A Look Back At The Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad

Join the Export Historical Society on March 24’th as we take a look at the old railroad running between Trafford and Export. This is the current route of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail. We will be watching a 50 minute documentary on the railroad shot in 1991. This would be appealing to both railfans as well as avid users of the trail. We will also be joined by the guys that used to run the railroad. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about the history of the trail and also see how much things have changed since 1991 along the corridor.

March 24, 2024 – Export Train Station – 2-5 PM

 

International Interest, A Request by Paffumi E.

Dear Mr Carnley,

I am sorry to disturb you. I am not sure you are the right person to contact for this.

I tried to look for an email address or phone number for contacting the town hall of Export, but I could not find any information, just this site.

I explain you better. I am looking for my grand-grand father information, expecially a record on his death , in Export. He came to Export ,Pa, on 1914 and when supposed to come back to Italy on October 1917 he never did. They said he died. I supposed his death is registered in the town hall.
My grandmother (97 years old) never met his father. So, it would be nice if I can find some information on him, like , the mine were he was working at or death certificate etc.

I thank you very much for you attention and I am sorry to have contacted you for this.
If you have any number or link to the town city hall, I will be very please about.

Many thanks in advance
Best regards
Paffumi E.

Obviously we will have to get more info and research this but hopefully this will turn into a wonderful story if any record concerning her great-grandfather could be uncovered.

Export Memories by Alice Sobczak

John, my brothers and sister and I all attended Export school, grades 1-12. Anyone who scoffs at the fact that Export was such a small school, I say shame on you. Maybe I didn’t think so at the time, but we had some of the best teachers, and most of them lived here in the town where they taught. Those teachers who lived in Export were: Miss Humes, Mrs. Bundy, Mrs. Wushinski, Mrs. Diffenderfer, Mr. Onder, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Kovacic, Mrs. Polk, Mr. McHail, Mrs. McHail, Mr. Lemmon, Miss Stepanek, Mrs. Godwin, Mr. Merrich, and Mrs Farough. And who could forget our janitor, Mr. Kendrella. Some of these teachers who taught us, were the same ones that taught our parents and later some of our children.

As teenagers it seems we always found someplace to be in Export. If we weren’t at home or at school, you could find us at Costell’s (Harry and Zelpha’s),

Schell’s (ma and pa), or Ginny’s. They put up with us being there even if we didn’t buy anything and we rarely did. Well maybe a Pepsi. Many of us young women worked at these establishments, including myself, giving us some spending money at a time when money was scarce.

We didn’t have home mail delivery back then, everyone walked to the Post office at the end of East main street to pick up the mail. Our box number was 732. Next to the P.O. was Mike’s Barber Shop and there were several barber shops in town, and Betty’s Beauty Shoppe for the ladies. We had many grocery stores; The A&P, Clover Farm Stores, Bachman’s, The American Store, Coopers, Henry’s, Lapcevic’s grocery and Berkewicz’s. And the one place that drew the children was McHugh’s Variety Store or as we called it Happ’s (Andy McHugh.) Thinking back, he was the most patient man I knew. When we came into buy penny candy with our pennies we would say, “I’ll take one of those and one of these, and no, I mean one of those over there, he would wait patiently until we decided on our final choices and put it in the little brown bag.

We had 1 dentist, Dr. Hamilton, I recall the steepest pair of stairs I had ever seen in my life as a little girl, climbing to my fate at the top. We had 2 doctors; Dr. Dixon and Dr. Krick. Next door was Wigle’s Rexall Drug Store and in between was Stanley the Florist.

The main entertainment in town was “The Ritz” movie theatre owned and operated by Mary and Joe. Most of us remember dish night when we went to the movies with our Mom and was given a free dish. Our clothing and shoe store was The Hub Store or Cohen’s and it was there as far back as I can remember. If you needed and appliance or T.V. you would stop by to see Mr. Duff at Duff’s appliance store or Ted Lattanzio at his store. If you were in need of a new or used car Watson’s or Fisher Pontiac was there to serve your needs.

There was Gray’s Hardware Store and Altman’s cash feed store and “John the Picture man”, Sartoris Photography Studio. Later the Moose Club opened a bowling alley which provided entertainment for our town and some of the surrounding areas. I don’t want to fail and mention that there were many bars and clubs in Export, I’m not sure I can name them all.  Our churches included St.Mary’s Catholic Church and the 1st Presbyterian Church of Export along with the Greek Orthodox Church in the eastern side of town. There were several auto repair shops, 2 dry cleaners, 2 shoe repair shops, and The First National Bank of Export……and well we had it all……

Many things, very important things happened before my time in Export and you can see how the little town thrived with so many hard working people living there. Many things have changed since I lived there, but the one thing that remains the same is the fond memories I hold in my heart for this small coal mining town, in western Pennsylvania “where everybody knows your name”. Happy 100th Birthday Export, Pennsylvania.

These recollections were from the 1950’s.

Export PA Baseball Team

Export Baseball Team Post WWI

We are glad you are here to learn about the history and heritage of our Export community.  Perhaps you can be a contributor.
 

Can you help identify any of these players or shed more light on the nature of Export’s baseball team.

Submitted by Bill McHugh:  He knows that the man in the 2nd row on the right below the coach was his grandfather William McHugh.

The coach was Jim Schirey.  The picture is believed to be from around 1929.  If you have infor on this please contact us and we will update this page.

Export Pa Team

Johnny Onder’s Export Panthers Cinderella Team

Photo: Front row: Louie Zaremba, Bobby Cain, Nick Orlic, Nick “Mops” Manovich, John Coffin, Tommy Frescura. Back row: Mr John Onder, Isador Slongo, Pete “Bunny” Fisher, Ronnie Beltz, Eddie Warzitski.

I remember Tommy Lapcevic pouring in many shots from the corner, which would have been 3 pointers today. Export’s tallest player, Billy Stevicks at 6’3″ had a tough night defending Etna’s Center at 6’10”. Even so, the game was tied after regulation, as well as after the first overtime. We lost by 1 point in double overtime after Stevicks was fouled while shooting. He made his first free throw. I can still see the second roll around the rim and fall out. The next morning as I was walking by, there were only two people in the gym. I saw coach Onder under the basket by the stage, and Stevicks at the foul line. He shot two foul shots and swished them both. As the second shot dropped to the floor, Onder was laughing while Stevicks kicked the ball all the way up to the ceiling.
 
It was an amazing season when you consider that technically our small school should have only been playing in WPIAL Class C or D.  Instead the school’s history and skill levels (Nickie Orlik, Mops Manovich, etc.) put Export up into Class B. That cinderella year, Export could only dress maybe 7 players on the team. If they got into foul trouble, they had to play with 4. As I recall, Onder used “Billo” Gerlosky as an enforcer. When he went in, some of the other teams’ players seemed to experience bad luck.
 
I wish I could remember the team’s record that season and the actual year. I do remember dark bus rides, singing on the way to places like Apollo, and deafening, screaming home games in our small gym. My ears were still ringing as I tried to sleep those nights. The only smaller gym was Edgewood. It was like playing in a shoebox.
 
So, Etna made it to the Class B Championship Game instead of Export. I heard that hey were slaughtered. I’m not sure if they lost to Farrell or Midland. I think it was Midland. Any team would have faced the same fate at the hands of the Midland Leopards. Midland was a legendary powerhouse that had an unstoppable fast break offense. Rumor had it that their coach made the team practice with heavy Engineer’s boots (remember that term?) all year, so that those boys would fly during a game.
 
But what a season, and what a team! Those of us aspiring to play someday on that red composite floor in Export’s gym, idolized those players. I made JV in 9th grade, inheriting Hank Shawley’s uniform #13. The top would flap in the breeze when I tried to run. My mother stitched it up to my armpits on both sides. Probably wouldn’t have to now. Then the unthinkable happened when I went to 10th grade. Export merged with our archrivals, Franklin! We hated Franklin. They were cake eaters from Murrysville. Some thought that both schools, powerhouses individually, would merge to be a contender. Oh Yeah? No varsity player from either former school would pass the ball to the other. Half way through the season, after trying everything including tears, coach Kelly gave up and benched the varsity, playing us JV’s the rest of the year. That decision ensured our perfect record. We went 0 – 22 that year, and the coach was hung in effigy. But that’s another story…
 
I hope to see you at the Centennial,
-Milo Wuslich
PO Box 152 (when Yolanda Supancic and Bill Gale ran the Post Office)
Phone # 25R3 (on the same party line as the Revolts and Polks)
First Coal Exported Export PA

Export Stories Needed

We are going to need your input!  We are looking for stories from Export’s past.  If you have old news articles or just family recollections, let us know about them so we can include them in a blog type format.  As the stories build we can list the archives and make them searchable.  However, it won’t work if we don’t get participation.  So contact your relatives and gather your materials.  Send them to Export.Borough@gmail.com