West Overton in the News
Compiled, Written & Edited by Karen Rose Overholt Critchfield, 2-26-08

 

West Overton News 2007
Researching Published Newspaper Articles
From December 22, 2007 back to July 20, 2007


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_544190.html

Trucks detoured to tiny village
By Judy Kroeger, The Daily Courier, Saturday, December 22, 2007

Truck detour signs along Route 119 are confusing out-of-area drivers, and inadvertently directing them to the wrong place, a resident of Broadford said.

Sign near the Kingview Road intersection indicate a truck detour around Broadford at Dry Hill Road. The detour exists because PennDOT has limited access to a bridge on Broadford Road to 15 tons.

Some signs near the Everson exit and at the Broadford turn in Connellsville do not specify the detour only applies to the bridge, located near the former Old Overholt Distillery.

Jay Ofsanik, safety press officer for PennDOT District 12, said drivers should realize the signs are only for Broadford.

"The signs are set up according to regulations. Truckers should ignore them unless they have to go to Broadford. No signs require trucks to take the route," Ofsanik said.

But Helen Leonard, who lives on Valley Drive in Broadford, Upper Tyrone, said no trucks traveled in the area before the detour signs were posted.

"They (trucks) can't turn around when they get down here," she said.

Trucks that need to go to the area should follow the following detour: Route 819 to Everson then back to Route 119, without crossing Broadford Bridge.

There are weight limit signs prior to the bridge.

Judy Kroeger can be reached at jkroeger@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_543568.html

Greater Scottdale Area Choral Society has CDs available
By Patricia Walker, The Daily Courier, Thursday, December 20, 2007

[many items]

Antique appraisals are still performed by reservation at the Overholt Homestead, West Overton Museum. For more information or to make a reservation, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_543031.html

Henry Clay Frick 'respected and hated'
By Kim Leonard, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Sunday, December 16, 2007

Henry Clay Frick's lasting imprint on Pittsburgh's growth, and on its steel and coal industries and the nation's labor movement, remains a matter for debate 88 years after his death.

"So many people see him in different ways," said August R. Carlino, whose Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area runs tours of sites from the 1892 Homestead steelworkers' strike.

"A successful capitalist, a person who was unconcerned with the work-safety conditions and lives of people employed by him," Carlino said. "He is a man who is both respected and hated, depending on the group you talk to."

Born Dec. 19, 1849, in West Overton in Westmoreland County, Frick borrowed money at age 21 for a venture to turn coal into the coke used in steelmaking. His H.C. Frick & Co. grew to 1,000 employees and partnered in 1881 with Andrew Carnegie's steel business, though the events at Homestead soured their relationship.

Pitt fact
Henry Clay Frick's grandfather, Abraham Overholt, produced a well-known whiskey at his distillery in Broad Ford in Fayette County. What is it called?

A. Wild Turkey
B. Broad Ford Gold
C. Old Overholt
D. The brew had no name
Answer: C

[Karen's Note: Actually, Abraham's famous whiskey was named Old Overholt a good while after he died. The really famous name was Old Farm Pennsylvania Pure Rye Whiskey. Their Old Monongahela brand was also a famous Overholt whiskey, but there were other whiskey products in the region that used the name Old Monongahela, as well. And keep in mind that Broad Ford is actually located on the Youghiogheny River, not the "Mon." My thanks to the Lipmans' article, "American Whiskey: Messin' 'Round The Old Mawn-Nonga-Heelah; Button up your Overholt, when the wind blows free..." (visit URL below).]
http://www.ellenjaye.com/hist_mono3overholt.htm#top

Striking Carnegie Steel Co. workers and supporters overtook the factory. Frick hired 300 armed Pinkerton guards who landed by barge at the plant on July 6, 1892, and seven workers and three guards died before state militia ended the battle.

Though Carnegie had told him to end the strike, Frick was criticized for his union-busting tactics. Anarchist Alexander Berkman attacked him on July 23, 1892, at his Downtown office, and Frick survived being shot twice and stabbed.

"His legacy in Pittsburgh was very good news, bad news" because of the labor unrest, said Frick's great-granddaughter, Martha Frick Symington Sanger, who has authored three books about the family.

"I wish for him that he had been part of the reform movement, in more humanitarian treatment of workers," she said, though Frick also was known for philanthropy, including inviting underprivileged children to his home for holiday meals.

Frick and his wife, Adelaide, had four children, including a son, Childs, and daughter, Helen; the two others, Martha and Henry Jr., died in childhood. The family moved in 1905 from Clayton, their Point Breeze mansion, to New York, where Frick continued to build his internationally known art collection.

The city has many reminders of Frick. He built not only the Frick Building but the Union Trust Building and William Penn Hotel, Downtown, and his partnership with Carnegie led to the founding of United States Steel, said Greg Langel, spokesman for the Frick Art & Historical Center. Clayton is part of the center's campus.

At Helen Clay Frick's request, he gave nearly 600 acres to the city for Frick Park. And when he died Dec. 2, 1919, Frick left most of his fortune to charities in New York, Pittsburgh and the region where he was born.

Kim Leonard can be reached at kleonard@tribweb.com or 412-380-5606.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_542831.html

Author discusses Frick heiress at West Overton event
By Barbara Hollenbaugh, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , Sunday, December 16, 2007

To many people, the name Frick is synonymous with coal and coke. But in her research about her family, Martha Frick Symington Sanger discovered a different side of the Fricks -- a family that appreciated art and desired deeply to improve the lives of the less fortunate.

These traits were personified in coal and coke magnate Henry Clay Frick's daughter, Helen, the subject of Sanger's book, "Helen Clay Frick: Bittersweet Heiress," and the topic of her recent presentation at West Overton Museum near Scottdale.

'Helen Clay Frick: Bittersweet Heiress'
Author:
Martha Frick Symington Sanger
Publisher:
Hardcover, 386 pages, University of Pittsburgh Press 2007 ($40)

[Karen's Note: This book was my Christmas gift to me. I expect to write a review in the near future.]

A tragic beginning

Born in Pittsburgh in 1888, Helen Frick had a strong bond with her father, but this bond was forged out of tragedy.

Henry Clay Frick's oldest child, Martha, died in childhood after swallowing a pin.

"She suffered for nearly four years," Sanger said. "Doctors eventually tried to remove the pin surgically. Because their instruments were not sterile, Martha contracted an infection from which she died."

Henry Clay Frick never recovered fully from this devastating loss. When he later lost a newborn son to what many people now believe was encephalitis, Frick became even more determined that he would not lose Helen. In fact, he forbade her to marry.

Pioneering philanthropist

Helen Frick displayed an early penchant for philanthropy. She had a special concern for women and children. As a present for her debutante party, Helen Frick requested that a tract of land in Pittsburgh be bought and set aside as a park for the children of Pittsburgh's millworkers. This tract of land later became Frick Park and is still one of the largest parks of its kind.

She also established a retreat near her father's summer home in Eagle's Crossing, Mass., so the young people who worked in New England's textile mills could find some respite from their hardscrabble existence.

Helen Frick also did a lot of relief work in France during and after World War I, at a time when organized relief efforts as we know them now had not materialized.

On the other hand, it was during this time that Frick would develop an abhorrence of all things German, despite her own German-Mennonite roots.

Into the lion's den

Indeed, Helen Frick had enjoyed a relatively sheltered life, nestled comfortably in her father's shadow. When Henry Clay Frick died in 1919, those days would end.

Helen Frick immediately found herself at odds with her younger brother, Childs (Sanger's grandfather). He was bitter because Helen Frick had received the greater portion of their father's inheritance.

Childs was bitter, Sanger said, because he was married and had a young family to support, whereas his sister was single. So Helen Frick moved out of her father's shadow and into the lions' den that was industrial America.

"Helen was a single woman at a time when single women were viewed as Bolsheviks or as lesbians," Sanger said. "Bolsheviks are people who destroy the natural order of things, and the natural order for women was to marry and have babies. She stood up against the male chauvinism of her time."

One of Helen Frick's first tasks was to take charge of her father's art collection, which he had bequeathed to become a museum housed in the Fricks' New York City home.

Fellow Frick Collection trustee J.D. Rockefeller had different ideas of what the museum should be like.

Helen Frick wanted to keep the home as it had been lived in. Rockefeller wanted to keep personal effects to a minimum.

Their differences came to a head when Rockefeller offered to Helen Frick several pieces from his own collection. Wanting to keep all non-Frick acquisitions out of the collection, she took the matter to court -- and lost. Helen Frick would clash with the Rockefellers several times over the matter of modern art.

An artist is born

Helen Frick always had loved art. Her father was her earliest teacher; he filled his several homes with many paintings. Her natural intelligence also was well honed by her governess.

Eventually, Helen Frick would become a teacher herself. She established in the basement of her New York home the Frick Art Reference Library, one of the first libraries of its kind and still the largest art reference library in the world.

In 1922, Helen Frick commissioned photographs of many works of art that later were referenced in her library.

This library would prove valuable during World War II, when the American Commission on the Protection of Art used it to map valuable sites so that Allied bombers would know to avoid them, sparing the valuable works of art.

In 1927, Helen Frick began purchasing the land and the houses that later would become West Overton Village near Scottdale, the place where her father had been born. She filled the buildings with pieces of Americana.

"She saw the potential in American art before anybody else did," said Sanger. "She was ahead of the curve."

Around this same time, Helen Frick also founded the Fine Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh, contributing money to maintain a salaried staff for a period of three years. She agreed to fund the department completely after that point if the department met with her satisfaction.

She later would establish an art reference library in PIttsburgh, similar to the one housed in her New York home. In the mid-1960s, she established an art museum on the grounds of her Pittsburgh home, Clayton.

In the 1980s, Helen Frick began cutting back on her schedule. She resigned as director of the Frick Art Reference Library in New York. She also withdrew her support of the University of PIttsburgh's Fine Arts Department when she learned that the department employed Germans and exhibited modern art.

She retired in 1981 to her Pittsburgh home, where she died in 1984. At her request, the home is now an art museum.

A heritage rediscovered

Martha Frick Sanger was more interested in horses and in riding than she was in art.

"I was a Frick dropout," she said with a laugh.

Twenty years ago, her outlook changed as she sought to resolve some family problems.

"As I sought resolution for these problems, I began researching my past," Sanger said. "I came to realize what a special person Helen Frick was."

Sanger has written two other books about the Frick family: "Henry Clay Frick, A Portrait" and "The Henry Clay Frick Houses: Architecture, Interiors and Landscapes in the Golden Era."

"I realized that Helen Frick had taken a back seat in my other books," Sanger said. "I wanted to write a book that focused on her. I began working on the book 'Bittersweet Heiress' in 2001, and have worked on it since then."

Sanger's primary mission in writing her book was to give Helen Frick a voice that she didn't have before.

"I wanted to portray Helen using her own words," she said. "I wanted to put her in the context of her day."

Sanger was most enthralled by Helen Frick's courage.

"She was an enormously brave woman," Sanger said. "She championed her own life and her own interests, while upholding her father's legacy."

Helen Frick's philanthropy, Sanger said, is her most enduring legacy.

"Her philanthropy was extensive. She took the most pleasure from helping women and children. She also was passionate about art and about the teaching of art."


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07347/841417-151.stm

America's most list-able city
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pittsburgh has garnered a lot of honors and made a lot of high-profile lists this year: Most Livable, Most Walkable, a Top Place to Live, Best Place to Blow Glass, Replacement Window Mecca, Best Place to See Art You Don't Understand, City of the Future Obsessed with the Past, Hot City to Start a Business In (Please???), Most Dinosaurs, Ballpark With Best View of Losing Team, Most Geek-Friendly and Best Place To Be Old and Married.

Kind of makes you want to sweep up a few cigarette butts, doesn't it?

This week, the city was named by Frommer's -- the folks whose guide you may have used as a pillow in European train stations -- as one of its Top Destinations for 2008. Actually, Western Pennsylvania made the list twice, both as Pittsburgh and as a part of the American Whiskey Trail, which includes Woodville Plantation in Collier, the West Overton Museum in Scottdale and the Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park. None of which is a distillery, so BYOW.

The Frommer's list is not a Most Popular list, or even a Best list; it's more of a Here's an Interesting Place You May Not Have Gotten To Yet list. And part of what Frommer's thought was interesting about Pittsburgh in 2008 is that next year, the city turns 250, making it just slightly older than its average residents.

This 250th anniversary, or squishimondocentennial, could potentially fill the daily arriving flight at Pittsburgh International with eager tourists. After checking into their hotels and discovering that "convenient to Downtown" actually means "somewhere in Coraopolis," they will be looking for things to see and do.

Any proud Pittsburgher would be happy to direct them to Heinz Field or the nearest Primanti's. But here are some other tourism ideas:

• A driving tour of paper streets. You'll feel like Steve McQueen as you bounce down an unexpected flight of stairs in your rental car.

• Big summer concert tours. If the Bay City Rollers cancel, there's always Rupert Holmes or the Captain and Tennille. Pass the pina coladas and get ready for some muskrat love!

• Pittsburgh's fine universities. There are several, boasting interesting architecture, diverse theatrical productions, art galleries and lecture series. To see them, rent a bicycle. They have parking for bicycles.

• Explore the neighborhoods. This town has more ethnic neighborhoods than Epcot! Italian, Polish, Jewish, Irish, Greek, Korean, Ukrainian ... Just don't let anyone hear you speaking Spanish. They'll think you're coming to hijack El Fantasma de Acero.

• Get to know some bridges. Three rivers flow through Pittsburgh: The Allegheny, the Ohio and the Parkway East Bathtub. The only city in the world with more bridges is Venice, and many of the beautiful spans have an interesting story or unique design. Trying to drive across all of the Downtown bridges could be a bit of a challenge, because the quirky street grid often makes it hard to find a way up onto a bridge that you can plainly see. If you become discouraged, rather than ask a local person what's on the other side of a river, it is best to consult a map.

• A day (or two!) at the museums. Native son Andy Warhol has his own museum, even though he moved to New York, stopped combing his hair and painted soup cans. Oddly, some of the dinosaurs whose skeletons are preserved at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History did the same thing, except for the soup cans.

• Visitors to Pittsburgh really ought to make time for an architectural tour of its churches. There are awe-inspiring houses of worship in every part of the city, from St. Stan's in the Strip, to First Presbyterian and Trinity Downtown, the temples in the East End, St. Paul's Cathedral in Oakland, to the soaring, modern one that sits on the North Shore. Boy, does that fill up on Sundays! Mostly near the holidays, though -- lots of empty seats in the summer.

We can hope that being on Frommer's list will drum up some extra tourism dollars next year -- maybe even enough to erase our economic woes, especially if our visitors can be persuaded to enjoy a lot of poured drinks and rental cars.

Really, there's not much serious competition on that list. Most people aren't going to run off to Micronesia. And even in bad weather, Pittsburgh still beats this one, which I am not making up: Exit Zero on the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey.

Though that's probably not under construction.

Samantha Bennett can be reached at sbennett@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3572.

First published on December 13, 2007 at 12:34 pm


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_542592.html

Scottdale church sponsors spaghetti dinner
By Patricia Walker, The Daily Courier, Thursday, December 13, 2007

[other items]

The Quilt Patch in West Overton Village is offering quilting classes. For more information, call 724-887-4160.

[other items]

Tour the Overholt Homestead on Saturday and Sunday at West Overton Museums. For details, call the museums at 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_541300.html

Scottdale lights up on Saturday
By Patricia Walker, The Daily Courier, Thursday, December 6, 2007

[other items]

Martha Frick Symington Sanger, Helen Clay Frick's great-niece, will hold a book signing of her new book "Helen Clay Frick, Bittersweet Heiress" at 7 p.m. Friday at West Overton Museum. For more information, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_538896.html

East Huntingdon personal care home resident hit along road
By The Tribune-Review, Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A resident of an East Huntingdon personal care home was seriously injured Monday when struck by a car while walking along a busy highway.

Dorothy Murphy, manager of Dottie's Personal Care Home in the village of West Overton, identified the victim as 58-year-old Roseanne Corey. Murphy said Corey was hit by a car while she was walking along Route 819 near West Overton Museums.

Murphy said Corey was taken to Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant and later flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, where she was in surgery late last night.

According to Murphy, Corey took a bus from the personal care home to the Countryside shopping plaza about two miles away. But instead of returning on a bus, Corey chose to walk along the busy highway and was struck by a vehicle, Murphy said. The accident occurred after 6 p.m.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_535743.html

2 cash bashes planned in Scottdale
By Patricia Walker, The Daily Courier, Thursday, November 1, 2007

[other items]

West Overton Museums "Antiques on Tuesday" event will be held Nov. 13. John Mickinak will appraise your items. For a reservation, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_534193.html


'Helen Clay Frick:
Bittersweet Heiress'
Frick legacy: Book examines life of industrialist's daughter
by Kurt Shaw, The Tribune-Review, Sunday, October 28, 2007

In 1919, 31-year-old Helen Clay Frick inherited $38 million -- more than $404 million in today's dollars -- making her the richest unmarried woman in America.

But even with Helen's newfound fortune, she continued to live and work under her father's influence. She devoted the ensuing years to perpetuating Henry Clay Frick's legacy, as well as defending it.

A new book -- "Helen Clay Frick: Bittersweet Heiress" (University of Pittsburgh Press, $40) -- chronicles Helen Clay Frick's lifelong commitment to social welfare, the environment and her purchase of many significant works of art. Those pieces found homes in a number of places -- her private collection, The Frick Collection in New York, the University of Pittsburgh teaching collection and the Frick Art Museum in Point Breeze.

The biography was written by Martha Frick Symington Sanger, of Stevenson, Md. She is the great-granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick and granddaughter of Helen's brother, Childs.

For all of her great aunt's eccentricities, Sanger says, a portrait of Helen Frick as a heroic figure began to emerge while Sanger worked on the book. During her 96 years, Helen Clay Frick stood up for her convictions.

"I saw a deeply wounded woman who was up against the sexism of the times, up against the misunderstanding of abuse of power by the father, just up against so much," Sanger says. "But she pulled her bootstraps up and did it anyway."

As Sanger tells it, living in the shadow of one of America's great industrialists was no walk in the park.

Of course, growing up in a life of privilege in the 1890s, Helen had everything at her fingertips, from ivory dominoes crafted by Tiffany to playing cards from Vienna. She often entertained important visitors in her playroom at the family's Pittsburgh mansion, Clayton, serving tea to Andrew Carnegie and to the Mellon brothers, Andrew and Richard.

But such trappings were overshadowed by the loss of two siblings before the age of 4, especially the loss of her sister, Martha, who died when Helen was just 3.

Born in 1885, Martha was the first daughter of Henry Clay Frick and Adelaide Howard Childs Frick. She was nicknamed "Rosebud" because of her creamy complexion and soft red curls.

The circumstances of her death in 1891 -- one week before her 6th birthday after being ill for four years -- haunted Henry Frick for the remainder of his life. Less than a year later, Adelaide gave birth prematurely to a son. He died two months later. During this same time, Frick was shot and stabbed in his office by a Russian anarchist. Frick's wife began "retreating more and more into depression and abdicating her role as his companion and wife."

Helen, then 6 and Frick's only surviving daughter, became her father's consoler and companion, which lasted well into his waning years. For this, Sanger says, "she was ridiculed for being in love with her father."

When he died, Frick left approximately 83 percent of his fortune to be used for the greater good, distributed to charitable institutions in New York, Pittsburgh and the West Overton-Connellsville Coke region where he was born. The bulk of what remained went to Helen, despite the fact that he also was survived by his widow; his son, Childs; and four grandchildren.

As Sanger writes, Helen was proud of her father's affection. In her diary, she confessed that her father often said, "Helen's my girl." And sometimes, Helen wrote, "after perhaps giving me a little reproof, he would say 'never mind -- I'm so in love with her -- her happiness is what I am after.' "

Frick refused to allow Helen to marry, and even after his death she remained single. Yet she was a fierce defender of her father.

"She was as much an enigma as Henry Clay Frick," Sanger says. "For us, Henry Clay Frick was almost presented as this God who descended on earth and did all of these marvelous things, then left. That usually came from Helen Frick and the way that she sort of glorified and deified him. But she herself was very much the matriarch of our family.

"I knew her in the later part of her life, and to me, she was sort of a fussy old lady who wrapped up her dogs in little coats and gave them aspirin when she took them for walks in their rubbers. She was very coddling that way. In fact, she seemed overprotective of all of us. "

From student to scholar

Henry Frick's pursuit of paintings was a tireless obsession, but it also was done as a leisure activity. For several months of the year, Henry and Adelaide Frick and their children would travel to Europe with friends and art dealers to examine collections, attend art salons and art auctions, and soak up "The Continent."

The Fricks filled their homes -- Clayton in Point Breeze and, later, their mansion in New York and their 104-room summer retreat, Eagle Rock, in Pride's Crossing, Mass. -- with art, great and small, and decorative objects picked up on trips and through a network of dealers and independent agents. As the Fricks moved around seasonally, Henry Frick had his paintings packed up and moved to accompany them.

As Helen grew older, she and her father spent much of their free time viewing art, discussing it and documenting it.

"She was born extremely bright with a very good eye," Sanger says. "Very sensitive to everything that is around her as far as beauty is concerned, as far as history is concerned. That was not visited on her by her father. That was something that she was already genetically predisposed to, whereas my grandfather, her brother, could have cared less. I mean, he didn't have any interest or aptitude for all of that."

From an early age, Helen was educated by a governess and was a voracious reader.

"Helen was fascinated by the history of a painting," Sanger says. "She was fascinated by provenance, who had owned it, and who the artist was, and how that artist linked to other artists of the period."

When Helen was just 8, Sanger writes, her father told an associate that he could not exchange a painting in his collection for another, because "Helen would not consent to part with it."

"There wasn't much about art that she didn't fully study and understand," Sanger says. "Whenever she traveled abroad, she read voluminously about what she was going to see. And then, of course, she went through Europe with the best of the best advisors and historians who were friends of the Fricks."

From apostle to heir

After her father's death, Helen began to fashion a life for herself. But she faced her brother Childs' bitterness over the uneven distribution of his father's wealth and the envy and suspicion of the men she joined on the board of The Frick Collection.

Sanger describes Helen as "a teacher" who wanted to educate the public about art, which led to the formation of the Frick Art Reference Library.

She threw herself into the creation of the library, which originally was in the bowling alley of the family's New York mansion at 1 E. 70th St., although she registered the library in Pennsylvania. Throughout her life, Helen would keep her legal residence in Pittsburgh, although she spent much of her time in New York; at Eagle Rock; at her property in Bedford Village, N.Y., called Westmoreland Farm; and traveling abroad.

From an early age, Helen was interested in photo-documenting works of art in America and Europe. As early as 1922, she commissioned photographers to take pictures of the art in many museums for the Frick Art Reference Library.

The library was relocated in 1935, around the corner from The Frick Collection in New York. With holdings of more than 280,000 volumes, including more than 70,000 auction sales catalogs and almost a million photographs, it was, and still is, the largest art reference library in existence.

The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Documents in War Areas, based at the Frick Art Reference Library during World War II, used the library's photographs and indices to ensure Allied bombers could avoid striking sites with important works of art. After the war, the library's records were used to aid in the repatriation of art.

Another of Helen Frick's causes was the True Blue Society, which gave female factory workers from Massachusetts a vacation at Iron Rail Farm at Pride's Crossing. She began this endeavor in 1908 and continued it until 1970.

In the late 1920s, she set about establishing a fine arts department at the University of Pittsburgh, agreeing to donate $25,000 as startup money for a fine arts library and agreeing to pay the $10,000 annual salary for the head of the department, as well as another $10,000 for books and photographs. She also agreed to fund the department completely if it met with her satisfaction after three years.

In 1927, she presided at the opening of her father's birthplace in West Overton as a historic site that she hoped would "stimulate interest in the splendid early history of this locality." She had bought the property in 1922 and, after the opening of the Historical House, she also bought the distillery across the road, together with nearby mill buildings and three-and-a-half acres of land.

Controversies

Throughout her life, Helen was forced to tangle with powerful men and institutions. She held strong views about politics -- she was an avowed Republican -- art and other topics.

For instance, after post-World War I trip to Europe, where she viewed the terrible toll the war had taken on France, she developed a strong animosity toward all things German. This position would harden, resulting in her rule excluding Germans or people with German-sounding names from using the Frick Art Reference Library.

After her father's death, she was in frequent conflict with John D. Rockefeller Jr., whom her father also had appointed a trustee of the Frick Collection.

By the end of Henry Clay Frick's life, he had bought almost 250 paintings, although he did not retain all of them. He bequeathed all he had, as well as his decorative arts collection, to become a museum in the Frick's mansion in New York City.

Known as The Frick Collection, Helen wanted to keep the house as it had been lived in, but Rockefeller thought it should be a real museum, and the furniture and personal effects should be pared down to a minimum.

In 1948, Rockefeller offered to give paintings by Botticelli, Goya and Fragonard to The Frick Collection. Vehemently opposed by Helen, who wanted to keep non-Frick acquisitions out of the collection, the matter went to court, where she lost.

In 1961, during a similar battle over accepting artworks from the Rockefellers, she resigned from the board of The Frick Collection in a fury. She also vehemently opposed the addition of modern art to the collection.

In late 1964, Helen came undone about the release of historian Sylvester K. Stevens' "Pennsylvania: Birthplace of a Nation" (Random House). A copy of the book had been given to her as a Christmas present. Upon reading it, she became incensed about the characterization of her "stern, brusque, autocratic" father as the hard-line "Coke King" who forced Pennsylvania coal miners to toil for $1.60 a day and ruthlessly led "the disastrous Homestead strike of 1892."

Calling Stevens a liar, Helen Frick sought an injunction to stop the sale and publication of the book, suing under a 1944 Pennsylvania precedent defining libel as a publication "tending either to blacken the memory of one who is dead, or the reputation of one who is alive."

At the time, statutes in several states made defamation of the dead a crime. The possibility of a Frick victory alarmed historians, even though many in the legal profession believed it was a case impossible to win.

It was. Two-and-a-half years later, Cumberland County Judge Clinton R. Weidner ruled not only that Stevens' book was protected as free speech, but also that Stevens was accurate and, in fact, too easy on the tycoon.

If Helen Frick's suit were upheld, Judge Weidner said, "our bookshelves would be either empty or contain books written only by relatives of the subject."

Perhaps her biggest disappointment of all came over the formation of the University of Pittsburgh's Frick Art Reference Library. Having paid for its creation in 1965 -- reportedly between $4 million and $5 million for the building alone -- she withdrew her support of the library in 1967 in a controversy about the employment of Germans and the exhibition of modern art at the university.

Still, she remained as director of the Frick Art Reference Library in New York until 1983, when she was persuaded to resign. Sanger's book quotes a witness who said that after Helen Frick resigned, she ''turned her face to the wall and said she wanted to die.''

A lasting legacy

Helen Frick died in Pittsburgh in 1984. She had returned to live at Clayton in 1981 and, upon her death, bequeathed her beloved family home to become a house museum to show how people lived during "The Gilded Age."

She already had created The Frick Art Museum on the Clayton estate, in 1969, to house her own fine art collection. Clayton opened as a house museum in 1990 after a $6 million restoration.

"Helen Frick fought for every inch of what she did, and she never gave up," Sanger says. "She never 'spat the bit out,' to use a horseman's term. She just dug in, worked harder, tried harder, and for a lot of that she was basically vilified."

Kurt Shaw can be reached at kshaw@tribweb.com.


Photo Gallery


"Helen Clay Frick" -The Frick Collection/
Frick Art Reference Library Archives

Father and Daughter -The Frick Collection/
Frick Art Reference Library Archives

Clayton -Heidi Murrin/Tribune-Review

Art Collection -Heidi Murrin/Tribune-Review

Frick family

Also by Martha Frick Symington Sanger:
• "Henry Clay Frick: A Portrait"
• "The Henry Clay Frick Houses: Architecture, Interiors and Landscapes in the Golden Era"


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_534772.html

Briefs: Product lets you wire a room easily, invisibly
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
, Saturday, October 27, 2007

[other items]

Appraisals of antiques offered in Scottdale

Antique appraisals will continue through the fall and winter months at West Overton Museums in Scottdale.

Appraiser John Mickinak offers verbal appraisals of antiques the second Tuesday of each month. Items to be considered include glass, ceramics, costume jewelery only, some coins, documents, paintings, decorative arts, toys and clothing. No large items will be appraised.

Cost is $15 for the first three items and $6 for each additional item up to a total of five.

The next event is from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Homestead on Route 819 between Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant. Call for an appointment, 724-887-7910.


[Karen's Note: Many of the following articles highlight the Halloween events held at West Overton, which are advertised in local and regional newspapers. Frankly, these are events that raise serious objections from me. Every October, I cringe at the way portions of the general public embrace haunted houses and all manner of frightening experiences in the name of "good clean fun." Over the years, we have seen this type of so-called "entertainment" used to earn money for a variety of causes, some causes are questionable, but some are quite admirable. However, much of what happens in the name of Halloween has become so deplorable that many church communities reject it entirely, choosing instead to celebrate All Souls Day and All Saints Day, happily bringing youngsters together wearing costumes that celebrate life, rather than death in all its depravity.

When my son was a toddler, he was so horrified at the sight of "a man hanging by the neck" on a neighbor's porch, that I completely gave up the notion that Halloween was the least bit fun. It was broad daylight, and my son was screaming! Since that time on, all through the years, I have given candy and treats on October 31st in celebration of "All Saints Day - A Christian Holiday." Matthew had great fun "dressing up" every year -- as Moses (with a gorgeous white beard made of stretched cottonballs), Young David (wearing a shepherd's vest and a sling), Michael the Archangel (sporting a fabulous set of wings), a Star Trek officer (offering Spock's "Live long and prosper!"), and so on. With my homemade sign and a well-lit porch, without making a big deal of it, I have handed out the sweets, saying, "Happy All Saints Day!" to every "Trick or Treat!" And when I have seen little eyes open wide with relief, and heard a friendly comment from a thankful parent, it proved to me that this was the right way to greet youngsters at my door.

This is my challenge to the folks that run West Overton: Consider celebrating the Autumn Harvest throughout October, and then have a huge Thanksgiving Day celebration before the weather turns bad. It would be far better to portray the way West Overton would have been during the harvest season in the mid-1800s -- bustling with farmers bringing in bushels of fruits and vegetables, holding farmers markets offering the pick of the crop, the finest smoked hams and sliced bacon, freshly milled grains, and other staples. Visitors might shuck corn, fill a jar with fresh strawberry jam, or dip a few candles. I challenge you to celebrate autumn the way Abraham and Maria Overholt would have done, by mixing work and play, like preparing the garden for the winter months ahead and bobbing for apples. Celebrate life and living!

And for heavens sake, please cease advertising West Overton as a haunted village! After bearing several years of your staging the "funeral" of Abraham Overholt for Halloween, grimly reported in local newspapers, it is appalling now to see a collection of ghost stories published in a booklet, Weird West Overton, for the sake of earning a few dollars! If there are any restless spirits at West Overton, they are probably my immediate ancestors, certainly the ancestors of many members of the Extended Overholt Family! So it distresses me that a few sad stories about my own family are being used as Halloween fright gags! Beyond the insult to the faithful, this is the height of disrespect.]


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_534320.html (also)

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_534389.html

'Frankenstein' takes the Geyer stage
By Patricia Walker, The Daily Courier, Thursday, October 25, 2007

[other items]

Halloween fun is in full swing in Scottdale and surrounding areas. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be Haunted Village Tours starting at 6:30 p.m. at West Overton Museum. For more information, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_534321.html

Trick-or-treat coming this weekend
By Marilyn Forbes, The Daily Courier, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

[other items]

= Head over to West Overton this weekend for a evening of fun and frights. Haunted Village tours will take place starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The 40-minute tours will be conducted over the grounds of the village, with guides relating tales of ghosts and specters that were reputed to walk the grounds. After the tour, all are invited to the distillery where a Halloween party is set up for all to enjoy. While enjoying refreshments, take some time to sit back and listen to the stories that have won prizes in this year's Flash Fiction contest, with the stories all having the theme of "vampires." A short story written by yours truly titled "Isabella" was one of this year's winners so you can get a sampling of my wide imagination! For information, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_534125.html

Spooks, stories and specters
By Marilyn Forbes, The Daily Courier, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tales of ghosts and spooks will entertain guests who visit West Overton Museums during the Haunted Village tours being held Friday through Sunday.

Taking a page from the history of the village, guides this year will enlighten visitors of legends and tales of strange sightings and sounds that have occurred within the village limits.

"We're going to focus on the stories that are in our book," said volunteer Mary Ann Mogus. She is referring to the recently released Weird West Overton. Mogus collaborated with Ed and Brendan Keleman on the book, which is in its second printing.

The tour will be broken into 10 stations, where visitors will stop, look and listen. "The guides will take people around to each station set up throughout the village," Mogus said.

The tour will begin at the summer kitchen, with West Overton volunteers offering apple cider and cookies.

It will proceed across the main house grounds to the Overholt house and continue onto the back cemetery. After a visit to the stock barn and the surrounding areas, the visitors are then invited to the distillery for a Halloween party.

Visitors will be treated to stories of spirits that have been spotted in different areas throughout the village.

"These are stories from visitors and from the staff," Mogus said. "And the re-enactors who have stayed here have seen things over the years."

In addition to the ghostly walking tour, visitors are welcomed to settle in for scary storytelling. The winning short stories submitted to the "Flash Fiction" writing contest will be read aloud in the distillery.

The contest was sponsored by the Ligonier Valley Writers group. This year's subject was "Vampires."

There will be a photo presentation that will run continually. It includes photographs taken in the village by guests and employees, many showing unknown images.

Museum and Halloween themed items will be available for purchase in the distillery. "Weird West Overton" books and T-shirts will be sold as fundraising items for West Overton.

A new route and location pattern was designed to allow the least amount of road exposure as possible.

"We are making this as safe as possible," Mogus said. "We want people to have fun visiting the stations, then come back to the distillery where they can sit and relax and listen to stories. It'll be nice and it will be fun."

The tours will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will last about 40 minutes. Price for the ghost walk is $10 for adults and $6 for children age 12 and younger. For information, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_533818.html

Tour explores Haunted Village near Scottdale
By Barbara Hollenbaugh, The Tribune-Review, Sunday, October 21, 2007

'Tis the season for ghosts and goblins and all things supernatural. West Overton Village, north of Scottdale, will join the festivities with its annual Haunted Village program.

Executive director Barbara Pearlstein said the event -- to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday -- presents the history of West Overton in a new way.

"Over the years, there have been many reported sightings of ghosts," she said. "We want to weave the true history of West Overton with these reported sightings."

The tour will be divided into nine "stations." The first will be at the summer kitchen, where patrons may partake of cookies and mulled cider.

The tour will proceed to the smokehouse, where guides will give an overview of the history of West Overton. Tourists will then visit a constructed cemetery.

West Overton was settled by Abraham Overholt, under whose direction the village evolved from a farming community to a prosperous industrial village. Henry Clay Frick, whose father worked at the site, was born on the grounds in 1849.

West Overton originally did not have a cemetery on the grounds. A tour guide will tell of ghost sightings, including one spirit who kept blowing out her lantern.

Station three of the tour will be the original homestead house, where the Overholts lived. This house was purchased by Helen Clay Frick, daughter of H.C. Frick, in 1922.

The homestead has had its share of ghostly events over the years. Some staff members have reported catching fleeting glimpses of figures passing from room to room. Other staffers claim they have heard footsteps when nobody was present.

Some staffers even attribute the house's persistent electrical problems to ghosts. Tourists will hear the details behind these stories.

The tour will proceed to the old springhouse, and then to the small barn, another site for many reports of supernatural encounters.

Once, a volunteer dragged a chain across the upper floor of the barn as part of the first haunted house program. When he stopped dragging the chain, the noise continued.

Many war re-enactment groups have reported seeing "orbs" in photos they have taken at that site.

Station six of the tour is the big barn. Re-enactors claim they have seen the shadow of a man in a stovepipe hat passing by their tents. When they went to investigate, nobody was there.

The final stations include the blacksmith shop and the Christian Overholt home.

The tour will end at the distillery, where more refreshments will be available and visitors can listen to readings from a recently published book, Weird West Overton, a collection of spooky stories featuring the village.

Three authors -- Mary Ann Mogus, Ed Keleman and Brendon Kelemen -- have contributed stories to the collection, which will be for sale. The authors will be available to sign copies of the book.

Mogus, president of the West Overton board of directors and organizer of the Halloween event, said the program is an outgrowth of the museums' "Other Worldly Weekend" program. The weekend series was started by community members who thought it would be a good way to publicize the village's history.

"At first, this program was based on a traditional Victorian funeral," Mogus said. "We've modified this program for safety reasons. For example, tour guides used to carry open lanterns. It was unsafe to carry open lanterns into wooden buildings that had no sprinkler systems.

"Also, at first we held most of the program in the main house," she added. "It put too much stress on the building, so we now hold as much of the program outside as possible."

More information

The Haunted Village program will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday at West Overton Museums, near Scottdale. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children age 12 and younger. For more information, call 724-887-7910.


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Saturday Rocks in full swing at Geyer center
By Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, October 18, 2007

Otherworldly Weekend will be held Friday and Saturday at West Overton Museums, Route 819, Scottdale. For more details, call 724-887-7910 or visit: www.westoverton.org.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_532932.html (also)

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_532950.html

Dark side of Kennywood
By Stacy Wolford, Valley Independent, Thursday, October 11, 2007

[article, plus list of local Halloween activities, including the following topics]

Kennywood's Phantom Fright Nights: "Death Valley," "Gory Park," "Exterminator," "Phantom's Revenge," "Villa of the Vampires," "Mortem Man-or," "Kennyville Cemetery," "Fort Despair," and "Captain Skully's Curse in 3-D."

Allen's Haunted Hayrides, Castle Blood, Cheeseman's Fright Farm, Demon House, Fright Farm,

Halloween trail, Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House, The Scarehouse, Scream Asylum,

Temple of Terror, Terrors by the Lake, Victory VFC Haunted House, California Ghost Walk,

Hallowboo!, Zooboo for Kids' Sake, Halloween Happenings, Bump in the Night,

Gateway Clipper Fleet Halloween Cruises, Pumpkin Patch Trolley, Hobgoblin Hikes,

Haunted Village

Presented by West Overton Museums. West Overton Village, Scottdale. Oct. 26-28, 6:30-9:30 p.m. $10 adults, $5 seniors and students, free for children under 6. (724) 887-7910.

Fall hayrides at Mingo, Ghost Tours, Fall Harvest Festival, Pumpkin Festival


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07277/822686-42.stm

Spreading fear: Who's doing the haunting this Halloween season?
By Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thursday, October 04, 2007

Visitors to the ScareHouse in Etna will meet the likes of "Unholy Matrimona" (Jennifer Baily).

[article, plus list of events, including the following]

Haunts

Phantom Fright Nights, Terrors by the Lake, Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House,

The Scarehouse, Demon House, Scream Asylum, Temple of Terror, Fright Farm,

Castle Blood, Cheeseman's Fright Farm, Alameda Park Haunted Bonfire, Halloween Trail,

Other happenings

Hallowboo! Halloween Hayride, KDKA Zooboo for Kids' Sake, Owl-o-ween,

Zombie Fest, Night of the Singing Dead, Halloween Happenings, Bump in the Night,

Gateway Clipper Fleet Halloween Cruises, Pumpkin Patch Trolley,

2nd Annual Party in Pink Gala and Masquerade, Northern Nightmares, Chiller Theater,

Hobgoblin Hikes, Eerie Horror Film Festival,

Haunted Village

Presented by West Overton Museums. West Overton Village, Scottdale. Oct. 26-28, 6:30-9:30 p.m. $10 adults, $5 seniors and students, free under 6. 724-887-7910.

Pumpkinfest, Pumpkin Fest, Pumpkin Festival, Children's Harvest Day Festival,

Brightwood Pumpkinfest, Creepy Hollow, Haunted Hills Hayride and the Valley of Darkness

First published on October 4, 2007 at 12:00 am

Adrian McCoy can be reached at amccoy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1865.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_530958.html

Everson VFD holding fundraiser
By Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, October 4, 2007

[other items]

Antiques on Tuesday is held in the Distillery Room of West Overton Museums, Route 819, Scottdale, the second Tuesday of each month. The next event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday with appraiser John Mickinak, who will give verbal appraisals. Items to be considered include glass, ceramics, costume jewelry only, some coins, documents, paintings, decorative arts, crocks, toys and clothing. No large items, but good quality color photos of furniture will be considered for possible furniture appraisal. Call 724-887-7910 for an appointment. Cost is $15 for the first three items, $6 for each additional item up to a total of five items. Parking is available behind the museum, located on Route 819, between Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant.

[other items]

West Overton Museum will present its annual murder-mystery dinner-theater at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are required. Tickets cost $30 for nonmembers, $25 for members. For information, call 724-887-7910.

The museum seeks volunteers. If interested, call 724-887-7910.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_529702.html

West Overton Museums drama takes a deadly turn
By Barbara Hollenbaugh, The Tribune-Review, Sunday, September 30, 2007

Details: "Marriage is Murder" will be staged tonight, Friday and Saturday in the Distillery Room at West Overton Museums in Scottdale. Doors open at 6 p.m. and performances begin at 6:30. Ticket prices are $25 for members and $30 for non-members. For more information, call 724-887-7910.

It's elementary: Marriage is murder.

The staff at West Overton Museums will need your help as they present "Marriage Is Murder," a mystery theater presentation today and Friday and Saturday.

The play was written by Mary Ann Mogus, a retired physics professor and president of West Overton's board of directors.

Detective Sherlock Holmes is the main character, and the story is set in the year 1899. Holmes must marry before 1900 or lose his inheritance to his sister. Microft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother, returns to England from America and Sherlock comes out of hiding in a Tibetan sanctuary.

Watson is wooing Holmes' sister, hoping to make that inheritance his.

Mogus said the play will allow for a lot of audience participation.

"This play is part scripted, part improv," she said. "The actors will stay in character; however, they have to convince the audience to interact."

Mogus' interest in Holmes was honed during her tenure as a physics professor at East Stroudsbourg University, when she participated in a discussion group dedicated to the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

She discovered that in many ways Holmes set the stage for modern criminology.

"He was the first detective to use deductive reasoning," she said. "He also placed a lot of emphasis on observation."

Mogus wrote a Holmes-style mystery, "The Pen Ultimate Case," and adapted the play for the mystery theater show.

West Overton executive director Barbara Pearlstein said, "There is a long heritage of plays being performed at the museum," beginning with Heritage Plays.

"A group of local actors called the Heritage Players would put on plays once a year," Pearlstein said.

The late Rodney Sturtz, who served as executive director from 1996 to 2003, began to focus more on musical-style performances. There were no plays as such until 2006.

Last year West Overton staged its first mystery, "Dickens of a Murder." In this play, written by the Greensburg Writers' Group, Marley's Ghost -- a character in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" -- returns.

He has rid himself of all his chains except one. It turns out that Marley had had an affair with his housekeeper, who had conspired with the local undertaker to kill him.

"This play was well received," Mogus said. "We wanted to start doing theater-style programs again."

"Marriage Is Murder" is directed by Rebecca Dunn. It features Willy White, of Scottdale, as Sherlock Holmes and Brad Geyer as Microft.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_527003.html

Mosquito spraying planned in West Overton
By The Tribune-Review, Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Efforts to control adult mosquito populations and combat the spread of West Nile virus will be enforced today as spraying is planned in East Huntingdon.

Weather permitting, spraying will take place this evening in the West Overton area, including Fayette Avenue, Bessemer and Lou streets, a small section of Overholt Drive and along the biking/hiking trail. In addition, spraying will occur in the Buckeye area, including Locust Street, and Evergreen, Paul and Buckeye drives, and along the biking/hiking trail there.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_527101.html

Masonic Center opens
Daily Courier,
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

East Huntingdon: Spraying mosquitos planned for today

Efforts to control adult mosquito populations will be conducted today as fogging/spraying is planned in East Huntingdon Township.

Weather conditions permitting, spraying will take place this evening in the West Overton area, including Fayette Avenue, Bessemer and Lou streets, a small section of Overholt Drive and along the biking/hiking trail. In addition, spraying will occur in the Buckeye area, including Locust Street, and Evergreen, Paul and Buckeye drives, and along the biking/hiking trail there.

The treatment is being done to control the West Nile virus, which mosquitos are known to carry. There have been no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania this year.

[Also printed in Daily Courier, Thursday, September 13, 2007, Lodge to open
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_527317.html]


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526503.html

For some towns, names can be deceiving
By Robert B. Van Atta, The Tribune-Review, Sunday, September 9, 2007

So-called "fast buck" or "rip-off" artists are nothing new. The Greensburg Gazette reported on one hoax perpetrated on unsuspecting Germans in the fall of 1821.

The paper reported that letters in the German language, postmarked at Lebanon, Pa., and signed T. Reichert, were received by several Germans here. Each of these letters stated that Mr. Charles Petersen of Philadelphia had put into the hands of the writer a packet of letters brought by the ship Alexander from Amsterdam, and that among them was one for the person he then addressed; that the cost upon it was $1, and that it should be immediately forwarded, upon the transmission to him at Lebanon of a note par to that amount.

"To give the letter an official appearance, there was printed in one corner of it a seal, 'containing the words: CORRESPONDENCE SEAL OF AMERICA and underneath it written '163, FOB, W. Weber.'

"The money, in many or all instances, was sent to him: but the promised letters not being received here, the postmaster at Lebanon was written to, who says "In answer that the fellow who wrote the letters and took out the answers is a stranger who has not since been heard of, and that the whole affair, is no doubt, a 'Dutch Yankee trick.' "

"Old" and "new" and compass-point prefixes applied to town and township names in Southwestern Pennsylvania have some unusual aspects even though such use is common.

West Newton was named for the hometown of Isaac Robb, who laid out the town in 1796. West Newton is some 300 miles west of Newton, N.J., his hometown.

New Kensington is considerably newer than the historic Kensington district of London, England, for which it was named. However, the "New" was added for a different reason when it came into being about 1890 -- to avoid post office confusion with a similarly named town near Philadelphia.

Although New Baltimore was founded as Moserburg in 1829, the Somerset County town was later renamed for the Maryland metropolis.

East Pittsburgh is southeast of Pittsburgh, a reasonably realistic name for the town laid out by Westinghouse after an 1888 land purchase. But West Pittsburgh is considerably north of Pittsburgh, near New Castle.

New Geneva, named by Albert Gallatin in 1794, began its Fayette County existence in 1774 as Wilson's Port. Gallatin's hometown of Geneva, Switzerland, for which it is named, is quite a bit older.

However, New Derry in Westmoreland County is older than Derry. New Derry had a post office as early as 1823, then picked up major growth from an 1850 steel foundry. Derry began as Derry Station when the Pennsylvania Railroad went through in 1852.

There is an explanation, though. Derry is a short form of Londonderry, Ireland, and the Scots-Irish or Irish pioneers named the first town for Londonderry.

West Overton is a familiar name in the Fayette-Westmoreland border area near Scottdale, made famous by the pioneer Overholt (and later Frick) family. Some clues have been found suggesting an adjacent early Overton as a railroad stop, but show little evidence of village.

In the 1756 expedition of Col. Armstrong and his troops to the Indian town of Kittanning, among the Delaware Indians who fought there was Chief Jacob, for whom Jacobs Creek along the Fayette-Westmoreland border was named.

One of the largest area bank robberies until that time occurred May 24,1920, when the First National Bank of Finleyville was plundered of $188,906 in cash and securities. The theft occurred during the lunch hour -- only one bank employee was there. Today, lunch hour is among the busiest of times at banks.

Blairsville Council, on Sept. 26, 1840, appointed a committee to inquire into purchasing a bull "for the benefit and use of the cows of the citizens generally."

It was news locally in Westmoreland County in 1910 when a Kansas Circuit Court judge ruled that smoking cigarettes was not sufficient grounds for a husband to divorce his wife, "so long as the woman smoked in the "house, and did not do so in public."

Robert B. Van Atta retired as history editor of the Tribune-Review in January 2004.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526503.html

For some towns, names can be deceiving
By Robert B. Van Atta, The Tribune-Review, Sunday, September 9, 2007

So-called "fast buck" or "rip-off" artists are nothing new. The Greensburg Gazette reported on one hoax perpetrated on unsuspecting Germans in the fall of 1821.

The paper reported that letters in the German language, postmarked at Lebanon, Pa., and signed T. Reichert, were received by several Germans here. Each of these letters stated that Mr. Charles Petersen of Philadelphia had put into the hands of the writer a packet of letters brought by the ship Alexander from Amsterdam, and that among them was one for the person he then addressed; that the cost upon it was $1, and that it should be immediately forwarded, upon the transmission to him at Lebanon of a note par to that amount.

"To give the letter an official appearance, there was printed in one corner of it a seal, 'containing the words: CORRESPONDENCE SEAL OF AMERICA and underneath it written '163, FOB, W. Weber.'

"The money, in many or all instances, was sent to him: but the promised letters not being received here, the postmaster at Lebanon was written to, who says "In answer that the fellow who wrote the letters and took out the answers is a stranger who has not since been heard of, and that the whole affair, is no doubt, a 'Dutch Yankee trick.' "

"Old" and "new" and compass-point prefixes applied to town and township names in Southwestern Pennsylvania have some unusual aspects even though such use is common.

West Newton was named for the hometown of Isaac Robb, who laid out the town in 1796. West Newton is some 300 miles west of Newton, N.J., his hometown.

New Kensington is considerably newer than the historic Kensington district of London, England, for which it was named. However, the "New" was added for a different reason when it came into being about 1890 -- to avoid post office confusion with a similarly named town near Philadelphia.

Although New Baltimore was founded as Moserburg in 1829, the Somerset County town was later renamed for the Maryland metropolis.

East Pittsburgh is southeast of Pittsburgh, a reasonably realistic name for the town laid out by Westinghouse after an 1888 land purchase. But West Pittsburgh is considerably north of Pittsburgh, near New Castle.

New Geneva, named by Albert Gallatin in 1794, began its Fayette County existence in 1774 as Wilson's Port. Gallatin's hometown of Geneva, Switzerland, for which it is named, is quite a bit older.

However, New Derry in Westmoreland County is older than Derry. New Derry had a post office as early as 1823, then picked up major growth from an 1850 steel foundry. Derry began as Derry Station when the Pennsylvania Railroad went through in 1852.

There is an explanation, though. Derry is a short form of Londonderry, Ireland, and the Scots-Irish or Irish pioneers named the first town for Londonderry.

West Overton is a familiar name in the Fayette-Westmoreland border area near Scottdale, made famous by the pioneer Overholt (and later Frick) family. Some clues have been found suggesting an adjacent early Overton as a railroad stop, but show little evidence of village.

[Karen's Note: West Overton had a post office located near the railroad tracks.]

In the 1756 expedition of Col. Armstrong and his troops to the Indian town of Kittanning, among the Delaware Indians who fought there was Chief Jacob, for whom Jacobs Creek along the Fayette-Westmoreland border was named.

One of the largest area bank robberies until that time occurred May 24,1920, when the First National Bank of Finleyville was plundered of $188,906 in cash and securities. The theft occurred during the lunch hour -- only one bank employee was there. Today, lunch hour is among the busiest of times at banks.

Blairsville Council, on Sept. 26, 1840, appointed a committee to inquire into purchasing a bull "for the benefit and use of the cows of the citizens generally."

It was news locally in Westmoreland County in 1910 when a Kansas Circuit Court judge ruled that smoking cigarettes was not sufficient grounds for a husband to divorce his wife, "so long as the woman smoked in the "house, and did not do so in public."

Robert B. Van Atta retired as history editor of the Tribune-Review in January 2004.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526573.html

Road Rally traces route of Frick
By Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Saturday, September 8, 2007

Cars are expected to roll into the West Overton Museums at 1 p.m. Sunday, finishing the first Road Rally event held in conjunction with the Frick Art & Historical Center.

The event will begin at the Frick Art & Historical Center, weave throughout highways and byways, and finish in the village, marking a journey between Henry Clay Frick's home of Clayton, located at the center in Pittsburgh, and his birthplace at West Overton, near Scottdale.

"The route planned is a nice scenic drive," said Beth Braughler of the Frick Art & Historical Center. "They will be driving for a bit on the parkway then on the turnpike. They'll leave the turnpike and follow a lovely route that will take them along the Youghiogheny and through some of the coal regions of the area."

The idea was spawned by Laura Beattie, education program coordinator at the Frick center.

Beattie's husband, Richard, is a national champion on the road rally circuit. She suggested the idea of a rally to link together the two Frick locations.

"We were hoping to attract as many older cars as possible," Beattie said adding that there are presently 18 cars registered. "Most of the cars that we have that are participating are from the '50s and '60s."

Each vehicle entered in the rally will have a minimum of two passengers -- a driver and a navigator.

The course is unknown to each driver. Winners will be determined by how fast cars complete the course.

"The drivers are not aware of the route," Braughler said. "At the start, they will all be given a detailed set of instructions."

The navigator's responsibility will be to read the instructions to steer the driver on the right course, passing checkpoints along the way. The cars are not required to stop at the checkpoints, but all will be timed as they pass, with the best time winning the rally.

Four categories for the rally consist of antique, unique, classic and classy.

"We have engraved glass platters for the best finish for a novice and the best finish for experienced drivers," Beattie said.

All drivers will finish at West Overton. Visitors are welcome to stop, see the cars and meet the drivers.

Richard Beattie will serve as rally master. Volunteers from the Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Car Club will man the checkpoints and posts.

"This is something different," said Barbara Perlstein, West Overton Museums executive director. "We're waiting to see how this turns out. It may be something that we would like to have as an annual event."


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526281.html

Rally recalls excitement of early driving experience
By Candy Williams, The Tribune-Review, Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rick Beattie says the first road rallies at the turn of the century were popular activities held to promote auto travel and the use of public roads.

A group of classic car enthusiasts will relive the adventure of the early days of motoring on Sunday during the H.C. Frick Horseless Carriage Tour, a road rally staged by Frick Art & Historical Center.

Beattie, of Forest Hills, who has participated in rallies for 25 years and has won six Sports Car Club of America National Road Rally championships, will serve as Rally Master at the inaugural event.

He says that unlike other motor sports, success for rally drivers and navigators depends on teamwork and navigational skills, rather than speeds. Contestants travel a predetermined scenic course with checkpoints along the way, and the winning team is the one that comes closest to the set time for the course.

In the rally on Sunday, the 75-mile course begins at the Frick museum in Point Breeze. Teams will head out the Parkway East to Monroeville, and then take the turnpike to Irwin. The route continues along Route 30 to Adamsburg then along back roads through Waltz Mills, Yukon and Smithton. The rally ends at the West Overton Museum near Scottdale, site of the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick, where prizes will be awarded in novice and experienced groups.

Beattie says the course should take drivers less than three hours, traveling at average speeds of 20-25 miles per hour. About 20 cars are signed up to compete, ranging from a 1952 MG-TD to a Corvette from the 1960s and a 1991 Lotus.

Early entry fees were $95 per car for museum members; $125 for non-members, based on two persons per car. Additional passengers cost $30. The fees include breakfast, lunch and tours of the West Overton grounds.

Frick spokesman Greg Langel says registration is now closed, but spectators are welcome along the route. The rally begins at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast at the Frick's Car and Carriage Museum and will conclude at approximately 3 p.m. with lunch and the awards ceremony.

Ed and Brenda Hurst, of Greensburg, will be competing in their 1964 Corvette. The couple is enjoying their first year as rally participants, having recently bought their classic car. They took part in the Great American Race this summer, a two-week trek from Concord, N.C., to Anaheim, Calif.

"I'm the navigator," Brenda says. "All Ed has to do is drive the car. It's my responsibility not to get us lost. You're competing against time. You have to concentrate on what you're doing. That's the challenge."

Even though Beattie and his wife, Laura, will be working behind the scenes at the Frick event, she says she enjoys participating in rallies with her husband -- only she prefers to be behind the wheel.

"It's fun driving around and meeting other people," says Laura [Beattie], education program coordinator at Clayton and the Frick Car and Carriage Museum. "Car people are so nice, whether they have a million-dollar car or a junker."

Bill Bodine, director of the Frick, says the rally is designed to give participants an appreciation of antique automobiles and an opportunity to view the Frick collections.

Rick Beattie says the history center hopes to sponsor more rallies in the future.

"It's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon," he says.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526573.html

Road Rally traces route of Frick
By Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Saturday, September 8, 2007

Cars are expected to roll into the West Overton Museums at 1 p.m. Sunday, finishing the first Road Rally event held in conjunction with the Frick Art & Historical Center.

The event will begin at the Frick Art & Historical Center, weave throughout highways and byways, and finish in the village, marking a journey between Henry Clay Frick's home of Clayton, located at the center in Pittsburgh, and his birthplace at West Overton, near Scottdale.

"The route planned is a nice scenic drive," said Beth Braughler of the Frick Art & Historical Center. "They will be driving for a bit on the parkway then on the turnpike. They'll leave the turnpike and follow a lovely route that will take them along the Youghiogheny and through some of the coal regions of the area."

The idea was spawned by Laura Beattie, education program coordinator at the Frick center.

Beattie's husband, Richard, is a national champion on the road rally circuit. She suggested the idea of a rally to link together the two Frick locations.

"We were hoping to attract as many older cars as possible," Beattie said adding that there are presently 18 cars registered. "Most of the cars that we have that are participating are from the '50s and '60s."

Each vehicle entered in the rally will have a minimum of two passengers -- a driver and a navigator.

The course is unknown to each driver. Winners will be determined by how fast cars complete the course.

"The drivers are not aware of the route," Braughler said. "At the start, they will all be given a detailed set of instructions."

The navigator's responsibility will be to read the instructions to steer the driver on the right course, passing checkpoints along the way. The cars are not required to stop at the checkpoints, but all will be timed as they pass, with the best time winning the rally.

Four categories for the rally consist of antique, unique, classic and classy.

"We have engraved glass platters for the best finish for a novice and the best finish for experienced drivers," Beattie said.

All drivers will finish at West Overton. Visitors are welcome to stop, see the cars and meet the drivers.

Richard Beattie will serve as rally master. Volunteers from the Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Car Club will man the checkpoints and posts.

"This is something different," said Barbara Perlstein, West Overton Museums executive director. "We're waiting to see how this turns out. It may be something that we would like to have as an annual event."


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526281.html

Rally recalls excitement of early driving experience
By Candy Williams, The Tribune-Review, Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rick Beattie says the first road rallies at the turn of the century were popular activities held to promote auto travel and the use of public roads.

A group of classic car enthusiasts will relive the adventure of the early days of motoring on Sunday during the H.C. Frick Horseless Carriage Tour, a road rally staged by Frick Art & Historical Center.

Beattie, of Forest Hills, who has participated in rallies for 25 years and has won six Sports Car Club of America National Road Rally championships, will serve as Rally Master at the inaugural event.

He says that unlike other motor sports, success for rally drivers and navigators depends on teamwork and navigational skills, rather than speeds. Contestants travel a predetermined scenic course with checkpoints along the way, and the winning team is the one that comes closest to the set time for the course.

In the rally on Sunday, the 75-mile course begins at the Frick museum in Point Breeze. Teams will head out the Parkway East to Monroeville, and then take the turnpike to Irwin. The route continues along Route 30 to Adamsburg then along back roads through Waltz Mills, Yukon and Smithton. The rally ends at the West Overton Museum near Scottdale, site of the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick, where prizes will be awarded in novice and experienced groups.

Beattie says the course should take drivers less than three hours, traveling at average speeds of 20-25 miles per hour. About 20 cars are signed up to compete, ranging from a 1952 MG-TD to a Corvette from the 1960s and a 1991 Lotus.

Early entry fees were $95 per car for museum members; $125 for non-members, based on two persons per car. Additional passengers cost $30. The fees include breakfast, lunch and tours of the West Overton grounds.

Frick spokesman Greg Langel says registration is now closed, but spectators are welcome along the route. The rally begins at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast at the Frick's Car and Carriage Museum and will conclude at approximately 3 p.m. with lunch and the awards ceremony.

Ed and Brenda Hurst, of Greensburg, will be competing in their 1964 Corvette. The couple is enjoying their first year as rally participants, having recently bought their classic car. They took part in the Great American Race this summer, a two-week trek from Concord, N.C., to Anaheim, Calif.

"I'm the navigator," Brenda says. "All Ed has to do is drive the car. It's my responsibility not to get us lost. You're competing against time. You have to concentrate on what you're doing. That's the challenge."

Even though Beattie and his wife, Laura, will be working behind the scenes at the Frick event, she says she enjoys participating in rallies with her husband -- only she prefers to be behind the wheel.

"It's fun driving around and meeting other people," says Laura [Beattie], education program coordinator at Clayton and the Frick Car and Carriage Museum. "Car people are so nice, whether they have a million-dollar car or a junker."

Bill Bodine, director of the Frick, says the rally is designed to give participants an appreciation of antique automobiles and an opportunity to view the Frick collections.

Rick Beattie says the history center hopes to sponsor more rallies in the future.

"It's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon," he says.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_526047.html

Grandparents Day is Sunday
By Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, September 6, 2007

[other items]

I attended the SCCIA and SCA annual association meeting Aug. 27 at Frank Kapr's Family Center. The speaker was Barbara Perlstein, director of West Overton Museum. Next year the museum will celebrate its 80th anniversary. Originally they had 225 acres of land on both sides of Route 819. Now it has 41 acres. A tunnel exists under Route 819 and should connect to the bike trail off Mt. Pleasant Road.

Readers, this is a neighboring example for tourism we can all enjoy. If you haven't been there lately, please consider it in future things to do.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_522759.html

West Overton Museums offer tomato tasting
By Marilyn Forbes, The Tribune-Review, Sunday, August 19, 2007

The third annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the West Overton Museums near Scottdale.

The event, presented by the West Overton Garden Club, has grown to include more food to sample and more crafts to appreciate.

"We want this to be a really, really special event," West Overton executive director Barbara Perlstein said.

The tomato tasting will include more than 20 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, including such rare varieties as 'Hill Billy,' 'Big Zebra,' 'Mortgage Lifter' and 'Striped German.' The tomatoes are grown in the heirloom garden at the village, in club members' home gardens, and at a farm in Washington, Pa.

A variety of cheeses and pasta will be added this year, offering visitors a broader culinary experience.

"We held the tomato tasting last year and people loved it," event coordinator Julie Giacopetti said. "I suggested that we add something like a cheese tasting, and everybody loved the idea."

Giacopetti and the 20-member garden club gathered an assortment of gourmet cheeses and also will offer an assortment of pasta dishes prepared on site by Carson's Catering.

The cheeses are offered courtesy of Pennsylvania Macaroni; some will be for sale at the event.

The work of several local crafters and artists also will be displayed at the event.

Herbs, cacti, bonsai and perennial plants will be available, as well as handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, calligraphy, cards, paintings and portraits.

"We have so many talented artists in the area, and we thought that this would be a great opportunity to include them," Giacopetti said.

The tasting will be held in the big stock barn in the village. The artists and vendors will be scattered throughout the grounds.

"People can just wander around at their leisure and see what everyone has to offer," Perlstein said, adding that all who pay for the full tasting session will also receive $2 off the regular $7 admission price to the museum if they choose to visit it during the event.

"We feel that this is a really good way to bring people out to the museum," Giacopetti said. "This will open up a lot of new experiences for the community, and it will be a fun way to spend the day."


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_521481.html

'Camp' at Penn State Fayette gives teens a look at mining industry
By Judy Kroeger, Daily Courier, Sunday, August 12, 2007

Nancy Dorset, a retired coal miner and mining technology program coordinator has become a point person for the industry.

Challenged with growing demand and an aging workforce, coal mining companies have turned to Penn State, The Eberly Campus, to spark the interest of young workers.

Nine high school students and recent high school graduates participated in a "mining camp" at the Fayette County campus this summer. Dorset, who has been coordinator since it was brought back to life two years ago, led the camp, which included visits to mine sites, a review of the history of coal and mining, and information on the Penn State program.

Coal history and its impact on Western Pennsylvania goes way, way back.

"This area's coal was formed during the Carboniferous Period, especially the Pennsylvania Age, between 325 (million) and 299 million years ago," Dorset told the students.

"Vast swamps covered the area. Time, pressure, heat on dead vegetation leads to peat, then lignite, a woody brown coal with a lot of water, and finally, coal. The pressure extracts moisture and compresses materials."

Most coal mined in the United States is either subbituminous -- from Wyoming and Montana -- or bituminous, from Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

Dorset said subbituminous coal has low heating value but contains very low amounts of sulfur.

"The Environmental Protection Agency requires power plants to burn coal with 0.75 percent or less sulfur. A lot of coal around here has high heating value but contains 2.5 percent sulfur. Coal plants usually have to mix two types to meet regulations."

Dorset explained that coal-fired power plants burn coal in a boiler to heat water to steam, which rotates turbines with magnets. The turbines produce direct current, or DC electricity, which the power plant converts to alternating current, or AC electricity, "and it's off to your house."

Air pollution and acid rain caused by sulfur in coal remain constant concerns. Dorset said two local coal-fired power plants -- Hatfield's Ferry, near Masontown, and Fort Martin, in Maidsville, W.Va. -- currently bring in low-sulfur coal from Illinois and Indiana to mix with local coal.

"But they're building scrubbers that will take the sulfur out," she said, "and the plants will be able to use the local coal without the expense of transporting coal from out of state."

Modern coal-fired power plants represent the latest use of the ancient rock.

Dorset said flint and obsidian were mined as early as 40,000 B.C., and by 8000 B.C. shafts as much as 300 feet deep were built for access. The first Europeans discovered coal in what would become Illinois in 1679, and in 1702 a colonist in Virginia was granted permission to use a coal-fired forge.

The first commercial coal mining in the American Colonies took place in 1750 in the James River field near Richmond, Va. Dorset said these miners were slaves supervised by English, Welsh, Cornish and German miners.

Fueling a revolution

As the North became more industrialized, coal fueled the revolution.

Railroads relied on coal to fuel their steam engines, and in 1858 Pennsylvania granted a charter to Consolidation Coal Co., which came about when 20 smaller companies combined.

The Connellsville Coke Region produced billions of tons of coal that was baked in beehive ovens to produce coke, which was used as fuel in the steelmaking process.

Henry Clay Frick, "The King of Coke," was born at West Overton, near Scottdale, in 1849.

Historian Les Standiford has written "Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America."

Standiford recently spoke at West Overton and said, "This is still living history around here. Andrew Carnegie was the first giant of empire. These two men literally shepherded the nation from a developing nation to an industrial leader. Frick and Carnegie created the steel industry."

Carnegie moved exclusively into steel and needed Frick's coke, which led to the two working together and bringing about America's Industrial Revolution.

The Coal and Coke Heritage Center, in the basement of the library at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, preserves the stories of the miners and coke workers of the coal and coke era, along with artifacts from miners.

Curator Pamela Seighman told mining camp participants that the center has collected hundreds of hours of oral history from miners, coke workers and their families.

The accounts document not only the work, but also the culture of "patch towns".

She told the students that "patch" comes from the German word meaning "to lease," because employees lived in housing rented from the coal companies.

Unions did not come to the Connellsville coal region until after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, she said. Women were not allowed to mine in Pennsylvania until 1976, Seighman added.

As industry expanded, coal mining changed.

By the 1880s, electric equipment had begun to replace some dynamite, picks and shovels, and in 1918 the Joy Loading Machine, invented by Joseph Joy, vastly increased the amount of coal a miner could bring out of the mine each shift.

During World War II, German mining engineers invented the longwall plow and conveyor chain. An improved version -- with two cutting drums on the shearer, allowing it to operate in two directions -- is still in use at area mines.

Judy Kroeger can be reached at jkroeger@tribweb.com or (724) 626-3538.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_521386.html

Moonlighters take Scottdale stage
By Patricia Walker, Daily Courier, Thursday, August 9, 2007

[other items]

Want to know what your special treasure is worth? Come to Antiques on Tuesday at West Overton Museums, to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday with an antique appraisal session with John Mickinak. Call 724-887-7910 for an appointment; space is limited. Cost is $15 for the first three items, $6 for each additional item up to a total of five. Parking is available behind the museum which is located on Route 819, between Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_519570.html

Biographer revels in local industrialists' lives
By Rachel R. Basinger, Daily Courier, Sunday, July 29, 2007

Nearly 100 people visited West Overton Museums near Scottdale on Saturday afternoon to hear author Les Standiford discuss his book "Meet You In Hell," a nonfiction work about the lives of early steel, coal and coke industrialists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick.

The lecture was the culminating event of several months of reading and discussion of the book by a number of patrons at 13 Westmoreland County libraries.

Barbara Perlstein, director of West Overton Museums, said the Greensburg Library System purchased a number of copies of the book and distributed them among 13 Westmoreland County libraries for the patrons to get involved in a reading and discussion group.

Perlstein and Mary Ann Mogus, president of the museum's board of directors, moderated the discussions at various libraries.

"We were able to obtain a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to bring Mr. Standiford to the museum, and we invited the individuals involved in our discussion to come out and meet him and get their books signed," Perlstein said.

She added that while there were a number of individuals at the lecture from the library discussions, the event drew additional people.

Standiford grew up in Cambridge, Ohio, and visited Pittsburgh to attend professional sports games and on other occasions.

"It seemed that the sun never shone in Pittsburgh because of all the smoke created from the blast furnaces (of the steel mills)," he said. "It's too bad there's not much left to remind us how important those were to the history in the area."

That history is what "shepherded this country to the leadership of the industrialized world," Standiford said. "I didn't want to build another stack of facts (with this book), but instead tell the human story that was wrapped around those facts.

"These two men rose up from abject poverty to build the most successful empire, only to see it fall out because of one of the bitterest labor disputes in U.S. history," he continued.

[Karen's Note: As the son of John Frick, West Overton miller and farmer, young Clay Frick may have been relatively "poor," but I doubt his family life qualified as living in "abject poverty."]

The 1892 labor dispute at Homestead Works grew violent when Frick attempted to bring in strikebreakers to keep the mill functioning.

The strike-breakers met strong resistance from the striking workers, and after a day of fighting, several were dead, and scores more injured. Standiford said it was considered the bloodiest labor strike because while seven to 12 individuals died, about 250 Pinkerton agents were injured when a boat they were on caught fire.

Pennsylvania's governor placed Homestead under martial law to quell the violence, and when the masses wanted someone to blame, Carnegie insinuated that Frick was at fault, he said.

While they had made millions of dollars from each other's expertise, this strike drove apart the two friends and business partners.

"This isn't just a bitter story, it's a story about two men who helped make this country what it is today," Standiford said.

He added that he enjoyed returning to the place where Frick was born.

"There aren't a lot of individuals outside of the area who know who Henry Clay Frick was," Standiford said. "While they are all pretty familiar with Carnegie, they just don't know the history of Frick."

Ed Ayers, of Scottdale, received Standiford's book from his wife, Lola, for Father's Day because of his interest in local and national history.

"I learned a lot from the book that I didn't know before, but primarily how they were both able to come up from almost nothing to build a whole enterprise," Ayers said.

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


[Karen's Note:  The article below features the Frick Coal and Coke Day of Experience, that was held at West Overton on July 28. It was the result of a newly funded program, and will probably be repeated in the future. This was one more event I did not get to attend, so I do not know if the folks at West Overton mentioned the fact that Abraham Overholt is credited as being the first to discover coal in the region and was the first to use it in his businesses, and the fact that Henry Clay Frick did not own the coal and coke works at West Overton. And I hope the presenters were careful to separate the business enterprises of the Extended Overholt Family from those of Frick. For instance, could any visitors come away from the event misbelieving the Overholts had something to do with the Homestead Strike, the Mammoth Mine Explosion or the Morewood Massacre?

Additionally, I hope someone mentioned that no evidence has been found that children worked in any of the Overholt business enterprises, other than the labor that was normal on a farm. The National Park Service Form 10-900 reported, "Of the twenty manufacturers listed in East Huntingdon Township in 1850, nearly a third were enterprises of the Overholts at West Overton." These included the production of flour (at their mill), whiskey (at their distillery), barrels (at their cooperage), malt (at their Malt House), coal (at their coal works), and coverlets (at their weaving business) -- each operation employing three men. However, ten years after the death of Abraham Overholt, by 1880, when "the village had become a coal town, like so many in western Pennsylvania," the coal and coke works employed eight boys.

Quoting from the HABS Report, Footnote #46, p. 17, "One aspect of nineteenth-century industry was child labor. There is little evidence that the Overholts employed children as labor beyond what was normal on a farm: only one child was recorded as working steadily in 1862 (David Hepler's son, Emanuel "by 6 months . . . @ $6.50 a month . . . $39.00"), and both he and the other children mentioned in the ledgers were engaged in intermittent farm work (Dan Nicewanger's son, Dan, "by 13 days feeding hogs @ rate of $1.50 per month," and "by 1 day planting corn . . . $.50). (Ledger, October 18, May 1 and 3, 1862) There is no evidence that children could or did work in either the mill or distillery. By contrast, eight boys (under age 18) worked at the coal and coke works in 1880. U.S. Census, Population Schedules, 1880."]


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_518598.html

Celebrating history and heritage
By Marilyn Forbes, Daily Courier, Friday, July 20, 2007

West Overton Museums in Alverton [actually located near Scottdale] will present "Frick Coke and Coal Day of Experience" from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28.

The day will feature programs, lectures and exhibits highlighting the explosive era of the reign of Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie.

The event is for all ages.

"We have many things planned for the day that will include activities that will be geared toward children," said West Overton Executive Director Barbara Perlstein.

Morning activities include films and interactive programs that will cover the daily living of the families that thrived during the 1880s and 1890s.

"Life On a $1.65 a Day" will be presented from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the big stock barn, located in West Overton Village.

The program demonstrates how the average families of the labor class lived and thrived on roughly $1.65 a day.

"They'll have an exhibit of photographs and explain the activities to the children," Perlstein said. "Some feature photographs of children sorting coal, and they'll explain how children worked and were part of the coal and coke industry."

"Housekeeping at Clayton" will be presented 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by Pam St. John, educator at the Clayton/Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh. The presentation will feature everyday objects that were used at Henry Frick's East Side residence -- Clayton.

"This program will show how the wealthy lived and will have household objects for the public to identify," Perlstein said. "They have items that we don't see being used today, and the children can see them and then they will be showed what they were used for."

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., continuous showings of the documentaries "Homestead Strike" and "Pillars of Fire" will be shown in the distillery classroom. Each film has an approximate running time of 25 minutes.

Three speakers will be giving presentations throughout the afternoon. All will be located in the distillery basement.

From 1 to 2 p.m., Dr. Charles McCollester will speak on the Mammoth Mine Explosion and the Moorewood Massacre. McCollester, director of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations, will be joined by Russ Gibbons, former president of the Pennsylvania Labor and History Society.

From 2 to 3 p.m., Dr. Les Standiford, author of "Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, & and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America," will discuss his book and the research behind it.

From 3 to 4 p.m., Gregory Zaborowski will give a live musical and folklore presentation. Zaborowski is a historical and educational specialist with the National Park Service.

A question-and-answer period will follow from 4 to 5 p.m., when the audience will then be given the opportunity to meet the presenters.

Throughout the day, tours of the village will be conducted and visitors will be given the opportunity to see the uncovered coke ovens that were located on the property.

"I think that people will enjoy this event," Perlstein said. "It allows them the unique opportunity to experience how people lived and worked during the coal and coke industry."

The West Overton Museums and Village are located along Route 819, between Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant.

Cost for the event will be $7, $4 for senior citizens, $4 for children ages 7 to 11, and those age 6 and younger will be admitted free.

There is no fee for those who wish to attend the afternoon lectures only. Reservations for the lectures are requested. For information or reservations, call 724-887-7910.


Go on to page two: West Overton News 2007b
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