Re-enactors, musicians to perform at free event at Murrysville's Staymates cabin
Re-enactors and members of the Murrysville Historical Preservation Society are inviting the public to take a step back in time to the late 1700s on Sunday.
The historic Staymates cabin on Roundtop Road will be open to visitors from 1 to 5 p.m., free of charge.
The land where the log cabin is located was originally purchased by Samuel Hoy then was sold to William and Susannah Staymates in 1851.
The cabin was home to Bessie Staymates from 1887 to 1972. She became the breadwinner for her family in her late teens, when she was already teaching at the Dible School, 3 miles south of Murrysville. She had 14 students and received a $35 monthly salary.
In 1908, when a school was built on the Clark Farm, a mile west of Export along the Northern Turnpike, she went there to teach. Staymates also taught at Newlonsburg, Murrysville, Hills, Lauffer, White Valley (as principal) and as principal at Sardis, where she concluded her career in 1955.
During her 50 years of teaching, Bessie Staymates held three positions outside what was then Franklin Township. In 1915, she taught at Denmark Manor; she was assistant supervisor at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh; and she taught at the Fort Pitt School in Jeannette. She was a well-known and respected teacher and principal throughout the region.
The area at one time was home to military encampments headed by Col. George Washington, Gen. John Forbes, Col. Henry Boquet and Col. John Armstrong.
Murrysville officials purchased the property — Staymates left it to the Girl Scouts organization — in 1977.
In addition to the re-enactors, period-appropriate music will be performed by Suellen Watt on autoharp and Brenda Walker on pennywhistle.
The cabin is at 4515 Roundtop Road.
For more details, visit the historical society's website at MurrysvilleHistory.org.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.