The Westmoreland Cultural Trust Presents: Wings Across Westmoreland
Trafford Borough Wings
LOCATION: 296 East Edgewood Avenue, Trafford, PA 15085
START DATE: March 23rd, 2024
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The Trafford Wings project was fully funded by the St. Mark’s Church committee.
The background mural of the wings display was added in November 2022 by artist Zachary Rutter. https://www.zacharyrutterart.com/
The Trafford Wings Images Reference Guide
1. Westinghouse: This is one of a few of logos used by The Westinghouse Company over the years. The complex began with the opening of the foundry in 1903. It would expand to include a high-voltage laboratory, Micarta plant, Power Circuit Breaker, and printing divisions. Below the logo is an example of a circuit breaker loaded on a railcar to be shipped to a power company.
2. Little League Baseball: Located on the opposite side of the Trafford Bridge from the Westinghouse Complex, Trafford youngsters enjoyed America’s pastime – baseball. Over many years, Little League baseball in Trafford occupied the summer evenings of many children hoping to be future stars. In the late 1960’s, a larger field was added behind the smaller field to allow Pony and Colt Leagues to play along with the American Legion team. Baseball was also played at the South Trafford fields and Trafford Middle School fields.
3. Trafford Keystone Marker: Standing today at the end Westmoreland County side of the Trafford bridge, the familiar Trafford Keystone marker overlooks the site of the original Westinghouse Foundry. The marker states that Trafford was named by George Westinghouse after Trafford Park in England in 1904. The cast iron marker was in disrepair for quite some time and was restored to its original condition. A replica of this marker is located on Route 130 as you enter Trafford from Penn Township.
4. Trafford Bank Building: Built in 1903 as the Trafford Inn, this building served as a meeting place for Westinghouse executives to gather and socialize. By 1923, it became the Trafford First National Bank and would later become the home of Mellon Bank. Although nowadays commonly referred to as the “bank building”, it also once housed the Trafford Post Office and various other businesses for many years. The basement was also once home to a few popular restaurants including Daniel’s and Jo’s.
5. Streetcars: After the Trafford was founded, the streetcars soon followed as a means of transportation from the valley and beyond to Pittsburgh. Later on, another line was established that ran along Westmoreland Road and on to Irwin and Greensburg. Trafford became an important junction point for trolleys coming from the east and west. By the 1960’s, with increased bus services, the streetcar was reduced to a single daily run and eventually discontinued altogether. Fun Fact: The “1904” on the trolley is in reference to the founding year of Trafford City.
6. Soda Fountains: A banana split or an ice cream soda could be enjoyed at either of two local establishments with counter service that was popular from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. Harlich’s and Weyandt’s were both located on Cavitt Avenue and served food along with an assortment of soda fountain goodies. On Friday evenings, both were popular gathering places for Trafford teenagers after seeing a movie at McBride’s Theater.
7. Taverns: After a long day of working in the hot foundry, many of the workers went in search of their favorite “watering hole” to enjoy a cold beverage or two. Cavitt and Brinton Avenues along with a few side streets in town were home to many of these places. Some of the ethnic groups also had social clubs where members could gather with others that shared the same language and customs. Of these, the Polish and Italian Clubs still exist today.
8. BY Park: On a cold winter’s day, youngsters in the area would enjoy ice hockey and skating at the popular BY Park. In the early 1900’s, BY was a simple pond in the woods but was later dredged in 1995 and the surrounding area developed into the beautiful recreation park that we know today. The name “BY” comes from a shortened version of the “Blackburn Wye”, a term used to designate a turning point on the nearby railroad.
9. The Westmoreland Heritage Trail: Following the route of the railroad that once traveled from Trafford to Export, the Westmoreland Heritage Trail welcomes bicycle riders and hikers the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery as it runs parallel to the Turtle Creek. Along the trail, there are historical signs that details the history of the former rail line and other points of interest.
10. See Number 6.
11. McBride’s Theater: Established in 1921 at the cost of $40,000.00, McBride’s Theater became the most popular place in Trafford on Friday evenings. The theater entertained movie goers with silent films in the early years. It was renovated twice – in 1930 and again in 1949. The theater continued to operate until 1977 when it was purchased by Sherm Edwards and reopened as the now-famous Sherm Edwards Candies.
12. Trafford Club Alleys: The present day Theatre Factory on Cavitt Avenue was once a bowling alley. From 1946 to 1968, it was known as the Trafford Club Alleys and was a popular Friday night gathering place for bowling leagues that were sponsored by various local clubs and businesses.
13. Drug Stores: Typical of local drug stores in its time, Harlich’s and Weyandt’s, both once located on Cavitt Avenue, provided essential services and prescriptions for common ailments. Similar to some modern day pharmacies, these drug stores made home deliveries for local residents that did not have transportation.
14. Trafford Memorial Park: Dedicated on November 11, 1919 with 122 names, the WWI monument can be found in the Trafford Memorial Park on Edgewood Avenue. The park also contains monuments dedicated to the other wars that the United States has been involved with throughout the years. The WWI monument was officially designated as a “WWI Centennial Memorial” by the WWI Centennial Commission.
15. Saint Regis Roman Catholic Church: In 1905, St. Regis Roman Catholic Church was established as a Mission Church of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Officially dedicated in 1907, it was the first church built on Homewood Avenue. In 1959, the present-day church was built with an integral school that opened in September 1960. Due to declining enrollment, the school was closed in 1993. However, the building that housed the former school was repurposed as administrative offices and also provides spaces for other church related activities.
16. First United Presbyterian Church Bell Tower: The prominent bell tower of the former First United Presbyterian Church on Edgewood Avenue was dedicated in its present day location in 1931. In 1970, the church became the Faith United Presbyterian Church when a merger took place between other congregations of similar faiths. Today, non-denominational services are held at its location.
17. The Trafford Elementary School Bell: The bell that is rung at Penn-Trafford High School graduation, football victories, and other special events once hung in the bell tower that was atop the Trafford Elementary School on Edgewood Avenue. In 1909, the folks in Trafford contributed the funding needed to purchase the bell. The bell would ring to summon students to class until the school’s closing in the late 1980’s.
18. The Christian Live Church: Originally located on Cavitt Avenue as the Trafford Gospel Tabernacle, was relocated in 1973 and is now the Christian Life Church on Route 130.
19. The Mount Bethel Baptist Church: Founded in April of 1918, The Mount Bethel Baptist Church located on Brinton Avenue still continues to hold Sunday services for Trafford and surrounding communities.
20. Trafford Fire Company #1: Dating back to the founding of Trafford in 1904, the Trafford Fire Company #1 was located on the ground floor of the borough building that once stood on Duquesne Avenue. The siren atop the building became a familiar sound to local residents as it served to alert the fire company members to report to the station for any emergencies and signaled curfew for minors in the borough. The fire company currently occupies the ground floor of the current municipal building.
21. Trafford High School Insignia: Found on anything associated with the former Trafford High School, including letterman jackets and sweaters, the letter “T” represented the old school’s nickname – “The Tomahawks”. In May 1972, the last graduating class of Trafford High School walked out of the school’s doors and with the new merger, the Junior Class entered their Senior year at the new Penn-Trafford High School.
22. Trinity United Methodist Church: In 1904, the Trinity United Methodist Church was founded on Duquesne Avenue and plans were soon made to construct a permanent structure to house the congregation. The building was dedicated in 1924 and the church is looking forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024.
23. Trafford Police Department: In 1905, Trafford had its first uniformed police officer. Today, the Trafford Police Department continues to protect and serve the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These days, the Trafford Police Department is located on the ground floor of the borough building and have the most up-to-date equipment necessary to serve our community.
24. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The former St. Mark’s Lutheran Church congregation met at various locations throughout the years until they dedicated their church on Fourth Street in June 1963. After declining membership, the church closed in 2019. However, in 2022, the remaining members of St. Mark’s Church graciously funded the entire Trafford Wings Project.
Official Unveiling Event – Saturday, July 9, 2022
Thank you to the following individuals that worked together to make this community project a success:
Adam Seifert, Westmoreland Cultural Trust
Pat Bayko, Trafford Council Member and St. Marks Committee Member
Jean Gregg, St Marks Committee Member
Steve Perovich, Trafford Borough Council Vice-President
Andrew Capets, Trafford Historical Society
Bob Kozubal, Trafford Historical Society
Ralph Deabner, Resident and Former Council Member
Jaime Peticca, Current Trafford Borough Manager
Ashley Stack, Former Trafford Borough Manager
Kris Cardiff, Trafford Borough Council President