This exhibit ended Aprl 28, 2015
The town of Donora isn't often associated with the Civil War, but then why should it? Donora
wasn't founded until 1901, some 40 years after the war. However, the small town that pre-dated Donora, West Columbia, and the surrounding Carol (Carroll) Township, that boasted some of Donora's founding fathers, such as Bradford Allen (155th Penna. Vol. Infantry), were indeed Civil War veterans. Another, Mr. Adam "Daddy" Wickerham from nearby Carol Township, was a Sergeant and charter member of the Ringgold Cavalry (1847) and served throughout the war. He fought in all 72 of the officially recorded "engagements" the cavalry took part in. Mr. Wickerham is buried in Monongahela, but there are over 45 other Civil War veterans buried in Gilmore Cemetery in the area that is now known as Donora.
Post-Gazette Civil War Exhibit in Donora to read the article.
Tribune-Review Civil Exhibit in Donora to read the article.
Observer-Reporter Civil Exhibit in Donora to read the article.
Tribune-Review Civil Exhibit in Donora to read the article.
Observer-Reporter Civil Exhibit - Ringgold Cavalry to read the article.
The Donora Historical Society's success with the Civil War Exhibit, along with the other Western Pennsylvania historical societies that also hosted the exhibit, contributed to the Heinz History Center receiving an award from the American Association for State and Local History. Click on link 2015 Award of Merit to read about the award.
The Civil War Exhibit in Donora - BY THE NUMBERS
SLAVERY. ABOLITION. STATES RIGHTS. THE UNION.
While the battles that determined the fate of the Union were not fought in this region, no life went untouched by the conflict in this region, no life went untouched by the conflict. As the "Arsenal of the Union," Western Pennsylvania provided both the industrial might and the infantrymen that brought victory to the North.
In fact, the Commonwealth's greatest resource might have been its citizens -- more than 340,000 Pennsylvanians, including 8,600 black troops, served in the Union Army, a number second only to New York state. Pennsylvania played a critical role in the war providing industrial might, agricultural bounty, and natural resources
Those on the home front raised funds to support troops on the field, on the move, and in hospitals. Women took over running the family farm, providing car packages, wrote letters with news from home, and offered prayers for spiritual support. Over 80% of the iron used by the Union came from Pennsylvania and it was fashioned into railroad rails, artillery, and ammunition. The fertile Cumberland Valley provided flour and meat to fee troops. And nearly all of the coal used for fuel came from Pennsylvania mines. The war touched every Pennsylvanian's life.
The Civil War in Pennsylvania will feature four life-size historic figures, plus Dog Jack, along with modular panels describing Pennsylvania's contributions to the Civil War.
Also included in the exhibit are curriculum materials that meet Pennsylvania and U.S. social studies standards, and other hands-on educational objects, such as replicas of historic items, for students to explore.
Three of the historic figures and Dog Jack represented in the exhibition are:
Born in Erie and a graduate of Harvard, Strong Vincent was a young attorney when he enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. In the fierce battle on Little Round Top, Vincent rallied flagging troops with the shout, "Don't give an inch!" A moment later he was struck by a bullet and mortally wounded.
One of the first blacks admitted to Harvard Medical School, Delany, who lived in Pittsburgh most of his life, was a practicing physician as well as an ardent abolitionist. In 1863, Delany began recruiting African American men as soldiers, many of whom joined the newly formed United States Colored Troops. Commissioned a major, Delany became the highest ranking African American in the Civil War.
Young women such as Tillie Pierce (pictured) and Allegheny Arsenal worker Kate McBride contributed mightily to the Civil War. When troops turned her hometown into a bloody battlefield Tillie hauled water, tore cloth into bandages, and comforted the sick and dying. Kate McBride and other teenage girls toiled at the Arsenal making thousands of cartridges until the tragic day when an explosion killed more than 70 of them.
Starting as the mascot of a firehouse in Pittsburgh, Jack “enlisted,” along with most of the firemen in the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteers Regiment. Jack remained with the regiment from 1861 through 1864 as their mascot, except for six months as a prisoner of war. His incarceration ended when he was exchanged for a Confederate soldier.
The exhibit's modular panels will cover a variety of topics, all told from a Western Pennsylvania perspective, including:
On the Field of Battle -- Why They Fought Although slavery was the root cause of the Civil War, most northern soldiers fought to preserve the Union, not to free the slaves. Energized by President Lincoln's patriotic rhetoric, early enlistees rallied around appeals such as "Crush the Rebellion," and "Do You Love Your Country?" in 1863, however, Lincoln's issued the Emancipation Proclamation transforming the conflict from a war to preserve the Union to a war committed to ending the institution of slavery. Following Lincoln's example, many Union soldiers also became convinced that the defeat of the Confederacy would also require an end to slavery.
Toiling on the Home Front The Union Army required a vast support system to wage the war. Troops needed artillery, guns and ammunition, food, clothing, and medical supplies. On the home front, men worked in foundries making iron for armaments of every kind. Women and children manufactured solid shot, explosive shells, and shrapnel-filled case shot. Prominent business men and society women held fund raisers to finance medical care for soldiers. There was a place for nearly every citizen to support troops in the field.
Compassion On and Off the Field The war touched nearly every individual and many women sought ways to connect more personally with soldiers. Traditionally feminine roles such as family care giver, cook, and comforter trained women to provide for needs that the government and industry simply could not supply. Women volunteered as nurses in hospitals and their own homes, provided food for soldiers on the march, and wrote letters of support to loved ones.
Battle of Gettysburg In 1863, after the Confederate victory at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee planned his second invasion of the North. Moving his troops into Pennsylvania’s rich farmland would provide much needed supplies for his army, give battle ravaged Virginia the summer to recover, and draw Union forces away from Washington D.C. In late June, Lee’s men entered central Pennsylvania and marched through Chambersburg, Shippensburg, and Carlisle before turning south and encountering the Union Army at Gettysburg. The three-day battle that followed was the bloodiest of the Civil War. Pickett’s Charge, meant to be the beginning of a Confederate sweep toward Washington D.C., became a decisive defeat and ended Lee’s campaign in Pennsylvania. This northernmost battle of the War, fought on Pennsylvania soil, became a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.
The Civil War in Pennsylvania exhibit is grounded in the recent scholarship developed out of the statewide Pennsylvania Civil War 150 collaboration. Noted American historians, including Ed Ayres, William Blair, Judy Geisberg, James Horton, and Elizabeth Leonard, have participated in all phases of Pennsylvania Civil War 150.
DATES: March 20, 2015 thru April 28, 2015
TIME: Sunday - CLOSED
Monday - CLOSED (subject to change)
Tuesday thru Friday - 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. -
plus additional evening hours for special events - see the schedule below.
Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - except for April 4th - closing at 2:00 p.m.
Or by appointment for groups - please schedule ahead
VENUE: Donora Public Library - Community Room - lower level
510 Meldon Avenue
Donora, PA 15033
ADMISSION: Suggest donation -
Adults over 16 years old - $3.00
Children and Teens from 6 to 16 years old - $2.00
Children 5 years old and under - FREE
School groups and Teachers - FREE
Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops - FREE
All donations benefit the Donora Historical Society and the Donora Public Library
NOTE: Specific events and presentations carry a different suggested donation. of $5.00
SPONSORSHIP: All sponsorship proceeds benefit the Donora Historical Society and the Donora Public Library
PARKING: Parking is free on Meldon and McKean Avenue - handicapped parking is available in the
library parking lot.
QUESTIONS: Please email or call with any additional questions or to schedule your group.
CONTACT: Email: email@example.com
Phone and Message Center: 724 - 823 - 0364 - Donora Historical Society
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
NOTE: In general, Saturday presentations will occur from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and then again from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The noon hour will be available to get lunch. Two merchants are within walking distance:
Anthony's Italiano - around the block on McKean Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets
- pizza and sandwiches
Station - 1.5 blocks away on Meldon Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets
- breakfast and coffee, soups and sandwiches, drinks and convenience
LARGE GROUP BLACK OUT DAYS and TIMES:
Below is a schedule of when larger groups have reserved the exhibit for their own special events, meaning these times will be unavailable (BLACKED OUT) to the general public:
NOTE: If you would like to hold your own special event or tour for a larger group, please RSVP your date and time ASAP.
These are images from our 2015 Civil War exhibit:
OUR LOCALLY COLLECTED ARTIFACTS:
The central display case as part of the Heinz History Center's travelling Civil War exhibit on display in the lower level Community Room of the Donora Public library. The display case featured locally loaned Civil War artifacts. Three Civil War reunion ribbons were featured from Donora, Monongahela and Fredricktown, PA.
OPENING NIGHT MUSICAL GROUP:
LIVING HISTORY DEMONSTRATIONS:
Members of the 40th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry living history group from Brownsville, PA presented "Gettysburg - The Battle That Changed the War" as well as a living history demonstration. They also helped provide living history demonstrations for our visiting school groups (see pictures below.)
Living history demonstration items on display for the audience by members of the 40th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry living history group from Brownsville, PA.
The following businesses and individuals helped fund the exhibit, additional presentations and events:
BeeBee Electric Service (Steel level donor - business) - Donora, PA
Alan Benyak (Silver level donor - individual) - Donora, PA
Colgan Agency, Inc. (Silver level donor - business) - Donora, PA
John Cupper (Gold level donor - individual) - Donora, PA
Eastern Alloy Inc. (Bronze level donor - business) - Donora, PA
FirstEnergy Foundation (Gold level donor - business) - Pittsburgh, PA
Richard Gaydos (Gold level donor - individual) - Donora, PA
Jack and Nancy Rumora (Silver level donor - individual) - Ashtabula, OH
Mary Smith (Silver level donor - individual) - Donora, PA
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stacey (Silver level donor - individual) - Donora, PA
NOTE: All sponsorship proceeds benefit the Donora Historical Society and the Donora Public Library for expenses and stipends incurred while holding this exhibit.
SCHEDULE OF THE TRAVELING EXHIBIT - The Civil War in Pennsylvania
This is where the Heinz History Center traveling exhibit has been and where it's going: