Dunbar Historical Society
The Dunbar Historical Society was founded in 1995 and has been housed in a former post office building since 2006. The society displays historical artifacts and memorabilia that are mainly related to the coal mining and coke producing industry of the region. It owns and displays a reconstructed coke oven that sits just across the street from its headquarters and has established a trailhead for the multiuse Sheepskin Trail that connects to the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.
Backstory and Context
The society's self-proclaimed mission is "...to provide an avenue to discuss, discover, collect and preserve any material that will establish and illustrate the history of Dunbar and to disseminate this historical information by publishing materials, holding meetings, and providing educational opportunities to ensure that present and future generations can share in and understand their rich history."
The society's non-working coke oven was completed in 2010 and was built with unused bricks from the nearby Shamrock and Shoaf Coke Works and was built entirely by society members and other volunteers. The oven is large enough for visitors to walk through.
In addition to displaying coke oven schematics, documents and a slide show of the building process, the society also displays the art of Suzanne Pascal in its recently added Pascal Annex. The center piece of the annex is Pascal's Seated Torso, a 2,800-pound sculpture of green polished glass, which the society claims is the largest piece of carved glass on the globe.
Forbes, Marilyn. "Dunbar Historical Society rebuilding part of its history, Literally." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Accessed December 5, 2016. http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/regional/fayette/s_630141.html
Zemba, Liz. "$3.5 million glass sculpture's story begins, ends in rural community of Dunbar." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. April 21, 2015. Accessed December 5, 2016. http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/8208118-74/glass-dunbar-sculpture