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In the coming weeks, the content on this site will be migrating to the Pennsylvania Room’s section on the Uniontown Public Library’s new website. When the shift is complete, this blog will be closed.
See you soon on the new site!
Fayette County has always had a rich sports history. If one were to visit the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame located here in the Uniontown Library they would learn about the varied accomplishments by many talented men and women. Basketball, in particular, has been a powerhouse sport in the area.
Being alumni of Uniontown High School, my first thoughts are to the glory years of UHS basketball, teams like the 1962, 1964,and 1981 Uniontown men’s teams. The alumni of Laurel Highlands probably remember the 1968 men’s team, while those from Geibel reminisce about the 1978 men’s team or the 1993-1996 women’s dynasty teams. However, long before all of these great teams there was the one that started it all. The 1925 Uniontown men’s basketball team was the first to inspire and unite the area with its dominance on the court.
On the last day of May 2014, I took a day off to travel to Johnstown with my sister. After a brief stroll through the Grandview Cemetery — no roadtrip with me is complete without a stop at a graveyard — we rode the incline down to the city. We spent hours wandering around, visiting museums and admiring the architecture, all beneath a flawless blue sky.
It was mid-afternoon before we ascended on the incline again and took a seat on the observation deck. We enjoyed some ice cream, and then we approached the railing to look out over the city. I’d wanted to come all the way from Fayette County just for this moment.
At 4:07 PM, the bells of several different churches began to ring in the valley below.
The cacophonous sound marked the 125th anniversary of the moment when a wall of water from the broken South Fork Dam struck the city of Johnstown. The flood killed 2,209 people and is still the deadliest in U.S. history.
Today, I wanted to share some photos of Johnstown, along with some special historical items from the PA Room. Let’s start where my visit began: the beautiful Grandview Cemetery.
Unknown burials at Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown, PA.
The monument in front bears the inscription, “In Memory of the Unidentified Dead from the Flood May 31, 1889.”
A few weeks ago we received this photograph of a World War I soldier. The donor didn’t have any details on the man, but among the spare copies of the picture, they found a name: Pasquale Cimaglia.
. . . Yes, that was the sound of me breathing a sigh of relief! Unidentified photographs make me sad. I always feel like the person in the picture has been cut adrift; it makes me wonder who they were and what their story was.
But give me a name and I’m off to the races.
Pennsylvania Room volunteer Paul Davis spotted this story in the Daily News Standard while seeking an obituary. Hell hath no fury, right?
Daily News Standard, September 25, 1906.