History Lesson at Concord School

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Concord Elementary students learn about Carrick history

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Third grade students from Pittsburgh Concord K-5 visit the site of John M. and Harriet Duff Phillips home on Brownsville Road.

Concord history lesson.jpg

Third grade classes of Pittsburgh Concord K-5 greeted Julia Tomasic and John Rudiak of the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society on Wed., May 25, to learn more about one of Carrick famous residents.

The lecture, held in the school auditorium, was to be about John M. Phillips and his role in local and Pennsylvania history but gradually turned to all local history. The afternoon began with a tour of the original homestead of John M. and Harriet Duff Phillips located next to the school, currently the site of St. Pius X Catholic Church.

All that remains is the original stone wall built in 1890, which the children excitingly touched and patted; amazed it is more than 120 years old. After the tour, a slide show illustrated how Mr. Phillips improved coal mining and showed how Carrick is located above old coal mines.

The students learned how Mr. Phillips helped create Pennsylvania state parks, including Cooks Forest and Pymatuming, the Pennsylvania State Game Commission to regulate hunting and fishing, and the Boy Scouts of America. He was also a director of South Side Hospital. Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 in South Side is named after Mr. Phillips and his wife, Harriet Duff Phillips. However, the children were most interested in the animals and birds, including a kangaroo, which the Phillips kept at their home.

Unexpectedly inquisitive, they were excited their school is the fifth building to carry the name "Concord Elementary" and that the current building dates to back to 1938, built with the help of Harriet Duff Phillips. With all the original lighting fixtures, stage and seating, the students curiously asked about former students, many realizing for the first time their own parents and grandparents may have sat and had classes there.

At the end of the lecture, postcards illustrating Carrick’s history were distributed with invitations to all to come to the Community Cornfest on August 21 in the park named after John M. Phillips.