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Monday, December 20, 2010

A Review of Some of the Best of Canonsburg Friends 2010 


video



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Canonsburg Voted Unanimously Monday night


Post-gazette NOW

Council brings back creche
Canonsburg allows display on borough, but with conditions
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Canonsburg borough council voted unanimously Monday night to allow a creche back on borough property after a resident's complaint prompted the borough manager to move the display down the street.
But the decision comes with a catch: If the borough is going to make room for the three kings and baby Jesus, it has to make room for candy canes, snowflakes, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and other secular holiday symbols for it to be considered "an acceptable holiday display," since past court cases have allowed creches in the presence of other holiday symbols.
About 30 residents attended the meeting and responded with ecstatic applause following the vote. All who spoke supported moving the creche back on the borough building's front lawn. When council President Joe Milioto asked if anyone in the audience disagreed, nobody responded.
"We didn't have any room for Jesus 2,000 years ago," said Councilman George Coleman Jr. "We do now in the people's yard."
Terry Hazlett, the borough manager, said he asked the Knights of Columbus to move the display off public property after resident Megan Hartley wrote a letter to the borough complaining the display was "disrespectful" to the community's non-Christian believers. Mr. Hazlett consulted with borough solicitor Pat Derrico, who advised that the display could prompt a lawsuit that the borough would likely lose.
The scenario has precedence locally. In 1989, in the case of County of Allegheny v. ACLU, the Supreme Court ruled that a nativity scene on the steps of the County Courthouse violated the First Amendment.
Mr. Derrico said the decision to allow the creche as long as there were secular holiday symbols would give the borough a line of defense in case there was a lawsuit filed.
The borough also would allow other groups to petition to display on the lawn, as long as the displays were "within reason" and did not desecrate any symbol on the lawn.
Residents and former residents who spoke during Monday night's meeting urged the borough to reinstate the creche, even if it brought a lawsuit.
"You can't have fear and God," said Victoria Scoumis, a Canonsburg native who lives in North Strabane. She said the borough should be willing to take on the challenge if its sued.
She said the borough should keep the creche in a tribute to the Christians who helped build the community. "Are you going to worry about money or are you going to think about the blessings of Canonsburg?"
Bradley Tupi, a Pittsburgh attorney who volunteers with the Alliance Defense Fund, said municipalities end up impinging on religious expression out of fear of lawsuits.
"What many municipal officials find themselves doing is squelching religious expression because they're afraid ...," he said. "You gotta fight."
Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2533.

First published on December 14, 2010 at 12:00 am


Monday, December 13, 2010

High Wheelers - The First Machines to be called 'Bicycles"


Penny-farthinghigh wheelhigh wheeler, and ordinary are all terms used to describe a type of bicycle with a large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel that was popular after the boneshaker, until the development of the safety bicycle, in the 1880s.[1] They were the first machines to be called 'bicycles'.[2]
Boneshaker (or "bone-shaker"), a name used from about 1869 was used to refer to this first type of high wheel bicycle with pedals. "Boneshaker" refers to the extremely uncomfortable ride, which was caused by the stiff wrought-iron frame and wooden wheels surrounded by tires made of iron.
High Wheeler                                  Safety Bike


Although they are now most commonly known as 'penny-farthings', this term was probably not used until they were nearly outdated; the first recorded print reference is 1891 in Bicycling News.[3] It comes from the British penny and farthing coins, one much larger than the other, so that the side view resembles a penny leading a farthing.[4] For most of their reign they were simply known as "bicycles". In the late 1890s theretronym 'ordinary' began to be used, to distinguish them from the emerging safety bicycles[5] and this term or Hi-wheel (and variants) is preferred by many modern enthusiasts.[6][7]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Card and Wish


From: Al Moze



Please click on Merry Christmas below

This is too cute!!!!!!!  



Illustration from Caldwell's Atlas of Washington County, 1876

This illustration is of a view near the NE corner of Pike Street and Central Avenue.  
It shows a train going toward Pittsburgh. The large building is the milling company, located where the Law and Finance Building now stands.
1876 Illustration. from Caldwell's Atlas of Wash. Co., 
The following email dialog relates to the illustration

Sent:  Dec. 09, 2010 

Jim, a few questions:
In this illustration, would the train be crossing Central Ave, heading East?  Yes

What, where, was the the Law and Finance Building?  The mill was where the Law and Finance Building is, on the corner of Central and West Water Street.  The Milling Company in our time was south of this building, where a grain elevator was built along the railroad, which came through nearly a century after the mill was built.

Would the dapper Gent leaning again the rail be located on Pike Street near what was the "Richie Diamond" area?  
I  believe so.  The hotel that was on the southwest corner of Pike and Central (replaced by the Citizens Trust Building) doesn't show.  The hitching post would have been on the north side of Pike Street, if it existed at all.  It may have been artistic license.  The building that preceded the Morgan Building doesn't show, probably because it interfered with the view of the mill and the railroad.  The covered bridge actually was a lot bigger.
  
From some past reading, I seem to recall that around the same time of this illustration there existed an Inn/Saloon facing the hitching posts and our standing gentleman. Any recollection? 
The timing of the inn where the Morgan Building stands (if there was one) is hazy.  I'll work on the chronology when I do that side of Pike Street next year.  The problem is location in the time before street numbers.  Newspaper references in the 1800s usually don't give locations because everybody knew where things were.
There was an inn (Emery's, then Irons') that was a stagecoach stop on the Pittsburgh-Washington Turnpike that would have been behind the gent.  I'll be working on its chronology in the next few months.  The brick building was still there until it was torn down to build the Mellon (now Citizens') Bank.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Canonsburg - with 115 Trains a Day - Definitely needed a Watchman!


The watchman at the Central Avenue railroad crossing, Ernest Smith, reported that 115 trains—"passenger, coal and shifting trains"—had crossed on a Thursday in April 1902.




And what a grand view... looking North up Central Avenue toward Pike Street and of the beautiful tree lined Avenue climbing above Pike Street. 
And what a grand time... it must have been, nary an automobile to be seen, only horse drawn buggies,  wagons and of course bicycles.
Also note, although faint... the worn serpentine wagon path(to lessen the grade) going up the hill above Pike Street. (April 1902).

Canonsburg - circa 1960

A view looking west on Pike Street 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Harold J. Cypher - Friend and CHS Classmate Passes

Harold J. Cypher
"And the hunter home from the hill"
Harold J. (Hal) Cypher, 70, of North Strabane Township, went to be with his Lord and Savior Saturday, December 4, 2010, following a two-year fight with cancer.
He was a dedicated Christian and a faithful member of Peters Creek Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Cypher was born October 31, 1940, in Canonsburg, a son of John McAnallen and Dorothy Guthrie Cypher.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 51 years, Patricia Ann Kereki Cypher; a daughter, Suzanne Cypher of North Strabane Township; a son, Harold John Cypher Jr. of Canonsburg; granddaughters Cheri Cypher and Kristin Cypher; and grandsons Brandon Cypher and Logan Cypher.
He was a graduate of Canonsburg High School and of Washington & Jefferson College.
Mr. Cypher was retired from Cooper Power Systems and was self-employed as a tax accountant for more than 20 years, until 2006. At the time of his death, he was serving as a full-time staff member at Peters Creek Presbyterian Church.
He served as a petty officer second class in the U.S. Navy amphibious forces, first aboard the USS Krishna and later the USS Plymouth Rock. In addition to being deployed during the 1961 Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Crisis, his ship served as a tracking and capsule recovery vessel for the Project Mercury phase of the space program and also was assigned as the security vessel for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her Mediterranean tour.
Mr. Cypher was active in local veteran organizations and was a past commander of American Legion Post 902 and financial officer of AMVETS Post 911. He was especially proud of having a role in restoring and maintaining the Civil War veterans’ section at Oak Spring Cemetery, the establishment of the veterans memorial in North Strabane Township, renovation of the World War I “doughboy” monument in Canonsburg and establishment of the Washington County Veterans website.
He also was a founding member of The Greater Canonsburg Heritage Society, where he served as the society treasurer for many years and was honored to have been a part of the committee that planned and established the Perry Como memorial and statue in downtown Canonsburg.
Mr. Cypher was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. These were pursuits he shared with his son and grandsons, as well as the old companions of his youth. A member of Canonsburg Sportsmen Association, he also was a past financial officer. He treasured the hours spent along streams, afield or in the forest, and his was a lifelong love of nature, wildlife and woodcraft. His home was always graced by an assortment of dogs and cats, and he will be especially missed by his big tabby cat, Lil Bit, who was his faithful and constant companion and friend during his illness. A student of local and colonial American history, he was a member of The Colonial Williamsburg Society and Bushy Run Battlefield Association, an original member of Trent’s Virginia Provincial Company of French and Indian War reenactors, Jefferson College Historical Society, Washington County Historical Society and The Company of Military Historians. He loved building and using the flintlock firearms and accoutrements of the 18th century. His interest in colonial history also was reflected in the happy hours spent in his garden, where he loved experimenting with colonial-era plants and vegetables, in his cluttered workshop, where he reproduced all sorts of colonial period items, and in his equally cluttered study, from which he had authored and published numerous articles on historical subjects.
A favorite quote, by Robert Louis Stevenson: “Home is the sailor, home from the sea/And the hunter home from the hill.”
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Beinhauer-Bogan Funeral Home, 164 West Pike Street, Canonsburg, 724-745-5810. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 8, in Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church, 250 Brookwood Road, Venetia, with the Rev. Jeff Such officiating. At the request of the family, interment will be private.
At the request of the deceased, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hillman Cancer Center, 5115 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, or Peters Creek Presbyterian Church, Harold Cypher Memorial Fund, 250 Brookwood Road, Venetia, PA 15367. 
Please add tributes at www.beinhauer.com.
***