volunteer, PSO Speakers Bureau
Website: Pittsburgh Symphony
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1896 by the Art Society. It quickly attained high standards under conductor Frederic Archer, and Victor Herbert, the Irish-born leading composer of Broadway operettas.
Shortly after a stock market panic which resulted in loss of the private donations that supported the orchestra, the orchestra cancelled its 1910 season. The orchestra was disbanded for the next sixteen years. The Art Society tried to fill the gap by booking touring orchestras.
The musicians themselves finally revived the orchestra.Players, mainly from the various theaters, held fourteen unpaid rehearsals and donated $25.00 each to play a Sunday concert on April 24, 1927. The next day nine of its board members were arrested for violating a Pennsylvania's law banning secular music-making on the Sabbath, an event which turned out to be good publicity.
The orchestra played under Elias Breeskin and locally-born conductor Antonio Modarelli, and in 1936 was carried by radio network to the eastern two-thirds of the US. In 1937 it engaged Otto Klemperer as music director. History records that it took him only six weeks to raise it to international professional standards. Under music directors William Steinberg, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, and Maris Janssons, the PSO has remained one of America's top symphonies.
DECEMBER 8, 2009 (Tuesday)
"STEEL CITY JEWS" - A history of Pittsburgh and its Jewish Community 1840 - 1915
Speaker: Barbara S. Burstin,
PhD., University of Pittsburgh, Department of History,
Author and Sq.Hill Historical Society Member
NOVEMBER 10, 2009 (Tuesday)
"A History of UPMC"
Speaker: Author, Mary Brignano
OCTOBER 13, 2009 (Tuesday)
"Squirrel Hill Memories -- A Walking Tour in 1937 Down Forbes, Murray to Forward"
Speaker: SHHS Member,Sandy Baskind
SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 (Tuesday)
"Taking Flight: The Story of Giant Eagle"
Speaker: Ben Banyas
Staff Member, "Giant Eagle History"
JULY 14, 2009 (Tuesday)
"History of Tea and Tea Pots"
Speaker: Margaret Harris, Owner of Margaret's Fine Imports on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill
JUNE 9,2009 (Tuesday)
I Went to School in Squirrel Hill !!!"
We will create an oral history for the Squirrel Hill Historical Society. There will be a brief history of old schools. Then a structured conversation about the schools the audience remembers.
JUNE 6, 2009 - Saturday --
"WALKING TOUR of Chatham University"
Tour Guides: Dr.Elisabeth Roark, Associate Professor of Art and Art History
Paul Kovach, Vice President for College Communications.
MAY 12, 2009 (Tuesday)
"History of Pittsburgh in Prints and Photography: 1800 to 1900"
Speaker: Dr. Elisabeth Roark, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, Chatham University
APRIL 14, 2009 (Tuesday)
"Squirrel Hill Retailing: 1966 to Present"
Speaker: Jim Reich, Former President of the Squirrel Hill Merchants Association
MARCH 10, 2009 (Tuesday)
"George Westinghouse-- a Gentle Genius"
Speaker: Quentin Skrabec, Associate Professor of Business at the University of Findlay
FEBRUARY 10, 2009 (Tuesday)
"Story of Historical Preservation in Pittsburgh"
Speaker from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation:
Louise Sturgess, Executive Director
January 13, 2009 (Tuesday)
"History of the Pittsburgh Fire Department"
Speaker: Francis "Kip" Deleonibus, Asst. Chief of Operations, Pittsburgh Fire Bureau
December 9, 2008 (Tuesday)
"Rivers of Steel Natural Heritage Area"
Speaker: Ron Baraff, Director of Museum
November 11, 2008 (Tuesday)
"Cable Street Cars in Pittsburgh"
Speaker: Alan Fowler, SHHS Member
October 14, 2008 (Tuesday)
"Getting to Know Our Neighbors"
"East End/ East Liberty"
Speaker: Alfred Mann,
Vice-President of the East End/East Liberty Historical Society
September 9, 2008 (Tuesday)
"Pittsburgh's Abandoned Mines"
Speakers: Jim Holden and Jim Welsh
From the MSI Program
District Mining Operations
California District Office
PA Department of Environmental Protection
August, 2008 -- NO MEETING
Have a nice vacation month.
July 8, 2008 (Tuesday)
"History of the Pittsburgh Pirates
with comments on the Squirrel Hill Connection"
Speaker: Dave Finoli, Author of the book
Pittsburgh Pirates, Images of Baseball
June 10, 2008 (Tuesday)
"Bagpiping from A to Z"
Speaker: George Balderose, Executive Director of the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming
Saturday, June 7, 2008 -- 10:30 am
"Squirrel Hill Business District"
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 -- 6:30 pm
"The Morrowfield Complex"
May 13, 2008 (Tuesday)
"WQED fm89.3: A Pittsburgh Institution for 35 Years"
Speaker: Jim Cunningham,Senior Executive Producer and Host of the WQED fm89.3 QED Morning Show
April 8, 2008 (Tuesday)
"Henry Hobson Richardson and the
Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail"
Speaker: William Garrett
MARCH 11, 2008 (Tuesday)
"HISTORY OF CHATHAM UNIVERSITY"
(with extensive architectural commentary)
Speaker: Dr. Elisabeth Roark, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, Chatham University
Meeting Canceled due to bad weather
January 8, 2008 (Tuesday)
"HISTORY OF RODEF SHALOM CONGREGATION
AND THE JEWISH REFORM MOVEMENT"
Speaker: RABBI DANIEL YOUNG, Associate Rabbi
END OF DATA (Contact SHHS for Speakers prior to 2008)