About Us

WJHHS Beginnings

The West Jefferson Hills Historical Society is a non-profit organization which was formed in the spring of 2000. It all began when Joyce Schmidt, school librarian and local historian, advertised in a community newspaper that a meeting was to be held at the Jefferson Municipal Building to discuss the formation of a local historical society. On the night of that meeting, the Community Room of the municipal building was full to bursting with an enthusiastic group of local residents.

The historical society began as and continues to be an extension of the Jefferson Hills Library, but very early on a contingent from a small Pleasant Hills historical society suggested that the two historical groups merge. It was soon decided that jurisdiction of the newly formed Jefferson historical society would encompass the same three communities that make up the area's school district:  West Elizabeth, Jefferson Hills, and Pleasant Hills. Thus the society took the name West Jefferson Hills Historical Society, and it determined that its mission would be to locate, document, chronicle, and preserve the history and heritage of those three communities situated in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

Joyce Schmidt, first West Jefferson Hills Historical Society president

Joyce Schmidt


Each month (except November and December) the WJHHS holds a meeting in the Community Rooms of Jefferson Hills Municipal Building. At these meetings the WJHHS provides its members and members of the community with a wide range of historical programs, presentations, workshops, and films.

The West Jefferson Hills Historical Society also publishes a quarterly newsletter which features original articles as well as reproductions of articles from the past. In addition, this quarterly publication provides members with Board and Committee reports, meeting dates and times, and other pertinent Society news and updates.

Additionally, the Society maintains a historical archives housed at the Jefferson Hills municipal building. In addition to its books, pamphlets, and articles about the local, regional, and state history, the WJHHS inventories and archives photographs, artifacts, and documents pertinent to the communities of Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills, and West Elizabeth. The WJHHS Archive and Research Committee, which oversees the archive, also conducts research on and answers queries for genealogical and historical information. Artifacts and historical information from the archive are displayed for the public to view at local school, community, and library events.