Evans City, Pennsylvania





204C South Jackson Street                             Evans City, PA 16033


                E-mail address: evanscityhistory@gmail.com                   

Web site: www.evanscityhistory.com




The meeting will be held at the VFW Hall on North Washington Street.

We will be treated to a sit-down dinner prepared and served by the VFW Auxiliary.

Our program ‘Moraine State Park: the Book’ will be presented by Polly Shaw.

Polly is a retired Seneca Valley teacher who has researched the story of Moraine State Park from when it was only a glimmer of an idea in the 1940’s. She has followed the development of the site from that early dream through its many stages and the people who worked diligently along the way until today when it attracts over a million and a quarter of visitors a year. Polly has numerous slides she will share. She will bring with her her book MORAINE STATE PARK which can be purchased and which she will sign.


**  Our meetings are free and open to any and all who are interested in history, both  local and area wide. Because of our special program, this time our Dinner Meeting is also open to  anyone interested in a good meal as well as an interesting program. See necessary form on last page.



Heather Pepin & Evelyn Sinz



Reid & Emiko Banyay;  Nan Barton;  Matthew Beahm;  Marge Burke; Ann & Salvatore Dino; Patricia English;  Dan Frishkorn; Roland Herb;  Leland & Norma Iman;  Jim & Carol Larkin; Janice & Karen Marburger; Jean Marshall; Karen & Larry Martino; Carol Pfeifer Morrison;  Pittsburgh Plug; Archie & Arlene Purvis;  Chalmers & Helen  Richardson;  Wayne & Peggy Roccio; Bev Sacripant; Don & Donna Sailer; Rita Schoeffel;  Ronald Shakely; Tom & Judy Smith;  Kathy & Jim Voltz; Kinsey/Volz Funeral Home.


OUR SYMPATHY to the family of  Dean McMillen. Dean passed away March 2, 2018 at the VNA Hospice in Butler. He was involved in many organizations and activities in Evans City, his hometown, which he cared for very deeply. Dean will be missed.


In 1925, the Elliot Nursery, founded in 1890 by J. Wilkinson Elliot of Pittsburgh and  located in Springdale, moved their office and warehouse to the Evans City area and located on the Mars- Evans City Road in Forward Township. This land was located along the Mars-Evans City Road roughly from John’s Bar and Grill to that of the Marburger Dairy Farm. The president of the company at that time was Rhea F. Elliott. Their landscape architects were located in the Magee Building in Pittsburgh. The grounds around the office were developed as a showroom and in the spring the display of tulips and other spring bulbs and shrubs was worth traveling miles to see.  Besides the nursery stock, Elliott’s big business was importing bulbs from Holland. It was mainly a mail order business, although you could come to the Evans City location and make purchases. Each spring catalogs were mailed out to all parts of the United States. In the fall, orders would be filled and mailed out. For a number of years Elliott had a tulip show each spring and people would come from a radius of 50 miles  to see the display. On Saturdays and Sundays cars would be  parked along  both sides of the road from May Lane to beyond where Marburger Dairy sits today,  and in the other direction on both sides of the road toward Evans City. When Hitler invaded Holland in May 1940, the nursery went out of business because they could no longer import the bulbs. In 1940 Elliott sold the land to a Mr. Smith 



     It was with mixed feeling that we left our home in Oxford and climbed into the car which would take us to Southampton docks. On the one hand we were happy that we were going to meet our three sisters and brother again. On the other, we were sorry to leave the home where we had lived all our lives. Memories of happy days spent there and also memories of the war years were vivid in our minds, making the house seem part of us. It was seven thirty in the morning of April 6th when we left and we arrived at Southampton docks at noon. We went straight into the custom sheds and I can still remember  my first sight of the liner, the Queen Elizabeth, on which we were to sail. Never in all my life had I seen anything so large. From  where I stood looking up I couldn’t see the top deck. We went through the Customs in ten minutes and at last my parents, two brothers, twin sister and I were walking up the gangplank on to the ship. Blood tests, vaccinations, X-rays and the tedious process of obtaining visas and passports, all were behind us and now we were really on our way.

     The first thing we did on board was to go and get installed in our cabins. There were two, one large and one small, both as neat and clean as a new pin and very compactly arranged. After the time for meals had been arranged, we explored as much as possible of the great liner whose gross tonnage was 83,.643. We found everything from beauty salons and  cinemas  to stores, lounges, sun decks, sports decks amd elevators. At four forty- five in the afternoon the tugs pulled the liner out of the harbour and we started across the /English Channel, past Land’s End to Cherbourg. Meanwhile I got up on the Prom. Deck, struggling into my life belt for a Passanger Boat Driill.  By nine-thirty we all had retired, lulled to sleep by the gentle swaying of the ship. Awaking about midnight I heard chains clanking, door banging and the bustle of the French passengers boarding. By this time waves were slapping against the ship’s sides and every so often the whole ship shuddered as her screws came out of the water

     On the second day at sea we run into a storm which delayed the crossing by almost two days. The wind was so great on the Sports Deck that to cross it one had to practically crawl along hanging on to a rope strung from end to end. All around nothing could be seen but waves crashing and foaming at the sides of the ship, so high up as you were, spray was dashed into your face.

     At seven-thirty every morning a steward knocked on the door and a program and the ‘Ocean Times’ was slipped underneath. As soon as you left the cabin a steward came, cleaned up and put clean linen on all the bunks. I never did find how they made those bunks so neatly and quickly. The meals, which were served in a vast dining hall, were wonderful, especially to us, who for as long as I can remember, had been used to the shortages and rationing of food in England. The waiter who served us made it his special duty to seat the twins in their high chairs and tie on their bibs. He even kept a copy of each day’s menu for me as souvenirs. I still have them.

     It seemed strange at first to walk along the corridors with the floor swaying underneath your feet, but when I had found my sea legs I was all over the ship exploring and making friends, I liked it so much that I could have lived there for weeks. My favorite haunt was behind the first funnel on the top deck. Up there at six in the morning with a stiff breeze blowing, my father and I used to watch the sailors swabbing the decks below and after a turn around the deck, stop in the sun deck for a cup of tea, ‘the Englishman’s indispensable’.

     On April the eleventh we saw the faint, misty blue outline of land, seagulls wheeled around the decks and fishing boats were sighted. The seagulls followed us right into the harbour, past the famous Statue of Liberty now a dull green, into pier 90. We had at last reached out destination!:

     At four o’clock in the afternoon we stepped once more onto land and into the Customs sheds. I don’t think that I’ll  ever forget those Custom sheds. All was noise and bustle, everybody seeming to  be going somewhere fast. We were there four hours before they inspected our luggage. Finally, at a little after eight o’clock we made our way out to the exit. By this time it was dark and we were more than a little bewildered.by the noise, the glaring, blinking lights, the throngs of people and the general hubbub of New York. One of our sisters was supposed to meet us there, but unknown to us she had been told that the ship wouldn’t dock until ren o’clock. So there we were s, standing on a New York  street in a new country, knowing only seven people in the whole of it. Needless to say, we were a little worried at first because the children were all practically asleep and obviously wouldn’t wait another two hours for our sister. Then, after having pondered a while we decided that the best thing to do was to get into a taxi and see if they couldn’t  find where she lived. The d\river proved very helpful and after speeding through several streets he crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and dropped us on 54th Street, Brooklyn, Once there we soon found her house. Thus ended a very delightful journey from England to America.

Jessica Young ’s journey to the United States occurred in the mid 1940’s when she was a teen ager of 13 or 14. Down the road she would meet and marry Julian Bieber. In 1956 they would purchase the remaining Elliott Nursery property andbuildings and begin their greenhouse business. The tornado of May 1985 wiped out the buildings and greenhouses. Nothing remains today.


If you look around for your 2018 Membership Card and can’t find it, chances are you have yet to pay your dues. We try to get these cards in the mail within a week or two of receiving your dues. Please double check. 


Yes! I want to help preserve our history



            Individual.....$10.00                                                               Student..... $2.00

            Husband & Wife..... $18.00                                                     Patron..... $100.00

            Family (children under 18)..... $25.00                                    Benefactor.....$250.00


Name:                                                                                      Phone  number:                                              


City:                                                                                  State:                       Zip                                       

(Optional) – email address:                                                                                                                           

(Optional) I’d like to add this additional donation: for the Historical Society                                              

Enclosed is a check made payable to Evans City Area Historical Society for                                 

Please forward this form and check to:

Evans City Area Historical Society   204 C. S. Jackson St., Evans City, PA  16033


We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Any donation you make along with your dues  may be  tax deductible..




* Once again we will hold our annual dinner meeting at the VFW on North Washington Street. We will have the dining room all to ourselves that evening. The entrance to the dining room is easily accessible by a side door on the north side of the building. The price is $13.00 per person.



Choice of

 #1 - Stuffed Chicken Breast

Mashed potato and gravy, Green Beans

Salad with choice of dressing - 

Rolls & Butter - Beverages - Dessert


#2 Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Salad with choice of dressing

Beverages - Dessert



          Name ______________________________________  Menu Choice ___________

          Name ______________________________________  Menu Choice ___________

Enclosed is a check made payable to Evans City Area Historical Society for                                 

Please forward this information and check to:

Evans City Area Historical Society   204 C. S. Jackson St., Evans City, PA  16033





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