Last updated: March 17, 2015
Events are held on the second Tuesday of each month,
FREE at 7:30 p.m.,
The Church of the Redeemer,
located at 5700 Forbes Avenue
If you have any suggestions or ideas for speakers or topics to put on our agenda, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of program conflicts, the April speaker: "Life of Warhol" originally planned has been moved to JULY -- see information below for July.
April 14, 2015 (Tuesday)
"History of Colonel James Schoonmaker:
An Officer and A Gentleman and a Lot More"
Speaker: Historian, FRANK J KURTIK
Colonel James M. Schoonmaker is not a familiar name to most Squirrel Hill residents, yet he was right up there with Frick, Carnegie, Jones and other leading industrialists of the Gilded Age. Mr. Frank Kurtik will talk about how this dashing young Civil War hero from the local area married into a wealthy Squirrel Hill family and amassed a fortune.
Colonel James M. Schoonmaker received the Medal of Honor for bravery at the Third Battle of Winchester during the Civil War. He married the daughter of Squirrel Hill coal and coke baron W. H. Brown, owner of the largest fleet of steamboats in Pittsburgh. Schoonmaker inherited coal mines and coke works from his father-in-law, which he sold to invest in railroads, becoming vice-president and general manager of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad. He was responsible for the railroad's headquarters building at what is now Station Square. And that's only a few of his many accomplishments in a lifetime full of achievements!
Born in Peebles Twp. (subsequently Pittsburgh) on June 30, 1842 to James Schoonmaker and Mary Clark Stockton. James was a student at the Western University of Pennsylvania when the American Civil War began and enlisted in a local company of recruits which was assigned to the 1st Maryland Cavalry, rising to the rank of lieutenant. During the next thirteen months, he proved himself repeatedly in battle and in command of his troops.
In August 1862, Schoonmaker was authorized by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to raise the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment, and was promoted to the rank of colonel. He later also commanded a cavalry brigade in the Cavalry Corps, under the command of Philip Sheridan. At the Third Battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864, Schoonmaker led his troops in a dismounted charge against Confederate artillery in Star Fort . It was for this action he received the Medal of Honor on May 19, 1899. The Medal of Honor citation reads: "During the Battle of Star Fort, Virginia, at a critical period, gallantly led a cavalry charge against the left of the enemy's line of battle, drove the enemy out of his works, and captured many prisoners."
About the Speaker, Frank Kurtik:
Currently based in Fayette County, Frank works independently as a researcher, writer and lecturer. His special field of interest is the history of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Besides writing an introductory essay for Essence of Pittsburgh, a book about the work of the Lawrenceville-based artist, Ron Donoughe, Frank has written a number of articles for such publications as the Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Carnegie Magazine and Western Pennsylvania History. His lecture topics have ranged from Western Pennsylvania iron furnaces to H. J. Heinz's Sunday School work to Monongahela rye whiskey.
Prior to his current work, Frank was a Research Fellow with the Heinz Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., and before that, he was Archivist and Special Projects Manager for the Heinz Family Office in Pittsburgh. Holding an M.A. in History from Duquesne University, Frank's initial professional position was as an archivist at the University of Pittsburgh, where he specialized in the care of historic photograph collections.
May 12, 2015 (Tuesday)
"The World Class Battlefield Next Door"
(the Battle of Braddock's Fields, 1755)
Speaker: ROBERT T. MESSNER
Director,Braddock's Battlefield History Center
from: Braddock's Battlefield History Center website
Braddock's Battlefield History Center opened in August of 2012. It commemorates one of the most famous military engagements in the history of Colonial America, the Battle of the Monongahela, or "Braddock's Defeat" on July 9, 1755 at the beginning of the French & Indian War.
In a surprise encounter for both sides, approximately 650 French allied Indians and 200 French engaged the considerably larger Braddock Expedition, which had been sent to seize Fort Duquesne and thereby to control the "Forks of the Ohio" at the Point in present day Pittsburgh. The result of this engagement , which lasted more than three hours, shocked the Colonies and Europe. It also enhanced the military career of young George Washington, which had previously been undistinguished at best.
The cast of participants in the Braddock Expedition and this engagement reads like a "Who's Who" of colonial America. Many of them were in their twenties and this experience remained with them for the rest of their lives. After more than 250 years since the Battle, the Braddock's Battlefield communities finally have a historic tourism center befitting this significant historic event.
Read more about the Museum's development and Director, Robert T. Messner in Marylynne Pitz's Post-Gazette article August 18, 2012 -- excerpts:
The Battle of the Monongahela, in which French and Indians rained musket fire on British soldiers and killed Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock, lasted three hours on July 9, 1755.
The battle to build a museum dedicated to this major military engagement lasted 17 years and was waged by a lone lawyer from Blackridge, who volunteered all of his time and energy. Braddock's Battlefield History Center at 609 Sixth St. in North Braddock opens to the public today.
The new, 5,000-square foot museum represents a decisive victory for Robert T. Messner, a self-taught historian and retired general counsel for Dollar Bank. His tactical arsenal included a willingness to learn about every facet of the battle of the French and Indian War, a dogged effort to collect 250 artifacts and 50 artworks, and the ability to see how a former auto dealership, overgrown with giant weeds, could be transformed into a museum.........
......... The idea of establishing a museum occurred to Mr. Messner one afternoon in 1995 while he looked across the Monongahela River and tried to envision Braddock's 2,200 men, dressed in wool uniforms, wading through 10 feet of water on a hot summer day..........
June 6 2015 -- WALKING TOUR of HOMEWOOD CEMETERY
Time: 9:45 am to 12:30
Inside Homewood Cemetery Gates at 1599 South Dallas Ave.
(cross streets: Aylesboro Ave. and Dalzell Pl.)
Cost: $ 3 for members and $7 for non-members
Maximum group size 25
This year’s walk will focus on the oldest sections of the Cemetery. (Limited or no duplication of sections visited on 2014 walking tour.)
Homewood Cemetery: "Almost 135 years ago, part of the same virgin forest that is now Frick Park was purchased for an equally special purpose: as The Homewood Cemetery..... “
For more info visit:
NOTE: Tour requires significant walking on and off road and is NOT handicap accessible.
or contact Mike Ehrmann at (412)417-3707
June 9, 2015 (Tuesday)
"Getting to Know our Neighbors:
A History of Lawrenceville"
Speaker: JIM WUDARCZYK,
Researcher for the Lawrenceville Historical Society
.... Lawrenceville was founded in 1814 by William Foster, father of composer Stephen Foster, who was born there in 1826. It is named for Captain James Lawrence, hero of the War of 1812, famous for his dying words, "Don't Give Up The Ship!" Lawrenceville was selected as home to the Allegheny Arsenal, due to "The area's accessibility to river transportation and its proximity to what was then the nation's only iron producing district". Lawrenceville was annexed to the city of Pittsburgh in 1868. One of the original buildings, a log home built in the 1820s, survived until July 2011 at 184 38th Street.
... Today, Lawrenceville is undergoing a revitalization, and has been noted by The New York Times as a "go-to destination". Transplanted young hipsters and those who have lived in Lawrenceville for their entire lives dwell side by side, as the neighborhood's affordable housing has become a major draw for those looking to renovate an older home at a reasonable cost. The neighborhood is one of the premier art, live music, and dining hubs of Western Pennsylvania.
About the Speaker:
Jim Wudarczyk, retired after 40 years in the forest products industry. He is a Civil War buff, author, and Lawrenceville tour guide who knows his local history. Like the fact that some well-known paintings of Pittsburgh's Stephen Foster were done by early 20th century magazine illustrator Howard Chandler Christy.
Because of program conflicts, the July speaker: "History of Colonel James Schoonmaker" has been moved to APRIL -- see information above for April.
July 14, 2015 (Tuesday)
"Life of Andy Warhol and History of the Warhol Museum"
Speaker: ERIC SHINER
Director, The Andy Warhol Museum
From Andy Warhol Museum website
The Andy Warhol Museum is a vital forum in which diverse audiences of artists, scholars, and the general public are galvanized through creative interaction with the art and life of Andy Warhol.
The Warhol is ever-changing, constantly redefining itself in relationship to contemporary life using its unique collections and dynamic interactive programming as tools.
From article in Tribune written by Alice Carter, April 11, 2014.
If you haven't been to the Andy Warhol Museum recently, it's time for a second look.
After 20 years in its North Shore home, the museum is nearing completion of a project to redesign and repurpose its galleries and public spaces with a new vision and visitor-friendly exhibits.
“The culmination of two years' work by the Warhol team, the re-hang is built upon scholarship and exhibitions that the museum has been recognized for internationally ever since its inauguration in 1994,” says Nicholas Chambers, the Milton Fine curator of art at the museum. “It brings together painting, film, television, music, immersive installations and numerous other aspects of Warhol's life and work — revealing the manner in which Warhol fundamentally redefined our understanding who an artist could be.”
The most significant change is a major redesign of its collection galleries, which are chronologically organized across five of the museum's seven floors.
After the new installation is completed, masterpieces of Warhol's art from the collection, as well as archival materials, will change periodically to allow frequent visitors a wider view of items from the museum's extensive collection.
“To keep the content fresh, the curatorial team will rotate artworks in all galleries on a frequent basis. It will be a fun experience and definitely worth a visit if you haven't been to the museum in a while,” says Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum......"
About the speaker, Eric Shiner from CARNEGIE Magazine, Winter 2008 by Betsy Momich
Eric Shiner is proof that you can go home again—and even like it. After more than 10 years away, the western Pennsylvania native and Pitt graduate recently returned to home turf for his dream job as The Andy Warhol Museum’s new Milton Fine Curator of Art. Unlike the museum’s famous namesake, Shiner never lost his affection for Pittsburgh and has sung its praises all over the world, including his adopted home-away-from-home, Japan.
It was serendipity that placed Shiner in a statewide honors program for high school students in the summer of 1989, when the focus just happened to be Japan. “Something about it really spoke to me,” Shiner recounts, and a few years later, after visiting Japan during a semester at sea while a Pitt student, Shiner was hooked. His undergraduate and graduate studies would all focus on the study of Japanese art and architecture. In between, Shiner made his first stop at The Andy Warhol Museum for a memorable internship spent peering into the boxes—and, consequently, the contemporary-art genius—of the famed pop artist. He professes to have changed a lot as a person during his time at The Warhol and his six years in Japan. One experience opened his eyes to the world; the other gave him a whole new appreciation for the world of contemporary art. He’s applied lessons learned from both in an already eclectic career as a curator and lecturer—a path that, happily, has brought him home again.
AUGUST -- No Meeting, have a nice summer !!
September 8, 2015 (Tuesday)
"Pittsburgh in World War I: Arsenal of the Allies"
speaker: ELIZABETH WILLIAMS-HERRMAN,
author and College Archivist at La Roche College
From Book: Pittsburgh in World War I: Arsenal of the Allies
When the whole of Europe went to war in 1914, Pittsburgh watched the storm clouds gather at home. Yet Pittsburgh was a city of immigrants--the large Polish community urged leaders to join the side of the Allies, while German immigrants supported the Central powers. By the time the country entered World War I in 1917, Pittsburghers threw their support into the war effort united as Americans. With over 250 mills and factories, the Steel City and Allegheny County produced half of the steel and much of the munitions used by the Allies. Pittsburgh gave more than steel--sixty thousand men went to war, and women flocked to the front lines as nurses. One of the first gas masks on the western front was developed at the Mellon Institute, while the city's large Red Cross provided tireless support on the homefront. Historian Elizabeth Williams traces the remarkable story of Pittsburgh during the Great War.
About the speaker:
Elizabeth is the College Archivist at La Roche College. She earned her Bachelors Degree in history with a minor in marketing from La Roche College in 2007, and her Masters Degree in public history from Duquesne University in 2009. Besides Western Pennsylvania history, areas of interest include twentieth century American history, cultural history, and public history.
October 13, (Tuesday)
"Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition --
History and Current Projects"
Speaker: WAYNE GERHOLD, Treasurer, Sq.Hill Coalition
from the SHUC website
The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition was founded in 1972. It’s mission, as set forth in the By-Laws is “… to improve the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh through educational and cooperative endeavors of individuals and groups from the area seeking to enhance the physical and social attributes of the community.”
Key milestones in the history of the Coalition cover a range of issues, including but not limited to, Education, Public Safety, Business District Improvements, Land Use, Parks and Recreation, and Long Range Planning.
November 10, 2015 (Tuesday)
"An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman"
Speaker: PAT FARABAUGH,
Assistant Professor of Communications at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA.
About the book: "An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman" "IUP Magazine:
An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman details the life of Stokes, a Saint Francis alumnus and 1950s National Basketball Association star, and the support of Twyman, his teammate and friend. Twyman became Stokes’s legal guardian and worked tirelessly to raise money for his medical bills following an accident in a 1958 NBA game that left Stokes paralyzed and under hospital care until his death in 1970.
The friendship of Stokes, who was African American, and Twyman, who was Caucasian, was especially noteworthy given the racial tensions of the era.
Note of Interest:
When Maurice Stokes was age 8, the family moved from Rankin to nearby Homewood, where he later attended Westinghouse High School.
John Twyman, the son of a steel company foreman, was born in Pittsburgh (Sheraden) and attended Central Catholic High School.
About the Author - Pat Farabaugh
from St. Francis University website:
Pat teaches courses in print and photojournalism, public relations, public speaking and mass communications theory and research. Before joining the communications faculty at Saint Francis, he taught at Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He worked in athletic media relations for 12 years before entering higher education and served as the sports information director at Saint Francis from 1999-2005.
He has written two books - "Carl McIntire's Crusade Against the Fairness Doctrine" (2010) and "An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman" (2014). He has also contributed to "American Sports: A History of Icons, Idols and Ideas" (2013). Pat has served as a peer reviewer for the journal "Critical Studies in Media Communication," and is an active freelance print and broadcast journalist. He has written feature stories and opinion essays for numerous magazines and newspapers and serves as the radio and webstream play-by-play announcer on broadcasts of the Saint Francis football team's games.
When he is not writing, broadcasting or teaching, Pat enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, coaching youth sports, and volunteering. He taught English to students in the Dominican Republic in the spring of 2013 as a member of Saint Francis' Hugs United Education Team. Pat also serves as a trustee at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.
About the author from Amazon website:
Pat Farabaugh is a faculty member in the Communications Department at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Before entering the teaching profession, he worked in athletic media relations for 12 years. In addition to his work as a teacher and author, he also serves as the play-by-play announcer for the Saint Francis football program. He is currently working on his third book, tentatively titled "Strike Three: The 1977 Johnstown Flood." The book will explore the story of this flood - the third deluge to strike Johnstown, Pennsylvania - and its legacy. He has a stepson and two cats and is waiting patiently for the Pittsburgh Pirates to win another World Series.
December 8, 2015 (Tuesday)
"History of 'Glenn Greene Stained Glass Studio' "
speaker: GLENN GREENE,
Artist and Owner of "Glenn Greene Stained Glass Studio"
from the Glenn Green Art Studio website
"Glenn Greene Stained Glass Studio originally opened its doors in Oakland, a community located in Pittsburgh, PA., and operated there for 12 years. Now located in Regent Square for more than 17 years, Glenn and his unique artwork have become a staple of the neighborhood.
During 35 years in the business, Glenn Greene has accomplished thousands of custom installations and art pieces for residential, institutional and commercial — as well as liturgical — environments. Through decades of working from a rich palette of styles, Glenn’s original works incorporate a mix oftraditional and non- traditional aesthetics in a startlingly original way."
Read more about this studio and other items published in City Paper, Post-Gazette, etc. on the website.
About the speaker:
This self-described “normal Joe artist” is a native of Cleveland, where he apprenticed with glass masters beginning at age 15. He traveled to Pittsburgh in 1984 to do what he expected to be a two-week restoration job, but was amazed at the amount of stained glass in the city and the number of opportunities he could pursue.
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