West Overton in the News
Written & Edited by Karen Rose Overholt Critchfield, September 8, 2003



West Overton News 2001
Researching Published Newspaper Articles
From December 8 back to August 16
~~ Updated September 8, 2003 ~~

[Note: These are old news stories; the URLs may not work;
try a search at the
Trib Digital Warehouse (see below).]

Schweiker announces grant recipients
The Tribune-Review, December 8, 2001

More than 60 municipalities and organizations in Westmoreland, Fayette and Indiana counties were named recipients of community development grants Friday by the Schweiker Administration.

The grants, totaling nearly $28 million, will fund 840 projects in 60 counties throughout Pennsylvania.

The grants are funded through the Community Revitalization Program, which supports local groups and projects that improve and enhance communities and their local economies.

. . . The grants include . . . Westmoreland Fayette Historical Society for West Overton Museums to make restorations to village, $5,000.

Found at Trib Digital Warehouse site

Homestead sparkles with Christmas and patriotic blend
The Tribune-Review, November 25, 2001

A blend of history, patriotism and the traditional sparkle of the Christmas holiday season will greet visitors during candlelight tours and the Christmas celebration this year at West Overton Museums along Route 819 near Scottdale.

Decorators were busy last week preparing the Overholt Homestead, the home of Abraham Overholt, Henry Clay Frick's grandfather and the signature house of the museums complex. Other focal points are the 1838 homestead, the distillery building and springhouse were H.C. Frick was born.

Rod Sturtz, executive director of West Overton Museums, said this year marks the fifth year of the Christmas festivities at the house. They will be held the first three weekends in December.

. . . A special weekend West Overton Christmas Celebration Dec. 7-8 begins with the 5 p.m. tour of the homestead. The visitors are treated to a 6 p.m. dinner at the theater and 7 p.m. concert by the Heritage Singers, who will present authentic Victorian Christmas music while dressed in Victorian-era costumes. The Christmas Celebration program tickets are $25 for members of West Overton Museums and $30 for nonmembers.

. . . Berlovich is decorating two rooms of the house. She was busy placing white bows and taffeta ribbons in the bedroom of Abraham Overholt and his wife, Moriah. [sic]

"Moriah [sic] liked white and flowers, so the room will have a very feminine look," Berklovich said. "When I'm done it will have a very white, pure and simple theme."

Found at Trib Digital Warehouse site

Region has had its historical share of violence
The Tribune-Review, November 18, 2001

The new era of terrorism that began in September, while not the first form of violence in southwestern Pennsylvania history, seems certain to be with the nation for a long time to come.

. . . Another chapter with more lasting effects was the coal labor violence, the most serious being the coal and coke workers' strike of 1894.

That relatively unpublicized chapter of labor history was much worse from several standpoints than the famous 1892 event at the Homestead plant of Carnegie Steel.

. . . In 1894, the biggest and most violent strike in regional history began April 3. It lasted six months, repeatedly punctuated with death and bloodshed.

The Frick chief engineer was beaten to death at the town of Davidson as several other officials narrowly escaped. Many incidents resulted in killed and wounded, even including women.


Nov. 18 is not one of the most eventful days over history, but the day that followed was.

George Washington first crossed the Youghiogheny river at the Great Crossing on the Fayette-Somerset border en route to Fort le Bouef in 1753.

. . . Among the events the next day were a $4 million fire that destroyed more than 8,000 gallons of whiskey at the Overholt distillery near Connellsville . . . .


Briefs - Book signing set in Scottdale
Publication FE? October 30, 2001

Author Martha Frick Symington Sanger, great-granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick, will hold a book signing 5 p.m. Nov. 3 at the West Overton Museums, Scottdale. The book signing will be followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and a lecture at 7 p.m. Sanger will speak about her latest book, "The Frick Family Houses: Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes in the Golden Age," which chronicles in text and pictures extraordinary houses built in America. Cost is $25. For reservations, call the museum at 724-887-7910.

Found at Trib Digital Warehouse site

Scottdale suddenly faced with vacant storefronts
The Tribune-Review, October 28, 2001

Scottdale officials and business owners are, as of late, beginning to worry about a problem they haven't encountered any time in recent memory - vacant storefronts.

In the past year, several business [sic] have closed, leaving 16 downtown buildings empty, said Mayor Tim Carson. He said that neither he nor other borough council members can remember a time when there have been that many storefronts vacant all at once.

. . . Among the stores to shut down or leave:

-Kate & Becca's Quilt Patch, Etc., which moved in March to West Overton Museums in East Huntingdon Township. That store is the first of what museum officials hope will become a small shopping district there.

. . . part of the downtown's problems can be blamed on a new Wal-Mart just outside town along Route 819.

[The Wal-Mart was built on the land where Henry Overholt and his extended family made their first campsite when they finally reached their new homestead.]

"We believe that Wal-Mart has had an effect on everybody," said Savanick.

In fact, some business owners predicted back in 1995 when the store was being proposed that it would put them under.

Found at Trib Digital Warehouse site

[Due to the nature of this story, I am including the whole article.]

West Overton Museums to unveil 'Markle Flag'
by Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thursday, August 16, 2001

An unusual and rare double-sided flag banner from the period of the War of 1812 has recently been restored and will be unveiled at a public ceremony at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the West Overton Museums, Scottdale.

The "Markle Flag" shows Gen. Joseph Markle (1777-1867) in the full military uniform of the War of 1812, seated upon a white horse and reaching for his sword. Behind him are soldiers being fired upon by Indians. On the opposite side of the flag, a white eagle with outstretched wings sitting on an olive branch holds a banner in his beak with the name Markle on it.

[Note: The Overholts and Markles are related by several marriages.]

The 4-foot-10-inch-high-by-5-foot-10-inch-wide banner was displayed in front of the general's command tent during military campaigns while he served in the Pennsylvania Militia. It is thought to have been painted between 1812 and 1820 by at least three different artists.

Markle's fellow officers included Winfield Scott and William Henry Harrison, and his commanding officer was Gen. Andrew Jackson. Before and after the war, Markle owned and operated one of the largest paper mills in the region near present-day West Newton.

The banner, which was donated to the museum by the Markle family, was restored by painting conservator Jeffrey Rouse.

For information: 724-887-7910.




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