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Going to Reduction, Pa., was like stepping back in time, Fox host says

Stephen Huba
| Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, 12:51 p.m.
'Strange Inheritance' host Jamie Colby talks with Walter 'Willy' Klorczyk, a former resident of Reduction in South Huntington, last May. Colby and a camera crew visited the former company town to tape an episode that will air on Fox Business Network at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Fox Business Network
'Strange Inheritance' host Jamie Colby talks with Walter 'Willy' Klorczyk, a former resident of Reduction in South Huntington, last May. Colby and a camera crew visited the former company town to tape an episode that will air on Fox Business Network at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The host of the TV show “Strange Inheritance” has seen her share of strange things, but a visit to the tiny community of Reduction was one she won't soon forget.

“I don't know that I'll ever have another chance to see a real company town,” said Jamie Colby. “I'm so happy it is one of our season premier episodes.”

Going there, she said, was like stepping back in time.

“Reduction was a working-class community. They had everything they needed that the company provided,” she said.

The half-hour episode “Our Town” is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Tuesday on the Fox Business Network to help launch the fourth season. “Strange Inheritance” features the stories of people who have inherited unusual things and is one of the highest-rated shows on the financial news channel, she said.

Although not a traditional municipality, the town of Reduction once served as home to hundreds of employees of the American Reduction Co. The company on the banks of the Youghiogheny River on South Huntingdon processed, or reduced, tons of garbage from Pittsburgh using high heat methods.

The 75-acre property was bought by John Stawovy in 1948 for $10,000. The Stawovy family acted as landlord and caretaker of the property, including its signature yellow tile cottages, for decades. Stawovy's son, David, inherited the property after his parents died in 2014 and 2016.

A retired teacher, Stawovy said he wants to sell the property as one unit and divide the proceeds evenly among the four siblings. Reduction is listed with Howard Hanna for $1.5 million.

Stawovy contacted the producers of “Strange Inheritance” last year after seeing a commercial for the show during a Steelers game. Colby and a camera crew visited the site in May 2017.

“I just loved being there,” Colby said. “It's one of the most beautiful pieces of property that I could possibly imagine. … It's just breathtaking, the way it's completely surrounded by this beautiful river.”

Colby said Reduction is only the second real estate inheritance to be featured on the show. The other is a French chateau that was shipped to the United States in pieces and reconstructed in Princeton, N.J., she said.

Colby praised Stawovy, the executor of his parents' estate, for his oversight of the property and the rental cottages where people still live. Stawovy told the Tribune-Review last year that the tenants will be given up to a year to move once the sale is finalized.

“Our show is about people and families and history. This is no exception,” Colby said. “Dave … doesn't want to cash out. He wants to do the right thing.”

Colby said about a third of the show's episodes come from viewer submissions.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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