Video series to help Moon mark 225th anniversary

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Moon is celebrating its 225th anniversary with a three-part video history series of the township that can be seen on Moon Community Access Television and online.

“Moon Township Remembers” features interviews with past and current residents, who reminisce about changes in the township over the past decades.

Founded Dec. 18, 1788, as one of the first municipalities in Allegheny County, Moon eventually spun off other municipalities such as Coraopolis, Crescent and Findlay. The township became the site of the former Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, which spurred development there starting in the mid-20th century.

“The thought was we'd celebrate the 225th anniversary and educate the community,” said Jim Koepfinger, director of technology and communications for Moon.

One thing local officials cannot say for sure about the township's history — why the name Moon was chosen.

Among the interviewees are Frank and Marion McCormick, members of a family that arrived in Moon in the 1700s because of a land grant, plus lifelong residents Charlie Belgie Jr., the township fire marshal, and John Kennedy, former roadmaster.

“We're a community of a whole bunch of people who don't know” Moon's history, said Earl Edwards, president of the Old Moon Township Historical Society. Moon has about 24,000 residents, some of whom have moved into the community with new housing over the past decade or more.

“Moon Township was farmland,” said Carl Griffith, a Moon Realtor and chairman of the township's Historical Architectural Review Board. Griffith co-hosted the show with Edwards.

Among the farms in the township was the Bell Farm, which was sold to the Air Force and eventually became the site of the airport terminal and runways that opened in 1952. Edwards said the airport and industry drove Moon's development.

“There's so much history there. It's been fun,” Griffith said of the show.

Sandra Fischione Donovan is a freelance writer.

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