Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society's newsletter, Facebook page gain interest
Favorable responses to both “The Crossroad Chronicle” — the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society's official newly revived monthly newsletter — and the organization's Facebook page have Rick Meason in high hopes of what's to come.
“I have spent hours and hours doing research for these newsletters ... I am passionate about this stuff, and I want to reach as many people as I possibly can,” said Meason, executive director of the society, a certified, nonprofit organization. “I never get tired of telling new stories.”
Packed with a treasure trove of details relating to the area's past industry, culture and heritage, the newsletter brings the society back to what Meason termed as being its “ongoing mission.”
“We want to distribute historical knowledge to the town,” he said. “We want to start sharing our knowledge and artifacts with the public ... and this is kind of a stepping stone to our ultimate goal.”
Society volunteers mailed the October newsletter in complimentary fashion, along with a society membership application, to former members and those who over time had signed the ledger at the society's office, Meason said.
“We probably sent out 50 to 60 copies, along with membership applications, and we also handed them out to visitors at the log cabins during the (27th annual Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic) festival,” he said. “If you rejoin, you get copies of newsletter going forward.”
Five people have already renewed their membership for 2014 as a direct result of the newsletter, Meason said.
One of them, Rosalind Ashmun helped establish the society in the mid-1990s along with her late husband, Richard.
“My husband actually served as the society's first president,” Ashmun said. “I definitely don't want to see the historical society disappear, it does a lot of good things ... and I want to continue my membership into the future.”
In a nod to the times, the newsletters also offer information about the society's new Facebook page for online viewers, facebook.com/MPAHistoricalSociety.
“It is exciting that there are people taking interest in this project,” Meason said.
Two of them are local couple and new society members Larry and Jaime Golobish, who struck up a fast friendship with Meason during the glass & ethnic festival in September.
Soon after, Meason enlisted Jaime Golobish as the society's volunteer Facebook administrator, a role in which she posts historical photographs and information to the social media site.
“Jaime's been doing a fantastic job so far ... she's been finding and posting pictures even I have not seen,” Meason said. “Both she and Larry are great additions to the society.”
And the results show, he said, as those who have become “friends” of the society's Facebook page have grown substantially.
At the time of the society's last monthly meeting on Oct. 10, the site had 384 followers on the Facebook page, Meason said.
“Now we have 454 followers, so people realize what we're doing and they're telling their friends,” he said.
The site also offers those interested an opportunity to view expanded versions of articles contained in print editions of the newsletter.
“The pictures and the stories, those get a lot of comments (on Facebook); that's been helping to drum up interest,” said Jaime Golobish, who recently posted photos of the 1st Ward School and the Bryce Brothers glass factory.
In particular, the October newsletter's print edition directs readers to the society's Facebook page to see “the full story” on a snippet contained in “This Month in Mt. Pleasant History.”
The story details the murder of Wilfred Hosler, paymaster for the H.C. Frick Coke Co., when he and his driver, Harry Burgess, were attacked by four foreign miners halfway between Morewood and Alverton on Oct. 31, 1900.
“Stories like that get covered by the sands of time. It's up to the historical society to dig them back up,” Meason said. “Some of them are tragic, but they're interesting, it kind of makes you appreciate the difference in the time periods.”
Those interested in becoming society members or donating any historical photos or documents are encouraged to call the office, located at the In Town Shops at 537 W. Main St., at 724-547-9115 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information can be found at the society's website at mphistory.com.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or email@example.com.