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Taking a trip down memory lane in Bridgeville with local historian

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Historian John Oyler has spoken to large and receptive gatherings during the Bridgeville Remembered series at Bridgeville Public Library.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Bridgeville residents took a trip down memory lane to the ‘90s on Thursday — the 1890s, that is.

The ongoing lecture series “Bridgeville Remembered,” presented by local historian John Oyler, walks audience members at the Bridgeville Public Library through Bridgeville's past, one decade at a time.

“Even though there wasn't much in the town [at that time], there sure was a lot of activity,” Oyler said.

Oyler took audience members on a tour through 1890 Bridgeville with era maps and authentic photos of houses — many of which still stand and were recognized by residents.

Anecdotes filled in the gaps between photos and maps, including a tale of how immigrant mine workers gathered and revolted because of their low wages and unsafe working conditions.

He also spoke about the Norwood Hotel — the premier hotel in the area at the time, complete with its outdoor bowling alley.

Residents spoke up and asked questions as they traced the paths of railroads, streets and family trees.

Oyler said history has that kind of hold on some people.

“There's a natural desire some people have to understand where they came from and what life was like before this,” he said. The next lecture in the series will be at 7 p.m. on July 11.

Oyler said that while some think it odd that he's so fascinated by history, he doesn't see it that way.

“They say, ‘Why are you so interested in history?'” he said. “But I say, ‘Why isn't everybody?'”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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