Smog Museum

In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Donora Smog incident of 1948, the home of the Donora  Historical Society and Smog Museum was opened in 2008 and has been flourishing ever since. 
Located in the heart of Donora at the corner of McKean Avenue and Sixth Street, the museum has permanent exhibits related to the founding of the town, town life, steel mills, the 1948 Smog tragedy, Donora schools and sports, social clubs and organizations, and a 1948 time capsule room.  There are also a couple of rotating exhibits whose content changes three to four times a year.

To eliminate any confusion, the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum are one in the same entity.  The artifacts within the Smog Museum are the property of the Donora Historical Society.  The Smog Museum is just the name of our museum.  We think that people are more inclined to seek us out when they wonder, "What is a Smog Museum?" as opposed to only being known as the Donora Historical Society.

The Smog Museum is recognized on Atlas Obscura with an article titled Donora Smog Museum and Historical Society.

The Smog Museum is recognized on Pittsburgh Orbit with an article titled The Donora Smog Museum. Pittsburgh Orbit visited the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum in February 2018 to do research on future articles.


   Saturday, March 24th and/or March 31st from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. due to the Eldora
    Park Walking Tour.

   Saturday, April 21st from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. due to the Cement City Home and
    Walking Tour.


Because of our location at the corner of McKean Avenue and Sixth Street, the museum is now in a position to actively solicit and store family heirlooms, hidden treasures or artifacts that have significance to Donora. 


One of the goals at the Historical Society is to keep Donora related artifacts in Donora and preserve them accordingly.  Artifacts can be old photos; steel mill related mementos; school related mementos; professional uniforms related to the armed services, fire and police departments; sports equipment; family genealogies; home movies; paper objects; etc., providing they have a relationship to Donora. Because the Society is a non-profit organization, we are not in a position to purchase artifacts at this time. 

If you decide to entrust the Society with the safe-keeping of your family’s treasures, we ask that you briefly write down a few notes of the what, where, and when of the artifact.  If you are physically unable to hand deliver your objects, or the artifacts are too large and awkward, we would be more than happy to set up appointment so that they can be picked up by one of our historians.


If you feel like you can’t part with your artifacts at this time because of sentimental reasons, we hope that you will keep us in mind in the future.  You can rest assured that your family treasures will be well preserved for future generations to enjoy.

The Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum was featured in an article in the Washington Observer-Reporter newspaper.  Click on link Observer-Reporter Donora Historical Society to read the article.

Photo/Film Use Policy
The Donora Historical Society has a rich collection of old photos.  We have a limited film collection.  On occasion, requests are made to use one of our photos in various publications.  All photos or images are the property of the Donora Historical Society.  If you would like to use a photo, please contact us for our current Photo/Film Use Policy

We do NOT have an online photo repository for you to  browse.  If you request us to research our "old photo" archives for your selected images, you should expect to pay accordingly.



In the past four years, we've had visitors from 44 states (including Alaska), Washington, D.C. and from foreign countries on five different continents such as Canada (North America), China, Japan (Asia), Columbia (South America), England, France, Belgium and Germany (Europe), and Ethiopia (Africa).





Since the Society is a non-profit organization, and as another way to generate income, we will also accept any other antiques and vintage clothing that do NOT have significance to Donora, for resell to help fund the museum and other society projects.  Antiques are anything that may have some value and at least 40 years old.  Just like the artifacts, we will accept antiques year round and pickups can be arranged.





Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum

595 McKean Avenue

Donora, PA 15033-1714


Please click on the Directions tab for a map and/or directions.





Admission is FREE, but donations are gladly accepted.




The museum regular hours are as follows (but PLEASE CALL AHEAD):

    Saturday        OPEN 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Sunday           Closed

    Monday          Closed except by Special Request - see NOTEs below

    Tuesday         Closed except by Special Request - see NOTEs below

    Wednesday    Closed except by Special Request - see NOTEs below

    Thursday        Closed except by Special Request - see NOTEs below

    Friday             Closed except by Special Request - see NOTEs below
Please check back if this schedule ever changes. 
NOTE:  Because we are a volunteer organization with a limited staff, there are times when we have issues staffing the museum, so it's a good idea to email or call ahead if you are traveling a fair distance.

NOTE:  The museum is closed weekdays, except by special request (with reasonable notification.)   Please consider visiting on Saturdays between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.   If weekdays are your best time to visit, please contact the historical society to place your request.   Please give at least a week's-notice.  June, July and August are a bit more flexible, while after 3:00 p.m. works best during the other nine months.  Contacting the historical society is best done by email as we check that more regularly than voice mail.  Flexibility on your part is the key and there is no guarantee that we can fill your request.  If advance notification has been made and scheduled months in advance, please contact us by email again a week before to finalize your visit.




Parking is available on the street or in a parking lot/garage across the street.  Parking is now free on the street within a block in either direction from the museum.  Parking is metered in the parking lot/garage.



Donora Public Library


The Donora Public Library is one of our partners and is located just two blocks away.  In their History Room is a collection of microfilm from 1905 through the 1970's on newspapers related to Donora.  Please click on Donora Public Library for more information about their location and hours of operation.  On occasion we hold some of our presentations in the Community Room in the lower level to accommodate larger crowds.



Genealogy and Family History

The Donora Historical Society has limited genealogical and family history resources on hand.  We do NOT have the ability to translate any foreign language documents. 
If your ancestor graduated from Donora High School, we have yearbooks that date back to the 1920's.  If your ancestor was prominent or was a merchant in Donora, we may have a photo or an advertising piece.
We recommend these resources to continue your genealogical search:
NOTE:  Any hardcopy prints of any photos can be provided by us for a donation.


There are two restaurants, a pharmacy deli and a convenience store within walking distance:
    Anthony's Italiano - 1/2 block away - pizza and sandwiches
    Duke's Cafe - 1 block away - restaurant and bar - opens at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
    Union Pharmacy - just across Sixth Street - deli sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream and drinks
    Station - 2.5 blocks away - breakfast and coffee, soups and sandwiches, drinks and convenience

Please click on the Directions page and "Search Nearby" for more options.





There is one ATM within walking distance:

    Union Pharmacy - PNC Bank ATM - across the street - Sixth Street and McKean Avenue



Hotels and Guest Houses


There are five hotels and one guest house within close proximity to Donora:

    Hampton Inn - 1525 Broad Avenue Ext., Belle Vernon, PA 15012 at 724 - 929 - 6100 -- 3.5 miles away

    Holiday Inn Express - 181 Finley Road, Belle Vernon, PA 15012 at 877 - 786 - 9480 -- 3.5 miles away

    Comfort Inn- 4300 State Route 51, Belle Vernon, PA 15012 at 724 - 929 - 3177 -- 8 miles away

    Best Western Garden Inn - 101 Gosai Drive, Bentleyville, PA 15314 at 724 - 239 - 4321 -- 14 miles away

    Holiday Inn Express - 25 Smith Lane, Bentleyville, PA 15314 at 724 - 239 - 7700 -- 14 miles away