Dormont Historical Society

Chartered 1999

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Our newsletter is published on a bi-monthly basis and mailed to our members. Only limited excerpts will be published here. To start receiving the newsletter, consider becoming a member of the Dormont Historical Society.  See our Membership page for details.

September/October 2009

September 3, 1957, Dormont's semi-pro baseball team captured the Greater Pittsburgh League playoff title with a 6-5 victory over visiting Bellevue. An estimated crowd of 3,500 watched the deciding game that gave Dormont a 4-2 advantage in the best-of-seven championship series. The final actually went eight games as two contests resulted in ties. In the series-clinching win, Dormont's Elmer Gray and Ray Rieber each hit two-run triples in the first inning. 

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Dormont's Centennial Celebration may be a thing of the past, but the memories of it will linger on. What a fine week it was! Gus Melis resurrected the 5K Dormont Dash "through gently rolling hills" that he organized for the borough's 75th anniversary. Over 350 took part in it and many others worked at different jobs. We know one of our members, David Ohnsman, DHS '61, now of Florida, won the Senior Men's Division. Congratulations, Dave! Gus has already started planning for another Dash next year.

The River City Brass Band's patriotic music had folks tapping their toes and wishing they had flags to wave during the Sousa marches. Having "Slim" Bryant and Elmer Gray, Honorary Chairs of the Centennial, with us that evening was a pleasure!

More folks attended our Open House than we had dared hope; our guest book was signed by 127 visitors. After Audrey Schweinberg McMullen had helped welcome folks for a few hours, she said, "People keep coming in and no one goes out." True! In spite of the ventilating fans not working, people stayed to enjoy the displays and the home made cookies. Our Fun Time the next evening really was a fun time for about 50 children, their parents, and those of us who worked at it. Pete Rameas' magic/puppet show was the hit of the evening.

There is no way that each Society member who volunteered for those events and at our tent in the park on Dormont Day can be thanked here individually. They did many jobs, some more than one or two. That is what made each of our events successful and makes our historical society special. THANK YOU each and every one of you for your dedication and truly appreciated hard work!

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Did you know...

For fifty cents, Hillsdale and Kelton pupils could get a season ticket "Good for all outdoor sports sponsored by Dormont High School in the 1929-30 school year." The Dormont High School Budget Ticket for 1932-33 was good for "...outdoor sports, wrestling, boxing and Hi-Life."

1946 - Ted Brunetti, Tom Elliott, Gloria Stetzer and Nancy Trevorrow represented Dormont High School as members of the Students' Theatre, an organization of high school students from all over the Pittsburgh area. Earlier that year, Ruth Atkinson, Ellen Passarell, Dolores Bernauer, Hilda Zeigenfuss, Virginia Kelly, Louise Rubino, Charles Christen, Dick Dennison, Fred Pitts, and Ed Minnick took part in a choral concert at Stephen Foster Memorial. 

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Those of you who attended Hillsdale School in the 1930's and 1940's may remember the decorative frieze above the stage in the big gym. Two ribbon-draped cherubs with a large medallion between them completely filled that area to the ceiling.

Recently a May 1934 newspaper article came to our attention about a mural done by Louise Pershing in the Dormont School (the earlier name for Hillsdale School) that some parents felt was not appropriate. Perhaps that is why it was destroyed when the auditorium was remodeled sometime in the late '40's or early '50's. Whatever the reason, its destruction is regrettable. 

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Forged from 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center, the USS New York was commissioned into military service with the US Navy. No other ship in world history will carry the strength and sacrifice this ship exhibits, and she will remind us all to "Never Forget." It is the fifth in a new class of warship -- designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down into a foundry in Amite, LA, to cast the ship's bow section.When it was poured into the molds on September 9, 2003, "...those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there.

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