Thursday, February 06, 2014
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Click the link to the story on Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
We are mourning the loss of our Dad from this past December, some days are better than others. Dad really loved Hartwood - from the grounds to the Docents, staff, and visitors. He really loved visiting and interacting with the visitors.
If you knew Dad please post some comments and share your thoughts with us. We will be heading to Hartwood sometime this summer for a visit. Our first visit back after Dad's passing will be emotional but healing at the same time.
I have some great photos of Hartwood to post in the coming months, stop back to check them out.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I am sorry to say that my father John W. Lawrence Jr. passed away on December 21, 2011 in Grove City, Pa. Dad fought a long and courageous battle against cancer that he lost on that day.
Hartwood held a special place in Dad's heart and his absence will be felt at Hartwood.
RIP Dad, we all miss you.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Go to their website at www.heinzhistorycenter.org to order your copy today. I ordered mine tonight and will post once I have read the article.
Enjoy your summer, these are the days we wished we had back in January!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
I found this postcard dated 1906 on eBay. It clearly shows that Braemar was located to the right of the entrance to Highland Park. In the postcard Braemar is on the far right of the right entrance column.
Hint: To "supersize" the picture just click on it and it will make the picture much larger so you can see the details.
More pics to follow.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sorry that I have not posted much here lately. Please check out our Hartwood page on Facebook. Just click the link above to be taken to our Hartwood Acres Facebook page. There are lots of great updates and listings of what is happening at Hartwood this summer - lots of great concerts and events to attend - most free.
My daughter and I will be at Hartwood this Saturday 7/24/10 to shoot some video of the mansion and grounds. I will post the video when I can.
There has been a discovery at Hartwood lately - a horse graveyard. I am investigating this and will report on what I find.
Until then, take care and have a great remainder of your summer!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
This wedding video was taken June 11, 1914 (Mary Flinn was 27 years old, John W. Lawrence was 24 years old). The reception was shot at Braemar, the Pittsburgh home of Senator William Flinn. Pretty good film quality for an event that took place 94 years ago.
If you look closely at the bridal table you will see the white swan fountain centerpiece, this is the same fountain seen at the Hartwood mansion today, it is located in the hallway connector between the library and great hall.
This video was transferred to a Mini DV tape from an original 16mm family film that we have had in our family for many years. I wanted to share this film clip with my Hartwood fans, only a few people had seen this clip prior to today.
Enjoy and PLEASE post your comments as I am interested to read your thoughts on this video.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
This is an undated picture of Senator Flinn and his wife Nancy Galbreath Flinn with their 4 sons. Son George Flinn is seated in the front row and in the back row from the left is Ralph Flinn, Arthur Flinn and Rex Flinn.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Please feel free to join and post pictures of this beautiful park - spread the word and get your friends to join!
Article on the dedication of the William Flinn Highway (Route 8). The last time I was in Pittsburgh I noted that there are still some highway signs spelling "Flinn" as "Flynn". Wake up PennDot and replace the misspelled signs!
This is a scan of a newspaper article detailing the filing of Senator Flinn's will. Senator Flinn had assets at the time of his death of app. $10,500,000.00. Mary Flinn Lawrence used her portion of this inheritence to build Hartwood Acres.
This is a scan of a letterhead from Booth & Flinn Construction listing the 3 Flinn brothers as office holders in the company.
I wanted to share some articles of Senator Flinn's passing that were given to me by a friend of our family. The articles were pasted into a leather binder and the binder was kept by A. Rex Flinn, one of Mary Lawrence's brothers. The newspaper articles about Senator Flinn's passing and letters from mourners are all in excellent condition from 1924 and I want to include some of them here for everyone to see. I have scanned and archived the entire binder (over 180 sheets) and have been using the scans as research for my book. Enjoy - Jeff L.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
By Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jennie Benford, an archivist at Carnegie Mellon University, leads a tour through the Homewood Cemetery grave sites of women prominent in social justice battles.
Afternoon sun dappled a rainbow of fall foliage and crows cawed frequently while 18 women strolled through Homewood Cemetery Sunday to learn about local suffragettes.
The women joined the special tour of the 200-acre cemetery hosted by Nancy Bernstein and Steffi Domike of Squirrel Hill, Emily Lippert of Wilkinsburg and Judy Ruszkowski of Highland Park. The tour was auctioned off earlier this year at a benefit for the In Sisterhood project, an effort by historian Patricia Ulbrich to document the local women's movement in the latter half of the 20th century.
First stop was the grave of Rebecca Conner Marchand, a woman who advocated for temperance during the 1840s. She's buried in Section 7, the cemetery's oldest neighborhood.
Jennie Benford, a Carnegie Mellon University archivist who led the tour, said many women joined the temperance movement because they did not work outside the home, putting them at the mercy of husbands, fathers and brothers who spent most of their paychecks on liquor.
Many women who supported temperance also backed women's suffrage because "they realized they would not get anything done without the right to vote," Ms. Benford added.
Three decades later, in the 1870s, Pittsburghers read the sentiments of Elizabeth Wade, who wrote under the pen name of Bessie Bramble. In a wide-ranging newspaper column, she advocated the reform of property, divorce and child labor laws and never shied away from politics.
During the second wave of the local suffrage movement, Eliza Kennedy Smith helped start the Allegheny County Equal Franchise Federation. Her father, Julian Kennedy, a successful engineer, initially served as the group's president.
"This gave them credibility and access to Duquesne Club wallets," Ms. Benford said.
Ms. Smith was one of several suffragists who traveled all over the state of Pennsylvania with a replica of the Liberty Bell. The bell's clapper was tied down and the message was that freedom would not truly ring until women had the right to vote.
Ms. Smith's grandson, Templeton Smith Jr., practices law with the Downtown firm of Thomson, Rhodes & Cowie.
"She was a unique individual. She always made her views known without raising her voice. She never had to. She was very logical and didn't mince words," Mr. Smith said.
Eliza Kennedy Smith's granddaughter, Eliza Smith Brown, is a historian who lives in Squirrel Hill and is writing a book about her famous relative called "She Devils at the Door."
One of Mrs. Brown's favorite stories about her grandmother involves baseball. Pittsburgh, Mrs. Brown said, had a special affinity for the World Series because it was born out of an agreement between the Pirates' Barney Dreyfuss and Boston's Henry Killilea, who decided in 1903 to stage a best-of-nine-games playoff for the world championship.
In 1915, twice-daily newspaper reports were not enough to satisfy the public's demand for coverage. While the morning Post and the evening Sun posted scores every few minutes in their office windows, that caused congestion. So Pittsburgh City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting window posters.
Local suffragettes saw their opportunity for a captive audience and appealed to Herbert Dupuy, a Downtown arcade owner who backed their cause. Local newspapers agreed to call the scores in to the suffragettes.
"The fans would come into this arcade 2,000 at a time. The suffragettes were in this arcade from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and had as many as 10,000 people a day," Mrs. Brown said.
In between the newspaper reports about the World Series, suffragettes jumped on their soap box.
"They held court in this empty arcade and they would get up and say, 'So and so just hit a home run, and by the way, women ought to be given the vote,' " Mrs. Brown said.
When women finally got the vote in 1919, Pittsburgh Mayor Edward Vose Babcock encouraged the "blowing of whistles and ringing of bells."
"I wonder if he was running for mayor," mused Pamela Murray of Squirrel Hill, one of the women who took the tour.
Over at the Flinn family mausoleum is Mary Flinn Lawrence, who grew up at Hartwood Acres, a mansion that's now part of a county park. Ms. Lawrence was the daughter of Pittsburgh political boss William Flinn. In 1915, Ms. Lawrence marched in a suffrage parade in Pittsburgh with her fiance, John Lawrence. The banner was so heavy that she struggled under its weight, and he offered to carry it.
The banner read, "If men can vote, why can't I?" But Mr. Lawrence didn't read it until the parade ended. That's when he understood why so many people along the route were laughing at him.
Nobody laughed at Perle Mesta, the famed Washington hostess who was widowed at age 36 when her husband died in 1925, leaving her a fortune of $78 million. Today, that estate would be worth $900 million. Mrs. Mesta belonged to the National Woman's Party and supported the Equal Rights Amendment.
"She was a king maker and an early supporter of Harry Truman, who made her ambassador to Luxembourg in 1949," Ms. Benford said.
Across the road from the Mesta family mausoleum is Daisy Lampkin, who was known as "Mrs. N.A.A.C.P." An ardent suffragette and civil rights activist, Mrs. Lampkin was a phenomenal organizer and fundraiser. Famed for her hats, she was known as "Aunt Daisy."
To learn more about local history in Homewood Cemetery, check out an hour-long walking tour, "Taking It With You," from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday. It focuses on Section 14, where members of prominent Pittsburgh families, such as the Heinzes, Fricks, Mellons and Benedums, are buried. Cost is $5. To register, call 412-421-1822.
Marylynne Pitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1648.
From left to right:
Hannah Lawrence (my daughter)
Kim Lawrence (my wife)
Jeff Lawrence (me)
John W. Lawrence Jr. (My dad)
Suzanne Franklin (my mom)
Lee Lawrence (my brother)
Jason "Bink" Lawrence (my nephew)
Lori Lawrence (my sister in law)
There you have it, the entire cast of characters. Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I was loaned some pictures of Hartwood being built which I scanned in and attached below. I was also loaned scrapbooks from 1924-1927 documenting the passing of William Flinn of which I am busy perusing and studying for research for my book.
I added some comments to the pictures below, enjoy!
This is a view of the rear (front) of the mansion. Here again the cottage is not attached to the main part of the mansion. Note the large awning, this room is where the tours start.
View of the rear (front) of the mansion. Another perfect picture showing that the cottage and mansion are not connected. Note the scaffolding on the cottage.
Pretty cool stuff eh? I will be posting some other little tidbits in the upcoming weeks.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
I just wanted to give you an update on the Hartwood movies. Dad and I stopped at the film company in Coraopolis last Thursday and showed our movies to the owner of the company. We were thrilled to find out that they are in excellent condition for being so old. We left 2 film rolls with him – 1 titled “John and Mary Wedding” and another titled “The Lawrence Boys”.
They transferred the 2 rolls of films onto a DV tape as well as DVD for us. I received everything back this past Saturday (48 hours turnaround) and Dad and I reviewed the DVD tonight that they sent.
The Wedding video is outstanding; it shows the cars pulling up to the church with Mary getting out of the one car as well as all of the other cars with the bridesmaids. There is also footage of the bridal party dancing as well as the sit down dinner – complete with footage of John and Mary at the head table with the fountain flowing that now sits in the hall at Hartwood. There is also great footage of the Flinn brothers as well as Mary’s mother Nancy Galbraith. This video is black and white and in great shape for being almost 100 years old.
The 2nd video shows Dad and Bill on Christmas morning opening presents in front of the Christmas tree in the great room – this video shows Dad is around 8 years old, Bill around 5, and this entire video is in color. There is also footage of horse shows at Hartwood, Mary riding sidesaddle, and even footage of John Heinz and Dad playing around when they were both around 8 years old. There is also footage of Brownie and Dad and Bill on horseback. The reel ends with a winter scene of Dad and Bill sled riding at the front of the house that slopes down to the woods. The footage quality is outstanding.
There are almost 18 more rolls of film to go; it cost us about $50.00/roll to get them transferred. Each roll we have is 7” in dia. and is 16mm. Our goal is to have a professionally produced video that will show the pictoral history of Hartwood.
Until next time,
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I visited with Dad this weekend and we went through some old photos that he had and I thought that I would post them due to their interesting content. The first photo below - and we are unsure of who took them - shows the stables probably sometime in the 1950's. They look pretty much back then as they look today.
The photo shown below is of the Hartwood stable master and master of the hunt. His name was Merle Brown - to us he was known as Brownie and he took care of the stables, the horses and all of the riding equipment concerning the foxhunt. Brownie and his wife Alice Brown lived in the house adjacent to the stables. When Mary Lawrence sold Hartwood to Allegheny County in 1974 it was stipulated in the sales contract that the Browns would live rent free in their house until their passing which is what happened.
This photo below my friends is one of only 2 photos taken of the Hartwood mansion under construction! It shows the front (actually rear) carriage entrance with scaffolding on the roof and debris piles in the front. This photo # is #B05
This leads me to believe that there are many more pictures from this photo lot to be found! Each of the above 3 pictures measures app. 2.5" x 3.5" and are black and white. I am going to dig into our family archive to find as many of these little pictures as I can. This is a real find because no one had found pictures of the Hartwood mansion under construction until now!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Where: Hartwood Acres, Allison Park, PA
When: Saturday, April 18, 2009; sign-in 11 AM – 2 PM
What is Orienteering? Orienteering is a competitive form of land navigation. It is for all ages and degrees of fitness and skill, and all-weather. It provides the suspense and excitement of a treasure hunt. The object of orienteering is to locate control points by using a map and compass to navigate through the woods.
What to bring? All you will need to bring is a compass (if you do not have one, we can loan you one), and appropriate footwear to walk in the woods.
Event Details: The courses offered at Hartwood Acres will include Cross Country courses for beginner and advanced beginner, intermediate and experienced orienteers. Cross country courses involve finding a series of control flags in a pre-specified sequence. Come early if you plan to do more than one course.
Sign In 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
· Must Finish the course by 3:30 pm
Instruction for novices: Available on site
Cost: $4.00 per map (family or group can share one map if they wish)
Event Location: Hartwood Acres, Allison Park. On Middle Road, near Central Elementary School. Look for red-and-white arrow signs.
Questions: Contact Jim Wolfe at email@example.com
Check our website, www.wpoc.org for complete details and driving directions for this event and the entire WPOC schedule of events.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I have exciting news about the reels of family film shot in and around Hartwood from the 1920's-1930's. I have an appointment with a film company in Coreopolis, Pa. next month so that they can review the 16mm black and white films to examine the the condition of the film so that it can be determined whether they are usable at all.
I will update this site once I have further info. I have also been in touch with a video production company to explore the feasibility of producing a video of Hartwood.
Till next time..........
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I know it's been a while since I posted - only 6 months ;-O - about Hartwood this past Christmas season. Our good friend Amber Bierkan put this beautiful display on and I wanted all of my readers to see it on this blog if they had not in person.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas season as well as New Years and I am optimistic that 2009 will be a great year.
I hope to see you soon at Hartwood, unfortunately we did not get down to Hartwood since June '08 when I last posted. We plan on getting back soon though. I am still compiling info. for my book about Hartwood - it is a slow tedious task but one that I am up for. I will keep you informed about the progress of my writing of my great tome.
In the meantime, enjoy the article and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any info. about Hartwood to share.
Take care until next time,