Looking back to look forward to positive days once again

| Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

After decades of decline, a spark of redevelopment and renovation has been lit in Connellsville in recent years. Dilapidated buildings are coming down or — as in the case of the old Aaron's Furniture building — being renovated. New buildings and businesses are opening. A hotel near Yough Park is right around the corner. Young people are getting involved in city matters. The list goes on and on.

Things are definitely looking up. However, to really know where we're headed in 2014 and beyond, we must know where we've been. The past is prologue, or so the old saying goes.

In keeping with that, on Monday, the Daily Courier begins “The Way We Were,” followed by “Where We're Headed,” a series of articles tracing Connellsville's past through the eyes of residents who lived it. From the 1930s through the New Millennium, “The Way We Were” will give a human perspective of Connellsville's boomtown years as well as its hard times and will end with a flourish, focusing on good news — we hope — for the future of our town in particular and Southwestern Pennsylvania in general.

Interviews for this series began this past summer and have continued ever since.

The Daily Courier thanks all those who agreed to interviews, those who provided photos and took photos and those who assisted with historical data.

We hope that readers will view “The Way We Were” and “Where We're Headed” as a special holiday treat and that they enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoyed compiling it. With that, read on…and on…and on, towards a brighter future.

Laura Szepesi is a contributing writer.

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