Community news for McKeesport, White Oak, Duquesne, North Versailles and beyond. © Tube City Community Media Inc.


Obituaries and Death Notices

A free service provided to all licensed area funeral professionals. Email



2-bedroom brick house for sale. $25,999.00.
$5,000 down payment.
Owner will hold note for one year.
Call 347-813-2804. Principal only!!!!

(paid ad 5/31/2024-6/14/2024)

To place your ad, email Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

Local Women Made Impact on World History

March 26, 2024 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: History, McKeesport and Region News

(Tube City Almanac photo illustration)

Since 1987, the United States has celebrated March as “Women’s History Month,” and the Mon-Yough area has plenty of local women who have made their own marks on world history.

Some of them have familiar names to local residents — Helen Richey’s name graces a baseball and softball field at Renziehausen Park. Some of them — like Olympian Swin Cash — are known around the world.

Many are less well-known, though no less important or fondly remembered.

Women’s History Month — which is now celebrated around the world — has its origins as “International Women’s Day,” celebrated on March 8. The day was created in 1910 to highlight the struggle for equal rights for women, including the right to vote.

Read More

JFK Statue Was Last Major Work of Famed Sculptor

November 23, 2023 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

© Tube City Community Media Inc., all rights reserved, except for archival images

McKeesport Mayor Andrew “Greeky” Jakomas (second from left) marks the spot of a new memorial for slain President John F. Kennedy, along with Councilmen Albert Elko, Robert Kaplan, Harold Blid, Harry P. Helmstadter and Sam Vidnovic. (McKeesport Daily News photo/Tube City Almanac collection)

(Tube City Almanac photo)

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy brought life to a halt across the United States. And McKeesport, like cities everywhere, acutely felt the grief.

Unlike many other communities, however, the Tube City’s civic leaders directed their pain into positive action. Before Kennedy’s funeral was complete, McKeesport Mayor Andrew “Greeky” Jakomas and leading citizens had launched a fund-raising drive to erect a statue of the slain president on Lysle Boulevard.

One year later — after raising the modern equivalent of $375,000 — McKeesport unveiled what was reportedly the world’s first statue of John F. Kennedy, along Lysle Boulevard, where it still stands today. It is also the last major work of world renowned artist Bryant Baker, who served as a sculptor of kings and presidents for a half-century.

Read More

Black Baseball Has Strong Connection to Region

February 10, 2021 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: History, Sports

The 1930-31 Homestead Grays, considered by baseball experts the best Negro Leagues team of all time. Five of the people in this photo — owner Cumberland Posey, pitcher “Smokey” Joe Williams, catcher Josh Gibson, center fielder Oscar Charleston and infielder Jud Wilson — are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Hank Aaron’s death on Feb. 5, during Black History Month, resonated with many baseball fans — especially those who remember the Negro major leagues, where Aaron began his professional career in 1951.

Other than Kansas City, perhaps no city has a stronger connection than Pittsburgh to baseball’s Negro major leagues, where Black athletes competed in the days before Major League Baseball was integrated.

The Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords — named after the Crawford Bath House in Pittsburgh’s Hill District — were cornerstones of the Negro National League, which was created in 1933 and lasted until 1948.

“Some of the greatest players to ever play in the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues once played right here in Pittsburgh,” said Dave Moore, museum director at the McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center.

Read More

Worst Christmas Movie Ever? Filmed in McKeesport

December 24, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

(This article originally appeared in Tube City Almanac on Dec. 22, 2008.)

Longtime friend, mentor and Alert Reader Clarke Ingram emailed me over the weekend. He's addicted to Turner Classic Movies --- and when it comes to addictions, that’s not a bad one to have.

If you ever watch TCM, you know that between the features, the network fills time with “short subjects” such as newsreels, “trailers,” and advertising and public domain films.

“So I’m sitting here watching a short film on TCM, entitled ‘A Visit to Santa (1963),’” Clarke writes. “I wasn’t paying much attention until I noticed Santa was on the Gateway Clipper. A few minutes later, he's on a Christmas float going past the Penn-McKee.”

A quick dash around the Internet tubes turned up a copy at the Internet Archive, where you can download your very own copy of “A Visit to Santa.” Some Internet critics call it, unkindly, “the worst Christmas film ever produced.”

Read More

What Would Have Been On Your Gift List?

December 08, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

What would have been on your Christmas or Hanukkah gift list in 1978?

This week 42 years ago, McKeesport-based G.C. Murphy Co. was offering a Radio Flyer wagon for $7.77, a Polaroid “One-Step” Instant Camera for $29.94, and boys’ jeans — in Murphy’s own “Big Murph” brand name — for $5.97.

The five-and-10 chain had more than 500 stores that year, including locations at 315 Fifth Ave. in Downtown, Olympia Shopping Center in Versailles, 559 Miller Ave. in Clairton, 108 South Second St. in Elizabeth and 129-131 East Main St. in West Newton.

More than 1,000 people worked at Murphy’s corporate headquarters, or “home office” on Fifth Avenue—part of the 500 block now targeted for demolition and redevelopment—and hundreds more were employed at Murphy’s giant distribution center, which stretched from 28th Avenue to 35th Avenue in Christy Park.

Read More

Radio Was Born in Mon Valley 100 Years Ago

November 02, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Editorial Cartoons, History

The Mon Valley — at least the Turtle Creek Valley portion of it — has a very real claim to being the “birthplace of commercial broadcasting.”

One hundred years ago tonight, on the roof of the Westinghouse Electric factory in East Pittsburgh (above), KDKA began operations as the world’s first commercially licensed radio station, broadcasting to the general public.

(That facility — visible from the George Westinghouse Bridge, which carries Route 30 from North Versailles Twp. to East Pittsburgh — is now RIDC’s Keystone Commons.)

KDKA (also, apparently, known for a short time as “8ZZ”) signed on Nov. 2, 1920, as part of an experimental nationwide hookup of radio stations that broadcast the returns of the presidential election between Republican Warren G. Harding and Democrat James Cox.

Radio stations had been licensed before 1920. But those stations were operated for limited audiences. Some, for instance, were operated by the military, or by companies sending and receiving messages between ships and shore. Others were operated by hobbyists — “amateurs,” or “hams.”

KDKA was the first station that was intended to be used by the general public to receive entertainment and news.  But it had its roots in one of those “hams” — an engineer from Wilkinsburg, Pa., named Frank Conrad, who worked in the Westinghouse factory in East Pittsburgh ... read on ...

Read More

‘Murf the Surf,’ One-Time City Resident
Turned Celebrity Thief, is Dead

September 15, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History, McKeesport and Region News

Jack Roland Murphy, better known as “Murf the Surf,” is shown here during a 2016 interview on the Christian Television Network program, “Homekeepers.” Murphy died Saturday in Florida at age 83. (Screenshot via YouTube)

One of McKeesport’s most notorious former residents — Jack Roland Murphy — has died in Florida at age 83.

Known as “Murf the Surf,” Murphy was born in California but lived in the city as a teen-ager and was a stand-out athlete and musician at McKeesport High School.

But it was after leaving Western Pennsylvania that Murphy achieved international infamy as a jewel thief — and murderer.

After spending 19 years in a Florida prison, Murphy was paroled and launched a ministry to jails and prisoners, becoming a frequent guest on Christian radio and television shows. He was the subject of a lengthy profile in Sports Illustrated this past May.

Read More

In McKeesport, 1920 Was a Gas

January 01, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

The last time McKeesport entered the “twenties,” the boom was on — the gas boom, that is.

In August 1919, two men, Samuel J. Brendel of West Newton and David Foster of McKeesport, began drilling a well near present-day Renziehausen Park on what Brendel later called “a hunch.”

Their well, in what was then called “Snake Hollow,” struck natural gas. A lot of it — 40 million to 60 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, at first.

By the end of 1919, the famous “McKeesport Gas Boom” had begun. From across the United States, people moved to McKeesport to get jobs drilling wells. Many more people bought shares of stock in hundreds of drilling companies — most of which would turn out to be worthless.

Read More

Throwback Thursday: That Good Gulf Gasoline

October 17, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History, White Oak News

(* — CORRECTION, NOT PERFECTION: This story was corrected after publication.)

This 90-year-old photo shows Allen Evans' Gulf gasoline station at the corner of Long Run Road and what was then known as "White Oak Level Road" — now Lincoln Way.

Although almost everything around the intersection has changed, the same curve is still present in Lincoln Way (below, in an image from Google Maps).

Scanned from the Allegheny County archives by the University of Pittsburgh Libraries for its "Historic Pittsburgh" archive, the image touches on a lot of the history of the McKeesport and White Oak areas.

The Evans family — for whom Evans Avenue is named — was prominent in the history of the McKeesport area.

Read More

How Mayor Lysle Became McKeesport’s Nine-Million-Dollar Man

August 19, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: History

© Tube City Community Media Inc., except where noted.

McKeesport Mayor George H. Lysle (left) in the Pittsburgh Bulletin-Index, Jerome Boulevard sign in 1949 (right) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

What’s in a name?

For McKeesport, 80 years ago this week, it was nine million Depression-era dollars.

In August 1939, the federal government gave Allegheny County and McKeesport officials an ultimatum — either remove the name of Mayor George H. Lysle from Lysle Boulevard, or repay $9 million in infrastructure loans and grants.

Not surprisingly, the money won out, and McKeesport City Council voted on Aug. 16, 1939, to rename “Lysle Boulevard” as “Jerome Boulevard.”

It remained that way until Lysle died in 1947 — though it was a few years before the “Lysle Boulevard” signs went back up.

Read More

Google™ Custom Search

You can review our privacy policy here.

WMCK.FM Tube City Online Radio

Listen to the new sound of the Mon Valley ... WMCK.FM!

Powered by PivotX. Hosted by Skymagik Internet Services, McMurray, Pa. Union made, labor donated: National Writers' Union, Local 1981, UAW-AFL-CIO.

Member, Local Independent Online Publishers

Find our podcast on Google Play:

Listen on Google Play Music