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Scottdale's Verandah Visits porch tour offers chance to relive eventful year of 1913

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:04 p.m.
Stephanie Fite participates in a past Verandah Visit
Rhonda (left) and Rachelle Allison get comfy on a porch in a recent Verandah Visit in Scottdale.
Taking some time out on one of the porches in the 2011 Verandah Visit is from left: Lindsey Morrison, Maddy Nelson and Kaidia Pickels.
Carol Westerman dresses in the decor of a past era hile enjoying a rest on a verandah.

The Scottdale Historical Society is offering another trip back in time.

This year, that journey goes back to the year 1913. It's the third annual Verandah Visits porch tour scheduled 1-4 p.m. July 28.

“There will be five porches on the tour,” said Kim Fox, treasurer of the Scottdale Historical Society. “At each stop there will be something about 1913. We're taking a look back at life 100 years ago, what was happening here and around the world. We have various activities planned.”

These activities include the chance to sample a variety of flavored iced teas and other period treats.

“You can come and try and guess the most popular children's names in 1913 or try your hand at the very first crossword puzzle. It was published in New York in 1913,” Fox said.

There also will be music of the era and the chance to sing along to some familiar tunes. There also will be an antique dealer with items available for purchase on the porch at the Spring House.

The year 1913 also marked the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. That will be recognized through clothing and other artifacts and the chance to sample authentic hard tack.

“At the 50th anniversary there was a grand reunion of Union and Confederate soldiers at Ellsworth Park,” Fox explained. “It was a society in which you had to be a Civil war veteran to be a member of this local group.”

This marks the second straight year the tour has traveled back 100 years. In 2012, the year 1912 was celebrated with a display of Girl Scout uniforms and Oreo cookies available for those in attendance. The year 1912 was the year the Girl Scouts and Oreo cookies began.

Stops on the tour include Loucks House, which serves as the home base of the Scottdale Historical Society, and South Broadway Manor, as well as three private homes in the borough. The Loucks House at 527 N. Chestnut St., will be the first stop of the tour.

“It's just a fun way to spend an afternoon in Scottdale and learn some history,” said Tom Zwierzelewski, president of the historical society.

Tickets are available for $5 each or two for $8 and can be purchased in advance at Collections by Marty or by calling the society at 724-619-1874. They also can be purchased the day of the tour at the Loucks House.

Fox is hoping the event will continue to gain in popularity throughout the years and encourages people to attend.

“It's a new event that we've been trying to promote,” Fox said. “Attendance is steadily increasing. We're hoping to promote Scottdale and raise awareness of local history and a lifestyle most of us are totally unfamiliar with.”

Part of that lifestyle of which Fox speaks involves the old tradition of sitting out on the porch on a Sunday afternoon, perhaps visiting with family, friends and neighbors.

“It's also an attempt to recreate that Sunday afternoon visit,” Fox said. “The porch is an American invention, porches really didn't exit before we started putting them on in the United States. It will be interesting to people.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or

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