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Town rooted in history to mark 100

| Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004

Residents of Wall are getting ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the first settlements in the Turtle Creek Valley and they are looking for ancestors of founder Frank Wall to participate in the event.

It was about 1780 when Wall purchased 200 acres of land, built a log cabin and began farming, said Pat Schmeltz, a member of the anniversary committee.

Wall later invested in coal mines, and when the railroad came through the village it was called "Wall's Station."

Celebration activities, scheduled for Sept. 25, include a street fair, parade and a dance.

Schmeltz, 53, grew up in Wall and she and her husband Eric raised their family there.

"It's a nice little town, and most of the time pretty quiet," said Eric Schmeltz, who grew up in McKeesport.

Most of the current residents are second and third generation and many are descendents of those who worked for the railroad, Schmeltz said.

"Everybody knows everybody, their history and their children's children," he said.

The town also is rich in colonial history from the time of the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, Pat Schmeltz said. George Washington, Gen. Braddock, and even the Indian Chief Pontiac visited the town, she said.

The town, which did not get wealthy from the railroad, struggled to stay afloat, and eventually got water and sewer lines, paved roads and sidewalks, she said.

Today, Wall has a population of 727 residents, according to the 2000 Census.

Over the years, Wall residents have included an archbishop, doctors, lawyers, teachers, inventors, actors, authors and artists, Schmeltz said. The borough also is home to Cornerstone TV and Holy Trinity Church.

For more information on the celebration, call Pat Schmeltz at (412) 824-5036.

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