Just wanted to let Lost Monongahela readers know about the next meeting of the Monongahela Area Historical society (MAHS). It sounds fascinating. Here are the details taken from the MAHS newsletter:
The Monongahela Area Historical Society will meet 7:00 PM Thursday, November 20, 2014 in the parlor room of the First Presbyterian Church, located at 609 Chess Street, Monongahela, PA 15063. Please enter through the Chess Street entrance.
Featured speaker Terry Necciai will present, “Wild Flowers: The Nellie Sickels Photo Album as a Visual Memoir.” Terry will present a series of photographs taken by his grandmother between 1912 and 1920, when she was a teacher and grade school principal in Donora.
MAHS Museum Phone: 724.292.8247
MAHS Meetings are held September through May, on the fourth Thursday of the month. Light refreshments follow speaker.
“Wild Flowers: The Nellie Sickels Photo Album as a Visual Memoir.” Nellie Sickels was born in West Columbia, eight years before her family’s village was displaced by the new development of Donora. West Columbia was founded 200 years ago as of this year. Miss Sickels graduated from California Normal School in 1912, and she taught for 17 years before marrying Harry Ashcraft in 1929 and moving to Monongahela. At the time, the schools only hired female teachers if they were single. The women who taught in Donora mostly had 2-year degrees, and the single women spent most of their off time together. They would go back to college together and take classes to add to their education. They also took long walks together through the countryside to pick wild flowers, staging witty photographs all along the way. The album contains photos of California Normal School, Penn State, school children at Allen School in Donora, Cement City as it was being built, four generations of the Moss-Sickels family, a Chautauqua tent, a Sunday School picnic, farm equipment of that time, and many similar themes. The presentation will also include some poetry about the album.
The speaker, Terry A. Necciai, RA, is a licensed architect (Pennsylvania) and an architectural historian who has specialized in historic preservation for most of the last 32 years. He holds a 5-year B.Arch. degree from Carnegie-Mellon University with a second major in Creative Writing (poetry). He also studied Small Town Design for a year at Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture, and he has taught at both universities. His work mainly involves analyzing historic properties and writing documents to guide other design professionals in historic preservation projects.
Try to make this meeting if at all possible. Terry has years of speaking experience and I guarantee that his presentation will be fascinating.
I think you have to be a member of the historical society to attend but I am checking with them on that and will let Lost Monongahela readers know in a upcoming post. (edit: The presentation is free and open to the general public) If you aren’t a MAHS member why not come down and consider joining? Membership is only $15 per year for an individual and $20 per year for a family. You can become a member at the meeting or even better you can join online here. MAHS is a great asset to Monongahela. They maintain a beautiful storefront in town, you can visit every Saturday and your membership dues help support an organization that makes the City of Monongahela a great place to live.