West Overton in the News
Written & Edited by Karen Rose Overholt Critchfield, January 5, 2005

 

West Overton News 2004b
Researching Published Newspaper Articles
From December 18, 2004 back to June 29, 2004
~~ Updated December 30, 2004 ~~


Three charged in Connellsville fire
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday, December 18, 2004

Three people have been charged in connection with a fire that caused $15,000 in damage at the Overholt Distillery in Connellsville on Oct. 14, state police said. Cade Stevens, 20, and Charles Fuller, 18, both of Dawson, were arrested yesterday, and a 17-year-old from Perryopolis was arrested earlier in the week. His name was not released. They face arson and related charges. Police said the three men stayed overnight in a building at the distillery without the permission of the landlord and started a fire that got out of control. Police do not believe that the men are connected to any of the other suspicious fires in Connellsville over the last two years.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04353/429012.stm


Police arrest three for arson at Overholt Distillery
by Rachel R. Basinger, Daily Courier, Saturday, December 18, 2004

Pennsylvania State Police at Uniontown have made three arrests in connection with the fire on Oct. 15 at the Overholt Distillery off Broadford Road in Connellsville Township.

Charges of arson and related offenses were filed on Friday and warrants were issued for Cade Stevens, 20, of Dawson, and Charles Fuller, 18, of Dawson. Charges were also filed against a 17-year-old juvenile, from Perryopolis, through the Fayette County Juvenile Probation on Thursday.

These suspects are not believed to be connected to any other arson in the Connellsville area at this time.

According to state police, on Oct. 14 the three trespassed onto the property where the Overholt Distillery building is located and stayed in one of the buildings overnight.

Police said they did not have permission from Pechin Leasing to be on the property when they started a fire in the building that got out of control and caused approximately $15,000 in damage. The three then left the area without notifying anyone of the fire.

Firefighters from seven area departments battled the stubborn blaze, which crept through narrow crawl spaces under the floor of the abandoned building. Hidden flames and thick white smoke engulfed the 100,000 square-foot brick structure that once housed the distillery's cafeteria.

At the time, the fire was ruled suspicious and a probable arson because of its remote location. It was void of utilities and secured by fencing, according to Dwayne Krumanacker, chief of the Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Emergency workers stretched 5-inch hose almost 2,000 feet from a Broadford Road hydrant into the thickly overgrown industrial ruins. However, the primary obstacle was the maze of pipes underneath the collapsing floorboards.

With hoses stretched over the train tracks, a long CSX locomotive hauling dumper cars sat idle just a few feet from the scene. Traffic was restricted to one lane on Broadford Road near Hodge Transmissions for several hours.

The fire broke out shortly after 9 a.m., and chain saws hummed inside the burning building for two hours before fire officials ordered personnel to clear the area because of unsafe conditions. The crawl space was then flooded.

More than 50 firefighters from Connellsville Township, New Haven Hose, South Connellsville, Scottdale, Everson, Bullskin Township and Morrell worked at the scene. The manpower was necessary to rotate the frontline, according to Krumanacker, while several crews delivered water, oxygen and gasoline.

Paramedics from Mutual Aid Ambulance Service remained on stand-by.

Krumanacker said he remembered extinguishing a fire on the property 10 years ago that claimed a warehouse originally used to store whiskey barrels.

Rachel R. Basinger can be reached at rbasinger@tribweb.com or (724) 626-3536.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_284719.html


2 men, teen face charges in fire at old distillery
Tribune Review, Saturday, December 18, 2004

Two men from Dawson and a 17-year-old from Perryopolis are accused of setting a fire at the abandoned Overholt Distillery near Connellsville in October.

Cade Stevens, 20, and Charles Fuller, 18, both of Dawson, were charged on Friday by state police at Uniontown with arson and related offenses. Arrest warrants were issued for the pair.

The juvenile was charged Thursday through Fayette County Juvenile Probation.

Trooper Thomas Maher stated the suspects started a fire Oct. 14 in a building that once housed the cafeteria at the former Overholt Distillery off Broadford Road in Connellsville Township. The fire could not be controlled, and the suspects left the scene without contacting anyone. The fire caused approximately $15,000 in damage.

Maher said the suspects stayed overnight in one of the buildings at the distillery. They did not have permission from the owner, Pechin Leasing Inc. of Dunbar, to be on the property.

A fire at the site about 10 years ago destroyed a warehouse originally used to store whiskey barrels.

State police said they do not believe the three suspects are connected to any of the numerous arsons in the Connellsville area.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_284744.html


News from the membership
Daily Courier, Tuesday, December 18, 2004

[Several items, including the following.]

= It's time for Parlor Talks at West Overton Museums. The presentations are held in the distillery theater on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. The first lecture on Jan. 16 will be on "19th Century Fashions" with \par Becky Krueger, historian and seamstress. The second lecture on Feb. 20 will be "A Musical Trip to the Past" with Tom Crytzer and Chuck Kreply of the Homefront. On March 20, Martha Oliver, master gardener and proprietor of Primrose Path, will speak on "Heirloom Gardens and Plants."

Ken Williams, Civil War enthusiast, re-enactor and historian, will finish the series on April 17 with another talk about the Civic War "The Cornfield at Antietam." Each lecture is free and includes a question and answer session followed by light refreshments. Reservations are requested, but walk-ins are welcome. For complete series information, call 724-887-7910 during regular business hours. West Overton Museums is located on Route 819 between Mount Pleasant and Scottdale.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_287258.html


Scottdale Christmas parade set for Saturday at noon
by Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, December 9, 2004

Strike up the band for the Scottdale Christmas Parade at noon Saturday. Santa will come in on the fire truck and will be ready to talk to all the boys and girls at the gazebo at the end of the parade. See you there!

Give your dog the best present of the season, a 2005 license. You can go directly to the treasurer's office at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, 2 North Main St., Suite 110, Greensburg, PA 15601. There is a special price for a lifetime dog license, senior citizens and disability fee discount if you are under age 65. For details, call 1-800-442-6926 or 724-830-3174.

West Overton Village will be decked out in full holiday splendor, reminiscent of a Dickens novel and lovely as a Currier & Ives print. Come visit from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 18 and 19 and warm up with hot apple cider and cookies in the summer kitchen then tour the Overholt Mansion which is dressed for the season. While there, stop and shop in the Holiday Barn, which features crafts and baked goods from local vendors. Tours of the mansion and refreshments are $5. Donations are appreciated. All proceeds support the preservation and restoration of West Overton Museums, Route 819, Scottdale. Visit www.westovertonmuseum.org or call 724-887-7910.

[With other items.]

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_281138.html


Own your own
by Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Wednesday, December 8, 2004

How would you like to own your very own seven room dream house complete with furnishings and even pets? Well, thanks to Frick hospital you can, however, it's not one that you can live in, but one you can enjoy and cherish on a small scale. For the last several years, Frick Hospital has raffled off a wonderful, handmade and designed doll house. The fabulous detail of the house is almost impossible to describe, and it is amazingly authentic down to the cookies baking in the oven and the little pets added to give it a homey feeling. The wooden structure is approximately 3-foot by 3-foot, and boasts seven rooms and a patio area. Attention has been paid to the furniture and all the decor and you'd be truly amazed at the craftsmanship. Tickets for the dollhouse are only $2 and are available for purchase at the coffee shop in Frick The drawing itself will be held at noon on Dec. 17 at the hospital. So hurry in and purchase a ticket -- don't miss out on your opportunity to own your "dream home."

Town news:

= From 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18, the Church of the Brethren, 201 Washington St., will do something wonderful and unique for the upcoming holiday season. It will hold an open house featuring a live nativity, complete with Christmas music, cookies and cocoa. All are invited to share in this event.

= The Mount Pleasant Area Historical Society proudly presents the 2004 Holiday Home Tours, which will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The sites featured this year include the Shultz Farm, Mount Pleasant Church of God and Community Center, Whispering Winds, The Barnhart Home, The Bell Home, The Yancosky Home, The Samuel Warden House and Howard Hanna Hometowne Real Estate. Tickets are $12, and that price includes the entire tour. The is a self-guided tour and all will receive maps including a brief history of each site. Tickets are available at the Historical Society Offices.

= Help the Mount Pleasant Area Band Boosters this holiday season by purchasing a coupon for a poinsettia. The members are selling coupons for $7 each, and they can be redeemed at Amenity Greenhouse in United for a six and one-half-inch fresh poinsettia. Call 724-542-7314 for information or tickets.

= You still have a few days to enjoy an authentic step back in time, and pay a visit to the West Overton Museums "Decked Out December," which features the village decorated in holiday splendor with a "touch of Dickens" thrown in for good measure. The event includes cider and cookies served in the wonderful summer kitchen, and tours of the Overholt Mansion. You can also shop in the Holiday Barn which is located in the Stock Barn. Admission is $5 for the tour, but free for those who only wish to shop at the Holiday Barn. Times are from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 18 and 19. Don't miss this unique, fun event.

[With other items.]

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_281137.html


[KAREN'S NOTE: After reading the following article, I sent to the writer a short e-mail to mildly protest the inaccuracies and the tone of the language used. I invited her to visit my GeoCities web site and learn more about Abraham Overholt and the significance of Overholt Whiskey.

Regarding the log cabin distillery, this is an idea I presented in detail to Rich Reese, president of Jim Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc., in a letter dated October 19, 1999. I had spoken to him (July 12, 1999) when he phoned me after reading my first letter to him -- a letter of inquiry asking permission to send him a proposal. Ultimately, the folks at Jim Beam rejected my proposal, expressing the corporate desire to focus on their own brands, but I did not let the idea die and mentioned it often in conversations and e-mail.

In my InterOverholt Memo published April 28, 2000, I related how I came to tell the story of my Jim Beam proposal to a gentleman who was a member of the Board at West Overton Museums. During that conversation, I spoke at length about my idea to build a log cabin distillery at West Overton, and afterwards expected someone to contact me, if the idea began to float. I am somewhat hurt that no one remembered to include me or even clue me in, whenever the Board decided the idea was worthwhile. It appears they intend to make Overholt Whiskey without an Overholt.]


Distillers taking a shot at honoring whiskey's heritage in Westmoreland County
by Rebekah Scott, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday, November 06, 2004

Want a shot of local history that burns the whole way down? Have a swig of Old Overholt Rye, a rough, 80-proof whiskey with Westmoreland County roots, available at state liquor stores everywhere.

The old man smirking on the label is Abe Overholt, a Mennonite pioneer whose Scottdale distillery once turned out 860 gallons of hooch every day.

Finally, Western Pennsylvania's high-proof past is getting the notice it deserves. West Overton Village in Scottdale, home of the still-standing, six-story Overholt Distillery, was named one of six founding stops on the new "American Heritage Whiskey Trail," a tourist route launched in September by the Distilled Spirits Council.

Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park, home of the Whiskey rebels, is another stop, as is historic Woodville Plantation in Collier. And so is Mount Vernon, a Virginia plantation where President George Washington fired up his whiskey still in 1796.

Pennsylvania Rye was a frontier institution, cheaply distilled, readily portable and enthusiastically consumed. It sparked the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania, and it greased America's westward journey. It warmed the innards of cowboys, Indians, settlers, soldiers, grannies and folk-song writers.

Whiskey enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 1980s, and many American brands rely on an old-timey image to move their products. The original Overholt operation, started in 1803, fell victim to Prohibition, and the brand was bought up by Jim Beam Brands. Old Overholt is now made in Kentucky, its original 100 proof lowered to a mere 80. Old-timers say it just ain't the same, but hard-core Manhattan drinkers still swear by the stuff.

Grant Gerlich, executive director of West Overton Museums, hopes Jim Beam Brands, a major player in the Distilled Spirits Council, will work with West Overton to bring the original distillery back to life, using the kind of machinery and technique that made Overholt a household word.

A single still is all that's needed to create a boutique rye, he said -- in the frontier village setting at West Overton it would add an entirely new flavor to the museum experience, if only for the over-21 crowd.

"People talk about our heritage, and they always think big steel," Gerlich said. "But before that, this was whiskey country. People were making Pennsylvania Rye all over the place. Whiskey put us on the map. And it can do that again. It's worth a shot."

Rebekah Scott can be reached at rscott@post-gazette.com or 724-836-2655.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04311/407784.stm


Gift shops at historic homes may have what you are looking for
by Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, December 05, 2004

If you're looking for something different, try the gift shops at historic homes, many of which carry items for adults and for children inspired by the period or subject they represent.

Here's a sampling from our region:

Clayton, 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze; Victorian-era home of industrialist Henry Clay Frick. Among items specific to Clayton are a brass tree ornament in the shape of the house manufactured by David Howell & Co. of Bedford Hills, N.Y. ($15) and a DVD of filmmaker Julia Love's and Kenneth Love's documentary "A Race Against Time: Felix de la Concha at The Frick," showing the Spanish artist painting images of Clayton, inside and out, for his recent exhibition in The Frick Art Museum ($13). 412-371-0600 or www.frickart.org.

Old Economy Village, 270 16th St., Ambridge, Beaver County. Established in 1824 by a 19th-century German Christian communal group, the 19 buildings that remain have been designated a National Historic Landmark. Their signature piece is a redware soup plate reproduction from the village collection ($65). Other redware ranges from pins ($18) to an 18-inch-high glazed Saint Nicholas created from an antique German chocolate mold ($125). German Christmas items include carved wooden nutcrackers and kinetic candle pyramids ($16-$80). A wide selection of historic toys and books are also available. 724-266-4500 or www.oldeconomyvillage.org.

Historic Harmony, 218 Mercer St., Harmony, Beaver County; first Pennsylvania settlement of the Harmony Society, in 1804, resettled by the Mennonites in 1815 and a National Historic Landmark. The Virgin Sophia, a winged figure representing spiritual wisdom, is reproduced on items as varied as bookmarks and a metal plate by Carson Industries of Freeport ($25). Redware by a Slippery Rock potter, stoneware by Westerwald Pottery of Scenery Hill and German-style Frakturs by a local craftsperson are among the items for sale ($5-$60). 724-452-7341 or toll free 888-821-4822 or www.harmonymuseum.org.

Fallingwater, Route 381, near Mill Run, Fayette County; famed Frank Lloyd Wright-designed summer home for the Edgar Kaufmann family. A vivid hand-blown scarlet tanager, designed by noted Finnish glass artist Oiva Toikka after he saw the bird on the property, is new and sold exclusively through Fallingwater. The limited-edition, signed bright red bird is 7 by 4 by 3 inches ($150). The shop also carries a variety of Wright-inspired or related objects, from posters to lamps, some specific to Fallingwater. 724-329-8501 or www.wpcshop.org.

Kentuck Knob, near Ohiopyle, Fayette County. A Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian style home designed for the I.N. Hagan family, with sculpture garden. Among items specific to the house are a 6-inch-long metal ruler manufactured by David Howell & Co., Bedford Hills, N.Y., that represents the house's unique clerestory windows ($19.95) and a coffee table book, "Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob" by Donald Hoffmann, that was commissioned by current owner Lord Peter Palumbo of London ($19). 724-329-1901 or www.kentuckknob.com.

West Overton Village, Route 819, Scottdale, Westmoreland County; 19th-century rural industrial village on 43 acres, including birthplace of industrialist Henry Clay Frick. It's also home to the Overholt Distillery, and T-shirts sport the Old Overholt Whiskey label ($16). "Sweets From West Overton's Kitchen," a cookbook edited by interim director Mary Ann Mogus, includes recipes for goodies like almond rhubarb pastry ($6). A selection of those goodies will be sold in the seasonally decorated Summer Kitchen during Decked Out December days, from 1 to 5 p.m. today and Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 (after which the village closes for the season). 724-887-7910 or www.westovertonmuseum.org.

David Bradford House, 175 S. Main St., Washington, Pa.; stone "mansion" (by the period's standards) built in 1788 by one of the leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion, which challenged the authority of the new federal government. The shop's biggest seller is the Whiskey Rebellion flag, showing an eagle clutching arrows in his talons, holding a red and white banner with his beak, against a deep blue background with 13 white stars. It's available in nylon or cotton in two sizes, 2 by 3 feet ($28) and 3 by 5 feet ($55). Among functional ware by Westerwald Pottery of Scenery Hill is a Whiskey Rebellion whiskey jug, with the flag's image ($50). The house closes Dec. 15 for the season. 724-222-3604 or www.bradfordhouse.org/bradhome.htm.

LeMoyne House, 49 E. Maiden St., Washington, Pa. The 1812 home of Dr. F. Julius LeMoyne and his family was a stop on the Underground Railroad and is a National Historic Landmark. "Art in the Garden Weekend," a limited-edition print by artist James McConnell, features the house and garden ($75). "The Life and Works of Malcolm Parcell," a book by Paul Edwards, includes color illustrations of the late southwestern Pennsylvania artist's paintings. It was published by the Washington County Historical Society, which is located in the house ($100, $120 signed by author). 724-225-6740 or www.wchspa.org/html/house.htm.

The Bradford and LeMoyne houses, both decorated for the holidays, will hold candlelight tours from 2 to 6 p.m. today and Dec. 12 and 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11. Tickets may be purchased for one or both houses.

Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas may be reached at mthomas@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04340/420177.stm


Welcome aboard to Scottdale's newest councilman
by Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, December 2, 2004

Scottdale welcomes John M. Chain as the appointed councilman for the Fourth Ward. He is not new to performing public service because he is a volunteer firefighter. Welcome aboard!

[Many other items, including the following.]

Attention, a new shop is located at the West Overton Museum Village -- Barbara Ann's Country Home (724-806-0106). Stop and say hello.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_278575.html


Immigrants, organized crime kept alcohol flowing during Prohibition
by Gerard DeFlitch, Tribune-Review, Sunday, November 21, 2004

Walter "Frosty" Forys remembers what Prohibition meant in small-town America.

In 1920, the year Prohibition was enacted, he was but a lad of 8 years in Mt. Pleasant, a town that could be as rough-and-tumble as any then in western Pennsylvania, and in whose tight-knit neighborhoods a drink could always be found.

Yes, alcohol was prohibited, but you could get it.

And not just if you were laid up with the flu and the cough and needed the "medicine," which was the only form of "alcohol" production permitted under Prohibition. You needed a doctor's prescription to get it.

Forys, 92, survived his battle with the influenza outbreak of 1918, and his early resolve against the temptations of the brew was fortified by a "solemn oath to God. All the kids in school had to promise not to drink.

"You didn't dare get in trouble away from home because if you got yourself a licking in school, you were going to get another one at home," he says.

Thus inspired, Forys says it wasn't until he was 22, a year after Prohibition was repealed, that he got his first taste of alcohol from a glass offered to him by the "prettiest girl in Mt. Pleasant. Margaret Hovanec was my girlfriend -- and then my wife -- and she was with a wedding going on in Parfittown (a neighborhood actually located in East Huntingdon Township). It was moonshine all right, like maybe 102 proof, and it was good and strong."

Eventually, Forys matured into a Black Velvet man, indulging in a little of the "smoothness" of the Canadian whiskey on a regular basis.

He's been a little cranky these days because he's on a new medication after a lifetime of basically excellent health, and his physician has asked him to avoid having his daily drink.

"I was healthier when I could have a drink a day," he says. "Besides, it's just not sociable to not offer company a drink."

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

Same, too, apparently, in the 1920s, when it seemed that what America needed more than anything else was to be social, to flap and go footloose with a good, stiff drink in hand.

The country had been scarred by World War I and devastated by the influenza outbreak that traveled the globe. People had done without, and the Roaring Twenties became an era of personal and cultural liberation, aided and abetted by the proliferation of automobiles and the roads to drive them on.

But when Uncle Sam locked down the liquor cabinet, increasingly organized crime immediately recognized the economic opportunity and seized the moment.

The demand was there and bootleggers provided much of the supply to the underground market, whether it was brew from the mountain stills, "demon" rum from the islands smuggled from international waters, or whiskey from Canada.

Meanwhile, the immigrants who increasingly populated western Pennsylvania brought with them recipes for homemade alcohol, and a European sensibility about drinking that made a sip from a friendly flask routine.

Prohibition stopped none of that.

Bathtub gin and beer flourished, smoky clubs from small towns to big cities latched onto a stream of moonshine, and neighborhoods often featured miniature grape arbors. The wine that is a staple on European dinner tables was still being made, jugged, drank ... and sold during Prohibition.

"You could make it at home for you to drink at home," says Tim Kelly, a social historian expert in the history department at St. Vincent College near Latrobe. "Basically, you just couldn't sell it. But I had a student once who researched how Italian widows in Pittsburgh survived the era. Women didn't work at the time. What she found was that many of these women could survive only by making and selling wine out of their homes.

"Can you imagine making that arrest?"

SOCIAL CHANGES

"Actually, there was a lot of social changes going on at the time. Churches long before Prohibition were arguing for it, the 'wet' vs. the 'dry' sides were battling on moral grounds for a very long time," Kelly says. "The Anti-Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union were very powerful. Women played a chief role in the Prohibition movement because it was rooted in the churches and that was the only way at the time for women to be involved in public life.

"Women have always been perceived to be morally stronger than men. Alcohol and prostitution, for example, were presented by women as being a threat to the home, to their husbands and their sons, and to others as a consequence. There is a school of thought that a male-led campaign for Prohibition would not have been effective.

"In 1920, when Prohibition was enacted, it was the first time there were more Americans living in cities, working in big factories," Kelly says. "The KKK began to take on power, fundamentalism became very strong, and there was even a new historical criticism of the Bible.

"There was a lot of concern about licentious behavior, and the reality that when people drink, they are more likely to engage in criminal behavior that they wouldn't do when sober.

"Prohibition was all about trying to gain control."

In that sense, it was a miserable failure. Crime, especially violent crime like murder, rose dramatically during Prohibition.

"Certainly, there were gangsters at the time, but the era accelerated the amount of violent crime," Kelly notes. "It was hoped that Prohibition would reduce the crime rate because of the feeling that alcohol led to crime.

"That didn't happen."

Meanwhile, the number of legitimate distilleries declined, including one at West Overton near Scottdale that had been the single largest provider of alcohol to the Union Army during the Civil War. The Overholt family arrived on the grounds in 1802 to open a mill. A decade later, at the behest of an entreprenurial-minded son Abraham, the family applied its distilling technique and began to produce alcohol.

"Abraham was smart enough to recognize that if George Washington considered alcohol important enough to tax and then order troops into western Pennsylvania to quell a rebellion against it, it must have a future," says Grant Gerlich, executive director of the West Overton Museum, which houses the Overholt distillery.

The family soon built a second operation at nearby Broadford.

Old Overholt rye whiskey hit the market and can still be purchased in state stores. It is now produced as part of the Jim Beam line of spirits in Kentucky.

Alcohol has long been a staple product in the United States, and Washington's homestead property at Mt. Vernon featured a profitable distillery. It will serve as the museum showpiece for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, which has identified an American Whiskey Trail that includes West Overton, the only site in Pennsylvania.

"One of the shames of western Pennsylvania is that we tend to forget what sort of industrious operations were going on long before industrialization," Gerlich says.

"Distilling was very big here and Old Overholt came to be perceived as an extremely smooth rye whiskey, and marketed with the tag 'known for purity and strength.' It was a legitimate crop, one Washington was also very much a part of, and it was profitable.

MEDICINAL QUALITIES

"The kind of horrific injuries physicians were seeing during the Civil War was unlike anything they had ever seen before, and the demand for alcohol was high," Gerlich says. "They used it for everything from antiseptic to rubs, to quelling coughs, to being used as an anesthesia."

Prohibition brought about the dismantling of the equipment at West Overton, and it was shipped to the Broadford operation, where the Overholts continued for a while to legally produce "medicinal use" alcohol.

"Let's face it, you could still get your hooch in this area and this country," notes Gerlich. "It probably seemed like everybody was making booze, and maybe they were."

"Historians generally agree that Prohibition was a failure taken as a whole," Kelly says. "But if you narrow it down to its simplest goal of getting people to consume less alcohol, it was a success. Consumption was believed cut by about 30 percent.

"Mostly, that was probably because fewer people were able to afford alcohol during the Prohibition. The costs of production, transport, and ... protection really rose and made it harder on personal budgets."

In the rural areas of the country like western Pennsylvania, folks turned to the still of the night for their alcohol, calling it moonshine. Tucked away in the forested woods carved out of mountainous terrain, camouflaged from the often less-than-diligent eyes of "the long arm of the law," folks often enhanced meager incomes by selling some homemade hooch.

"Of course, Prohibition didn't stop people from drinking," notes Peter Karsten, a history professor at the University of Pittsburgh. "Local law enforcement frequently looked the other way. Local sheriffs were often sympathetic with the moonshiners and sent alcohol agents on their way. But consumption dropped substantially, and that's a point often overlooked."

The "wet" vs. "dry" battle was a religious, social and political issue that brewed for more than a decade. Finally, under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who preferred martinis even during Prohibition, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution became the only amendment ever repealed.

The federal government absolved itself of the moral matter of the issue by giving states the power to deal with alcohol distribution as it wished.

"Everybody dealt with it differently, for example," Kelly says. "In Michigan, you can buy it in grocery stores, but the sale can't be transacted before noon. Pennsylvania opted for control.

"Mississippi didn't even repeal Prohibition until 1966, but in the interim, what it did was put a sales tax of 10 percent on alcohol, which was, in effect, taxing a product it was illegal to sell."

"Prohibition by constitutional amendment was one of those rare attempts to control personal moral rights and it didn't work," Kelly says. "It's hard to believe that it would work again."

Forys sees it the same way.

"There'd be a revolt among the people if they'd ever try that again," he says.

Gerard DeFlitch can be reached at jdeflitch@tribweb.com or (724) 838-5154.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_273505.html


Jewelry designer to present creations in Bethel Park
from staff and wire reports, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Friday, November 5, 2004

[Several items, including the following.]

West Overton Village hosts wedding fair

Wedding World, a shopper's mart of bridal caterers, photographers, florists, and gown and tuxedo vendors, is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at West Overton Village in the Scottdale section of Westmoreland County. Admission is free.

Giveaways will include a certificate for 50 percent off the price of renting one of the village's three historical buildings for your special event.

West Overton Village, a pre-Civil War settlement, is the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick and the site of Old Overholt distillery.

West Overton Museums is on Route 819 (between Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant) in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County. Details: (724) 887-7910.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_269520.html


Pool programs are under way
by Patricia Walker, Tribune-Review , Thursday, November 4, 2004

[Many items, including the following.]

Saturday is the place to be if love is in the air you breathe and wedding bells are ringing in your mind. Everything you wanted to know about having a wonderful wedding will be at your fingertips at this event to take place at West Overton Museums. For more information, call 724-887-7910.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_268927.html


Memorial Garden is a fond tribute to group's founders
by Mariyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Tuesday, November 2, 2004 [with online photo]

Several decades ago, 10 area men -- most originally from the Fort Allen section of Greensburg -- discovered a shared interest and dedication to the restoration and preservation of antique farm equipment. They then formed, in 1964, what is today the Fort Allen Antique Farm Equipment Association Inc.

Now, the original group of only 10 founders has grown into an impressive membership of more than 400. Those numbers are not only from this area, but the association is proud to include several out-of-state members as well.

In July of 1993, the association acquired 55 acres of prime farmland adjacent to the West Overton Museums, located on Route 819 between Mount Pleasant and Scottdale, and has since built several mills, sheds and storage facilities -- many constructed from lumber produced at the mill, which is on site at the farm.

This past April the group dedicated a "Memorial Garden" to the founders.

"The memorial has always been a top priority," says association member Craig Truzzie of Hunker. "We wanted to honor our founders."

The site the Memorial Garden sits upon was once nothing more than a swampy, open area. Many different individuals and association members spent hours solidifying the area with fill and dirt, and constructed a garden area, complete with walks, three flagpoles, sitting area, benches and a wishing well.

"There were several people who worked so hard," explains Patty Shultz, whose husband Bob was an active member of the group and instrumental in the purchase of the property that Fort Allen now owns and occupies. "They were just wonderful working on the memorial."

In memory of her husband of 43 years who passed away quietly in April of 1998, Patty Shultz donated a large stone bearing his name and the names of the association's founders.

In addition to Bob Shultz, the names of E. Clyde Allshouse, Elmer F. Allshouse, Melvin W. Bailey, Edward Long, Hugh H. Peoples, Charles F. Poole, George Shoemaker, Arthur G. Woodward, Daniel H. Woodward and George W. Workman grace the stone that sits in the midst of the Memorial Garden. Most of the original members are now deceased.

Shultz also had two very unique benches designed and built for the garden, consisting of Allis Chalmers' parts, which were types of tractors that her husband collected. The walks were especially designed to seat these benches. Due to the unique qualities and workmanship of the benches, they are only displayed during the warm months, or when functions are scheduled at Fort Allen.

The association holds events during the year, such as the Ice Cream Festival and Tractor Pull, which is held in July, featuring tractor pulling and also the operation and demonstration of an antique ice cream-making machine; and the Harvest Festival, which consists of machinery demonstrations and good, old-fashioned entertainment.

The group also grinds its own flour -- whole wheat flour, corn meal and buckwheat flour -- which members then sell at festivals and events.

"We are a non-profit organization," said Truzzie, "so all proceeds go back into the property to expand it." Also included in the Memorial Garden and part of the funding for the project, are engraved bricks, which can be purchased for $25 each. The bricks can bear the purchaser's choice of name and then be included in the existing walkways.

The landscaping for the project was also done by several volunteers. Jack and Connie Wilkinson of Wilkinson's Nursery, close friends of Patty and Bob Shultz, donated the items that were planted.

"Patty approached me and asked me about maybe donating a tree," explains Connie Wilkinson. "I brought a truckload of plants, and when I saw what they were doing here, I went home and brought two more truckloads."

Wilkinson stops by and checks on the garden and tends to the plants. She is very pleased about helping with the project and adds that Bob Shultz was simply a "wonderful man."

The creation of the Memorial Garden was a labor of love for the members who hold in the highest regards their founders and the group that they established.

Association member Fred Lydick of Greensburg, who was born and raised on a dairy farm, enjoys the group's work because it brings back fond memories of his youth and heritage.

In reference to the horse-drawn plowing and antique methods used today at the Fort Allen Farm, Lydick says, "Just like my dad always said, if you didn't do it the hard way, is wasn't any good."

For information about the association or the purchasing of bricks for the walkways, call Craig Truzzie at 724-925-1768.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_268466.html


Calendar community of events
Daily Courier, Tuesday, October 26, 2004

= Oct. 29 and 30: 5 to 9 p.m. Otherworldly Weekend at West Overton.

= Oct. 31: 2 to 4 p.m. Community Trick-or-Treat.

= Nov. 4: Noon "High Noon" Networking at LaTavola Ristorante, New Stanton.

= Nov. 6: Wedding World at West Overton Museums.

= Nov. 9: 7:30 to 9 a.m. B & B Networking Breakfast, Jimmy Paul's Restaurant, Mount Pleasant.

= Nov. 9: 5 to 8 p.m. Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce After Hours Mixer, various sites, sponsored by Mount Pleasant Business District Authority; 1 p.m. Coal & Coke Bike Trail Meeting, Jimmy Paul's Restaurant.

= Nov. 14: 5 p.m. Povertyneck Hillbillies Concert benefit for YMCA, Divito Park.

= Nov. 16: 6 p.m. Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce meeting.

= Nov. 17: 6:30 p.m. Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, Scottdale Borough Building; Nov. 17 7:30 p.m. Mount Pleasant BDA Board, In Town Shops, Mount Pleasant; 6 to 8 p.m. Overly's Country Christmas Family Event, Westmoreland fairgrounds.

= Nov. 18: 8 a.m. LHCC Board Meeting, Frick Hospital.

= Nov. 20: Photo fund-raising event at Scottdale Public Library.

= Nov. 25: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Community Thanksgiving meal at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Mount Pleasant.

= Nov. 27 to Dec. 5: Festival of Lights, Warden Mansion, Mount Pleasant.

= Dec. 4 and 5: Decked out December at West Overton Museums.

= Dec. 10 and 11: Scottdale Chamber of Commerce Christmas House Tour.

= Dec. 11 and 12: Mount Pleasant Historical Society's Christmas House Tour; Decked out December at West Overton Museums.

= Dec. 18 and 19: Decked out December at West Overton Museums.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_265590.html


News of the membership
Daily Courier, Tuesday, October 26, 2004

[Other items, including the following.]

= West Overton Museums will host a Wedding World event on Nov. 6. There will be a variety of caterers, photographers, florists and gowns from throughout the region. Brides will be offered a wide selection to make their big day memorable. Contact the museum at 724-887-7910 for more information. This is a free event!

= West Overton Museums is starting a Garden Club. Roxanne Fox will be heading up the group to take care of the wonderful gardens at the Overholt Homestead. You can be a part of this new organization by calling 724-887-7910. Dues may be charge to your credit card.

= West Overton Museums will host another "Otherworldly Weekend" on Oct. 29 and 30. Tour the Village by lantern, witness 19th-century funeral practices and hear West Overton ghost stories. Refreshments will be available. Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for children ages 11 and younger. For information, call 724-887-7910.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_265594.html


Bridal fair planned
Tribune-Review, Sunday, October 24, 2004

The West Overton Museums near Scottdale will hold a bridal fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 6 in the distillery building on the grounds, along Route 819.

The event will give those who attend the chance to find the best caterers, photographers, florists and attire for weddings and other special occasions.

Admission is free. For more information, call West Overton at 724-887-7910.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_264837.html


A look at some old 'haunts' in western Pennsylvania
by Gerard DeFlitch, Tribune-Review, Sunday, October 24, 2004 [with online photos]

Brian Corcoran sits behind a desk in the library of his wonderfully spooky and beloved 200-year-old house and talks wistfully about the days he spent traveling abroad with his parents.

And with Sheba.

Sheba's been part of the Scottdale-area family for decades. Wherever the Corcorans would wander, she rattled along, too.

The fact that Sheba is the skeleton of an unknown London lass found floating in the Thames River, and was a sentimental favorite of his mother's, seems to put into perspective Corcoran's peaceful acceptance of unexplained phenomena.

"My mom went to this doctor in Scottdale who had this skeleton in his office and she would always talk to him about it," Corcoran explains. "He was educated in London and a requirement back then was for a physician to strip down a body and piece it back together. He went to the morgue and this was an unidentified and unclaimed body with a fractured skull.

"He finally told my mother that he would eventually give her the skeleton.

"We took her with us when we traveled. I always bring her out for our Halloween party so the guests can meet her. Sometimes, I'll seat her at a desk, maybe at the dining room table."

Corcoran recently brought George home to keep Sheba company. George is a skull of a man, displayed under a glass bubble, purportedly found locally and presumed to be hundreds of years old. He bought it at an estate sale for a "good price."

It's no wonder that when things happen in this house -- and they do -- Corcoran seems to greet them with a routine curiosity. Ghosts may live here, but he's no Mister Chicken.

Over the years, he's heard whistling at the front door in the dead of winter and nary a person or footprint was found in the snow. A mirror won't hang on one particular wall, a clock stops at the exact same time year after year and special effects fog machines will work everywhere but inside the house.

Across the yard, in the rustic loft of the carriage house, where Corcoran and his partner, Ruth Peterson, conduct a vintage costume business, lights have come on inexplicably and props have been moved.

And in an upstairs room of the house, there's a painting "someone obviously doesn't like because it falls off the wall and we find it face up in the middle of the room on the floor and nothing else has been disturbed," Peterson says.

FRIGHT NIGHTS

October, of course, is the bewitching month, when tales like these howl in the misty moonlight, and otherwise normal folk cast aside their personalities and dally with danger.

Sure, there are Halloween parties and haunted houses and late-night hayrides. And who hasn't heard of a haunted theater, hotel or restaurant? But, really, is it just the brittle autumn wind making your house creak and groan in the night, or are those sounds indicative of another presence?

Are you lucky, living with more or less benevolent spirits whose antics are somewhat entertaining, content to perhaps rearrange your furniture and leave the lights on?

Or are you like the residents of an Aliquippa area house, where malevolent forces are so threatening the occupants turn to paranormal investigators at Penn State to substantiate their claims?

Of course, reality can be disturbing, too.

That weeping, wailing and moaning you'll hear next weekend from the historic Abraham Overholt estate -- his famous grandson, Henry Clay Frick, was born on the property in 1849 -- is dead on when it comes to historical accuracy.

Some might even find portions of the "Otherworldly Weekend Tours" of the West Overton Museum buildings and grounds quite disturbing. Located on Route 819 between Mt. Pleasant and Scottdale, the pre-Civil War village features a distillery, gristmill and house built before 1838.

There are ghost sightings here, too, but Grant Gerlich, the museum's ebullient director, who started the evening tours, says, "History can be scary. We will have a few moments of typical spooky things for effect during the 30- to 45-minute tour, but for the most part what they'll experience is exactly what took place in history."

With the assistance of Corcoran and Scottdale funeral director Rob Ferguson, the museum will turn the Overholt house parlor into a funeral parlor.

"That's where the word comes from," Gerlich says. "There weren't funeral homes. The mortician came to the house and the front parlor was turned into a funeral parlor. The body was kept on ice and there was embalming to a certain extent.

"We will have 'professional mourners' on hand because that was the standard of the day. It was said that if there wasn't a loud hue and cry during the wake, the spirit of the body would not rise to heaven.

"It's creepy, while at the same time accurate. We'll also explore the historical nature of a time when epidemics struck down small children. Because you couldn't go into the house, viewers would walk past the window to view a child. We'll set up that display in the springhouse."

The enthusiastic Gerlich says tour guides will inform and entertain, and chat about the unexplained incidents said to have occurred in a few of the village's centuries-old structures, like the distillery.

"I've not personally experienced anything unusual in the residence, but lights have been reported on in the distillery long after I'm absolutely positive I've turned them off," Gerlich says. "In the house, people say they hear someone on the steps when no one is there. One of the Overholt brothers hanged himself from a tree down by the fence; another died in a room we use to store our papers. People have said they've seen a ace in the window of that room."

Others have heard loud noises in the distillery.

"There was a lot of life in this village," Gerlich says, "and especially in the distillery. I can feel that when I'm in there. One can imagine there was a lot of emotion in here, and probably more than a few people were injured, and suffered."

Corcoran, who is busy costuming Halloween partiers as well as prepping the museum grounds and staff for the fund-raising tours, said a friend once visited his house with a Ouija board.

"I had told him people say they feel they are being watched and when he was done, he said there were 23 entities in the house."

THE UNEXPLAINED

Just how many entities are in a house in the Aliquippa area is unknown, but paranormal investigators documented unexplainable incidents during a chilling overnight stay one recent weekend.

"Some of what happened that night, well, was very, very rare," says Ryan Buell, founder of the Penn State Paranormal Research Society. The 22-year-old student at State College started the PRS as a club and has advised the Sci-Fi network on some of its shows, like "Proof Positive" and "Ghosthunters."

"We have an obligation to be respectable because we have the Penn State name in our title," Buell says. "And the Penn State name means a lot to people."

A native of Sumter, S.C., he wound his way through Pittsburgh before arriving at State College. He's been fascinated by the supernatural ever since he was kid; he recalls doing a book report on the occult when he was 9 years old.

"If it was bizarre, if it was unexplainable, I was interested," he says, "but there wasn't much in the way of interest in that where I was growing up. When I was in Pittsburgh, I was able to use the Internet to connect with people with similar interests.

"At first, because I was so young, people presumed I didn't know what I was doing. Lots of age discrimination. Now, we're negotiating for our own series on Sci-Fi, and I've been able to meet with the authors of books like 'The Amityville Horror' and 'The Mothman Prophecies.' And Sci-Fi is co-sponsoring a national conference on paranormal investigations we're hosting later this month."

Buell understands that it's easy for others to refer to him as a "ghostbuster" although "within the industry, it's considered a derogatory term."

Buell and his team took on the Aliquippa investigation after being contacted by the residents of the house. Objects in a bedroom were found on basement shelves, other things would come flying at them. There were loud knocks and raps on the walls and doors.

"Those calls almost always start out the same way, something like 'You may think I'm crazy, but ...' and by the time they end something, it's like 'I can't stand it anymore.' And we do get wacky calls and quacky e-mails, especially in October. One lady suggested something supernatural was going on with her puppy because the puppy loved her but now won't play with her."

Preliminary information and research determines if the investigators feel an on-site visit is merited. Occupants must be present.

"We've got to interview them," Buell says. "Understand that everything we do is designed to systematically eliminate what can be explained.

"We bring our tools, sound and video equipment, satellite thermometers to record temperatures because those can indicate 'cold' or 'hot' spots. The theory is the temperature will drop in a spot because the spirit is absorbing the warmth of the energy in that spot."

The PRS team began their stakeout on a Saturday night shortly before midnight.

"There were several rather incredible episodes that night," Buell reports. "One of the most startling came in the kitchen, where several people were seated at the table. Out of nowhere above the table came this very loud bang, an explosion like a firecracker and there was no source that we could find.

"I was in the basement at the time with another crew member when that happened and we ran upstairs, and everybody was just standing back from the table.

"Another incident happened to one of our team members who is rather skeptical. He watched a Bible float over a distance of about four feet.

"We've never seen anything quite like that. He was shaking. Another time, someone was talking to the presence and it was responding with popping sounds, like someone loudly snapping their fingers. It was told to pop once to answer yes and twice for no. And the snaps would come from different parts of the room. That kind of communication is very, very rare, and takes this to a new level.

"We've got the loud bang and the snapping noises on tape. We'll be doing more research on the house and the residents, and we'll be going back again for another visit. I don't know where this case is going and what I think one minute about it could be completely changed the next minute.

"This could turn into a case of demonic possession of a person and if that's the case, that's far beyond what we do. We'll contact the Roman Catholic Church in that scenario."

As a paranormal investigator, Buell says one of the greatest dangers he faces is falling under the possession of his obsession.

"I've got to watch that," he explains. "Respected people who have been doing this a long time all tell me that I have got to become good at separating that part of my life, or it will become my life."

GHOST STORIES

A more traditional "ghost" story is the one of Friendship Hill, the glorious estate of Albert Gallatin, who served as secretary of the Treasury for 13 years under Presidents Jefferson and Madison.

Now under the care of the National Park Service, the expansive property is located along Route 166 in Point Marion in Fayette County. The first structure built was The Brick House in 1789. The event that would trigger more than a century of stories took place only months after Gallatin and his new bride moved in that year.

"What is given credit for the rumors that swirl stem from the death of Gallatin's first wife, Sophia, who died suddenly just five months after moving here in the frontier," says park ranger Brian Reedy. "And nobody is sure what it is she died from."

Years later, when the property was owned by millionaire J.V. Thompson, Sophia's bones were supposedly discovered during construction of a cistern and pump house.

"The story goes that the bones were moved into a rectangular area at another site on the property, distinctly marked, but not as a grave. Sophia was pregnant and they say the bones of the child were never found with hers."

Reedy says what is more frightening about the aura of the property is the degree of sad and unfortunate circumstances that truly afflicted virtually all of its many owners.

"J.V. was a rich man, in fact, if he were alive today, he would probably be worth about $2 billion, but his holdings in coal, coke and a bank eventually failed and he wound up penniless," the ranger says. "People touring the grounds marvel at its beauty and say they would love to live here, but I remind them to look at what happened to some of the families that did.

"One of Thompson's granddaughter's committed suicide at the house. Another owner, John Littleton Dawson, fell down the grand staircase and broke his neck.

"People who have volunteered there report hearing footsteps in the house in an area off limits to visitors. Others say they've seen the face of a young woman peering out from an upstairs window, closed off to the public."

SUPERSTITION

"Ghosts" are often interpreted as the souls of people trapped in their environments, but Corcoran and Peterson, both medics, have also experienced unusual phenomena while in an ambulance on a call.

"Ambulance personnel are some of the most superstitious people you'll ever know," Peterson says, "starting with 'if you take your boots off in the station, you will get a call.'"

Corcoran recalls an incident when a very distinct smell of a certain perfume was in an ambulance, and then it followed him throughout the station after he had parked and exited the vehicle.

"I guess you need to understand that for a lot of people a ride in an ambulance may literally be their last trip, the last major event of their life," says Corcoran.

"Transporting some of the elderly people as often as we do, we do get to know them," adds Peterson. "We might be driving them home for the last time."

Others, he says, seem to know they won't be coming back and ask to be driven to their homes or childhood homes on the way.

"It's amazing," Corcoran interjects softly, "the number of elderly patients who literally say, 'I'm going to go now,' and they do."

With the warm countenance of a cherubic-faced Santa Claus, Corcoran pauses, then quietly says, "Unexplained things have happened here, and it's not that I'm saying something could never happen that would truly unnerve me, I'm just saying I accept the things that have happened here, or that I've experienced elsewhere.

"Sometimes, though, at some point later, I think about them and say, 'You know, that was really strange.'"

Gerard DeFlitch can be reached at jdeflitch@tribweb.com or (724) 838-5154.

photo: Grant Gerlich, executive director of the West Overton Museum, says the museum's 'Other Worldly
Weekend Tours' will offer an historically accurate view of when homes were used as funeral parlors, as well as other unexplained incidents on the museum's grounds.
Guy Wathen/Tribune-Review

Details Otherworldly Weekend tours will be held Friday and Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the West Overton Museums along Route 819 between Mt. Pleasant and Scottdale. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit the preservation and restoration of historic West Overton Village, where Henry Clay Frick was born. Parental discretion is advised.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_263539.html


Distillery fire suspicious, officials say
by Paul Paterra, Tribune-Review, Saturday, October 16, 2004

It appears a fire at the long-abandoned Overholt Distillery in Upper Tyrone Township may have been set. According to a news release from state police at Uniontown, the blaze was incendiary in nature. The fire broke out about 9 a.m. Thursday in a building that once housed the distillery's cafeteria.

Trooper James F. Brownfield, a state police fire marshal, is investigating the fire. Damage was estimated at $20,000.

More than 50 firefighters from seven departments battled the blaze Thursday at the building along Broadford Road. State police said the building is owned by Pechin Leasing Inc., of Dunbar.

A fire official on Thursday called the blaze suspicious because the building, which is in a remote location, has no utilities.

The distillery was last owned by a Pittsburgh-based construction business, which used the facility to store material.

At the scene, Connellsville Township fire Chief Dwayne Krumanacker recalled extinguishing a fire at the property 10 years ago that destroyed a warehouse originally used to store whiskey barrels.

A fire in 1905 at the Overholt Distillery resulted in a loss of more than $4 million in whiskey.

Connellsville Township firefighters were joined at the scene by those from New Haven, South Connellsville, Scottdale, Everson, Bullskin Township and Morrell.

Paul Paterra can be reached at ppaterra@tribweb.com or (724) 836-6220.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_262515.html


Blaze at former distillery proves stubborn
by Michael Cope, Tribune-Review News Service, Friday, October 15, 2004

[This same article appeared with another headline, as shown below.]

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_262134.html


Old Overholt Distillery burns: Seven fire companies respond
by Michael Cope, Daily Courier, Friday, October 15, 2004

Firefighters from seven area departments battled a stubborn blaze Thursday that crept through narrow crawl spaces under the floor of an abandoned building at the old Overholt Distillery in Broadford, Connellsville Township.

Hidden flames and thick white smoke engulfed the 100,000 square foot brick structure that once housed the distillery's cafeteria. The fire was ruled suspicious and a probable arson at the scene because the remote location is void of utilities and secured by fencing, according to Dwayne Krumanacker, chief of Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Krumanacker added that the fire appeared to originate in the center floor of a 200-by-500-foot building.

Emergency workers stretched 5-inch hose almost 2,000 feet from a Broadford Road hydrant into the thickly overgrown industrial ruins. However, the primary obstacle was the maze of pipes underneath the collapsing floorboards.

"We actually cut through the floor, but all of the piping made the fire difficult to reach," Krumanacker said. "We were chasing it for quite a while."

With hose stretched over the train tracks, a long CSX locomotive hauling dumper cars sat idle just a few feet from the scene. Traffic was restricted to one lane on Broadford Road near Hodge Transmissions for several hours.

The fire broke out shortly after 9 a.m., and chain saws hummed inside the burning building for two hours before fire officials ordered personnel to clear the area because of unsafe conditions. The crawl space was then flooded.

"The fire is under control at this point," Krumanacker said, "It's just a matter of getting it completely extinguished."

More than 50 firefighters from Connellsville Township, New Haven Hose, South Connellsville, Scottdale, Everson, Bullskin Township and Morrell worked at the scene. The manpower was necessary to rotate the frontline, according to Krumanacker, while several crews delivered water, oxygen and gasoline. Paramedics from Mutual Aid Ambulance Service remained on stand-by.

Krumanacker said he remembered extinguishing a fire on the property 10 years ago that claimed a warehouse originally used to store whiskey barrels. The area is owned by Pechin Leasing Inc. of Dunbar.

Reporting to the Connellsville Township supervisors at a regular meeting Thursday, Krumanacker said he will meet with Pechin owner Sully D'Amico and code enforcement officer Todd Brothers about improving the unsafe conditions in the structure.

Jim Brownfield, state police fire marshal, is investigating the scene. He called the fire incendiary in nature. Damage was estimated at approximately $20,000.

Michael Cope can be reached at mcope@tribweb.com or 724-626-3537.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailycourier/news/s_262206.html


'Otherworldly weekends' coming to West Overton
by Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, October 14, 2004

On Oct. 22 and 23, West Overton Village will present "Otherworldly Weekend" from 5 to 9 p.m. each evening. Bizarre and unexpected moments will be experienced, maybe some ghost stories. Also, 19th century funeral practices will be explained. For ticket information, call 724-887-7910. Credit for special effects go to Vintage Costumes LLC.

[With other items, including the following.]

Also, West Overton is starting a Garden Club. You can be a part of this new organization by calling 724-887-7910 and credit cards payment for dues are accepted.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_261340.html


'Ghosts' will tell of the town's history
by Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Wednesday, October 13, 2004

For the past few years, Dalene Ritter, who is head of the Mount Pleasant Student Historical Society, has brought together several interesting stories and legends about our town and acted them out and dramatized them for our benefit at the annual Ghost Walk. The tales, though some may be eerie in nature, are not meant to scare and frighten, but actually to educate folks about our history and town in a fun and innovative way. Ritter, along with many of her students from the society and several other residents, will present their "Ghost Walk" starting at 6 p.m. this Saturday evening at Frick Park. Tours will then leave every 20 minutes. The tour this year will feature "ghosts" telling the tales of local events and people such as Erskine Ramsay, miners returning from the "Morewood Massacre" and an interesting tale about "Wild Bill" Hickock and Annie Oakley and their association with the Bryce family. Sound interesting? I won't spoil the fun by telling you the rest, so you'll just have to see and hear for yourself the great stories and yarns spun for you by specters and ghouls. Tickets for the event are $3 for adults and $1 for students. Light refreshments will also be served. Put on a jacket and join in the fun!

Town news

= I recently had the great pleasure to tour the West Overton village and some of its buildings, and I must say, what a fabulous little piece of history we have right in our own back yard. The village consists of several buildings featuring the brick barn, the Overholt Homestead, the spring house, and the distillery. The buildings and grounds have all been meticulously kept, with much attention given to detail. The final day of its regular season will be Saturday, and the admission is free for that day. Stop out and enjoy some local history.

[With other items.]

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_260903.html


News from the membership
Daily Courier, Tuesday, September 28, 2004

[Many items, including the following.]

= West Overton Museums will hold an open house and its annual membership meeting on Oct. 16. This is the last day of the season and admission is FREE!

= On Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31, West Overton will be hosting Otherworldly Weekends, featuring things that go bump in the night, 19th-century funeral practices, and West Overton ghost stores. Event is co-sponsored by Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_255542.html


Community news
Daily Courier, Tuesday, September 28, 2004

[Other items, including the following.]

= Farmer's Markets continue throughout the area, with markets scheduled on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at the parking lot behind Levin's in Mount Pleasant; Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at Hurst Field in Norvelt, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon at West Overton Museums and Sundays at \par the Scottdale Gazebo.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_255540.html


Expand your horizons with education
by Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Thursday, September 16, 2004

[Many items, including the following.]

= Remember the days before Game Boys and Play Stations? I do, but many kids of today don't, and the West Overton Museums has come up with a unique way for children to experience the games of yesterday. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the museums will hold the West Overton games which will feature games played by children in the 1800s. Some games that will be played will be horseshoes, Jacob's ladder, cup and ball and wooden hoops. Activities and crafts are planned and snacks will be available for purchase. The games are free of charge and all are welcome.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_251500.html


Making fun of history - Museum brings games of the past to new generation
by Marsha Forys, Daily Courier, Thursday, September 16, 2004

[This same article appeared as shown below.]

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_251879.html


Making fun of history
by Marsha Forys, Tribune-Review, Thursday, September 16, 2004

Battledore and shuttlecock, graces, townball and whimmey diddle jeep stick.

Sound like something from the "Lord of the Rings" or "Harry Potter" movies? No, actually these are games that were played by children growing up in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, and they are going to be resurrected and played once again Saturday at West Overton Museums, rain or shine.

Grant Gerlich, West Overton's director, and Roxanne Fox, interim program director, are busy finalizing plans to accommodate what they hope will be dozens of children who are ready to test their skills at something other than video games.

The first-ever West Overton Games Day will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museums complex. Families may attend for the entire day or just a few hours, and, best of all, it's free.

Should the rains hold off, many of the games will be played outdoors, but if the weather does not cooperate, the event will be moved into the museum's historic barn. Designated the largest brick barn in Pennsylvania, the West Overton barn is big enough to accommodate about 300 people, with plenty of room for most if not all of the games that are planned.

LaRoche College sociology professor Marijean Ferguson will be providing much of the equipment for the event. In addition to battledore and shuttlecock (badminton), graces (a game played by tossing rings with wands), rounders (the precursor to baseball) and whimmy diddle jeep stick (a small wooden, notched stick with a propeller on the end that is spun by rubbing the stick with another stick), the games offered will include hoops and sticks, tiddlywinks, marbles, dominoes, checkers, chess, ring puzzles and much more.

Should children tire of the games, they can sit down with nature artist Dolly Queer of Mount Pleasant and make nature prints to take home.

Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

"I'm really excited about this," said Gerlich. "It's a way for kids to get away from the television. It will add a little life to the place, and it will give families a chance to experience the history of West Overton together."

Fox said all children must be accompanied by an adult, and parents will be invited to participate in the games with their children.

"We wanted a family-friendly event," Fox said. "Kids are so video- and electronically oriented these days, it will be interesting to see how they fare in the games played by their counterparts a century or more ago."

In addition to Saturday's event, Gerlich said that West Overton will be hosting Other Worldly Weekends from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22-23 and 29-30.

The weekends will feature guided Eerie Lantern Tours through the West Overton Village and an 1800s funeral set up in the village's main house.

"It will be part P.T. Barnum and part factual," Gerlich said. "It's going to be kind of creepy and definitely unique."

West Overton Museums is located along Route 819, one mile south of Route 119 and one mile north of Scottdale.

Marsha Forys can be reached at mforys@tribweb.com or 724-626-3582.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_251796.html


Adult Day Trip: Clayton to West Overton - Directors' Tours

First stop on this special day trip is The Frick Art Museum, where Frick Director Bill Bodine leads participants through the F\'e9lix de la Concha exhibition. After touring Clayton, participants travel back in time (by luxury coach) to West Overton, Henry Clay Frick's birthplace in Westmoreland County. There, Executive Director Grant Gerlich leads an exclusive tour of the site. The day includes a picnic lunch in West Overton's historic barn and dessert at nearby Sandhill Berry Farms. Advance registration required. $50 members/students; $65 non-members/guests; Aug 26, 2004 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

http://www.frickart.com/programs/lectures/#special


Snoop Dogg to appear at Bash club on Monday
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Friday, August 6, 2004

[Many items, including the following.]

Trip goes from Frick's home to his birthplace.

A motorcoach trip from Clayton -- former home of Henry Clay Frick -- to West Overton -- birthplace of the famed industrialist -- is set for Aug. 26, originating at the Frick Art Museum, Point Breeze.

Participants first will tour the museum's current exhibit, "Felix de la Concha, A Contrarreloj: A Race Against Time," featuring more than 70 large and small paintings of Clayton created "a contrarreloj" -- against the clock.

Bill Bodine, director of the Frick Art Museum, will guide guests through the art show before participants board a luxury bus for the pre-Civil War village where Frick was born to Elizabeth Overholt, daughter of the owner of the Old Overholt distillery.

Frick's birthplace -- a springhouse -- and the biggest brick barn in Pennsylvania are among sights at West Overton Museums in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.

West Overton, a former industrial village, includes 19 buildings dating back to 1803, plus the site of Old Overholt distillery. Tour takers will explore the 43-acre grounds with Grant Gerlich, director of West Overton Museums.

A picnic lunch in West Overton's landmark barn will precede dessert at nearby Sand Hill Berries, Mt. Pleasant, a family-run farm with a store and cafe specializing in berry pies.

The trip is set for 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 26. Cost is $65; $50 for members and students. Advance registration is required.

The Frick Art Museum is at 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. Details: (412) 371-0600, Deborah Deasy.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_206854.html


Enjoy an evening of music
by Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, July 29, 2004

[Many items, including the following.]

West Overton Museum will hold a campaign to help with the renovation of the village. We are fortunate to have a museum and village in our locality. It contains the largest still existing brick barn in Pennsylvania. Monetary are appreciated and can be sent to West Overton Museums, West Overton Village, Scottdale, PA 15683. Thanks in advance.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_205508.html


CHAMBER NEWS
Daily Courier, Tuesday, July 27, 2004

[Many items, including the following.]

BOCCE EVENT PLANS UNDERWAY

Plans for the second annual Bocce event are well under way. The event is scheduled for Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit chamber programs, the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands and Cardiac Rehabilitation Services at Frick Hospital.

Enjoy a day at West Overton Museums with lavishly catered tents lining the lawns. Relax with family, friends and business associates as we take a step back in time. Learn first-hand why Bocce has become such a popular sport. It can be played by everyone! New this year will be a Children's Bocce court, with "child size" bocce equipment. Ribbons awarded to all participants. There will be no cost for the children's event.

There are various tent rental packages available. Consider this for your company's summer picnic or for your business entertaining. For more details, contact LHCC at 724.547.7521 or email lhcc@cvzoom.net.

[Other items, including the following.]

= West Overton Museums is partnering with local farmers to create the Saturday Farmers Marker at West Overton. The market will feature locally grown fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and other assorted goodies in a beautiful, and authentic, 19th century setting. The markets will be held every Saturday through Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_205205.html


West Overton Museums to host Farmers Market
by Rachel R. Basinger, Daily Courier, Wednesday, July 21, 2004

SCOTTDALE -- West Overton Museums in East Huntingdon Township will soon be another stopping place on the list of local farmers markets.

Beginning this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, those who enjoy buying their produce, other baked goods and handcrafted items from local farmers and crafters, will have that chance in a place of historical ambiance.

According to Roxanne Fox, a former board member and current volunteer for the museum, the idea had been tossed around for several years but no one really had the time to pull such an event together.

"I spent a lot of time on the phone with farmers and sent out a lot of flyers to farmers and to granges," said Fox.

Currently, there are owners of four good-sized farms who will be participating in the market.

According to Fox, members of the board really think the market is a great idea because it benefits both the local growers and those who like to buy fresh produce.

"We're doing it more as a community service, but it's also to give some visibility to the museum," said Fox.

The cost for vendors is just $5 a week or $50 for the 13-week season.

Everything that is sold must be locally grown or made and can include baked goods, eggs, flowers, fruits and vegetables or any hand-crafted items that were made by the person who is selling them.

Fox has learned about nutritional vouchers for senior citizens through the state, which can be used as cash at the farmers market.

Those interested in the vouchers can call the Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging at 724-830-4444 to find out where to get the vouchers and what the eligibility guidelines are.

"We hope the community will come out and support the market," said Fox. "We'd like to see this be a really popular market, and we think it will be because people are out doing their shopping on Saturdays."

Anyone interested in selling their goods at the market should contact Fox at 724-887-7910 about a week before the date they wish to participate.

The market will be set up in the field next to the homestead. All vendors must supply their own display tables.

Rachel R. Basinger can be reached at rbasinger@tribweb.com or (724) 626-3536.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_204425.html


Encampment at West Overton
Daily Courier, Monday, July 19, 2004

The Tri-state Re-enactors Association visited West Overton in one of the largest encampments in the region on Saturday.

The event featured both Union and Confederate artillery, cavalry and infantry units demonstrating, drilling and fighting.

A Farmers Market, needlepoint displays and demonstrations and calligraphy exhibits were also part of the activities.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_204091.html


Old AIHF program: What good did it do?
by Richard Robbins, Tribune-Review, Sunday, July 18, 2004

Grant Gerlich is new on his job, which may explain his blunt, eager language. Executive director of West Overton Museums for eight months, Gerlich was venting over the fact that West Overton, the nearly intact 19th-century village on the outskirts of Scottdale, continues to face an old nemesis: no money to press on with full restoration and reuse.

"We have lots of studies," Gerlich, former curator of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, said of the village and homestead that spawned H.C. Frick, the coke king who made millions in western Pennsylvania before establishing a baronial estate on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Years before Gerlich arrived on the scene, West Overton was a centerpiece of not one but two county preservation plans. Fayette and Westmoreland counties gave the project a thumbs-up in separate studies conducted in the early 1990s for the now-defunct federal America's Industrial Heritage Project. Two years later AIHP funded a second study of West Overton.

Gerlich said this second study was more detailed than the first, but had the same defect: it failed to pinpoint a funding source for what was estimated, in 1991, to be an $8.5 million undertaking.

"The (second) study was very expensive, but there was no money to get the work done," Gerlich said. "They get you all excited and then let you down."

Gerlich means to rectify things. By hook or crook and by some good old-fashioned press agentry, Gerlich has launched a campaign to win supporters. Perhaps more so than his predecessors, Gerlich sees the crucial link between civic and political backing and acquiring money, the mother's milk of historical preservation.

Heritage tourism

All of which might be good news for Randy Cooley, the former National Park Service ranger who helped to mastermind AIHP in the late 1980s and who today heads Westsylvania, Inc., a for-profit spin-off of AIHF that is designed to bring "sustainability" to the notoriously uncertain world of historical preservation and its cousin, history-related tourism.

Cooley, a cool, unflappable and experienced bureaucrat-turned-businessman who sports a cane for getting around, argues that AIHP never promised project managers or boards of directors a rose garden full of ready cash.

"Prior to AIHP, heritage was often viewed as a liability," said Cooley in a telephone interview from his Hollidaysburg office.

AIHP "created a framework for identifying, preserving, interpreting, promoting and marketing" historical sites as potential points of interest for tourists. Cooley is fond of pointing out that "heritage travel" remains the country's fastest growing form of travel.

The legislation that created AIHP "didn't say it would" fund any work to completion, Cooley said. Expectations were high, however.

Roger Kennedy was the new director of the National Park Service when he visited the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Cresson in October 1993. Kennedy, a Clinton administration appointee, was then on the verge of submitting to Congress a 10-year AIHP plan worth $300 million, though the fine print noted that $200 million of the total was calculated as the private sector's share.

"The glory of the (AIHP) system is that it encourages individual citizens to participate in the way history is taught," Kennedy said at the time. "It's an alternative to passivity."

At the same 1993 gathering, Cooley delivered a message he has repeated since: "The park service could not continue to do what it has done in the past. It can't preserve everything. One part of the new federal role is to encourage local effort."

Tough choices

Evelyn Hovanec, who retired several years ago as a professor of English at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, understands local initiative. It doesn't mean she is satisfied with the way things turned out in Fayette County, where she headed the county AIHP planning commission in the early 1990s.

The county commission's top priority was the creation of a coal and coke heritage museum at a cost of $25 million (calculated in 1983 dollars). The local panel estimated it would take another $900,000 a year to run the place, once it was up and operating.

The museum idea died on the vine. Hovanec cited two reasons.

First, she believes that politics intruded in the selection of Windber, Somerset County, as the site of a coal and coke museum.

Hovanec said the other stumbling block was a clear lack of local leadership, particularly by the then-board of Fayette County commissioners and Fay-Penn, an economic development group in the county which, she continued, scorned the idea of a coal and coke museum until it reversed itself late in the game. "I think we would have gotten further" with better local leadership, Hovanec said.

The bulk of AIHP money in Fayette County went to three projects, Cooley said, including two National Park Service sites: Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Friendship Hill, the home of the second U.S. treasury secretary, Albert Gallatin. The third project was the Youghiogheny River hiking trail through Connellsville and beyond.

Of the $50 million expended by AIHP between 1986 and 1994, Cooley estimated the largest individual amounts were spent on the three projects in Fayette County; plus two projects in Cambria County, the Johnstown Flood Museum and the Johnstown Flood Memorial; and several Blair County attractions, including Horseshoe Curve and the Railroaders Museum in Altoona.

"My general impression is that the Park Service was very knowledgeable about where to put its money to produce the most historically relevant sites," said Don Orlando, media spokesman at St. Vincent College and in 1991 a member of the Westmoreland County Heritage Preservation Commission.

"It's a dilemma that you can't save everything," Orlando said. "People get upset that you can't save a particular building."

Legacies retained

Orlando praised AIHP for encouraging preservation of the region's historical legacies. "How many organizations have that goal? Not many."

AIHP money helped to rebuild the old gristmill at St. Vincent, though school officials decided to forgo resurrecting a traditional brewery and constructing a tourist-oriented bed-and-breakfast near the gristmill, both of which were goals laid out by the county's preservation commission.

Chris Mueseler, vice president of institutional advancement at Seton Hill University, was just starting her career in academia in the early 1990s when she was involved in a so-called folklife program funded by AIHP. Interviewers spread out across Westmoreland County talking to women who had worked in manufacturing jobs earlier in the century.

"It was wonderful," Mueseler said of the experience.

The program lasted four years before funding ran out. The taped interviews and transcripts are deposited both at Seton Hill and at the AIHP archives at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. IUP holds a vast collection of AIHP material, including surveys of older buildings, photographs, correspondence and meeting notes.

The Westmoreland County Heritage Preservation Commission recommended that a Southwestern Pennsylvania Cultural Heritage Center be established at Seton Hill University. The nearly $1 million project was never carried out.

Mueseler said she doesn't know why. She had never heard of the proposal.

Richard Robbins can be reached at rrobbins@tribweb.com or (724) 836-5660.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_203958.html


Arts & Entertainment: Schedule of events
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Friday, July 16, 2004

The following events complement the exhibition "Felix de la Concha, A Contrarreloj: A Race Against Time."

[Other items, including the following.]

Aug. 26 -- Day trip including tours of Henry Clay Frick's home, Clayton, and birthplace, West Overton, given by the sites' directors. Registration required; $65, $50 students and members, includes transport by motor coach, lunch at West Overton and dessert at Sandhill Berry Farms.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04198/346948.stm


Summer festival at St. Florian's Church this weekend
by Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier,Thursday, July 15, 2004

[Other items, including the following.]

= Muskets fire will fill the air and clouds of blue and grey will cover the grounds as the Civil war comes to life this weekend at the West Overton Museums. The reenactors will be on hand the entire weekend at the Museums grounds and will hold demonstrations. The public will get a true sense of Civil War life through their living history events. Stop out and stop back in time.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_203340.html


Day of Significance: 'an overview of West Overton Village, its challenges, goals and visions'
by Rachel R. Basinger, Daily Courier, Monday, July 12, 2004 [w/photo online]

A group of local and state officials as well as those involved with the tourism community met in the largest brick barn in Pennsylvania on Saturday to participate in the "Day of Significance" at West Overton Museums.

Susan Endersbe, president of the board of directors at the museum, addressed those in attendance, stating that the West Overton Village complex describes a lot of the history of Pennsylvania.

"We're working very hard to restore our buildings," said Endersbe, who added that officials hope to make the village a highly visited tourist site someday soon.

Grant Gerlich, director of the museum, hopes West Overton will be the reason people travel to the area before asking what else there is to do in the surrounding area.

According to Gerlich, the purpose of the day was to "provide an overview of West Overton Village, its challenges, goals and visions."

The event started with a catered dinner for the participants, followed by a slide show presentation by Gerlich, and finally a tour of the site.

Other than restoring the village houses, one of the most pressing goals Gerlich and the museum's board members hope to accomplish within the next five years is making the facilities as detached as possible from the everyday workings of the 21st century.

This means the closing or rerouting of some roads that currently go through the complex.

Gerlich hopes that one day Overholt Drive, which runs in front of the homestead house and continues up behind the structure, will one day be diverted to behind the homestead house and out to Route 819.

The other road that causes concern is Frick Avenue, which runs down from Route 819, right through the middle of the village and connects to Overholt Drive.

Gerlich feels the road should be closed and then another road should be constructed, which would run from the trailer court, located at the top of Frick Avenue, to Kendi Road.

It's not just a privacy issue, it's a safety issue as well, according to Gerlich.

"There are no flashing yellow lights that warn of an historic area and it's just a real hazard to motorists," he said.

Gerlich showed slides of pictures taken in the winter where a car had taken out the fence in front of the old springhouse where Henry Clay Frick was born, and others that showed where a Ford pickup truck had smashed into the side of one of the existing village houses.

He noted that it is very dangerous for cars leaving the trailer court to make a left-hand turn onto Route 819.

According to Sen. Allen Kukovich, who was in attendance, they unsuccessfully attempted to close and reroute the roads about five years ago.

"We had some problems on the local level, where folks were concerned about maintaining access to their property ... and PennDOT wanted certain assurances, which meant they would have had to do traffic studies, which of course cost money," said Kukovich.

He added that they might soon go back to the drawing board on the project because there is some new leadership in both the state and local levels of PennDOT.

Other things Gerlich hopes to accomplish at the site are the planting of trees in front of the property along Route 819 and the construction of a possible parking facility behind the homestead structure.

To do everything that needs to be done, Gerlich said he is looking realistically at a 25-year timeframe. Thomas Headley, executive director of Westmoreland Heritage, said that keeping the integrity of the site was very important.

"You need to protect the area surrounding these assets to make sure you can keep the integrity of the site," he noted. "Somehow you need to pull back and get rid of some of the 21st century conveniences if you want to get back to the 19th century ambiance of the place."

Rachel R. Basinger can be reached at rbasinger@tribweb.com or (724) 626-3536.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_202985.html


Welcome aboard to commission members
by Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, July 1, 2004

Scottdale welcomes Ken Alt and Cathy Shallenberger to Scottdale Parks and Recreation Commission. Best of luck in your new positions. Also, thanks to Paul Barclay and Walter Keibler for the years of service to this commission. You were most appreciated.

[Other items, including the following.]

It's art camp time. West Overton Museums will again hold an art camp for students of various ages. On July 26, 28 and 30 and Aug. 2, 4 and 6, a morning session, from 9 a.m. to noon will be held for children who have completed first through third grades; and an afternoon session, from 1 to 4 p.m. will be held for children who have completed fourth through eighth grades. This camp places an emphasis on teaching basic art principles. Both weeks will have at least one lesson each in drawing, painting and sculpture. The child does not have to be an accomplished artist, but should enjoy doing art projects. Registration fee is $50 per student for both weeks or $28 for one week. Pre-register by July 16, 2004. If you would like more information or registration forms, call Sharon Yoder at 724-887-4335 or West Overton Museums at 724-887-7910. West Overton Museums is located on Route 819 between Scottdale and Mount Pleasant.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_201217.html


Art Notes: Art barge to cruise education along Mon River
by Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tuesday, June 29, 2004

[Other items, including the following.]

Quilt alert

The 21st annual quilt exhibition at the West Overton Museums, the boyhood home of industrialist Henry Clay Frick in Scottsdale, continues through Friday. More than 50 works by regional quilters are exhibited. Free with museum admission ($6, $4 students and seniors, children under 7 free). Information: 724-887-7910.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04181/338806.stm


Community calendar of events
Daily Courier, Tuesday, June 29, 2004

= June 30: 4 to 7 p.m. Mount Pleasant Farmer's Market behind Levin Furniture.

= June 30 to July 2: Quilt Show at West Overton Museums.

= July 2: 6 to 10 p.m. Mount Pleasant Car Cruise, Main Street.

[Other items, including the following.]

= July 26 to 30: Art Camp at West Overton.

= Aug. 22: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bocce at West Overton Museums.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_201054.html



 

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