A friendly resource of information
encompassing parts of Westmoreland,
Fayette, and Somerset Counties in
Southwestern Pennsylvania

Chestnut Ridge Historical Society Inc. 1698 State Route 711, P.O. Box 242
Stahlstown, PA 15687
- Office: 724-593-3102

Join us at Our Monthly Meeting on the third Tuesday of each month, at 7pm!
Meeting Details
Past Events

Join Us on Facebook and see lots
of Excellent Photos of the Past!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

CRHS News!
...to keep you up to date!

*See our Sponsors

"if you have any old pictures or stories
about Idlewild,  please bring them
with you to our meeting"

Attention Members!

Attend our September 20th Meeting
(click here for meeting details)

Our speaker will be Jennifer Sopko, Writer  & Historian,
the author of Ligonier Valley Vignettes: Tales from the Laurel
, a series of historical vignettes about Pennsylvania’s
Ligonier Valley that was published by The History
 (http://jennifersopko.wordpress.com/), who will be
speaking about the long history of Idlewild Amusement Park.

Jennifer will welcome any stories that you may have to share!

As Always, the Public is Welcome to Attend!

Support the historical preservation of the Chestnut Ridge
by donating to the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society on the Westmoreland Day of Giving
on September 21, 2106. Donations between $25 and $1,000 will be matched
by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and its donors.
Donations are 100% tax deductible.

All donations must be made online by September 21, 2016
between 8:00am and 11:59pm in order to qualify for the match.
Only Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are accepted.

You can schedule your donation in advance starting today!

On September 21st go to http://www.westmorelandgives.org
Click on Donate Now


Annual "Day of Giving"

Wednesday - September 21, 2016

Please note – you are only able to donate one day
September 21st– from 8:00am to 11:59pm.

Click on this link to go to the official web site: www.westmorelandgives.org

Acme Community Day was on August 6th!

Was a Sucess in spite of the weather!
A Fun Day for All

Acme Community Day Flea Market

We did pretty well, thanks to all the donations...
 ...Just got a little wet......! 


Photo of the Ligonier Library Pennsylvania Room Group doing some research at our facility!

Does anyone have a FIRST EDITION
Chestnut Ridge Historical Society THROW
from many years ago?
The First Edition THROW portrayed
Brown's Store, Plank Road School,
County Line Church, Sparks Supply, etc.
Seeking Original Throw issued for sale by CRHS

CRHS is requesting that anyone who has
to please contact us. If those Original Version
CRHS Throws (now second-hand) would be
available to CRHS, it would be appreciated.
CRHS has had several requests
for second-hand throws.
Seeking Original Throw issued for sale by CRHS

James' Story Corner

...sharing Extraordinary Bits of History
of Local Families!

James G. Kunkle, Local Historian




Hello readers. No, this is not about the drag races in the 1960-1970’s down at Melcroft International. That is what we called the straight away from Saltlick Elementary to Mom’s Valley Inn. This might have been the origin of Drag Racing in Donegal after folks no longer had horse and buggy.

The time frame was mid 1960’s and the boys in Donegal conceived a sublime idea to take the soap box derby idea one giant step farther. Whether it was the cub scouts or the little rascals from Paul Shannon is beyond debate but the end result was the same,

One Summer day the boys in Donegal gathered at the playground with their childhood peddle cars, tricyles, scooters, red wagons but not bicycles. We were all too old to ride those ancient wheeled vehicles but that was the fun of it. It was the game we played with our sleds in the winter. It was silly but who cared.    

There was one particular hill on Fayette Street that started above Water Street near Tom Bulebush’s place. Someone would be the road guard on 711 to warn us if cars were coming. In those days not many cars passed through town. They made the turn and headed up past Mt. Zion. We would line up all those vehicles and barely could sit on them. All you really had to do was to steer. We put are legs up on the hood of the peddle cars and the ones with tricycles had to stick their legs out. Folks on wagons and scooters had a better time. The idea was to race down the hill and winner got bragging rights.

Someone would yell on your mark, get ready, set, and go. There was always someone who went early. There we were, 10 or 12 wild riders yelling and screaming and desperately trying to steer and hold on. Folks went in the ditch, up set in the Tar and only a few made it to the bottom. If a car did come on 711, the emergency escape was into the OK used car lot at Shaffer’s Garage. You did not want to smack into any of those cars or the sign posts. Someone got the brilliant idea (or one of the adults kindly told us to)  to move the race over one alley and ride down the from the Grange Hall. This proved to be more of a challenge since it was all grass. However it gave us all the opportunity to play bull dog and run the opposition into the weeds and bushes that filled the lot behind the Baptist Church. We didn’t have many of those races. Once all the kids got home with their husky blue jeans all grass stained and jaggers stuck in our shirts, we were lucky if we could walk down that hill sore butt or not. The hardest thing was getting that Tar off our bare feet and other extremities. I truly believe that the adults invented Summer Camp whether it was a Church Camp or Scout Camp, to fill the void between the end of school, bible school and the fair to end the races. I still remember that powder blue 1954 Ford peddle car that I knew, if given a chance, could beat  Blackie Watt and that ‘55 Chevy at Jennerstown. He had an 8 ball painted on his black car. I used a crayon and drew a J on my car. Had I known then, I could have invented racing decals.   

Chestnut Ridge Historical Society
Bus Trip on November 10th!

Only $100.00 per person (includes Tip for Bus Driver)

Day Trip to the American Music Theatre
in Lancaster County, PA!


Pick-up Times - Bus Leaves:

  • Peeble's Parking Lot in Mt. Pleasant at 7:45am
  • and the Donegal Community Center at 8:00AM
  • t stop at Sidling Hill on PA turnpike
  • On to Rockvale Outlet Mall in Lancaster for
    lunch on your own
  •  Winter Wonderland Show at  American Music Theater at  3:00PM
  • Dinner at Hershey Farms following show
  • Pit stop at Sidling Hill on way home.

Call for Reservations!

724-593-2497 - Reservations - Tom Dix
or 724-423-3802 - Gerry Marks
Checks made Payable to "Tom Dix"

Note: we are taking a
"waiting list", in case
of a cancellation.


Great Bus Trip!

We will be seeing the
stage production of
"Winter Wonderland" at the
American Music Theater.

Price includes Show, Dinner,
& Bus Fare.

Dinner will be at Hershey Farms.

Breakfast and lunch on your own
Note: we may have time to shop at
one of the outlets in Lancaster

All of this for only $100.00
(includes Tip for Bus Driver)

Payment is DUE no later
than OCTOBER 10th

  • Passengers from our last trip were so pleased that many of them have signed up for this trip already!

  • The bus is filling up fast, so call your reservation in to Tom at 724-593-2497  or Gerry at 724-423-3802
  • Payment may be mailed to Tom Dix,  3913 State Route 31, Jones Mills, PA 15646

Join Us on Facebook and see lots
of Excellent Photos of the Past!


New Members are always welcome! 
Sign up today so you don’t miss out on what is happening next at CRHS.

Click Here for a Membership Application to print, fill out, and send in with your membership dues.
Our Application is an "All-in-One Form" with instructions for Individuals, Couples or Businesses



Open Saturday: 10am to 2pm
Wednesday: 11:00am to 3:00pm

CRHS Cook Book
Only $10.00!

Our CRHS Cook Book
is now available
for only $10.00!

It is plum full of great recipes
from our members.
Pick up your copy at the center
on Wednesdays or Saturdays
at a cost of only $10.

These CookBooks make great gifts too.

Great Gift!
Give this Great Cookbook!

Thank all of you for your great response
regarding this great CRHS project!

CRHS Throw with
Historical Throw Companion Booklet

(Reg. $27.50) NOW Only $25.00
(Limited choice of colors)

Click to see enlarged image!

CRHS Throw with Historical Throw Companion Booklet: Softcover 31 page booklet containing
a brief history of the illustrations depicted
on the throw.

This beautiful heirloom throw was designed and commissioned by the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society. Woven with pride in the United States by Mill Creek Design from We Love Country Inc., the two-layered, 100 percent cotton Jacquard is color-fast and preshrunk. Measuring approximately 50 inches by 70 inches, the throw is fringed on all four sides and is machine washable.

The 14 illustrations provide but a brief glimpse of the historical richness of the area that we of the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society are dedicated to preserve.

Many Thanks to Our CRHS Business Members
who support our Chestnut Ridge Historical Society!

We appreciate your memberships and your offered resources.

Brady's Restaurant

Champion Lumber Company Inc.

Charles Z. Keslar Agency Inc.

Connie Dennison, Tax Preparer

David W. Sadler  Erie Insurance Agency

Donegal Auto Body

Donegal Dairy Queen

Foggy Mountain Lodge & Restaurant

Gearhart Electrical Contractors

Harbor Inn Restaurant

Highlands Heating Inc.

Jerry Temple Tire & Auto Services

King & Guiddy Law Office

Laurel Highland Total Communciation Inc.

Laurel Valley Hardware Inc.

Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic Inc.

Main Street Wine Bar

Old General Store

S&S Communications Service Inc.

Sarnelli's Corner Market

Shari Bukovac Bookeeping

Somerset Trust Bank

The Country Pie Shoppe

Whispering Pines Antiques


Of the 67 Counties of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
we maintain historical data for
part of the Southwestern Region

Our Sponsors help defray the cost of our web site!
Please support them! (all ads fees are Payable to: "CRHS")

You provide Ad copy and

we will create an

attractive Ad for you

at no extra charge!

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3.5" X 3.5" Size Ads

Only $80 per Year!

You provide Ad copy and

we will re-size it or re-design it

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at no extra charge!

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1.75" X 3.5" Size Ads

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Business Card

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Other Sizes of Ads

Available at a Variable Cost

(this example $100 per Year)

Our CRHS Newsletter,
"Down Memory Lane", is now available!
Newsletters are available at the Office, or if you
become a Member, then a Newsletter is mailed!

Our Mission
The Chestnut Ridge Historical Society is dedicated to
collecting and preserving the oral and written history and
artifacts of a portion of the Laurel Mountains that is
known as the Chestnut Ridge!

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