All evening programs are open to the public and held at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue, and begin at 7:30 pm.
If you have any suggestions or ideas for future speakers or topics to put on our agenda, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBRUARY 13, 2018 (Tuesday)
“Historical Memory and Patriotism: Bouquet, the Injun Girtys and two Grants (James and Ulysses)”
Speaker: Charles McCollester, Pittsburgh Historian
In 2013 Dr. McCollester spoke to the SHHS on “The Fall and Rise of Pittsburgh Labor”, he now returns to speak to our group about “History of Simon Girty”.
From Post-Gazette May 2017
……this fall, a state historical marker will be erected for Simon Girty in Squirrel Hill. Captured by the Indians as a boy, Girty left American service at Fort Pitt in 1778 and crossed over to the British because he saw them as less of an existential threat to native people’s survival than the land-hungry American colonists. History is complex.
About the Speaker:
Author of “The Point of Pittsburgh”, Charles McCollester is a retired 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 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).
MARCH 13, 2018 (Tuesday)
“Allegheny Cemetery’s Grandest Angel: The HK Porter Monument, Italian Sculpture, and Art Collecting in Pittsburgh”
Speaker: Dr. Elisabeth Roark, Associate Professor of Art History, Chatham University
Incorporated in 1844, the Allegheny Cemetery is the sixth oldest rural cemetery in America and has expanded over the years to now encompass 300 acres.
Photo taken by Shane Henderson, Henderson Graphic Design & Illustration; Brenda Putnam, sculptor
The bronze angel that stands so strikingly here is a replica cast, after 1910, of the original angel of granite. The best-known Porter here is Henry Kirke Porter, d. 1921, a builder of light locomotives and a Corporator of the Cemetery. (see more details from wikipedia Wikipedia)
About the Speaker: (From Chatham Univ. website):
Elisabeth (Beth) Roark coordinates the programs inArt History and Art Museum Studies, and also workswith many Arts Management students. She is actively involved with the Chatham University Art Gallery, and keeps track of Chatham’s permanent art collection, including over 600 works in the Cheryl Olkes Collection of African Art.
APRIL 10, 2018 (Tuesday)
“The Trolleys of the East End”
Speaker: George Gula, Port Authority (Retired), and Western Pa. Trolley Museum
From Western. Pa. Trolley Museum website:
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum came to Chartiers Township, Washington County in February 1954 with three trolleys and a dream that was born in 1941. Today, that dream is a reality. PTM now boasts a collection of nearly 50 cars, over 600 members worldwide, 150 active volunteers, and over 30,000 visitors each year. Read more at their website.
About the Speaker: George Gula was born and raised in Scranton and Philadelphia, Pa. It was in the early 1950’s in Philadelphia that he acquired his interest in transit and trolleys. After graduating from Penn State University in 1975 with a degree in Business Logistics, George worked in the public transit industry beginning with two years at Scranton’s newly formed County of Lackawanna Transit system. He came to the Port Authority of Allegheny County in 1975 where he worked in Scheduling and Operations until his 2009 retirement. Since joining the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in 1975, he has served as a streetcar operator, conductor and docent in the Operations Department. He is also actively involved in organizing and maintaining the museum’s archives and researches the state’s eastern streetcar systems. Since 2002, he has delivered many of the museums public programs.
The Pennsylvania State University (commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU) is a public, land-grant, research-intensive university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the university has a stated threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Its University Park campus, the flagship campus, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. It has two law schools, Penn State Law, on the school’s University Park campus, and Dickinson Law, located in Carlisle, 90 miles south of State College. The College of Medicine is located in Hershey. Penn State has another 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special-mission campuses located across the state. Penn State has been labeled one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.
About the Speaker: (from PENN State News):
In 2016, Penn State University Libraries named Athena Jackson the Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library. Jackson comes to Penn State from the University of Michigan Special Collections Library, where she served as associate director. “Athena will be a tremendous asset for the University Libraries,” Anne Langley, associate dean for Research, Collections and Scholarly Communications, said. “Her experience in project management, exhibitions, collections and digitization, and her strong national presence among faculty librarians and professional library leaders, are advantageous strengths for leading our complex and highly regarded Special Collections Library.”
While at the University of Michigan Library, Jackson managed Reader Services and Collection Services and participated in the planning, policy development and priority setting for the library.
Previously she served as special collections librarian at the University of Miami, education and outreach librarian and project manager/librarian for Digitizing Louisiana Newspapers Project at Louisiana State University, and North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project coordinator and archivist at the North Carolina State Archives.
Jackson holds a master of science degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas and a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Houston.
MAY 12, 2018 (Saturday)
Walking Tour: Carnegie Mellon University
TOUR TIME: 9:45am
“Walking to the Sky” statue easily visible from Forbes Avenue
JUNE 2, 2018 (Saturday)
WALKING TOUR — Squirrel Hill Business District
Tour will be led by
Michael Ehrmann, SHHS President
Time: 10 am to Noon
Details to be announced later.
JUNE 12, 2018 (Tuesday)
“THROUGH THE PLACE”, A Film on the History of Pgh. History & Landmarks (PHLF)
Speaker: Karamagi Rujumba, Director of Public Communications and Advocacy, PHLF
From Pittsburgh History & Landmarks website:
Karamagi Rujumba, director, public communications and advocacy, PHLF, will present a viewing of PHLF recent film, THROUGH THE PLACE. Mr. Rujumba was producer of the program, in which a cross section of leaders in preservation are interviewed, including architects, historians, urban and social critics and leaders of major preservation, civic and cultural organizations. He says that “our story took us across three states, filming important landmarks and places.”
PHLF was founded by a group of citizens who passionately believed that historic preservation, rather than massive demolition, could be a tool for renewing communities, creating pride among residents, and achieving sustainable economic development, PHLF is now recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative and effective non-profit historic preservation organizations.
In THROUGH THE PLACE, you will see the context of how of PHLF started and learn about its work in saving and restoring important buildings in Pittsburgh neighborhoods and its Main Street business corridors. You will see the breadth of PHLF’s education and preservation programs, which enhance the organization’s advocacy for the preservation of historic buildings and structures in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and in America.
About the Speaker:
Karamagi Rujumba is the director of communications and advocacy for the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. He coordinates all media and public affairs and represents PHLF on preservation issues at all levels of community and government engagement. He also manages and creates programming for the Landmarks Preservation Resource Center, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, where PHLF is involved in an expansive house restoration and preservation initiative.
A naturalized American, Karamagi was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and grew up in Uganda before moving to the United States. He is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he studied English and Political Science, and also holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
He was a general assignment, government, and education reporter for both the Toledo (Ohio) Blade, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspapers before joining PHLF in October 2010.
JULY 10, 2018 (Tuesday)
“A History of Freemasonry”
Speaker: Austin Shifrin, Member of the Freemasons
Using his own experience as a starting point, Austin Shifrin will give a wide ranging overview of Freemasonry – its structure and history in the US and Abroad…from its promotion around the globe, to opposition that originated right in your backyard.
The presentation will give you a glimpse into the many facets of an organization which has inspired much speculation in the general public, by virtue of its mystique and some very well-known members.
If you have ever been curious about this “society with secrets”, you won’t want to miss this presentation.
“Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason.” From Wikipedia:
About the Speaker:
Austin Shifrin is a Pennsylvania Freemason affiliated with several bodies, and with leadership experience in a few of them. He joined Tyrian Lodge #644 in 2006, where he presided in 2013; he also joined the Scottish Rite Valley of Pittsburgh in 2006, where he presided over the Princes of Jerusalem in 2014, joined the Shriners in November of 2014, joined East Hills Royal Arch Chapter #268 (York Rite) in 2016, and became a founding, or warrant, member of Odyssey Council #550 Allied Masonic Degrees in 2017. Austin has been a frequent contributor to the Scottish Rite Magazine and presenter in his home lodge.
AUGUST 2018 — NO MEETING, HAVE A GREAT SUMMER !
AUGUST 16, 2018 (Thursday)
Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Speaker: To Be Announced
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 (Tuesday)
“How Geology Influenced the Landscape Paintings of Pittsburgh Artist John Kane”
Speaker: Albert Kollar, Geologist, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
John Kane and his family emigrated from Scotland in the late 19th century and settled in Port Perry near the present day United States Steel Edgar Thomson Works. Most of the landscapes were drawn from his experiences living near the George Westinghouse Bridge (Turtle Creek Valley No. 1, circa 1930), Frick Park (Nine Mile Run seen from Calvary, circa 1928), and Schenley Park (Panther Hollow, Pittsburgh, circa 1933-1934). Mr. Kollar will discuss his 2010 publication “Geology, Landscape, and John Kane’s Landscape Paintings”.
About the Speaker: from Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Albert D. Kollar is a scientist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the section head in the Section of Invertebrate Paleontology and is responsible for the collection management of more than 800,000 invertebrate fossils and rocks some of which are approximately 1 billion years old.
Mr. Kollar has degrees in Geology and Invertebrate Paleontology. He has conducted research and field work throughout the United States, in Alaska, Canada, England, Wales Germany, and Sweden. He has authored more than 30 research papers on fossil brachiopods, reefs, climate change, and the geology of Carnegie dinosaurs, eurypterids and fossil amphibians.
Current research includes an assessment of the geology, architectural, and cultural significance of thirty architectural stones, used in the exterior and interior construction of the Carnegie Institute in 1895, 1907, and 1974. All these stones from Algeria, Croatia, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Norwegian, and the United States have historical importance. Many were used in Greek, Roman and Venetian antiquities for sculpture and buildings. Mr. Kollar traveled to Croatia and Ireland in 2015 to research the original rock quarries. Future travel is planned for France and Italy.
Mr. Kollar has presented well over a hundred geology seminars and fossil field trips throughout western Pennsylvania for schools, regional parks, community organizations, conservancies, and professional meetings. He has organized several forums on Energy and History of Fossil Fuels of Western Pennsylvania at the University of Pittsburgh Osher Institute. He has collaborated with the Shady Side Academy Middle School – Earth Science program for more than a decade on earth history and the geology of fossil fuels of western Pennsylvania.
Albert is past President of the Pittsburgh Geological Society from 2011 – 2014. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity, Geological Society of America, Global Heritage Stone, and The Pittsburgh Geological Society.
OCTOBER 9, 2018 (Tuesday)
“Getting to Know Our Neighbors: History of the Hill District”
Speaker: Terri Baltimore,
Director of Neighborhood Engagement for the Hill House Association
About Hill House Association from their website:
The Hill House serves clients through five strategic program areas: early learning and child development, youth services, family and workforce development, senior services and neighborhood services. In addition, the agency offers complimentary health and human services to its clients through 10 tenant agencies that reside on the Hill House campus.
About the Speaker:
Terri Baltimore is the Director of Neighborhood Engagement for the Hill House Association and has worked at the agency for over 25 years. Currently, she is responsible for environmental programs, volunteer activities and strategic partnerships.
Since 1992, she has led tours of the Hill District for a diverse group of organizations including: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, National League of Cities, University of Lyon, Arts Excursions Unlimited, Duquesne University, Amizade Global Learning, Leadership Pittsburgh, Michigan State University, the Holocaust Center and the Green Building Alliance.
Terri is the Board President of the Ujamaa Collective, a Member of the African American Advisory Board at the Senator John Heinz History Center, a Board Member of the Daisy Wilson Artist Community and a Community Fellow at the Center for Engaged Teaching and Research at Duquesne University.
Ms. Baltimore earned a BA in Journalism from Duquesne University and was a member of the Leadership Pittsburgh Class XXII.
NOVEMBER 13, 2018 (Tuesday)
“Nine Mile Run”
Speaker: Wayne Bossinger, SHHS Board Member
From Nine Mile Run Watershed Association The Nine Mile Run watershed is a small urban watershed located in Pittsburgh’s East End.
Covering just 6.5 square miles, the watershed is home to numerous exciting initiatives, including the largest urban stream restoration in the United States completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA) complements this amazing physical transformation with a variety of innovative urban ecology projects designed to directly involve the community in helping to improve the health of the watershed.
About the Speaker:
Wayne Bossiner, SHHS Member, has been researching and writing about Squirrel Hill’s history since retiring in 2014. His experience as an operations manager for the City of Pittsburgh gives him unique insights into the city’s neighborhoods as well as government records, such as deeds and probate documents.
DECEMBER 11, 2018 (Tuesday)
“The Story of Roads and Bridges in Pittsburgh”
Speaker: Todd Wilson, Transportation Engineer, Bridge Historian and Author of “Pittsburgh Bridges”
Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, is also known for its convoluted roads. Some streets intersect each other three times. Others change names a few times. Giving directions, one often says, “Not that Right, the Other Right”, or “Go Straight”, which means angle left. The development of the City’s Roads is linked to the development of the City’s Bridges. In writing the book, “Images of America: Pittsburgh Bridges” published in 2015, the study of historical maps became a key research tool. Maps reviewed bridges that were eliminated when valleys were filled in and streets that were rearranged when new bridges were built. This research showed that by going back far enough in time, there was an explanation for each irregularity. This presentation will show these findings through maps and images past and present, explaining the City’s inconsistencies and abnormalities that make it unique.
About the Speaker:
Todd Wilson is an award-winning professional engineer in Pittsburgh who has been photographing and writing about bridges his whole life. A Transportation Engineer, he is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and served as History & Heritage Chair for the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Wilson is a Trustee of PHLF (Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation) and a former Landmarks Scholarship recipient.