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By Jill Brown

Monessen Founders Day, a unique event of living history, sponsored by the Greater Monessen Historical Society, was held on August 16 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Monessen City Park.

 

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Front: Elmer Andrachuk; Ginny Fisfis; Daniel Zyglowicz; and Susanna Swade.Back row: Vito Beneccio; Dr. Matin Dudas; and Gary Strelick. All served food for the Monessen Heritage Museum in Monessen.

Founders Day this year celebrated Monessen's 116th anniversary. In 1894, Col. James M. Schoonmaker acquired the land on which Monessen stands, and William Henry Donner began construction on Monessen's first industry in 1897. The city of Monessen was created on September 3, 1898; the date they were granted a borough charter.

The day featured re-enactors from the 11th P.V.I. Co. K, Inc. and the 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry Co. F, with authentic Civil War camps showing a living history life during the War of the Rebellion. Soldier drills, firing of arms, children's activities, displays, food booths, and vendors were held.

Food booths included Mary Patrick's sweet potato pies and corn bread from Reborn Ministry; Greater Monessen Historical Society's hot dogs, kielbasa, haluski, and beverages; Painter's fresh-cut fries and pulled pork sandwiches; and Firemen's Ladies Auxiliary #1's cabbage rolls and baked potatoes.

At 4 p.m., an exciting jazz performance by Hot-Headed Mike and the Half-Baked Jazz Band was held at the new Monessen Amphitheater at the park.

This year, Founders Day also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Third Battle of Winchester, in which Col. Schoonmaker's calvary charge against the Confederate position received him the Congressional Medal of Honor.

For more information, you may contact the Greater Heritage Museum at 724-684-8460.

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