Local Facts and Trivia
Aerial photos of Youngstown are available at the Mahoning County Soil and Water Conservation District at 850 Industrial Rd., Youngstown, OH 44509. The phone number is (330) 740-7995. They have photos from 1938, 1959, 1965, 1972, 1981, 1994 and 2000. They will make copies either free or for a small fee. (This information provided by the District as of June 2002.)
Aerial photos of Mahoning and Trumbull Counties are available at the offices of Eastgate Regional Council of Governments at 5121 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown OH 44515. The phone number is (330) 779-3800. They have photos from 1980, 1986, 1992 and 1996. There are fees for copies. (This information provided by the agency as of May 2002.)
Aerial photos of the Mahoning River corridor from the Pennsylvania border to Newton Falls are also available at Eastgate. The photos were taken in 1996.
The first Arby’s restaurant was opened in Boardman, OH, on July 23, 1964, by Forrest and Leroy Raffel, from New Castle, PA, founders of Raffel Brothers, Inc. They developed the name ‘Arby’s’ from the initials ‘R. B.’ for Raffel Brothers. The Boardman location at 29 Boardman-Canfield Rd. celebrated its grand re-opening on December 8, 2016.
(Source: Vindicator 7-22-2013, Vindicator 12-8-2016, Arbys.com)
In the early 1980’s, gold fever hit the greater Youngstown area when about 1300 people invested in the stock of a Canadian company called Augmitto Explorations Ltd. The company thought it had found gold near the border between Ontario and Quebec provinces and had planned to build a mine. Local investors paid about $2 per share. They were encouraged to invest by a retired local contractor, Steve Bacon, who was president of Augmitto, and by Doug Evans, a broker with Butler Wick Corp. Augmitto spent millions of dollars but the mine was never completed and no gold was ever mined. In the late 1980’s, the value of the stock began to drop and the company went into a form of bankruptcy. In 1990 the Toronto Stock Exchange stopped trading the stock, with the last price listed at 13 cents a share. Some local people lost all of their retirement savings.
(Source: Y- Gold folder)
The Studebaker Corporation started producing the Avanti in 1963. In 1986, Michael Kelly purchased the Avanti Motor Corporation, located in South Bend, IN, and renamed it the New Avanti Motor Corporation. When J. J. Cafaro bought 47.5 percent of the company in April of 1987, he urged Kelly to move its operations to Youngstown. In August of that year, Avanti moved to the Ross Industrial Park on Albert Street and opened a showroom on Wick Avenue. Kelly sold his 47.5 percent interest to Cafaro in September of 1988 and Cafaro changed the company name to the Avanti Automotive Corporation. In 1991, Avanti, which produced the only handcrafted car in America, ceased operations after making only 405 cars. Michael Kelly, along with a partner, purchased the assets of Avanti in 1999 and relocated the plant to Villa Rica, GA, where the cars are still being made. (For more information, see: Avanti Chronology)
In 1902, prominent area businessmen Henry Wick and Hugh B. Wick engaged an engineer named L. B. Smyser to build a car as part of their bid to join the burgeoning automobile manufacturing industry. The royal blue luxury car, known as the “Blue Goose”, was said to have cost $15,000 to make. The car’s chassis was built in Youngstown on Wick Avenue near the Mahoning Courthouse, and was considered to be the largest and most expensive car in America at the time. It could carry 6 passengers, weighed around 3000 pounds, and had a 30 horse power, 4-cylinder gas engine. Once manufacturing began, the planned retail price was $8000 to $10,000. Originally, the Hugh B. Wick Co. attempted a deal with the Fredonia Manufacturing Co., but it fell through. The car was sold for $765 in 1904 to the Stearns Automobile Co. of Cleveland.
sources: “The Physician-Motorist.” The Horseless Age 6 February 1901 Vol. 7, no. 19: 38
“Dr. Booth’s motor cab in completed form.” Scientific American Supplement 29 August 1896 Vol. 42, no. 1078: 17231
Dr. Carlos C. Booth, a local physician, designed the first car in Ohio. The Fredonia Carriage and Manufacturing Company, located at 155 -165 Market Street in Youngstown, built it in 1895. W. Lee Crouch, of the Pierce-Crouch Engine Company of New Brighton, PA, produced the engine. After selling the car in 1897, Dr. Booth designed a second car, again commissioning Fredonia Carriage to build it. It was completed in 1898. Both were called “Booth” cars. Dr. Booth is credited as being the first physician to use an automobile to make house calls. (For more information, see: World’s First Doctor to Make House Calls in an Automobile-Ohio History Central , Vindicator 8-5-1906, page 8, column 6, “Doctor C.C. Booth and his pioneer auto”)
In 1902, the Fredonia Carriage and Manufacturing Company changed its name to Fredonia Manufacturing Company and began producing cars known as the “Fredonia”. It was considered to be the first car entirely manufactured in Youngstown. The company made approximately 200 cars over a two-year period. Fredonia Manufacturing filed for bankruptcy in 1904 and the factory was destroyed by fire in 1907. (For more information, see: The Fredonia Automobile & The Fredonia Mfg. Co. on American-Automobiles.com)
The Youngstown Carriage and Wagon Company, whose name was changed to the Mahoning Motor Car Company in 1903, began production of the “Mahoning” automobile that same year. Charles T. Gaither, former engineer of the Fredonia Manufacturing Company, became one of the engineers. The “Mahoning” went out of production in 1905. (For more information, see: The Mahoning Automobile & The Mahoning Motor Car Co. on American-Automobiles.com)
source: National Packard Museum-Education
In 1898, Ward Packard bought a Winton automobile, which he felt needed improvement. When the owner of the Winton Company ignored his advice, he formed a partnership with one of Winton’s major stockholders, George L. Weiss, Winton’s plant manager, William A. Hatcher, and William Packard to build their own automobile as “Packard & Weiss”. The first Packard automobile was finished in November of 1899. In September of 1900, the company incorporated as the Ohio Automobile Company, which developed such innovations as the first “H” pattern gearshift, and the first steering wheel in an automobile. The company was renamed the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902. By this time, the quality of the automobiles had attracted wealthy investors from Michigan, who gained control of the company’s stock and moved the company to Detroit in 1903. The original owners all left the company, although Ward Packard kept his stock and remained listed as president until 1909. The company merged with the Studebaker Corporation in 1954, with the last Packard automobile being made in 1958. (For more information, see: National Packard Museum-Education)
source: Golden Wheels: the story of the automobiles made in Cleveland and northeastern Ohio, 1892-1932. page 281
Originally founded in Cleveland in 1920, the company reorganized as the Sterling-Knight Company of Warren, Ohio, in 1923. Production began in Warren in June of 1923, with 450 cars completed by the end of 1924. The company ran into cash flow problems the following year, but continued producing cars until the middle of 1926. By December of that year, the company was bankrupt.
Trumbull and Pendleton
source: Golden Wheels: the story of the automobiles made in Cleveland and northeastern Ohio, 1892-1932. pages 277 and 279.
The Trumbull Manufacturing Company in Warren made the first Trumbull automobile in 1899. The plant burned to the ground in March of 1900, but was rebuilt and producing both Trumbull and Pendleton cars by 1901. Another fire in 1905 destroyed the automobile manufacturing part of the plant, causing the company to switch its focus from cars to other machinery.
(Sources: Y-Automobiles, Antique folder; Y-Avanti Motor Corp folder; Y-Fredonia Manufacturing Company folder.)
On Monday, September 19, 1977, Jennings R. Lambeth, president of Youngstown Sheet & Tube, announced that a large portion of its Youngstown operations was shutting down. With that announcement, over 4000 Mahoning Valley workers were laid off or lost their jobs and the date became known as Black Monday. This catastrophic event was triggered by changes in the steel industry, in this area and nationwide, where infusions of money were needed to modernize aging mills. Rather than investing capital to update Youngstown’s older mills, the decision was made to close them instead. After Black Monday, local coalitions and organizations fought to prevent the collapse of the steel industry in Youngstown. The demise of the industry that had brought great prosperity to this community came about despite their efforts, as Sheet & Tube’s Brier Hill Works and U.S. Steel’s Ohio Works and McDonald Works all closed.
(Sources: Mahoning Memories; These Hundred Years: a Chronicle of the 20th Century as Recorded in the Pages of the Youngstown Vindicator)
For more information, see: Mahoning Valley History: Remembering Black Monday
On August 8, 1946, newspapers reported that a unique rainfall occurred in the Struthers area. The rain damaged all or part of the paint of over one hundred homes, by either removing the paint exposed to the rain or blackening all exposed surfaces. Labeled black rain, it continued intermittently through the years to cause problems for homeowners in Campbell and Struthers. Many residents believed that the rainfall was a reaction between rain and pollution caused by the local steel industry, although officials of the steel companies refuted this opinion. Later information pointed to coke plant pollution as a factor in creating the destructive rain. Pollution controls instituted by the steel industry diminished and, finally, eliminated the black rain.
(Sources: Vindicator 8-8-46, 11-28-71, 4-15-73)
Cafaro Family and the Cafaro Co.
source: CafaroCompany.com History
William M. Cafaro (May 23, 1913 – April 22,1998) was a pioneer in the shopping center industry and a noted philanthropist. He started dealing in commercial real estate in the 1940’s, and established William Cafaro and Associates, which later became the Cafaro Company. Cafaro built strip malls (McGuffey Plaza, Lincoln Knolls Plaza) in the 1950’s, and built enclosed malls (Eastwood Mall) in the 1960’s in several states. Cafaro started developing the Southern Park Mall with the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. but was bought out of the project. Mall openings continued through the 1980’s, and William Cafaro’s children, Anthony M., John J. and Flora joined the company. In the 1990’s, the Eastwood Mall complex was expanded, including the building of an adjacent minor league baseball stadium for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. After the death of William Cafaro in 1998, the stadium was completed and named Cafaro Field in honor of him and his wife, Alyce. The Cafaro Co. has consistently been among the top ten largest United States real estate developers, having developed over seventy commercial properties. His children continue to run the company.
Because of his generosity, Youngstown State University was able to build an honors dormitory, named Cafaro House. The Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital was also named in his honor and became Cafaro Memorial Hospital. The honor that was most meaningful to him, however, was his lifetime achievement award for humanitarian service, which he received in 1996 from the National Italian American Foundation.
(Sources: Y- Cafaro, William M. & Associates folder, Vindicator 4-23-1998, p. A1:1)
For more information, see: CafaroCompany.com History
Census – 2010
Ohio, Ohio county and Ohio city census information 2010
Ohio Dept. of Development-Research-Population and Housing
Connecticut Western Reserve
This historical term refers to a region of land in Ohio presently divided into 14 counties in the northeastern corner of the state. Originally claimed by the colony of Connecticut under an English Charter in 1662, the area remained reserved by the colony after the Revolutionary War through a Deed of Cession granted in 1786. It was subsequently sold by the State of Connecticut to a private concern called the Connecticut Land Company in 1795. The following year, two survey teams from this land company proceeded to map out the region in uniform grids, dividing it into parcels or “surveying townships” of five square miles each. The first of these was designated and mapped where the Ohio-Pennsylvania border meets the 41st parallel, the southern border of the Reserve. Described as Town One, Range One, the area is now known as Poland Township and is the location of Poland, Ohio.
(Source: Ohio Lands Book)
For more, see:
Connecticut Western Reserve-Ohio History Central
Connecticut Western Reserve-OPLIN
David Rumsey Map Collection: The Western Reserve including the Firelands in Ohio
Research Guide to Connecticut’s “Western Lands” or “Western Reserve” from the Connecticut State Library
Western Reserve Historical Society
Council Rock is located in Youngstown’s Lincoln Park. According to legend, Native Americans from several tribes met at Council Rock in 1775 to celebrate a recent victory over the British in a French and Indian War battle. During the celebration, lightning struck the rock and caused it to split. The lightning and storm also caused the deaths of four chiefs and three hundred tribesmen. Because of this event, Native Americans abandoned the site for many years. Although considered a legend by most, many books portray the story as history. Geologists note, however, that the condition of the rock is likely to have been caused by glacial movement.
(Sources: Heritage to Share, Mahoning Memories, Vindicator 10-10-85 p. 1:2)
For more information, see: The Legend of Council Rock-RiversideCemeteryJournal.com
DeBartolo Family and the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp.
Edward J. DeBartolo (May 17,1909 – December 19,1994) was a pioneer in the shopping center industry. He started building houses in 1937 and by 1944 had founded the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. He began constructing shopping centers in 1950’s, with the Boardman Plaza being one of the first. A plaza in Austintown was added in 1959, which is also when he bought his first horseracing track, Thistledown, near Cleveland. In 1968, he and William M. Cafaro started to develop the Southern Park Mall, but DeBartolo ended up buying out Cafaro’s part of the deal. He purchased a controlling interest in the San Francisco 49ers professional football team in 1970. One of the most significant honors given to Mr. DeBartolo was awarded in 1981, when he received the Order of Merit from the Italian government. In the 1990’s, the company got into financial difficulty by building malls without bank financing and for a bad loan to Robert Campeau for his attempted takeover of the Federated Department Stores. In 1993, a combination of 51 malls and 11 shopping plazas went public as DeBartolo Realty Corporation in order to pay off debts. Edward J. DeBartolo died in 1994.
For the rest of the decade, his two children struggled to divide up their legacy. Denise DeBartolo York now heads the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, which owns the headquarters building, maintains control of some real estate holdings, the San Francisco 49ers and 3 horseracing tracks. Edward J. (Eddie) DeBartolo Jr. owns the DeBartolo Property Group LLC, which owns the rest of the real estate development holdings from the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. He also controls the family stock in the Simon Property Group, which is the result of a 1996 merger of the DeBartolo Realty Corp. and the Simon Property Group. (Sources: Y- DeBartolo, Edward J. Corp. folder, Y- DeBartolo, Edward J. Family folder)
For more information, see:
DeBartolo Development-About Us-Legacy
The Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation-History on FundingUniverse.com
Edward J. DeBartolo, Developer, 85, is Dead-N.Y. Times, December 20, 1994
Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.-Ohio History Central
The Mahoning Valley experiences many small earthquakes or temblors (scientific term) throughout the year, most of them undetectable without the use of a seismograph. Since 1776, at least 120 earthquakes with epicenters in Ohio have been felt by Ohioans, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Geological Survey. Other earthquakes with epicenters outside of Ohio are also felt, and some of these have caused minor to moderate damage. Ohio is on the outlying area of a zone, located in Missouri and neighboring states, known for substantial earthquake activity. Called the New Madrid Seismic Zone, several strong earthquakes originating there have caused damage in Ohio cities, particularly along the Ohio River in southern Ohio. The most earthquake-prone county in Ohio is Shelby, located in the west central section of the state. Earthquakes have also occurred in Lake, Geauga, Scioto, Meigs, and Perry counties. Youngstown residents have experienced several seismic events. Before fracking in the area began, the most recent notable earthquare were January 31, 1986 (epicenter in Geauga County near Chardon), November 25, 1988 (epicenter in Canada), and September 25, 1998 (epicenter 15 miles northeast of Sharon, Pennsylvania). These earthquakes caused only minor damage. (Source: Y- Earthquakes folder.)
Once fracking and brine-injection wells began in Ohio, the Mahoning Valley’s seismic activity experienced a major increase. In fact, starting March 17, 2011, there were 109 tremors linked to the creation of an injection well, D&L’s Northstar 1, located near State Route 117 and the Mahoning River. After a 4.0 quake on December 31, 2011, with its epicenter near that well site, the state govenment banned injection wells within a 5 mile radius of the site. Once a study was completed, the Ohio Department of Natual Resouces (ODNR) concluded that the injection well was causing the quakes. For more about this type of earthquake, see William Ellsworth’s “Injection-Induced Earthquakes” in Science 7/12/2013, Vol. 341, Issue 6142, page 142 and online at: “Peer-reviewed article shines light on injection wells and earthquakes”. (Source: Vindicator 1-1-2012 page A1:1, Vindicator 3-16-2012 page A1:1, Vindicator 8-20-2013 page A1:5)
East Youngstown was incorporated as a village in Coitsville Township on November 19, 1908, and became a city on January 1, 1922. It was renamed the City of Campbell by proclamation on April 26, 1926. The name was chosen to honor James A. Campbell (September 11,1854 – September 29, 1933) who was president of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company from 1904 -1929.
(Source: Fascinating History of the City of Campbell)
For more information, see: City of Campbell – Brief History.
Elevation of Youngstown and Mahoning County
Highest Point in Youngstown:
The highest point is at the intersection of McCartney and Coitsville Roads, 1,148.8 feet above sea level.
Lowest Point in Youngstown:
The lowest point is on Edgweood St. which runs alonf the Mahoning River, south of Wilson Ave. The exact spot is at the bridge that crosses Dry Run Creek, 834.33 feet above sea level.
source: City Engineer 6/1997.
Highest Point in Mahoning County:
The highest point is a hill in Green Township, east of Beaver Creek Rd, south of West Pine Lake Rd, west of Lisbon Rd, and north of Roller Rd, 1,314 feet above sea level.
Lowest Point in Mahoning County:
The lowest point is where the Mahoning River crosses the Pennsylvania State line, 796 feet above sea level.
source: Mahoning County Engineer 2012 map.
Fallen Fire Fighter’s Memorial Bridge
Formerly known as the Spring Common Bridge and also known for having ‘Mr. Peanut’ attached to it, this bridge was re-dedicated October 17, 2008. At that time, it was re-named the Fallen Fire Fighter’s Memorial Bridge. There is also a monument for the Youngstown Fire Department located near the northwest corner of the bridge. Mr. Peanut is located on the southside of the bridge.
For an earlier version of the bridge, see: Youngstown: Postcards from the Steel City page 55
Also see: “Bridge to Remember,” Vindicator 10-18-2008, page B1:2
Flooding in the Mahoning Valley has long been a hazard. Centered mainly along the Mahoning River, flooding has taken lives and destroyed businesses throughout the Youngstown area. Although many improvements to drainage, sewage, and reservoir systems have been made, unusually heavy and sustained rains still cause concern.
Perhaps the two worst floods to impact Youngstown were the September 1878 and March 1913 floods, when huge areas of business and residential property were inundated for days following heavy storms. Other major floods occurred in January 1959, March 1964, and April 1994. (Sources: Y- Floods folder, A Heritage to Share, Mahoning Memories, Dick Goddard’s Weather Guide and Almanac for Northeast Ohio, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor, and Mahoning Valley Historical Society).
1913 Ohio Statewide Flood – Ohio History Central
1959 Ohio Statewide Flood – Ohio History Central
NCDC Storm Events Database – you can search for lists of recent floods (and other types of storms) for Mahoning County or elsewhere in the United States
Ohio Emergencey Management Mitigation Branch-Disaster and Funding History – click on counties to find disasters and funding information
Fracking and Injection Wells
Fracking is a slang term for hydraulic fracturing, a method currently being used to release natural gas and oil from shale. Class II Injection wells are used to store the wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing process deep underground.
For more information, see:
ShaleTEC: Shale Training & Education Center
Farm and Dairy’s Shale Gas Reporter
Vindicator’s Shale Sheet
ODNR Utica and Marcellus Formations Data and Maps
Ohio Shale Well Drilling
FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry
EPA’s Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources
EPA.gov – Protecting Underground Sources of Drinking Water from Underground Injection (UIC)
The Eaton (Hopewell) Furnace was built in 1802-03 by James and Daniel Heaton (name was later changed to Eaton) and was situated below Hamilton Dam near Yellow Creek Park in present day Struthers, OH. At the time of its construction and operation, the area was a heavily forested part of Trumbull County (the area later becoming part of a newly designated Mahoning County in 1846). The Hopewell Furnace was one of the earliest blast furnaces west of the Allegheny Mountains, and was clearly the first blast furnace in Ohio. In terms of production, the furnace poured out two to three tons of iron per day per week for approximately six years. Molten iron from the furnace was used to make kettles, flatirons, Dutch ovens, and ingots of pig iron. These items were sorely needed by the area’s first settlers and also were shipped for sale in the Pittsburgh market. The furnace was built into the side of an embankment near a water source, and was fueled by a ready supply of outcroppings of iron ore, limestone deposits, and timber for charcoal. In the spring and summer of 1975, Dr. John R. White of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Youngstown State University directed the excavation and analysis of the site. Evidence was found that led to a better understanding of the furnace’s operation and ultimate demise. It is now known that the furnace stopped operating due to a diminishing supply of timber for charcoal, and the subsequent attempt to use bituminous coal as a substitute. Metallurgical analyses indicate that the resulting iron was inferior due to the higher sulphur content that was a byproduct of this process. This discovery drastically heightens the significance of the Hopewell Furnace because it indicates that the Eaton’s use of raw coal as a reducing agent—although premature and poorly understood at the time—occurred many years earlier than previously known and significantly predates its use in iron furnaces elsewhere. Production at the Hopewell Furnace remains the earliest documented use of coal in this manner in the New World. The remains of the furnace can still be seen when visiting the site. (Sources: Early Iron Industry in Youngstown; John R. White, “The Rebirth and Demise of Ohio’s Earliest Blast Furnace: An Archaeological Postmortem,” in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, vol. 21:2, 1996, pp. 217-246)
For more information, see:
Blast Furnace Descendants Visit Valley-Youngstown Vindicator, April 5, 2009
Hopewell Furance-Ohio History Central
Mill Creek MetroParks-Visit Historic Sites-Hopewell Furnace
source: Shale, Richard. Idora Park: the last ride of summer. Jefferson, OH: Amusement Park Journal, 1999. bookcover
Idora Park was a Youngstown amusement park that opened on Decoration Day, May 30, 1899, and closed September 8, 1984. It was originally called “Terminal Park” because it was built at the terminus of the trolley line that ran south of the city from Hillman Street to Mill Creek Park. The origin of the name “Idora” remains a mystery. Some thought it was a twist of “I adore a park,” a phrase entered in an 1899 contest to rename the park. Another erroneous attribution for the name was a lost tribe of local Native Americans. No records of the 1899 contest remain, and the exact origin of the term “Idora” is still unknown.
The construction of similar “terminal parks” in the late 1800’s was common and done primarily to increase the number of riders and to spur commercial development along the trolley lines. The Park & Falls Street Railway Company, which incorporated in 1893, began the trolley line in 1897 and sought to develop passenger use. Early in 1899, the company secured a lease on a seven-acre plot of land adjacent to Mill Creek Park and, with the park’s approval, proceeded with construction of the amusement park.
Well-known rides at Idora Park included the Lost River, the Caterpillar, and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Perhaps the most famous rides were the “Jack Rabbit” and “Wildcat” roller coasters. The park also boasted a large natatorium (swimming pool) that was removed in 1948 to make room for Kiddieland (rides for small children). There was a first-rate dance hall, the Ballroom, where some of the nation’s finest performing artists entertained patrons for generations. The Ballroom was also a major stop for politicians, such as Senator John F. Kennedy, who held a presidential campaign dinner there in 1959.
By mid-century, Idora Park began to show its age, yet park owners failed to update the facilities. Competition for the public’s leisure time from other amusement parks and commercial interests contributed to a sharp drop in attendance, most clearly apparent throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s. While preparing for the 1984 season, sparks from a welder’s torch started a fire that destroyed the Lost River ride, as well as the park office and its irreplaceable documents. The Wildcat roller coaster was also severely damaged. Despite losses set at $2.5 million, the park operated for the remainder of the 1984 season. Without the resources to rebuild the damaged rides, the Idora Amusement Company had little choice but to close the park. Many of the remaining rides and equipment were auctioned on October 20 and 21, 1984, and the property was subsequently sold. A fire in March 2001 destroyed the Ballroom, the last remaining landmark. A church group currently owns the property and Idora Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
(Source: Idora Park: The Last Ride of Summer)
In 2011, The Idora Park Carousel, renamed Jane’s Carousel, opened to the public in Brooklyn, NY. It has been fully restored by its new owners, Jane and David Walentas. They purchased the carousel in 1984. (sources: Youngstown Vindicator 9-16-2011 and Jane’s Carousel)
In 2014, The Idora Park Experience, a private museum located in Canfield township, held its grand opening on the 30th anniversary of the Idora Park fire on April 26, 1984. The museum is opened to the public 3 times a year and is located at 4450 S. Turner Rd. (sources: Youngstown Vindicator 4-26-2014 and The Idora Park Experience)
The Jeanette furnace was a blast furnace that once stood along the Mahoning River at the Brier Hill Plant of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company (YS&T). Built in 1917-1918 at a cost of $3 million, it was one of three blast furnaces in operation at the plant, then owned by the Brier Hill Steel Company. It was “blown in” or lighted on September 20, 1918 by its namesake, Mary Jeanette Thomas, daughter of W.A. Thomas, who was the President of Brier Hill Steel. The furnace was 90 feet tall and weighed 500 tons. It produced more than 11 million tons of steel in its lifetime, and is said to have produced 34,356 tons of pig iron in one month during the early years of iron production. Brier Hill Steel was purchased by YS&T in 1923. The Jeanette furnace went out of blast in September of 1977 when the Brier Hill Plant was shut down. It was one of the oldest blast furnaces in the United States, and the last of its kind in Youngstown.
Two local organizations wanted to develop the Jeanette into a museum to illustrate how steel was produced in Youngstown and to serve as a monument to Youngstown’s great steel heritage. In the spring of 1986, Richard Blackwell, a local contractor, headed a group called the “Shut-Down Club of the U.S. Steel Corporation, Ohio Works, and McDonald Works.” Blackwell and this group sought to purchase the furnace and its land from North Star Steel Company, the mini-mill that had moved into the old Brier Hill facility. The group tried to raise the necessary $1.8 million from both public and private sources, but had to abandon the project due to the lack of funds and support from city officials and citizens. In the spring of 1996, the Jeanette Blast Furnace Preservation Association, headed by J. Richard Rowlands of Hubbard, revisited the idea. By fall of 1996, the project was again abandoned for want of funds and support. The Jeanette furnace was torn down at 11:37 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29, 1997 to clear the 62-acre brownfield for use as an industrial park. Musician Bruce Springsteen refers to the Jeanette in the lyrics of his song “Youngstown,” a melancholy musical tribute to the steelworkers of the Mahoning Valley. More recently, YSU’s Student Literary Arts Association has created an online student literary magazine named after it.
(Sources: Early Iron Industry in Youngstown; Steel Industry in Youngstown 1920-1970; 50 Years in Steel: The Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company 1900-1949; History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Ohio; Remembering Youngstown: Tales from the Mahoning Valley, and Y – Blast Furnaces – Historic folder; and About Jenny – Jenny: a publication of the YSU Student Literary Arts Association)
Local Legal Services
11 Federal Plaza 7th Floor, Youngstown, OH 44503 (330) 744-3196
160 E. Market St. Suite 225, Warren, OH 44481 (330) 373-1448
For historical information, see:
Legal Aid to celebrate 60 years of service
LTV Pension contact
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Pension Benefit Trustee Contact Information:
PO Box 151750
Alexandria, VA 22315-1750
Include your Social Security number with all correspondence.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.: LTV Steel Hourly Pension Plan
A Native American word meaning “at the salt licks”, which refers to the salt springs located in the area. (Source: A Heritage to Share)
Mahoning Valley Cooperative Extension
Military Standards/Government Procurement
Military standards and specifications may be obtained locally from the Mahoning Valley Technical Procurement Center. This non-profit agency was established to provide counseling and guidance to companies seeking to sell products and services to government agencies.
Internet searching for selected, unrestricted military standards and specifications is also available at Assist Quick Search, a site of the Department of Defense. Assist Quick Search is a free service.
The library owns maps showing abandoned underground mines for Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties in Ohio, and for Sharon, PA. Online access to locate Mines in the State of Ohio is available at Mine and Well Locators – ODNR Division of Mineral Resources and Abandoned Underground Mine Maps – ODNR Division of Geological Survey
This is “a large glacial boulder of red granite.” It was originally located in Yellow Creek. Legend has it that William McKinley used to dive off the rock into the creek. It was moved from Yellow Creek to Riverside Cemetery by the Morse family and became a family monument. “A considerable portion of the stone is under ground as it was intended to have it show the ground line the same as the water line as it lay in Yellow Creek.” (Sources: Poland Historical Highlights; Poland by Robert L. Zorn page 61; Morse Rock-RiversideCemeteryJournal.com)
Mr. Peanut is a local curiosity that refers to a small, metal silhouette sculpture in the shape of “Mr. Peanut” (Planter’s Peanuts fame) that is welded atop the Fallen Fire Fighter’s Memorial Bridge (formerly known as the Spring Common Bridge) in Youngstown. Cut from one-quarter inch steel plate and approximately eighteen inches in height, the Mr. Peanut sculpture is welded on the bridge’s Mahoning Avenue side and is viewable by travelers moving toward the downtown area. Its origin is credited to Dick Tranick and Jim Mansky, who were part of a crew of plumbers and steamfitters that were laying pipeline across the Mahoning River in the summer and fall of 1986. The metalwork was meant to be a comical tribute to John Cashbaugh, a member of the crew, who was known for his “nutty” solutions to worksite problems.
(Source: Jane Tims, “For the Record, Let Me Clear Up a Couple of Things,” Vindicator 9-8-92, B1:2)
For more pictures, see: i will shout youngstown: mr. peanut bridge is reopened
National Library Week
Did you know that National Library Week had its beginning in Youngstown? Back in 1937, the Youngstown Junior Chamber of Commerce (JAYCEES) designated a week to observe and promote the importance of reading and to encourage community support of libraries. The event was a success and received favorable local, regional, and eventually national attention. Library Week was recognized and designated as a national event by the American Library Association. The first national observance in the United States and Canada occurred the week of March 16, 1958.
For more information, see:
“Library Week Ready to Open,” Vindicator 4-3-1937, page 2:6
“Jr. C. of C. Library Week gets National Attention,” Vindicator, page A2:2
“Youngstown Library Week Plan Adopted for Nation,” Vindicator 12-30-1937, page 3:3
ALA – National Library Week
Native Americans in the Mahoning Valley
The presence of Native Americans in what is now the Mahoning Valley reaches back to prehistory, long before the arrival of Europeans. These “prehistoric” Native American peoples left behind a varied array of physical evidence that archaeologists have uncovered and studied. Even the present-day farmer, construction worker, or hiker may unearth the occasional arrow point or other cultural artifact. In chronological terms, the prehistoric cultures have been divided into four periods: the Paleo-Indian (12,000 – 8,000 BC), the Archaic (7,000 – 2,000 BC), the Woodland (1,000 BC -1,000 AD), and the Mississippian (1,000 AD).
Native Americans living in the Mahoning Valley in modern times, that is, during the onset of European immigration, are the ones written about in local history texts. The tribes of the Iroquois Nation once lived in the wilderness of present-day Ohio, specifically the Miami, the Shawnee, the Delaware, the Wyandot, and the Mingo. Also present were the Ottawa of the Algonquin family of tribes. These peoples inhabited a large region that included Lake Huron and Lake Erie, and land that later became New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Our area, the Connecticut Western Reserve, including the present-day Mahoning Valley, was inhabited by members of the Iroquois and Delaware groups. They used the land primarily as hunting grounds and as access to other natural resources needed for their sustenance. Later, Native Americans traveled throughout the region on their way to and from trading posts. During the eighteenth century, a Native American settlement existed at Salt Springs near present-day Niles, Ohio. Written records as well as archaeological findings indicate that Native Americans had also maintained settlements at the site of present-day Youngstown. According to the recollections of European settlers during the early eighteenth century, a Native American settlement was said to have existed between the former site of Idora Park and Mill Creek.
Perhaps the last organized group of Native Americans present in the Mahoning Valley was the Massasaugas, thought to have been a remnant of the Chippewa tribe. The presence of Native Americans in the Mahoning Valley declined steadily thereafter, with only a few individuals remaining in the vicinity at the time of the War of 1812.
(Sources: Y- Indians folder, Ohio and Its People, Mahoning Valley Indians, History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Historical Collections of Ohio, and The Official Ohio Lands Book)
For more information, see:
Native Americans – Milton Township
Nebo is a neighborhood located in the Struthers area of Youngstown. It is also known as Mount Nebo, includes a gorge named Nebo Hollow, once had a scouting camp titled Camp Nebo, and still contains a park called Nebo Field. The name of this neighborhood comes from the Slavic immigrants who settled here and saw it as a “Promised Land.” They named it after the Mount Nebo of the Old Testament where Moses saw the Promised Land. This neighborhood is noted for the pride in which it is held by its residents. “While some Struthers neighborhoods…are forgotten, Nebo retains its identity decade after decade.”
Geographically, the borders of this neighborhood include Yellow Creek to the west, Lowellville Road to the north, Narcissa Street to the east, and possibly Clingan Road to the south.
The creek that runs through Nebo Hollow is named Panther Creek today, but was once called Panthers’ Run. According to legend, this creek was so named because a man killed three panthers here.
The Mount Nebo Mine is an abandoned coal mine located in this neighborhood. It was in operation as far back as 1828, may have been opened by Elijah Stevenson, and at one time was operated by Henry Wick. It was abandoned after it collapsed due to “seepage from a creek above the shaft.” Much of its coal was used in the Lowellville Furnance, built by Wilkes, Wilkinson & Co. of Pittsburgh, in Lowellville. According to various resources, this furnace has been given a variety of names: Anna, Mahoning, and Mary. Nebo was also known for the mining of limestone. In fact, “The first curbs [of Struthers] were made from limestone mined in Nebo, near Perry and Katherine Streets.”
Nebo’s history has ties to areas outside of Ohio. Along with being founded by Slavic immigrants, it was owned at one time by James Stevenson, whose family was prominent in Lawrence County, PA. Plus, Mount Nebo Mine was once owned by John Scott Dilworth, a prominent business figure from Pittsbugh, PA.
(Sources: Historical Collections of the Mahoning Valley Vol. I p. 475, Youngstown Vindicator 5-25-1980 p. A11, col. 1 and Photogravure Section p.3, Youngstown Vindicator 10-21-1982 p. 26, col. 1, Struthers: Images of America pp. 25and 68, Y-Mines and Mineral Resources folder card 3, Lowellville, in Mahoning County, Ohio, pp. 5 and 7, 20th Century History of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio pp. 221 and 247, 20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County, Pennsylvania p. 487, History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, Vol. II, pp. 64, 71, and 72, History of Youngstown & The Mahoning Valley, Ohio, Vol. I p. 511-12, Early Iron Industry in Youngstown p. 15-16, Steel Industry in Youngstown 1920-1970 p. 15-16, A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People, Vol. III, pp. 46-47.)
Northeast Ohio Legal Services
Northeast Ohio Legal Services (NOLS) was a non-profit corporation serving low-income people in Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties. The organization did not handle criminal or traffic cases, but did work on certain types of civil cases, such as public assistance, housing, some family law, and consumer law. It closed in July 2013. (source: Youngstown Vindicator 10-14-2013)
For historical information, see:
YSU Oral History Program – Northeast Ohio Legal Services, Personal Experience O.H. 1485
YSU Oral History Program – Northeast Ohio Legal Services, Personal Experience O.H. 1487
Ohio State University Extension-Mahoning County, provides practical educational programs and advice to individuals, families, and the community. Program areas include agriculture and natural resources, 4-H, family and consumer sciences, food and nutrition education, and horticulture. Call this agency if you have specific questions about food safety, gardening, nutrition, or consumer issues. Extension is located at 490 South Broad Street in Canfield, or residents may call 330-533-5538.
(Source: OSU Extention-Mahoning County)
Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana
OCCHA is a local non-profit agency serving the Hispanic community in Mahoning County. It was established in March of 1972 to address issues in the Spanish-speaking community. OCCHA provides a variety of services in the areas of employment, youth, education, health, senior outreach, and social services. Translation services and interpreters are also available. OCCHA’s address is 3660 Shirley Rd. in Youngstown, or call 330-781-1808. More information is also available on OCCHA’s website.
Sanborn maps are historical fire insurance maps that show the size, location, and usage of various buildings in city blocks. Although our library does not own any Sanborn maps, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society at the Arms Museum has a collection, many of which are the original color maps of the Youngstown area. Youngstown State University has a microfiche collection covering this area, and Kent State University has both a microfilm and paper collection. The Sanborn maps are also online! It is now possible to view a digitized collection from the library’s Internet computers or from home by using your library card. Just click on Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1970, Ohio.
Steel Employment in the Valley
(Actual Figures: 37,283 (1960); 36,425 (1965); 32,325 (1970); 25,700 (1975); 25,883 (1976); 25,717 (1977); 21,542 (1978); 20,508 (1979); 16,358 (1980); 15,292 (1981); 11,392 (1982); 9,192 (1983); 8,817 (1984); 7,083 (1985); 6,408 (1990); 5,625 (1995); 5,750 (2000) (Source: Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services/Labor Market Review)
Steel Strike of 1937
The Steel Strike of 1937, also known as the “Little Steel Strike,” began in Youngstown on May 26, 1937. Philip Murray, Chairman of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC), called the strike, which affected 75,000 steelworkers at several plants in Youngstown, Cleveland, Canton, and Chicago. The companies involved in this strike were called “Little Steel” because their operations were smaller than those of the United States Steel Corporation (US Steel), the leading steel producer known as “Big Steel.” The Little Steel companies included Bethlehem Steel, Republic Steel, Inland Steel, and Youngstown Sheet & Tube (YS&T), with Republic and YS&T having plants in Youngstown. It is generally accepted that the main cause of the strike was the unwillingness of Little Steel management to recognize the SWOC as the bona fide collective bargaining agency for the steelworkers, even though US Steel had signed a labor contract with the SWOC earlier that year. The Little Steel companies argued that the so-called “company unions” that were in place were sufficient for meeting the wage and benefit requirements of the workers. Other points of contention included the “closed shop,” whereby employees were required to be union members, and the “check off,” in which union dues were deducted from pay during the payroll process. The strike lasted eighteen months, but the SWOC failed to win recognition from Little Steel. However, in 1942 as the United States mobilized for war, an industry-wide steelworkers’ union was organized when steel companies, under pressure from the National Labor Relations Board, agreed to collective bargaining with an independent union. This union, the descendent of the SWOC, was the United Steelworkers of America and Philip Murray was named its first president. (Source: Little Steel Strike in Youngstown)
For more information about the history of unionism, the labor movement, the rise and fall of the steel industry in Youngstown, and access to original documents and photos, please visit the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. They are located at 151 W. Wood St, Youngstown, OH 44503.
Dedicated on May 14, 1980, George Segal’s sculpture “The Steelworkers” depicts two steelworkers testing the carbon content of steel from an open-hearth furnace. Segal modeled the figures after Youngstown steelworkers Wayman Paramore and Peter Kobly Jr., who are represented standing before a section of open-hearth furnace donated by the former Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. The sculpture was moved from its original location at the west end of Federal Plaza to the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (‘The Steel Museum’) in August of 1991.
(Sources: Vindicator 5-15-1980, Vindicator 8-12-1991, B1:2)
For more information and a photo, see:
Men of steel return in famed sculpture, Youngstown Vindicator, August 22, 2002
Steelworkers Statue – Blast Furnace Crew on Pinterest
Tales of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys
The Industrial Information Institute for Education created and aired the broadcasts of the “Tales of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys” over the radio in the 1950s. The episodes aired during the school year, and they began October 14, 1951. In February 2006, audiotapes of these broadcasts were provided to the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County as a permanent loan from the Institute. The audiotapes have now been digitized by permission of the current copyright owner, the Ohio History Connection, and may be listened to online here. Transcripts of the recordings are available to read at the Main Library in the Genealogy, Local History & Periodical Microform Center.
(Sources: Heritage to Share, Y-Industrial Information Institute folder, Vindicator 2-13-2006 B1:6)
Named telephone exchanges for the Youngstown area began on May 17, 1953. From that time until March 1965, calls were made by dialing 2 letters and 5 numbers or by calling the operator and asking for the exchange name followed by the 5 numbers. In March of 1962, phone numbers started changing from the named exchanges to 7 digit phone numbers. Also at this time, the 216 area code was assigned to northeast Ohio. By March of 1965, everyone was transferred to All Number Calling (ANC). The local 216 area code was switched to 330 in March 9, 1996 and a new area code, 234, was added in October of 2000. Ten digit dialing began April 1, 2000.
Sources: Youngstown Telephone Directories, 1915-present
“Fingers will do lots of walking in 330 area.” Vindicator 22 March 2000
Local historical and biographical folders contain information regarding the April 15, 1912 sinking of the Titanic and a list passengers with links to the Youngstown area: George Dennick Wick, Mary Hitchcock Wick, Mary Natalie Wick, Caroline Bonnell, Elizabeth Bonnell, Jessie Wills Leitch, Elin Matilda Hakkarainen-Nummi, Banoura Ayoub, Tannous J. Thomas, Tannous Doharr, Gerios Yousseff, and Shawneene “Jennie” George Whabee. Note: Bolded names did not survive. (Source: Y – Titanic folder)
Col. George D. Wick, prominent in local steel industry, lost on Titanic 100 years ago – Metro Monthly, April 2012, page 11
Passengers of the RMS Titanic
Titanic: 100 Years Later
The Titanic: Tragedy in the Headlines – Mahoning Valley Historical Society
Titanic Historical Society
Titanic’s Youngstown Connection
Valley’s Titanic Loss – Youngstown Vindicator, April 15, 2012
Wealthy Youngstown Folk Abroad-Encyclopedia Titanica
Top Employers in the Valley
Top Employers in 1976
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.
Republic Steel Corp.
U.S. Steel Corp.
St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Ctr
Youngstown State University
Top Employers in 1985
Youngstown Hospital Association
St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Ctr
Youngstown Board of Education
LTV Steel Co.
Youngstown State University
(Source: Vindicator 11-2-86, based on withholdings of city income tax)
Major Employers in the Valley in 2010
Austintown Local Schools
Boardman Local Schools
HM Health Partners
Mahoning County Government
UCFC/Home Savings & Loan Co.
ValleyCare Health System
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Youngstown City Schools
Youngstown State University
(Source: Ohio Dept. of Development, Ohio County Profiles – Mahoning County)
The Regional Chamber maintains a list of the largest employers in the Youngstown-Warren area:
Largest Employers of the Youngstown-Warren Area
The strengths of tornadoes vary. In 1971, Dr. Ted Fujita, a meteorology professor at the University of Chicago, devised a classification system for describing the power of tornadoes based on a combined measurement of wind speed and observed destruction after the fact. He established what has become known as the “Fujita scale.” Based on increasing wind speed and destructive effect, the scale ranges as follows: F0 (40-72 mph), F1 (73-112 mph), F2 (113-157 mph), F3 (158-206 mph), F4 (207-260 mph), and F5 (261-318 mph). Tornadoes typically travel between 35-60 mph, and tend to form from mid-afternoon through the early evening.
Although the Youngstown/Warren region does not usually experience the strongest tornadoes, an occasional rogue “super cell” tornado does penetrate the area. Two of the most notable incidents occurred on June 7, 1947, and on May 31, 1985. On June 7, 1947, a strong F4 tornado that formed north of Akron near Silver Lake cut a 75-mile path of destruction across Portage and Trumbull counties and proceeded into Pennsylvania to strike Sharon. Six people died, nearly 200 were injured, hundreds of homes and business were damaged or destroyed, and material losses exceeded two million dollars.
The second event occurred on May 31, 1985, when the strongest tornado ever recorded in the Mahoning Valley, and one of the strongest in the United States, followed a path similar to that of the 1947 F4 tornado. On that day an outbreak of tornadoes affected the entire region, with touchdowns in Trumbull, Columbiana, Ashtabula, Mercer, Beaver, and Crawford counties. The most intense tornado was an F5 that devastated towns along a 25-mile track from Newton Falls through Niles and Hubbard, then across the Ohio-PA border to hit Wheatland, virtually erasing it from the map. This tornado carved a path of destruction 2.2 miles wide at its most mature and powerful stage. In just a few minutes on May 31st, 12 people were killed, almost 300 injured and up to 2,000 homes, apartment houses, businesses, and public buildings were damaged or destroyed. Property damage costs for the region were estimated at $140 million.
Since 1880, there have been approximately 20 significant tornadoes in Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties that were classified as F2 or F3 in strength and destructive power. Less significant tornadoes of F0 and F1 strength are regular occurrences and are considered the norm in the tri-state area. Today, northeast Ohioans should expect about one or two tornadoes per season, along with a few severe thunderstorms. (Sources: Significant Tornadoes, Y-Tornadoes folder; Y-Weather–Local Climatological Data folder; Dick Goddard’s Weather Guide and Almanac for Northeast Ohio)
For more information, see: Tornado Facts & Safety Tips – Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness
see also Weather
Washers is a game invented at the Falcon Bronze playground in Youngstown in 1931. Iron washers are pitched into holes or cups spread 20 feet apart, following rules similar to horseshoes. The game gained local popularity and was renamed Ringers in 1936.
(Sources: Vindicator 6-25-1936; Y- Sports folder, card 6)
For more information, watch this video: Ringers/Washers: A Youngstown Game
For detailed rules, see: WASHERS-A Great American Game sponsored by the International Association of Washer Players
Waterfalls in the Youngstown Area
source: Lantermans Falls – GoWaterfalling.com
This waterfall is located along Mill Creek. It was discovered in 1797, and a mill was built there. It is now part of the Mill Creek MetroParks. (see The History of Lanterman’s Mill – Mill Creek MetroParks)
source: Quakertown Falls – GoWaterfalling.com
Also known as Quaker Falls and occasionally as Poland Waterfalls-due to its location being in the Poland area. Actually part of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, these falls are along Quakertown Run or Creek. From the intersection of 224 and 170, it is 5.8 miles straight east on Route 224. Cross over the PA. line and go about 2 miles until you see a bar on the right called Night Tracs. Just beyond the bar is a small bridge with a low metal railing (just before the Carbon Limestone Landfill sign). On the LEFT side of the road just beyond the bridge, you will see a wide strip of gravel where you can park off the road. You can turn around just beyond this in the road that leads to the Landfill and park your car facing west. Then there is a very small path that leads right to the top of the falls. There are no railings and it is VERY steep.
(see: Quakertown Falls – Lawrence County Memoirs, Quakertown Falls – Natural Ohio Adventures)
For more information and pictures of the falls, see:
Ohio Waterfalls – GoWaterfalling.com
To anyone who has lived for even a short while in Youngstown it is well understood that we have few days of sunshine, and even fewer days of cloudless skies. Yet, the weather we experience in Youngstown is typical for a city close to a large body of water (Lake Erie), which amplifies cloud cover and precipitation. Because of this, a survey by two Colorado climatologists, Nolan Doesken and William Eckrich, found that Youngstown is one of the wettest cities in the United States. The original survey was reported in the Vindicator on November 12, 1988, p. 3:5 and titled “Youngstown Ranked 4th Wettest U.S. City” as defined by the number of hours rain or snow falls during an average year. Since Youngstown was included because of Lake Erie’s effect on our weather, neighboring cities Akron (#3) and Cleveland (#9) also made the top ten.
For forecasts, weather warnings, and advisories, see NOAA’s National Weather Service
For past weather and records, see Cleveland National Weather Service Youngstown Climate Page
For past weather disasters, see:
FEMA: Ohio State Disaster History – from State/Tribal Government menu, choose Ohio, and then click Go
NCDC Storm Events Database – you can search for lists of various types of storms for Mahoning County or elsewhere in the United States
Ohio Emergencey Management Mitigation Branch-Disaster and Funding History – click on counties to find disasters and funding information
Severe Weather in Ohio – OhioHistory.org
Many yearbooks for local high schools and even Youngstown State University are available online in the library when you use Ancestry Library (ProQuest). Once you open Ancestry, scroll down to Quick Links and click on Schools, Directories & Church Histories. Next, click on U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012, found in the box on the right side of the screen. To browse a specific yearbook, fill in the choices in the box on the right. Alternatively, you could search by a person’s name, school, and/or yearbook title. Not every year is available for every school, but Ancestry adds new yearbooks frequently.
The library had an incomplete collection of high school yearbooks for many area schools. Since there were no complete runs, the decision was made to donate the yearbooks to the schools that issued them. If the school was no longer in existence, the yearbooks were donated to the Youngstown Board of Education.
Many local high schools make their yearbook collections available for research. Contact the high school about its regulations concerning the public’s access to and use of the yearbooks. If a city high school no longer exists, call the Library Media Center at Chaney High School (330-744-8822) for assistance. They currently have an incomplete collection of South High School yearbooks, which may be viewed and used in the department.
The archives of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, located at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center, include yearbooks from local high schools. Yearbooks of Rayen and South High Schools are available from earliest years through the 1960s. The yearbook collection also includes Chaney High School yearbooks from 1936 through 1970. Selective years of other local high school yearbooks are available as well. All yearbooks may be viewed and research may be conducted at the history center. Call 330-743-2589 for specific information on this collection. The Archives may also be contacted by fax at 330-743-7210 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Sources: Archivist/Tyler History Center and Chaney High School)
“Youngstown” by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen composed the song “Youngstown” for his 1995 album The Ghost of Tom Joad. The “my sweet Jenny” referred to in the song is the Jeannette blast furnace. The song was inspired by the book Journey to Nowhere: the Saga of the New Underclass by Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson, which was reissued with a foreword by Bruce Springsteen in 1996.
(Source: Vindicator 11-22-95, A1:2)
Bruce Springsteen visited Youngstown in 1996 and sang the song live at Stambaugh. Here is a video of that performance: Bruce Springsteen: Live at the Stambaugh Theatre in Youngstown – YouTube
Lyrics are available here: Youngstown by Bruce Springsteen – azlyrics.com
Youngstown First Settlers Monument
Located near the Spring Common Bridge, “This Monument was erected by the Mahoning-Youngstown Bicentennial Commission to honor the vigorous pioneers who established this Community and to mark the 200th birthday of the nation on July 4, 1976.”
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Housing
In 1917, the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company (YS&T) formed the Buckeye Land Company, a subsidiary created to provide housing for YS&T employees. Homes were for sale or rent, and were constructed on company-owned land or “plats” in Youngstown, Campbell (East Youngstown), Struthers, and Poland Township. This home-building program was needed for a variety of reasons. Many workers who came to the Mahoning Valley during World War I to meet expanding production demands either needed housing or lived too far away from the mills. Further, during a labor dispute and strike in 1916, rioting sparked a disastrous fire that swept through East Youngstown. Many homes and businesses that were destroyed were rebuilt by YS&T and the Buckeye Land Company subsidiary. Homes were also needed for black workers who were transported to the Mahoning Valley and brought across picket lines to work the mills in the company’s effort to defeat the 1916 strike, many of whom stayed in the area. The Buckeye Land Company was dissolved in November of 1943, when all of its remaining property in Youngstown, Campbell, Struthers, and Poland Township were transferred back to YS&T.
The homes were of varying styles and costs. The 2,3, and 4-room houses were rented for $7.50 to $14.00 per month, with homes of 5 or 6 rooms at a higher rent. These and larger homes were also put up for sale, at the cost of between $4,500 and $7,000. The dwellings were sold with a 15-year group life insurance policy at cost so that the balance due could be paid off should the employee meet with death or permanent disability while on the job. Interest was set at less than 5% on a monthly basis, and adjusted depending on special circumstances faced by the worker, such as lay offs or the loss of jobs during the Great Depression. The goal was to limit loan defaults, which would have been destabilizing for the company.
(Sources: Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, 1915-1970, and Fascinating History of the City of Campbell)
Patrons may also contact the following organizations for more information and access to primary materials:
Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor
Mahoning Valley Historical Society
Campbell Historical Society