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Historian to visit Boardman Library to recall Valley’s sSteel legacy

February 1, 2018
The Town Crier

Steel museum founder and historian Rick Rowlands will review Mahoning Valley's rich steel industry legacy Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at Boardman Library, 7680 Glenwood Ave., for the Boardman Historical Society. The program is part of a new series of BHS public offerings.

The presentations are open to the public. Admission is free. Reservations are suggested. Walk-ins are welcomed and admitted based upon seating availability. Phone board member Dona Hammond at 330-726-0651 for reservations or more program information.

Rowlands is the founder of the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum (YSHM), Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation and the Tod Engine Project. A well-known industrial historian, he founded the Jeanette Blast Furnace Association. He is a former governing board member of the Brier Hill Cultural Center and the Youngstown Center of Industry and Labor Friends Association, also known as a steel museum. Rowlands is a frequent presenter, on the Mahoning Valley steel industry, throughout the region and statewide. His efforts have preserved a wide range of industrial relics, at his museum's location, at 2261 Hubbard Road, on Youngstown's East Side, most notably the gigantic Tod Engine.

Article Photos

Steel museum restoration project: the Tod Engine #58

The YSHM has nearly completed the restoration of a railroad steam locomotive, known as J & L number 58, which will operate on a regular basis at the museum, on Youngstown's East Side. Rowlands will recall how the locomotive was found, moved to Youngstown and restored, as well as all the trials and tribulations of working with eighty year old technology, in the 21st century.

Locomotive 58, built for the Jones & Laughlin Steel Pittsburgh Works, moved ingot molds and scrap metal for their Open Hearth from the mid-1930s until the late 1950s. One of very few steel mill locomotives to survive, it is representative of the narrow gauge railroad operations that were common, in most of the Mahoning Valley's steel mills.

The program will recall the formation and development of the industrial Steel Valley and his efforts to save the Jeanette Blast Furnace and other heavy industry artifacts from demolition. Program subjects include YSHM exhibits, the famous Tod Engine, steel barons, steam engines, and the legendary Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company logo, now a symbol of YSHM.

The Boardman Historical Society maintains a museum of Boardman and local artifacts, at Boardman Park, in the historic Detchon House. Tours are by appointment only. The society was instrumental in the purchase of St. James Episcopal Church, which it moved to Boardman Park, and renamed the St. James Meeting House. For more information about the society, contact BHS president, Richard S. Scarsella, at 330-726-8277.



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