The start of Fall is a great time to appreciate the changing landscape and we’re fortunate to have several beautiful parks in the area with a spectacular amount of trees. One of the largest is South Park, which is a wonderful park with a fascinating history that’s great to visit for a scenic drive or picnic. If you’d like to learn more about the park, please join Anne Marie Oyler, Information Technology Specialist, Pittsburgh history buff, and founder of the Paul Riis Legacy Preservation Group, for her Zoom talk “Historic Structures and Landscapes in South Park” on Monday, October 5th at 7PM. The talk will discuss “the historic structures and landscapes in South Park that were designed by Paul B. Riis. Riis was a Swiss-born landscape architect who served as the first director of South and North Park. She will discuss little-known facts about the Cascades, the Vale of Cashmere, Spreading Oak, the Totem Pole Lodge, the toboggan run, Silent Brook, Corrigan Drive Swimming Pool, South Park Golf Course, Nevin and Edgebrook Shelters, the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp and other interesting structures in the park.” Oyler is the author of "Historic Structures and Landscapes in South Park - Allegheny County Parks: A Walking/Driving Tour" and "Monuments of South Park - Allegheny County Parks: A Walking Tour." You can register for her program here.
Then on Wednesday, October 7th at 7PM, Phipps Master Gardener and long time Library programming presenter Andrea Jackson returns to offer her virtual program “Mystical and Magical: The History of the Pumpkin.” The pumpkin has played an important role in legend and lore. Explore the fascinating and sometimes scary history of perhaps the most important part of the Halloween season. Jackson is also a registered nurse with a Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture, a member of the Herb Society of America, American Herbalist’s Guild, and Piccadilly Herb Club with over thirty years’ experience studying, lecturing and loving herbs. Her programs are always great fun, so sign up early here!
Since we’re approaching Halloween and it’s a great time to learn more about this holiday, History.com has an excellent write up on the history of Halloween. Modern Halloween “originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.” You can also check out their fun documentary “The Real Story of Halloween” on YouTube.
While the Library cannot hold our annual Fright Night festivities in person this year, we are planning a virtual HalloW-EEK lineup in late October to celebrate Halloween with content for all ages. Stay tuned for more spooky details coming later this month!
The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. The 20th Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate “American Ingenuity” in 2020, featuring the creativity and inspiration of some of the nation’s most gifted authors in a reimagined virtual festival the weekend of Sept. 25-27. Although this event has passed you can register to view the recorded author talks. This is a great opportunity to hear amazing authors speak about their work.