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Leadership propels Dormont Historical Society

| Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Muriel Moreland shows a gym uniform from Dormont High School at the Dormont Historical Society on Wednesday June 25, 2014.

The Dormont Historical Society will be in the spotlight at a July 16 family night event at the Hollywood Theater to mark the society's 15th anniversary.

In the lower level of the municipal center on Hillsdale Avenue, the society is a not-for-profit organization that collects and preserves items from the borough's past along with current times.

Muriel Moreland, founder, said the society's first meetings were in her living room.

“When we started to collect memorabilia items, we moved into the library, but they ended up needing that room,” she said, referring to the Dormont Public Library on West Liberty Avenue.

“So we moved back to my house. Fortunately, the borough council gave us two rooms in the municipal building, with a connected hallway. These rooms used to be classrooms, and (they) are just filled with so much of Dormont's history.”

Moreland said the goal is to increase membership and acquire more memorabilia, history and knowledge to add to the collection.

Some items that stand out are a large, original painting of Pittsburgh riverboats by William Reed, a former art teacher at Dormont High School, the original clock from the Dormont swimming pool and the original box office from the former South Hills Theater on West Liberty Avenue.

Newt Blare, property chairman for the society, said the nonprofit usually holds events every month.

“We have about 400 members, all with some kind of connection to Dormont,” he said. “We receive financial donations for which we are grateful, and we are always receiving donations like graduation photographs or yearbooks from the former Dormont High School, which are particularly special because the high school closed its doors in 1964 and became Keystone Oaks.”

“I'm very proud because we've come a long way since 1999,” he said. “We owe it all to hard work, good leadership and cooperation from the borough.”

The Dormont Historical Society will host a family night at 7 p.m. July 16 at the Hollywood Theater on Potomac Avenue.

This event is open to the public with a $2 admission fee that includes family-centered classic cartoons and short films, said Chad Hunter, executive director for Friends of the Hollywood Theater.

Chasity Capasso is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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