Valley could shine bright with lighthouses - Mon Valley Independent (2024)

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Latest News, Main

July 2, 2024

IT’S ETCHED IN STONE

Editor’s note: For the next few weeks, Ralph Stone will be writing about an imaginary family from Omaha, Neb., touring an imaginary version of the Mon Valley on a summer vacation. We’re publishing this week’s column today due to the July 4 holiday.

Last week’s journey found the Higgins family visiting the Monessen ethnic villages and crossing over the bridges that had been brightly lit for the holidays, leaving glimmering reflections upon the water.

Each Mon Valley community also had a special lighthouse to designate its own contributions making up the overall wonders of the marvelous Mon.

This lighthouse idea originated as a brainchild of Nikki Sheppick, a stalwart member and officer of the Charleroi Historical Society several decades ago.

Her vision was that each town or borough along the Mid-Mon Valley would have its own lighthouse representing its own specialties. Now, near the midpoint of the 21st century, her dream has become a reality.

The Charleroi lighthouse emphasizes the town’s history in the glass industry and marked the Cougar borough as the Magic City of the month.

Across the river sits the Belle Vernon/Rostraver Township lighthouse, emphasizing the Belle Vernon shoreline as a Fisherman’s Wharf. Once cleaned up and stocked with a variety of game fish, that shoreline has become an ideal spot for both vacationers and anglers to cast their lines in hopes of a plentiful catch.

In fact, the Higgins family decided to test their own skills one morning and walked away with a half dozen trout, which they grilled at their Twilight Valley Campgrounds.

Still another feature of the Belle Vernon lighthouse was a display depicting the revamped shopping areas that were found in the outlying Township of Rostraver.

Those redesignated areas disclaimed national franchises and opted for the quainter and more personal locally owned shops, restaurants, movie houses and theaters.

Still another outstanding offering to the magic of the marvelous Mon was found on a portion of Broad Avenue in North Belle Vernon where a section of the street is spotted as an actual 1940/’50s style village. It all began 30 some years earlier when a forward-looking Belle Vernon native, Melanie Stringhill, purchased the house on that same street and converted it into a replica of the 1950s. From Melanie’s original idea an entire village emerged where many curious minded visitors including the Higgins chose to visit.

Further up that same shoreline you arrived at Monessen, which of course displayed its role as a true melting pot with its ethnic villages. In addition, the Greyhound lighthouse also supported the significant role that the steel industry played in their colorful past.

A bit upstream we come to the Monongahela lighthouse. Monongahela, the oldest of the Mid-Mon sites, prides itself as a center of American history emphasizing its role in the early American Whiskey Rebellion.

With the Fourth of July and Monessen’s 125th birthday party all taking place during the Higgins’ vacation, the entire family decided to celebrate July 4 at the spacious and picturesque booths set up alongside the Monongahela Aquatorium. The dazzling fireworks which were set off over the river were undoubtedly the finest display Sally and Danny Higgins had ever seen! Prior to the very colorful fireworks, a local drama team enacted scenes from Monongahela’s eventful past, which included the role they played in the American Whiskey Rebellion.

It was fabulous that the Higgins’ children were gaining a history lesson while the most dramatic fireworks were blasting off over their heads.

Following their tour of Monongahela’s Chess Park and the colonial homes that dotted the streets of this early American village, the Higgins decided to venture upstream to Donora, the Home of Champions, and the birthplace of the Clean Air Act, which will be covered in next week’s story.

After all, “It’s Etched in Stone.”

Columnist Ralph E. Stone is a Monessen High School Class of 1951 graduate, has degrees from both California and Indiana Universities of Pennsylvania. A retired educator for 32 years, he served as a classroom teacher, a guidance counselor and a social school worker. In addition to his two published books he has written a stop smoking program titled GASP, “God Answers Smokers Prayers” and “Bible Border Notes,” which takes at least one verse from the scriptures of the 1,188 chapters of the Bible and relates them to the circ*mstances of today’s world. He resides in North Charleroi with his wife Marilynne. He is available for speaking engagements for church groups and social organizations by phoning him at 724-483-2132.

Valley could shine bright with lighthouses - Mon Valley Independent (4)

Main

Family, friends gather in Monessen to remember Anthony Madison Sr.

By&nbspSARAH PELLIS&nbsp

July 7, 2024

He was one of 13 members of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment who were killed in a 1991 missile attack. Friends and family gathered Saturday at Anthony Eric Madison Sr. Veterans Memorial Park in Mones...

Valley could shine bright with lighthouses - Mon Valley Independent (5)

Main

Pa.’s elder abuse investigations moving slowly

By&nbspBy ANGELA COULOUMBIS Spotlight PA&nbsp

July 7, 2024

Spotlight PA conducted a months-long probe into woefully slow investigations of allegations of abuse and neglect involving older adults. In Pennsylvania, county-level agencies investigate allegations ...

Main

The Mon Valley Independent is published daily (255 times a year) by MID MON VALLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY LLC

July 7, 2024

The Mon Valley Independent is published daily (255 times a year) by MID MON VALLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY LLC, 1719 Grand Blvd., Monessen, PA 15062. Home delivery price is $216.00 per year. Single Copy is...

Main

TUESDAY

July 7, 2024

Don’t miss the latest from White Oak and Forward Township in Tuesday’s Mon Valley Independent.

Valley could shine bright with lighthouses - Mon Valley Independent (6)

Main

House passes Pisciottano’s antitrust bill

By&nbspMICHAEL RICHTER, mrichter@yourmvi.com&nbsp

July 7, 2024

The Open Markets Act would bring antitrust protection to Pennsylvania for the first time. A bill authored by state Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-West Mifflin, that would establish an antitrust law in Penns...

Main

MVAA looking for volunteers, teachers

By&nbspTAYLOR BROWN, Senior Reporter&nbsp

July 7, 2024

The organization is expanding the programs it offers throughout the Valley. Volunteers and instructors are needed to help as the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts continues to expand its programs. The M...

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Contact Information
The Mon Valley Independent
monvalleyindependent.com
1719 Grand Bouleveard
Monessen, PA 15062
Phone: 724-314-0030

Staff Directory
Stacy Wolford Managing Editor
724-314-0019 swolford@yourmvi.com
Jeremy Sellew Sport Editor
724-314-0040 jsellew@yourmvi.com

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Staff Directory
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Valley could shine bright with lighthouses - Mon Valley Independent (2024)
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