Town Meeting To Be Held Monongahela Fire Hall Tuesday October 20th, 2015

The next meeting of the Monongahela Main Street Program Organizing Task Force will be an open “town meeting” at Monongahela Fire Hall at 7:30PM, Tuesday October 20th, 2015. Bill Fontana, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, will make a presentation to explain how the Downtown Center and Main Street Program work in Pennsylvania. We are hoping for good representation of groups like the City government, property owners, businesses, Chamber of Commerce members, M.A.R.C. (Monongahela Area Revitalization Corporation), Historical Society, churches, fire department members, all kinds of civic groups, other interested citizens, media, etc.

Click here to read the latest edition of the task force newsletter and learn more about recent events.

Just what does a National Main Street Center (NMSC) Main Street Program look like? A great example is Cape Girardeau, MO – a 2015 Great American Main Street Award winner:

Hope to see you at the meeting!

This Day In 1886: Ginger Hill Butter Theft

“Thieves entered the spring house of John Hamilton at Ginger Ginger_hill_butter_theftHill, on Thursday evening and took the week’s make of butter and also milk buckets to carry it in. The marks of nippers were plainly visible on the door staple. The same party had visited Joseph Gamble’s spring house, and forced the door, but Mrs. Gamble had removed the butter to the house ceilar [?] that evening, ready for market, and as it was “butter they wanted” nothing else was disturbed.”

Roundtable Discussion Will Focus on Neighborhood Revitalization, Blight In Monongahela


A very important (open to the public) meeting about neighborhood revitalization and blight in Monongahela will be held 7 p.m Tuesday August 11, 2015 at the Carroll Township Fire Hall. The following information was copied from Sen. Scott Wagner’s website:

Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee

Bus Tour & Roundtable on Neighborhood Blight & Revitalization

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The bus tour will meet in the parking lot of the Social Center of the Carrol Township Building (130 Baird Street, Monongahela, PA 15063) at 2:00pm. The bus will then take the group to Donora to visit multiple sites and will be followed by dinner at Lucchesi’s Restaurant (372 Donner Ave, Monessen, PA 15062) at 4:00pm. After dinner, the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee will hold a roundtable discussion at 7:00pm in the Council Chambers of theCarrol Township Building (130 Baird Street, Monongahela, PA 15063) to discuss Neighborhood Blight & Revitalization. The following local officials and organizations invited to join the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee are:

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives (46th Senatorial District Delegation)

  • Representative Jim Christiana
  • Representative Brandon Neuman
  • Representative Peter Daley III
  • Representative Jason Ortitay
  • Representative Robert Matzie
  • Representative Rick Saccone
  • Representative Pam Snyder

The Washington County Commissioners v The Mon Valley Mayors Association

  • Commissioner Lawrence O. Maggi
  • Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan
  • Commissioner Harlan G. Shober Jr.
  • Mayor Lou Mavrakis of Monessen
  • Mayor Bob Kepics of Monongahela
  • Mayor Don Pavelko of Donora
  • Mayor Dwan B. Walker of Aliquippa

Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania v Mon Valley Progress Council

  • Cindy Daley, Policy Director
  • Joe Kirk, Executive Director

Washington County Redevelopment Authority

  • Bill McGowen, Executive Director

Here is some more information from Camera Bartolotta’s website:

HARRISBURG – The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee will host a roundtable discussion on blight and neighborhood revitalization in Monongahela on August 11, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).

The roundtable discussion will be held at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Carroll Township Municipal Building at 130 Baird Street. Local elected officials, housing and redevelopment officials and statewide housing organizations have been invited to participate.

“Abandoned and blighted properties create a serious eyesore and can reduce property values for neighboring homeowners and businesses,” Bartolotta said. “This discussion allows policymakers and housing experts to explore all of the options currently available to local communities and determine what additional steps are necessary to return blighted properties to productive use.”

The conversation will focus on state and local efforts to prevent blight and remediate properties that have fallen into a state of disrepair. The roundtable discussion is a public event, and community residents are invited and encouraged to attend.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463

Here is the story relating to this on the WESA 90.5 FM website.

There is no coverage that I could find on the Tribune Review (Valley Independent) nor the Observer Reporter websites so it is very important to tell your friends and neighbors about the meeting if you are concerned about blight in the Mid-Mon Valley. Please also consider spreading the news via Facebook and other social media.


Check back here on Wednesday for coverage of this meeting along with an update about local Monongahela residents who are trying start a program designed by the National Main Street Center to help improve the appearance of our downtown and bring economic opportunity. You can read more about it here.

Downtown Monongahela Revitalization – WE CAN DO THIS (part 1)

Just wanted to break the news to loyal and long suffering Lost Monongahela readers that there is a group of Monongahela area residents exploring the possibility of starting a downtown organization similar to this award winning one in Montclair, New Jersey. (Click the “x” symbol at the bottom right of the video to enlarge it.)

Sounds exciting doesn’t it? The Montclair Business Improvement District organization utilized the National Main Street Center’s proven Four-Point Approach to achieve this remarkable turnaround.

I’ll be writing more about this for each of the next several days so stay tuned. Click here to learn more about the National Main Street Center.


Miss Jennie Thwarts Burglar With Meat Horn, Intruder Gets No Booty

From The Daily Republican – August 6, 1881:

Another Sneak

Songs for Little People. [With illustrations by H. Stratton.]

Saturday morning about two o’clock, a sneak thief entered the residence of Mr. Ben Phillips, on Chess Street, through an open back window. He was in the young ladies sleeping room when discovered, and was scared away before getting any booty, by Miss Jennie blowing a meat horn, which she keeps ready for use, in case of any needed alarm daring the night. The ladies of the family are much alone, and this meat horn idea is a capital one.

Just think of a burglar tip-toeing about in the watches of silent night, a dark lantern in one hand, and a big pistol in the other, peeping here and there in a lady’s bed room, looking for a pocket-book or jewel case. He another_sneaksees the glitter of a bracelet, sits down his glim, sticks his sick shooter in his pocket, stoops over a dressing case, his fingers rapidly closing in on the trinkets and engagement rings, when “Toot, TOOT,” a noise as if seven million fog horns had broken loose, greets him, scares him, petrifies him. Fear, fright, terror, dismay, alarm, consternation— and away he goes, as if the Devil and Tom Pepper were after him.

Mean while the girls sit up in bed and blow the old tin screech horn till their cheeks bulge out like apple dumplings; yea, even like the priests who blew down the walls of Jerico. A tin horn may not carry as far as a pistol, but it is more effective at short range with a scared girl at one end of it.

Oh, how we ache to write the item when one of these chaps shall have been shot — “A Sneak Thief Caught – He will Sneak no more—Not Much—Not this Evening — His Bowels Blasted out with a Blunderbuss – Gone to Meet the Hades Boss in a Land which is Hotter than This.”

This Day In 1882: Jellied Cow At The Monongahela Paper Mill

According to The Daily Republican March, 13, 1882:

A cow which had entered the paper mill straw yard one day several weeks ago, in search of food, was observed to eat her way towards the steam tubs, but the workmen were too busy to drive her out. A half hour later they looked for her, but the Ramshackle had disappeared. The owner had hunted his cow in vain. On Saturday the men were cleaning ptchaout a steam escape, and digging down under the straw to where the hot liquor is drawn off from the bottom of the tub, came across the cow. She had slumped through the wet straw and sank to the bottom, outside the tubs. It was all up with Shackle; she was cooked to death, for after soaking in hot lime and soda water, and being parboiled in hot steam for two weeks no ordinary cow could be expected to stand the racket, and so when found she was little more than jelly and horns.

Jellied calves feet also known as “P’tcha”


Paper Mill
Paper mill in Catsburg

A Monongahela Valley Church In Ruins – Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Duquesne PA

One of the people I follow on Flickr recently posted a photo (click here to view it) of the interior of the former Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church of Duquesne PA in its ruined state. It’s hard to believe that anybody would abandon such a grand building and let it deteriorate.  This is the story of what happened.

Holy Trinity didn’t always look this way of course. The buff brick church building was built on South First Street in 1907 by Continue reading