City of Pittsburg celebrates 145 years

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PITTSBURG, Kan. (KSNF) – The City of Pittsburg is celebrating a birthday today.
The city is now 145-years old.

It all started in 1876, when the city was founded to take advantage of the resources in the surrounding area.

The process laid the groundwork for the city to develop and grow into the community we see today.

“I always believe that when we forget about history, then we lost everything, we need to know our history to know where we’ve come from, to know where we’re going,” says Anna Boler, Pittsburg Resident.

The City of Pittsburg was founded in 1876.

It was designed to take advantage of the natural coal and ore deposits.

“The mining companies, the mining business, it grew from there,” says Boler.

“They had smelters for the ore, cause they had the ore here, the street out here is Smelter Street, one of them was right across Fourth Street,” says Jim Van Becelaere, Pittsburg Resident.

The city only continued to grow and became a hub for railroads.

“We had four railroads coming in here, we had the Kansas City Southern, the Sante Fe, the Frisco and we had the Missouri Pacific,” says Van Becelaere.

Those railroads eventually brought in more members for the community.

This includes Jim Van Becelaere.

His dad’s family came in 1900 and his mother came in 1911.

“Her dad, he worked for the Frisco railroad laying steel track all up through Texas and Oklahoma,” says Van Becelaere.

There, his family and the community took advantage and helped build Pittsburg into a manufacturing marketplace.

“Manufacturing has been a good base for us,” says Boler.

“There was McNally Pittsburg, there was AJ Cripe Bakery, they had about 20 trucks that delivered bread all around the area,” says Van Becelaere.

While it may not look the same, the drive for business still exists 145 years later.

“We’ve lost some good businesses that we miss today but we also gained a lot, I think the city’s done a pretty good job at building it up,” says Boler.

To celebrate, the city is collecting 145 toys and gift cards for Fostering Connections and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Crawford County.

Those can be dropped off at Audacious Boutique and Sonder and Company until Saturday.

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