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Export Historical Society dedicates sign honoring Westmoreland Coal Co.

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, 5:33 p.m.
Export Councilman John Nagoda and District Judge Charles Conway, center, are joined by other borough officials and residents as they look at an informative sign near the former Westmoreland Coal Co. fan house on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. The Export Historical Society held a dedication ceremony for the sign, which was funded through a grant from the Community Foundation of Murrysville, Export and Delmont.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Export Councilman John Nagoda and District Judge Charles Conway, center, are joined by other borough officials and residents as they look at an informative sign near the former Westmoreland Coal Co. fan house on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. The Export Historical Society held a dedication ceremony for the sign, which was funded through a grant from the Community Foundation of Murrysville, Export and Delmont.
An informative sign installed outside the former Westmoreland Coal Company fan house off Washington Avenue in Export was dedicated Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
An informative sign installed outside the former Westmoreland Coal Company fan house off Washington Avenue in Export was dedicated Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
Export Councilwoman and historical society member Melanie Litz gives remarks during the dedication ceremony for a sign erected near the former Westmoreland Coal Company fan house on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Export Councilwoman and historical society member Melanie Litz gives remarks during the dedication ceremony for a sign erected near the former Westmoreland Coal Company fan house on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

Export Historical Society members this week took another step toward conveying more of the borough's history to residents and visitors by dedicating the first of what society officials hope will be a series of informative signs.

Funded through a grant from the Community Foundation of Murrysville, Export and Delmont, the sign marks the site of Westmore­land Coal Co.'s former fan house.

“(Borough councilman and historical society member) John Nagoda said the fan house was originally designed to bring fresh air underground for the miners,” borough Councilwoman and fellow society member Melanie Litz said at Monday's unveiling. “And that's kind of what we're trying to do with these projects: breathe some more life into our town.”

Litz has said the society would like to install additional signs as funding permits for other historic areas of the town, including the Italian-American Club on Kennedy Avenue, which was formerly Westmoreland Coal Co.'s boiler house; the former site of the Pennsylvania Railroad station; and Duff Manor, which at one time was Duff School.

In addition, Litz announced that the foundation agreed to help the society continue with its project and was willing to fund a second grant in 2018 for another sign.

“This is a tribute to our ancestors who toiled in the mines and sacrificed so much so that we could have what have here today,” she said. “It honors their legacy and shows that we're dedicated to making this town a great place to live.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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