Collier Township's history is in uncharted territory
By Megan Guza
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Collier Township needs a place to store its history.
The township — site of the former Charles E. Kelly Support Facility and birthplace of Flag Day — has no historical society and no place to store artifacts donated by residents.
“What we need is a collection point — somewhere to collect the various items that people may have that are just sitting in people's basements,” said township Manager Sal Sirabella.
Currently, Sirabella stores donated artifacts in his office. He said the items consist mostly of books and papers, along with old photos. He said he also has a framed group of tax receipts from the 1800s and framed photos from the old support facility.
The settling of the township dates back to the mid-1700s, and it was officially established in 1875. Formerly an area of mills and farms, the township has more recently become a hub of residential development with the establishment of Nevillewood and other housing communities.
It will ultimately take more than a collection point, he said.
“What we need at this point is a plan and a budget and a steering committee,” he said. “This is something we'd like to do for 2014.”
While some residents have expressed interest in forming a committee, he said, “interest is one thing — doing is another.
“Ultimately, we would have to sort and decide where to display these items,” he said. “It takes — like anything else — a process: You have to collect and review, categorize them and determine what is and isn't historical. Then inventory the catalogue. Then find a facility of some kind where we can have the display open.”
Sirabella said his biggest concern is what will happen to the display after it is initially put together.
“We want to sustain the activity, not just all of a sudden realize there's nobody left around,” he said. “Sustainability concerns me a lot.”
To have the items displayed, he said, will take not only a space, but a staff to man the display area.
“Then we need a volunteer corps,” he said. “And that's hard to come by these days.”
Still, he said, the most pressing issue is establishing a collection point and a group to lead it — something other area historical societies also found difficult.
In Dormont, the eight initial members of the historical society met in Murial Moreland's living room for years. “We really didn't have a place to meet or display for a couple years,” she said. “We met in the library for awhile, and then, when they needed the room for a computer lab, we came back to my living room.”
Moreland founded the society in 1999, and she said they were lucky to establish it when they did.
“The older the population gets, some die or move away, and the second generation comes in and throws everything away,” she said. “We're fortunate that the older generation shared with us when they did.”
It is a worry Sirabella said he shares.
“The biggest concern is trying to accumulate this stuff so it doesn't get thrown out when people move,” he said.
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Allegheny County police arrest 29 on drug charges in Pitcairn area
- That’s a Jeep Cherokee? No retro in 2014 model
- Jokinen takes center stage as fill-in for Pens’ Malkin
- Corbett signals he won’t push to hike minimum wage
- For Steelers defense, it’s all a matter of trust
- Former personal assistant says Irish billionaire, former Heinz exec, owes her stocks, money
- Fans of former conservative radio hosts Quinn, Tennent support toy drive
- Latrobe couple accused of using car trunk to end son’s fear of the dark
- From start, other muscle helped mold Mustang
- Long-overdue memorial to region’s World War II vets opens
- Movies enhance language-learning program