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.
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.
There was some discussion last week on the Fayette County Historical Society’s excellent Facebook page about Uniontown’s centennial celebration. I knew we had relevant artifacts here in the PA Room, so I thought I’d look into the history of the event.
First, to clear something up: While lots were drawn for Beeson’s Town in 1776, our borough was not formally established until 1796. Hence, the 1896 Centennial.
We weren’t 20 years late for our own party. Phew.
Map of the original Beeson’s Town lots, printed in the July 4, 1896 edition of the Daily News Standard.
If you live in Fayette County, you likely heard about the railroad cars that derailed behind the courthouse last week. Happily, no one was injured and no hazardous materials were spilled. There were no disruptions at the library, though we did listen to the steady thrumming of an engine for a few days while part of the train idled nearby.
I often come across railroad and trolley accidents while working with the PA Room’s obituary index. Still, the deaths I see were usually caused by passenger error — a person attempted to hop onto a moving train and lost their grip, for instance, or they got hit while walking the tracks.
There is one local railroad catastrophe that has clung to my memory, however: the wreck of the Duquesne Limited.
The smoking car on the Pennsylvania Special, a train belonging to a rival of the B&O: the Pennsylvania Railroad. (Wikimedia Commons)