Located in a former boarding house for steel workers, this museum operated by the Greater Monessen Historical Society showcases local history, offers three exhibits per year, ethnic food demonstrations, lectures and a travel series. It has a gallery of historic photographs, a research library and archives.
Named after a German city, Monessen is a small town in rural Westmoreland County that was once a steel-making center with more than 20,000 people. It was a Rust Belt town in the "Mon Valley" of southwestern Pennsylvania. The population began dropping after its largest employer, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, closed nearly all its Monessen operations in 1986.
The Greater Monessen Historical Society is composed of citizens who come from Monessen's diverse ethnic heritage and strong industrial background who want to protect, preserve and enhance that heritage.
The museum's key resources are the Pittsburgh Steel Collection, the John Hurranko Collection and the Ethnic Collection.
The Pittsburgh Steel Collection contains memos, pictures, artifacts and more on the steel mill that once employed 10,000 workers.
The John Hurranko Collection is photographs and negatives of the photographer of the Monessen Daily Independent newspaper covering a 10 year span in the 1950s.
The Ethnic Collection features pictures, materials, books and more on the varied ethnic groups that comprised Monessen. It its heyday there were 29 different ethnic groups in the community.
The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Metered, on-street parking is available.