Vandergrift in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Something Better Than the Best
Everything was made ready in advance: the mill was built; streets and sidewalks were graded and paved; utilities installed; trees planted, and street lights erected. Next, free lots and half the cost of construction were offered to churches. Finally, building lots were offered for sale to workers so that they could build their own homes. In 1895, this was a unique idea in America — that a company would build a town entirely in advance and then turn opportunity for development over to workers.
The Casino Theatre
The Casino Theatre was built in 1900
(background photo caption)
This close-up of the Casino features all of the cars owned in Vandergrift in the early days of the 20th century.
Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trail
The Kiskiminetas River was once one of the most polluted rivers in the Commonwealth. Thanks to the efforts of environmental stewards, it has seen an astounding recovery. The water trail is now a key feature in the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway™ and a popular destination for canoeists and kayakers.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1895.
Location. 40° 36.271′ N, 79° 33.892′ W. Marker is in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, in Westmoreland County. Marker is on Grant Avenue just east of Lincoln Street (State Route 56), on the right when traveling west. Marker is located on the walkway at the south end of the parking lot between Lincoln Street and Washington Avenue, overlooking the Vandergrift Casino Theater. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 145 Lincoln Street, Vandergrift PA 15690, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Vandergrift (within shouting distance of this marker); St Gertrude Roman Catholic Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Nellie Bly (approx. 1.3 miles away); Pennsylvania Canal (approx. 2.4 miles away); D. Leech & Company / Western Transportation Company (approx. 2.7 miles away); The Siberian Iron Works (approx. 2.8 miles away); Fort Hand (approx. 4½ miles away); In Memory of Lieutenant Michael Schall, Sr. (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vandergrift.
Regarding Vandergrift. Vandergrift Historic District is
Also see . . .
1. Vandergrift — the history. Founded in 1895, Vandergrift was the first successful planned industrial town designed to be sold to its workers. The town’s success came swiftly. Soon the mill became the world’s largest rolling mill, hundreds of private homes were built, the population swelled to 11,000, and a delegation from the British Parliament came to study its success. (Submitted on September 10, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Borough of Vandergrift. McMurtry believed in what was later known as welfare capitalism, with the company going beyond paychecks to provide for the social needs of the workers. A strike and lockout at McMurtry's steelworks in Apollo, Pennsylvania, had prompted him to build the new town. The rates of homeownership and cordial relationships between the steel company and Vandergrift residents fostered loyalty among McMurtry's skilled workers and led to McMurtry's greatest success. (Submitted on September 10, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Vandergrift Historic District (Wikipedia). Vandergrift Historic District encompasses 625 contributing buildings and 2 contributing sites in Vandergrift. They were built between about 1895 and 1925, and include a mix of residential, (Submitted on September 10, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 126 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 10, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.