Mound Builder Native Americans
The area's prehistoric Native American origins can be traced through artifacts excavated from this land. There are few sites remaining from the Nation's colonial days, most of which are in desperate need of attention. With the increase of new housing and commercial developments, special attention must be given to the preservation of barns and houses which remain from the old farmsteads along with buildings which housed local businesses of the past.
The area's rich natural resources and close proximity to the Monongahela River led to the development of a unique blend of industries. Coal mining, glass fabrication, brick manufacturing, steelmaking, and distilling of liquor are but a few of the industries enmeshed in the fabric of this community's history. The WJHHS strives to document the businesses and organizations which have built this community through the years.
Also unique to this region's history is the Whiskey Rebellion. Many early settlers of the region were active participants in this short-lived insurrection, but men and women from this community have served as early militiamen of the frontier, as soldiers in Afghanistan, and in every U.S. military conflict of this country. The stories of these brave men and women must be preserved.
Early Jefferson Methodist Episcopal Church
The West Jefferson Hills area is a community peppered with churches of different faiths and denominations. Some of these local churches were established as early as the mid-nineteenth century. Early congregations often held their first services in small clapboard structures or even in local one-room schoolhouses; but, as the area's population increased, church congregations grew and early church buildings expanded into more substantial brick edifices. Uncovering the history and development of the area's religious institutions is yet another area of interest for the historical society.
The neighborhoods of West Elizabeth, Jefferson Hills, and Pleasant Hills are filled with families whose ancestors have lived here for centuries; the names of their numerous generations can be found on gravestones throughout local cemeteries. Their surnames can be found on area streets and buildings.
Thus, another goal of this Society must be to collect the genealogies of local residents along with photographs, documents, and artifacts to show their importance in the growth and development of the area. By collecting verbal narratives of community elders, the Society creates an understanding of how things have evolved through the years and establish a vital connection from the past through the present and into the future.
West Elizabeth History
Jefferson Hills History
Pleasant Hills History