Mt. Pleasant Journal editions are obtained by local library
Mary Lou Shick likens it to local time travel made possible.
That's her take on the roughly 80 years worth of the Mt. Pleasant Journal — or more than 4,000 editions of the community weekly newspaper — can now be accessed within bound volumes offered for review at the Mt. Pleasant Public Library, said Shick, director of the facility at 120 S. Church St.
From the 1920s through the 1990s, most years are represented in the collection of local newspapers, she added, and they are in demand.
“People just love to come in and look at the ads, and see how much things cost back in time. Even the language has changed; there's just a whole different voice, not one we're used to,” Shick said. “It really is like a time machine ... having these newspapers.”
In the days leading up to the Sept. 10 relocation of the Journal's business and editorial office to 445 W. Main St., Suite No. 4, at the Diamond Town Shops in the borough, Shick expressed an interest in procuring the dozens of bound editions of the paper in storage at the publication's former office at 23 S. Church St.
While the library already had obtained of a fair portion of Journal editions during prior years, those received recently from the paper published during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s are new to the facility, Shick said.
“The Journal (editions) have joined other copies already at the library as part of our permanent reference collection,” she said. “Journal (editions) from the late '40s to the '90s are available for examination anytime during library hours.”
Editions of the paper from the early '40s and earlier are available for examination by appointment at the facility due to their fragile nature, Shick said.
“A printed list of available Journals will be on display at the library for reference,” said Shick, adding that all but roughly five years worth of editions are now in the library's possession from 1920 through 1996.
“The library now has Mt. Pleasant Journals that span eight decades available for the research and enjoyment of our patrons,” she said.
Duplicate copies of bound Journal editions the library had as a result of the influx of additional ones — mostly from the '60s, '70s and '80s — were turned over to the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society.
“We're very thankful for this,” said Rick Meason, the society's president.
Triplicate copies were given to the Braddock Trail Chapter — National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Shick said.
“Both groups promised that (the papers are) going to be made accessible to use for research,” Shick said.
She added that on-foot visitors to the library, along with those who call or email from out of state, regularly seek information from the local papers.
They either wish to locate the obituaries of loved ones and long lost family members, or they want to review past sporting events and other special occasions which have come to pass in the Journal's longtime coverage areas of the borough, Mt. Pleasant Township, East Huntingdon, Donegal Borough and Donegal Township, Shick said.
The books give them a concrete feel for the past, she added.
“Technology has created some really great tools, but there really is nothing like reading a newspaper,” Shick said. “And when people find something they like, they want to make a copy, and they can do that.”
In addition, copies of the Youngwood Advisor, a former Laurel Group weekly newspaper which closed in 2007, and the short-lived Citizen of Westmoreland publication, which covered Youngwood and New Stanton in the early 1970s, went to Ruffsdale's Gloria Wilson, a member of the library's genealogy club, Shick said.
Wilson donated the bound editions of both papers to the The Paul Miller Ruff Library at the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society.
“They asked me how I ended up with all of these, and I just said ‘I was at the right place at the right time,'” Wilson said.
For more information on the past editions of the Mt. Pleasant Journal available for review, call the library at 724-547-3850 or send an email to Shick at email@example.com.
“It's just a treasure to have them, not just now, but in the future, too,” she said.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.