Remember When: 1911
In the news this week 108 years ago:
- This week’s front-page story was the Emergency Aid Association of the Sewickley Valley Hospital’s elaborate benefit event planned for the evenings of Feb. 7 and 8. The“Dickens Carnival” would feature more than 100 Valley residents re-creating scenes from some of Charles Dickens’ greatest works, including “Bleak House” and “David Copperfield.” The Herald reported that “the management will accept nothing unless it is in strict accordance with illustrations showing the costumes of the period,” and since such a large number of costumes were needed, many were coming from as far away as Philadelphia and New York, though many were found close to home:“Gowns worn by their grandmothers, wedding dresses of their mothers’ rare old laces and odd designs of bonnets for the women, with less in variety for the men in queer old ‘top hats’, blue coats with brass buttons, ‘spats’ and tight-fitting trousers are but a few of what has been unearthed for the occasion.” Special train schedules were arranged to and from Pittsburgh — both Union Station downtown and Allegheny Station on the North Side — to allow more people to attend.
- The Herald published a long-form narrative, “The Adventures of a Pioneer,” about the experiences of John Anderson, a Leetsdale native and cousin of Colonel Samuel Cody. (Cody was the pseudonym of Samuel F. Cowdery, an early innovator in the field of manned flight.) Anderson headed west to seek his fortune during the California Gold Rush, eventually returning home through Panama. He then went on to become a river boat pilot and later served the Union during the Civil War aboard the USS Cumberland and USS Tennessee.
- Sewickley council was soliciting opinions from the community on the proposed annexation of all Allegheny County boroughs into the city of Pittsburgh. The last two stanzas of an original poem denouncing the idea, titled “Will Money Rule?” submitted by a Herald reader, read:
“What they did to the city/In spite of nature’s bounty
They’d also do to the boroughs/And drive us out the county.
We ask our legislature/ to stand up for the right,
spite of money boomers raised /to carry on their fight.”
Melanie Linn Gutowski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.