Links

This is a list of various links to newspapers, groups, associations and companies that we've partnered with, to help make the Donora Historical Society successful.
NOTE: This list is not meant to be comprehensive and will be added to as additional links are provided or discovered.
DONORA INSTITUTIONS
Donora Public Library - this is the local library and proud partner of ours where they have a a dedicated history room with microfilm of older newspapers starting from 1905. On occasion we hold some of our presentations in the Community Room in the lower level to accommodate larger crowds.
Borough of Donora - this is our community's central location of most of the events happening within our town. This also contains the information needed to contact the Borough offices for a variety of questions or concerns.
Donora Fire Department - 1948 Smog - This story is a page about the 1948 Smog on the Donora Fire Department's website. The Fire Department was considered to be some of the first responders during the October Halloween weekend of the 1948 Smog.
Donora Military Banners - this is Donora's Military Banner Tribute Program. The application form can also be found on this site. The Donora veterans listing on this site does not appear to be complete. By clicking on each name, you can see the actual banner. This site does not give the location where the banner is displayed in town.
NEWSPAPERS
The Mon Valley Independent - our local Mon Valley newspaper.
The Herald-Standard - Mon Valley - based out of Uniontown, this paper has numerous articles dedicated to our local Mon Valley.
The Observer-Reporter - Mon Valley - based out of Washington, this paper has numerous articles dedicated to our local Mon Valley.
South Hills - Mon Valley Messenger - you can read about the latest Society news in this monthly newspaper for the Mon Valley area.
HISTORICAL SOCIETIES and GROUPS
WESTERN PA
Heinz History Center - this is the regional history center that specializes in Western Pennsylvania history in general and Pittsburgh history in particular. The Donora Historical Society has a few photos on display at this museum. We are also a member of the History Center Affiliates Program (HCAP).Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area - Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation conserves, interprets and develops historical, cultural and recreational resources throughout western Pennsylvania, including the eight counties that comprise the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area surrounding Pittsburgh. Rivers of Steel 2019 Year in Review YouTube video.Exploring the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area - a blog article written by Rivers of Steel in 2020 mentions the Donora Smog Museum, the 1948 Smog and Cement City.
WASHINGTON COUNTYWashington County PA Historical Society - this is our parent historical organization at the county level.Washington County History and Landmarks Foundation - this is a private, non-profit educational organization which encourages the preservation of buildings, landmarks and structures of Washington County, PA.

PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission - this is our grandparent historical organization at the state level.

LOCAL - Mon Valley
Monessen Historical Society - a neighboring historical society. Monessen is the town that lies almost directly across the Monongahela River from Donora in Westmorland County. Due to our similarities in steel heritages, we share a great deal with this Society.
Monongahela Historical Society - a neighboring historical society. Monongahela is the town just north of Donora on the Monongahela River in Washington County.
Charleroi Historical Society - a neighboring historical society. Charleroi is the town just south of Donora on the Monongahela River in Washington County.
Rostraver Historical Society - a neighboring historical society. Rostraver is the town just east of Donora on the Monongahela River in Westmorland County. Rostraver has a shared history with Donora related to the 1948 Smog and the Donora-Webster Bridge.
Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation - a neighboring historical society and heritage center. Brownsville is a town south of Donora on the Monongahela River in Fayette County.
California Area Historical Society - a neighboring historical society. California is a town south of Donora on the Monongahela River in Washington County.
FOUNDATIONS:
Washington County Community Foundation, Inc. - this organization is responsible for a broad range of county wide philanthropy. The McBride-McMaster Fund grant that we received in 2010 kick-started our Bruce Dreisbach glass plate negative development project.
PHOTOGRAPHY - GENERAL, GLASS PLATE NEGATIVES and MUSEUM
Bernie's Photo Center - this photo shop, on the North Side of Pittsburgh, is one of the few around that has the capability to handle and process glass plate negatives and helped us a great deal with our Bruce Dreisbach glass plate negative development project. They also operate a photography museum called Photo Antiquities (see below).
Photo Antiquities - owned by Bernie's Photo Center (see above) and located just two doors down on the North Side. This photographic history museum is a must for the photo enthusiast. The collection of photos and equipment they have on display is astounding. They boast having the world's largest Civil War photo collection, amongst others.
TOURISM and TRAVEL BLOGSVisit Washington County PA - the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency. For 2012 the Smog Museum was named as one of fifty reasons to visit Washington County, PA.Uncovering PA - a Pennsylvania travel blog written by Jim Cheney who visited the Smog Museum in April, 2014 and wrote about the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum - Uncovering PA - Donora Smog Museum.Visit PA - Visit PA Travel site - Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum.
Trip Advisor - Trip Advisor Travel site - Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum.
INTERESTING DONORA LINKS:
HISTORY
Sanborn Donora - Oct 1902 - Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Donora, Washington County, Pennsylvania from October 1902.
Sanborn Donora - Oct 1909 - Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Donora, Washington County, Pennsylvania from October 1909.
Sanborn Donora - Nov 1914 - Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Donora, Washington County, Pennsylvania from November 1914.
Sanborn Donora - Sept 1921 - Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Donora, Washington County, Pennsylvania from September 1921.

Donora Golden Jubilee - 1951 - This is the original booklet from the Donora Golden Jubilee in 1951. This is a true time capsule of the way Donora was over 60 years ago. Includes a comprehensive history of Donora by teacher and writer John "Moon" Clark.
Donora Borough Code Ordinances - These are the original and historic Code Ordinance documents dating to 1901 when the Burgess was Bert W. Castner and the Borough Clerk was George W. Allen.
West Columbia - An article by Ron Paglia from 2014 on West Columbia on its bicentennial titled "Donora Historical Society program will recall genesis of West Columbia" - the village that existed before Donora in 1901.
Eldora Park - The most inclusive site dedicated to the history of Eldora Park by Mr. Richard Rockwell.
Donora-Webster Bridge - All the structural details about the Donora-Webster Bridge.
Jewish Families of Donora - Rauh Jewish Archives - part of the Senator John Heinz History Center.
Silver Lining - by Philadelphia-area author Andy McPhee. This is a converted Blog of short stories about Donora as McPhee continues to uncover interesting topics during his exhaustive research for a larger project. McPhee is proving to provide as much information for the Historical Society as we've provided for him.
Atlas Obscura - also by Andy McPhee. This story was shared from his Silver Lining Blog and is titled "5th Street Steps" and is dedicated to longtime historical society member Rose Marie Iiams, who is no longer with us.
Donora and Webster doctors in 1938 - Mon Valley Medicine - Area Doctors and Hospitals - 1938. Search on Donora and/or Webster.
James Breedlove Air Force - U.S. Air Force B-36 Peacemaker crashes at Fairchild Air Force Base, killing 15 airmen and injuring two 9including Breedlove) others on April 15, 1952.

1948 SMOG
Time - 1948 Smog - A 1967 TIME Magazine article on Ecology titled, "Menace in the Skies" about air pollution - three years before the first Earth Day.
IN THESE TIMES - 1948 Smog - A 2014 IN THESE TIMES article on the 1948 Smog titled, "Remembering the Deadly Donora Smog" - an interview with Charles Stacey in 2008.
KUER 90.1- 1948 Smog - A 2017 article from KUER 90.1 NPR from Utah about the 1948 Smog titled, "Smog Museum Has Lessons For Today" as part of the Society of Environmental Journalists National Convention.
The Incline - 1948 Smog - A 2018 article in The Incline about the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Smog titled, "70 years ago, deadly smog in Donora started a clean air movement".
Smithsonian Magazine - 1948 Smog - A 2018 article in the Smithsonian Magazine about the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Smog titled, "The Deadly Donora Smog of 1948 Spurred Environmental Protection—But Have We Forgotten the Lesson?".
Sons of Salk - 1948 Smog - A 2018 Sons of Salk article titled, "The Donora Death Fog".
Belt Magazine - 1948 Smog - A 2019 Belt Magazine article about "What the petrochemical buildout along the Ohio River means for communities in the region and beyond" titled, "Smoke in the Valley".
Blake Harper - 1948 Smog Comics - A Blake Harper CITY SURGEON #1 (1963) comic titled "True Medical Cases - Donora's Deadly Fog" depicting what took place on the Halloween weekend of 1948.
Lukasz Musial obit - Father of Stan Musial. The Pittsburgh Press December 20, 1948.
Betsy Chou's website on 1948 Smog - Concordia University (Shanghai, China) student - Betsy Chou's Environmental Issues class project. Betsy and her family in our Gallery tab.

DONORA STEEL MILL
INDUSTRY ON PARADE - New Aura in Donora! - A forty-one-minute video that features Donora and US Steel in the first four minutes in the 1950s. Extensive footage inside the mill, along with other footage featuring the downtown, town life, Donora football and the Clan Grant in a parade.
Andrew Posey Grave - An article by Donora native James McKenzie for Notre Dame Magazine about the steel mill accident that claimed the life of WWI veteran Andrew Posey. McKenzie is a Notre Dame alum and a retired English professor from the University of North Dakota.
Andrew Posey - Man of Steel - The mystery of Andrew Posey - Travel with a Beveridge by Webster resident and writer Scott Beveridge.

THE REDWOOD
The Redwood - Leon Rongaus - A partial story about the one-time 5 Star restaurant in Donora called the Redwood as told through the story of Leon "Lee" Rongaus.
The Redwood - Leon Rongaus obit - A partial story about the one-time 5 Star restaurant in Donora called the Redwood as told through the obituary of Leon "Lee" Rongaus.

SPORTS
Griffeys and Stan Musual - A 2016 The Seattle Times article prior to Ken Griffey, Jr. being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame titled, "Donora, birthplace of the Griffeys and Stan Musial, is a dying town clinging to its sports history".
Donora High School Legion Field - A 2014 TribLive article about the opening football game at Legion Field mentioning the bleacher collapse in 1930 titled, "Carroll Twp. woman recalls rocky opening at Donora stadium".
Arnold "Pope" Galiffa Throwback Jersey - 1949 Army Black Knights Galiffa #16 football jersey from Ebbetts Field Flannels.
Ebbets Field Flannels - the Seattle, WA based company that makes our 1938 Donora High School baseball throwback #16 Stan Musial jerseys. See the jerseys in our Merchandise tab.
Frances (Gorn-Sobczak) Kaszubski - born in Donora, but raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Competed in the 1948 Olympics in London in track and field (discus and shot put) and placed 11th in the discus. Kaszubski participated with the Polish Falcons in Cleveland. Kaszubski received a bronze medal in the 1951 Pan-American games in Argentina in the discus,

ARTISTS and ENTERTAINERS
Cy Gavin - Columbia Magazine - Spring 2019 - Donora native and up and coming artist inspired by spending his free time at the Donora Library as a youth.
Cy Gavin - Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh - Winter 2019 - Donora native and up and coming artist inspired by spending his free time at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh as a youth.

Earl Beal of the Silhouettes - born in Donora, but raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sang with the Doo Wap group The Silhouettes who performed their hit song "Get a Job" on as American Bandstand in 1958.

"Donora" by Special Messages - 2021 - Donora native Spencer James and his band Special Messages and their music video "Donora."
Spencer James of Special Messages on Blowing Smoke with Twisted Rico Podcast - 2021 - Donora native talks about the song "Donora" and the Donora PA Smog Museum.
"Donora" - Pittsburgh City Paper - 2021 - Donora native Spencer James and Special Messages singer remembers hometown environmental tragedy with “Donora” song and music video.

DIGITAL STORYTELLING - CAL U OF PA and HEINZ HISTORY CENTER
Cal U Digital Storytelling - All Cal U of PA Digital Stories since inception - Fall 2013.
Huhra!" for Industry in Donora - Fall 2018 - Donora in WWII - created by Jahneek Fant, Blaine Hill-Banks, Jensen DeCarlo and Chris Girardi.
Diversity of the Mill - Fall 2017 - Donora Steel Mill - created by Timber Newhouse, Sarah Martin and Garrett Smyth.
A Man | Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area - Fall 2017 - Homestead Steel Mill - very well done - created by Maggie Rose Cave, Alyssa Haskell and Ben Sterling.

MISCELLANEOUS
The Alley on Main - A Donora inspired restaurant in Murfreesboro, Tennessee by former Donora boy Shawn Hackinson who named the restaurant after the location of the Donora home where he grew up. Read the history of The Alley on Main - History and Inspiration.
Donora PA Aerial Photo Map 2015 - Modern day aerial photo of Donora.
Pioneer Productions - the London, England based documentary company who is working with The Weather Channel on a documentary on the 1948 Smog. See the film crew in our Gallery tab.
DONORA AREA CEMETERIES DONORA
Schwerha/Macik Funeral Home - Donora - old burial records from the original Schwerha Funeral Home, later to become the Macik Funeral home are still housed at the House of Jackson Funeral Home owned by Karl Jackson - 546 Thompson Avenue - 724- 379- 5420 or karljacksononly@yahoo.com. Genealogists are welcome.
Rabes's/Lawson-Rabe Funeral Home - Donora - old burial records from the original Rabe's Funeral Home or Lawson-Rabe Funeral Home are still housed at the Exquisite Funeral and Cremation Services.
Gilmore Cemetery - Donora - this cemetery predates Donora by a hundred years. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. This cemetery is not maintained and is not easy to navigate. St. Dominic's Cemetery - Donora. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. This cemetery is not managed locally anymore and is managed by the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. If you contact them, they are very helpful, but the research could take time. St. Michael's Cemetery - Donora / Carroll Township. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. This cemetery is managed by St. Michael's Church. If you contact them, the research will take time. Mon Valley Memorial Cemetery - Donora / Carroll Township. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. This cemetery has a cemetery office.

CARROLL TOWNSHIP and MONONGAHELA Ohav Sholom Cemetery - Carroll Township. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. A small group of Jews chartered Donora Hebrew Congregation Ohav Sholom on August 24, 1903 and established a cemetery in Carroll Township in 1904. The Orthodox congregation was among the first in the mid-Monongahela River valley and initially drew congregants from the nearby towns of Monessen, Monongahela, Charleroi and Belle Vernon.
Monongahela Cemetery - Monongahela. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. This cemetery has comprehensive online records and can be found below. This cemetery has a cemetery office. Monongahela Cemetery Site - Monongahela. This is the Monongahela Cemetery's online site. This cemetery also has comprehensive online records at the cemetery office. They are very helpful in person or on the phone.
Sacred Heart Cemetery - Monongahela. This is a "Find A Grave" site whose records are NOT complete. This cemetery has comprehensive online records at the cemetery office. NOTE: These cemeteries links are NOT inclusive of all graves, which means that just because your relative is buried there, doesn't mean you will easily find them on these sites.
HEALTH RELATED RESEARCH LINKS
The Mesothelioma Center - Steel Mill Workers - Provided by the Public Outreach Department of Asbestos.com. Those who work in steel mills (or other occupations) are at risk of asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma, a rare cancer that can take 20-50 years to develop. Because asbestos was used in steel mills as a common insulation material from the 1940s to 1970s, workers were exposed to this toxic material while performing their daily tasks, and those risks exist even today. In general, this site offers extensive information on asbestos and free support and services for individuals seeking local doctors, treatment centers and support groups.
The Mesothelioma Center - Guide to Asbestos in the Home - Provided by the Public Outreach Department of Asbestos.com. Homes built before the 1980s could expose homeowners, their families and others to asbestos possibly hiding in cement, floor tiles, insulation, walls and pipes. Our Guide to Asbestos in the Home can help protect you and others from exposure.
Mesothelioma Hub - Education. Treatment. Legal Advice. Hope. - More than 3,300 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. This rare cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, but it can take years to develop. Although the prognosis for mesothelioma has historically been poor, new treatment options are offering patients renewed hope. Mesothelioma Hub connects you to a treatment information, legal advice, and the country's top mesothelioma specialists.
Lung Cancer Center - Provided by the Engagement Team of LungCancerCenter.com. Learn More About Lung Cancer - Lung cancer is the second-most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States that affects both men and women, with more than 228,000 cases estimated for 2020. However, not every case is caused by cigarettes or tobacco. Many people who work or have worked in shipyards, factories, demolition, or even near old warehouses could have been exposed to carcinogens outside of their control. If you believe this applies to you or a loved one, then click on link to learn more about lung cancer and your options.
Mesothelioma Veterans - Serving Those Who Serve Us - United States veterans make up 30% of all mesothelioma diagnoses. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Learn more about the different forms this disease may take. Speak with an advocate today to learn more about the latest medical treatments, how to file a claim, and ways to receive compensation.
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