June 16, 2008

Dunbar’s 125h Birthday Celebration Kicks Off

By Mark Hofmann, The Daily Courier, Connellsville, Pa.

Jun. 16--Rain didn't dampen the spirits of borough residents who got together to kick off the 125th birthday of their town.

Dunbar Borough was named after Col. Thomas Dunbar, a member of the Braddock expedition, a failed British attempt to capture the French Fort Duquesne, where Pittsburgh is now, during the French and Indian War. The battle took place in the summer of 1755.

The area of Col. Dunbar's staging camp is present-day Dunbar

With the railroad system and their iron works, the town was known as "Little Pittsburgh" during the height of iron manufacturing.

Originally called Dunbar City, Dunbar was officially incorporated on June 26, 1883.

On Saturday, the town dedicated a new town clock on Connellsville Street near Burhans-Crouse Funeral Home.

Councilman Bill Watson developed the idea for the clock and council agreed to purchase it to give something back to the community.

Local dignitaries helped celebrate the birthday as well.

State Sen. Richard Kasunic said many who gathered for the clock dedication were descendants of the town.

"That says a lot for the community and the ability for people to get through the hard times," Kasunic said. "The future was bright back then and in all honesty, I believe the future is bright for Dunbar again."

Kasunic read a citation from the Senate.

State Rep. Deberah Kula read a citation from the state House.

"The dedication of the clock today is another great tribute to the borough," Kula said.

Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, who grew up in Connellsville, said every time she has visited Dunbar, she always sees something new.

"And that goes to the spirit and the will of the people," Zimmerlink said. "That's the one thing that's always with Dunbar."

Saturday's celebration included the ribbon cutting to the new borough playground.

Former council members Kathy Dynes and Ben Beal, both of whom were instrumental in development of the playground attended.

Along with a comfort station and pavilion, the playground includes a jungle gym, horses on springs, monkey bars, a see-saw, swings, a merry-go-round, handicap-accessible swings and physical fitness equipment provided by Steps for a Healthy PA-Fayette County.

Other activities held Saturday included an open house and flea market inside the Dunbar Historical Society, rides on the Central Fayette Railroad, a flag-burning ceremony by American Legion Post 146, a pig roast at the Dunbar Borough Fire Hall, and live entertainment by The Dunbar Boys and Wash House Band.

The celebration will continue in the borough. The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs is planning a presentation for the 125th anniversary, likely at the Community Fest on Sept. 27. The year's celebration will end with a Christmas party for borough children on Dec. 6.


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Copyright (c) 2008, The Daily Courier, Connellsville, Pa.

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