Historical society to highlight Scottdale stories

Scottdale has stories to tell, and the historical society wants to hear as many of them as possible.

A new program, Scottdale Stories, kicks off from 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 14 at the Loucks Homestead in Scottdale.

The first of the series will focus on World War II.

“We’re looking to the community for what it was like here,” Scottdale Historical Society president Tom Zwierzelewski. “How did people exist then?”

The event will allow for people to share family stories of Scottdale during wartime, as well as any veterans who would be willing to share what it was like on the warfront.

“We want to try to capture those stories,” Zwierzelewski said. Some, he said, may even be recorded and used to supplement a traveling World War II exhibit coming to West Overton in 2019. “It can be a tool for future generations.”

Already, Zwierzelewski has heard stories from those who lived in Scottdale during World War II.

One person shared a story of being an Air Raid Warnings runner who would go through town making sure lights were out.

“There were concerns about ships and how long of a reach they had,” Zwierzelewski said.

Another told a story of standing in line with her mother, ration stamps in hand for food, Zwierzeleski said, while another told about lead drives where children would collect used lead toothpaste tubes to be reused for the war effort.

Others in Scottdale would head to the canteen in Connellsville when the trains came through, just to serve coffee and donuts.

“Families here gave up luxuries and such to make sure things were there for the soldiers,” Zwierzelweski said. “We would like to share the stories when the exhibit comes through next year.”

Moving forward, the program won’t just be about World War II. The historical society is working on other upcoming topics as well, including a blast that occurred when surplus dynamite in a shed was hit by a stray gunshot.

“They felt the blast in Mt. Pleasant,” Zwierzelweski said.

The event is free to attend and light refreshments will be served.

Attendees are encouraged to bring ration books, photos and other items to aid in discussion.

Guest historian Tristan Williams, a PhD student at West Virginia University, will give a brief talk to begin the pro-

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