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.
Due to COVID-19, our programs at the Church of Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue, have been temporarily suspended.
If you have any suggestions or ideas for future speakers or topics to put on our agenda, please email us at email@example.com.
September 14, 2021 (Tuesday)
“The Story of Carrie Furnace”
Due to the recent spike in Covid cases, this program will be held on Zoom instead of live, as previously announced. We hope to resume live programs in October.
Speaker: Ron Baraff, Director of Historic Resources and Facilities for Rivers of Steel
Ron Baraff will present the story of Carrie Furnace and the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark, a former set of blast furnaces located along the Monongahela River in Swissvale. The furnaces were part of the Homestead Steel Works and operated from 1884 until 1982. During its peak, the site produced 1,000 to 1,250 tons of iron daily. Only furnaces #6 and #7 remain. They operated from 1907 to 1978. The furnaces were designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and are among the only pre-World War II 20th century blast furnaces still standing. The site is managed by the nonprofit Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation, which conducts tours and other programs from May to October at Carrie Furnace and its other sites.
About the Speaker: Ron Baraff is a Pittsburgh native who has served as the Director of Historic Resources and Facilities for Rivers of Steel since 1998. He supervises Rivers of Steel’s preservation and historic interpretation efforts, overseeing its museum and archives programs, unique preservation projects, and the heritage sites including the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Rankin and Swissvale, the historic Pump House in Munhall (known for its role in the 1892 Battle of Homestead), the Bost Building National Historic Landmark in Homestead, and the W. A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop in Rices Landing in Greene County, PA, which is also a National Historic Landmark. Ron has worked on a variety of public history projects, including many national and international documentaries.
September 18, 2021 (Saturday)
Tour of Carrie Furnace
This tour will be in conjunction with Ron Baraff’s presentation. Tour details are still being worked out. Members will receive information about registering in a separate email/letter in August, and more information will be in the September SHHS Newsletter
October 12, 2021 (Tuesday)
“Reflections on the Tree of Life Shootings Three Years Later”
Speaker: Beth Kissileff, Co-Editor of Bound in the Bond of Life, a book of first-person accounts that memorialize the Tree of Life massacre.
November 9, (Tuesday)
“Pittsburgh Center for the Arts”
Speaker: Kyle Houser, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
Kyle Houser will talk about the history of the organization, including Pittsburgh Filmmakers. He says, “The organization has always been one that has had to adapt, change with the times, add new programs, and these days are certainly no different. Our shift to offering online programming and trying to keep our community safe as well as creative has been one for the books.”
December 14, 2021 (Tuesday)
“Reflections on Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture”
Speaker: Bill Walter, retired eighth-grade social studies and history teacher who taught at Community Day School (CDS) for 23 years
Bill Walter will talk about his role in creating the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture on the CDS campus. Borrowing an idea from a school in Illinois, he spearheaded students’ efforts to collect 6 million pop-can tabs to represent Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. Students collected tabs over an 18-year period (1995-2013) at block parties, weddings, churches, synagogues, and beauty salons, surrounding school districts, and people worldwide. They counted the tabs before placing them in 150 glass aquarium tanks stacked from floor to ceiling in Bill’s classroom. In 2013, through the efforts of Elena Hiatt Houlihan, an artist-in-residence with the Pennsylvania Arts Council, and Alan Dunn, a local architect, the 6 million pop-can tabs were given a permanent place in a Star of David-shaped sculpture made of 960 glass blocks and assembled into a 9-foot-high sculpture, displayed in a park setting on the CDS campus on Forward Avenue at the intersection of Beechwood Boulevard.
January 11, 2022 (Tuesday)
February 8, 2022 (Tuesday)
“The Chinese Laundrymen of Squirrel Hill”
Homestead Jewish historian Tammy Hepps, homesteadhebrews.com, will discuss the traumatic dispersion of Chinese laborers after the transcontinental railroad was built, examining their lives as laundreymen in context the microcosm of Squirrel Hill and Homestead.
March 8, 2022 (Tuesday)
“Perseverance: One Holocaust Survivor’s Journey”
Lee Goldman Kikel, author of Perseverance: One Holocaust Survivor’s Journey, will discuss her book, which one reviewer described as “the testimony of a Holocaust survivor and his daughter to one man’s oruney and spirit.”
April 12, 2022 (Tuesday)
“The Characters of Allderdice”
Roz Sherman; SHHS member and retired Allderdice teacher, will give a lively presentation about the characters she encountered at legendary Taylor Allderdice High School.