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(White Oak Park photo courtesy Allegheny County Parks Foundation)
The communities that now include White Oak, East McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., Wilmerding, Wall, South Versailles Twp., Versailles and much of McKeesport were part of one large township until the 1800s.
"Versailles Twp." was one of seven original communities created when Allegheny County was formed in 1788, and stretched from the mouth of Turtle Creek, down the south bank of the Monongahela River to the Youghiogheny River.
Over the years, though, as white settlers moved into the region and established towns and industries, communities were carved away from Versailles Twp., beginning with the "borough" (not city) of McKeesport in 1842 and continuing until 1948, when the remaining seven square miles of Versailles Twp. became White Oak Borough.
Local authors (and brothers) Frank Kordalski Jr. and Mike Kordalski have written a book called Old Versailles Township. They were our guests last week on "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes." We asked them how they became interested in the subject, and about some of the colorful events and places that shaped more than 200 years of history.
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ADVERTISEMENT: Support for "Two Rivers, 30 Minutes" comes in part from the McKeesport Hospital Foundation. Since 1976, the foundation has addressed key concerns that affect our good health, as well as our education, social needs, recreation, and safety and security. The foundation partners with UPMC McKeesport and other agencies to eliminate barriers to all services for all residents of the Mon Valley. Visit www.mckhospitalfoundation.com, or call (412) 664-2590.
Originally published September 11, 2015.