In 1966 in Berkeley, California, history buffs and science fiction fans dressed in medieval armor and battled at a huge party in order to “defend in single combat the title of ‘fairest’ for their ladies”. Everyone enjoyed it so much that they decided…

In October 1929, two wheels touched down on the asphalt runway of the Butler County Airport, just over seven miles south of Butler, PA. A glittering red airplane slowed to a stop, its propeller coming to rest as the pilot removed her goggles and rose…

Just under the treeline on the northern border of Harrisville's Prairie Cemetery lies the final resting place of Private Jacob Peck, the only known soldier of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) buried in Butler County. While relatively little is…

It was a seemingly normal Thursday morning on June 9, 1927 in the Lick Hill village just outside of the city of Butler, Pennsylvania. The relative calm of the summer morning was suddenly shattered, however, when a truck carrying nitroglycerin…

“I really miss the Hot Dog Shop --- a day doesn't go by when I [do not] think about it and hope that it's only a dream and that soon I'll wake up. I always thought the Hot Dog Shop would be here forever.” Anonymous, 2005. The connection between…

As the month of November 1903 began, Butler was booming. The city had grown to a population of 18,000, thanks to the expansion of manufacturing industries in the area. The growing city of Butler, filled with life, was unprepared for the public health…

Tucked away in the forest along the banks of Slippery Rock Creek was once a magical park called Stoughton’s Beach. The sounds of laughter resonated above the joyful melodies of the carousel while the buttery aroma of freshly-popped popcorn wafted…

In the mid-twentieth century, Pullman Standard was the powerhouse of Butler industry and commerce. Nearly fifty percent of supplies and materials were purchased within the county. Their payroll funneled millions into the local Butler economy every…

Today the Penn Cinemas is an abandoned building, a ruin that calls back to the time of bright marquee signs and silver screens. The Paramount Theater's Service Corp., based out of Altoona, constructed Penn Cinemas in 1938. James E. Casale designed…

Over a hundred years ago, World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Great War was the end of an era and the beginning of another. The years after the war would see the rise of the Jazz Age, Women’s suffrage,…

On October 16, 1937, Slippery Rock University's North Hall caught fire and burned to the ground, all because of one unfortunate ox. October of 1937 was a big month for Slippery Rock. As of October 6th, six thousand letters had been sent out to…

Just off of South Eberhart Road in Butler Township is an eighty-eight acre English garden, unchanged since 1959: Preston Park. The park was originally created, cultivated, and finally given to Butler by Frank and Jane Preston, a couple who left…

When you think of amusement parks near Western Pennsylvania, places like Kennywood, Idlewild, or Conneaut may come to mind. In the early twentieth century, Butler boasted its own escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just a five-cent,…

March 31, 1943 Flight Cadets arrived in the small town of Slippery Rock to receive training at the local teachers' college for the war that Americans had been entangled in for two years already. Upon stepping onto the campus, the Cadets were greeted…