Tuesday, August 31, 2010
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I wanted to give an update of the Monongahela Oral History Project I initiated this past summer. So far with the help of a local newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, and this article posted here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_692011.html I was able to get roughly 10 people to tell their story. What is that story? The men and women who came forward share a background of working on the Monongahela River at the twilight of the steam era. These people had the opportunity to work on steamboats that pushed coal from Fairmont West Virginia to Pittsburgh, some of them even as far as New Orleans. This project is not over. I have not been able to able to attract the attention of the local newspapers, the Herald Standard or the Observer Reporter. I have written letters to the editor, and have not received a response. Many of these people who labored on the steamboats are in their late 80’s early 90’s in age. We must get to them so that we can understand their historic contribution to the growth of industry in the Mon Valley. If any of you reading this want to contribute, please contact the local papers and get them to listen! If you have a relative or know of anyone who worked on the boats in the Mon Valley during the period of steam, let me know. Together we can help save the past one person at a time.