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Produced here by permission of O'Hara Township History Committee

"Portrait of an American Community: O’Hara Township, PA"


Product of O'Hara Township History Committee - 2008

(The full-color dustjacket front cover illustration is by primitive artist John Kane who between 1928 and 1930
did a painting series of this area in the township. The original painting can be found in the Museum of Modern Art.)

(Content primarily written, typeset, laid-out and edited by Tom Powers of Power Media and Design
Other contributing O'Hara Township History Committee members included
Ruth Weir, Carol Szwedko. Al Zimmerman, John Arch and Jack Reynolds.)


1945-46 O'Hara School Band at Kerr School
(click on photo for enlarged version)

The Township of O’Hara has just published its own comprehensive history. Thirty-three years in the making, this 292-page, 8.5x11-inch book is packed with information including over 500 photographs, maps and illustrations showing the unique qualities of the area (which also includes Aspinwall, Blawnox, Fox Chapel, and Sharpsburg). Take this effort as an historical investigation of a “core sample” of the United States of America. Inside are a series of stories that comprise the development of an American community. Many of these stories might be, in their own way, very familiar to those in other communities, in other states. From tales of the first Americans, to those of the first settlers, to the latest real estate transactions, O’Hara Township’s chronicles mirror America’s growth. In addition to portraits of many personalities, there are stories about Veteran’s Hospital; Blawnox Company; Allegheny County Workhouse; the Poorhouse; the Pittsburgh area’s first municipal airfield and first industrial park; plus a local restaurant’s secret barbecue sauce.

“This beautifully illustrated and thoroughly engrossing history of an American community is local history as it should be written. A pleasure to read and a joy for the eye.”Linda Lear, biographer of Rachel Carson, "Witness for Nature"

“The township has produced a book rich with information on their history. It’s rare to see a community history so thoroughly researched including bibliographies at the end of each chapter and a complete index. Every page is full of interesting facts.”Art Louderback, "Western Pennsylvania History Magazine," Fall 2008

“Who knew Charles Dickens and Amelia Earhart each passed through O’Hara Township? ... They are two of the famous figures that give O’Hara Township its rich, if little-known history... Although named for one of Pittsburgh’s early entrepreneurs, James O’Hara, the township also can boast affiliations with famous scions, including H. J. Heinz, who grew cabbage in O’Hara, and Joseph M. Katz, who endowed the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business with some of the fortune he made at his O’Hara paper manufacturing plant.”Deborah Weisberg, "Shady Ave Magazine," Fall 2008

Purchase the book locally at the O'Hara Township municipal building, 325 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.  Phone: 412-784-1784


Purchase the book at the Heinz History Center Museum Shop, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  Phone: 412-454-6000

Additional book views may be seen at:

Tom Powers,
Power Media and Design
328 Second Street, Pittsburgh, PA  15215
Phone: 412-781-7076, Fax: 412-781-8118


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