Housewarming party to honor 200th anniversary of Washington County's LeMoyne family
By Rachel Weaver
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
A “housewarming party” honoring the 200th anniversary of the LeMoyne family's move into their East Maiden Street home in Washington will give the Washington County Historical Society a kickoff campaign to increase awareness of its mission and scope.
On Saturday, the society will host the party at the Elks Club. It will offer tours of the LeMoynes' stately stone residence and doctor's office, which became a stop on the Underground Railroad and now houses the historical society.
“Anytime there's an anniversary for a building, we celebrate the building itself,” said society director Clay Kilgore. “This house is great, but it wouldn't have been anything without the LeMoyne family.
“We want to celebrate the family.”
Physician John Julius LeMoyne built the house in 1812, and the family moved in early 1813. His son, Francis Julius LeMoyne, also a physician, became an abolitionist who opened his properties as stops along the Underground Railroad.
His charitable acts included founding the Washington Female Seminary, funding several chairs at Washington College (now Washington & Jefferson), starting Citizens Library and founding LeMoyne College (now LeMoyne-Owen College) in Memphis to educate freed slaves.
LeMoyne House now is a museum filled with period artifacts dedicated to the family.
Madeleine LeMoyne, Francis LeMoyne's youngest daughter, donated the home to the society after her death in 1943 at age 100. The parlor, dining room, apothecary and bedroom showcase some original furnishings.
The society invited several LeMoyne descendants, who live primarily in California, to the housewarming, Kilgore said.
Though the historical society operates from the house, its scope reaches far beyond the LeMoyne family, Kilgore said. The society's collection includes documents and artifacts dating to the 1600s, archives and a library. Some items are displayed throughout LeMoyne House. Two rooms on the second floor are devoted to the region's military history.
It's such details, and the society's mission, that Kilgore hopes a branding campaign will bring more prominently to fore.
“We want to let people know we're here and we are in the LeMoyne House, but we're saving all the history of Washington County.”
On Saturday, partygoers can take horse-drawn carriages from the Elks Club to and from LeMoyne House for tours.
The society wants to move its offices across Maiden Street to a smaller home that could be its museum and storage space, and devote LeMoyne House to the family's history.
It will raise money through an auction of items that include two framed and signed prints — Nat Youngblood's “Mudder's Day” and Ray Forquer's “In From The Fields” — and a week's vacation at an oceanfront condo on Kure Beach, N.C.
As part of its awareness campaign, society members are reaching out to smaller history and heritage groups to share ideas and resources.
“The entire county is working together to save history,” Kilgore said.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or email@example.com.
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.
- Newsmaker: José M.F. Moura
- Likely $2.3B influx puts PennDOT big-ticket road projects in play
- Man shot by Pennsylvania state police at Pittsburgh International Airport was key witness in Massachusetts murder trial
- Result hazy as historic-building vote nears
- Pa. child abuse statutes faulted as too narrow
- Money being raised to furnish Uniontown Marine’s home
- Hill District nonprofit’s finances are taking another dive
- Baldwin-Whitehall board hits ‘magical line of dissatisfaction’
- Boat owners prepare for winterization
- Natural history museum in the red
- Illness briefly sidelines mayor, but he’s back in the game by late week