Espy Post Hours: Ongoing tours on Saturdays between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Free and open to the public. Call for weekday appointments.
The Captain Thomas Espy Post 153 of the Grand Army of the Republic served local Civil War veterans for over 54 years and is the best preserved and most intact GAR post in the United States. For school, scout, group or family tours contact Diane Klinefelter, Curator 412-276-3456, x9.
2nd Saturday Lecture Series
The Wounding of James Longstreet, Speaker: Kristopher D. White
Saturday, November 10, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
A Look Back…
Espy Post: A True National Treasure
The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall is home to one of the last remaining Grand Army of the Republic Posts left in the country! The Capt. Thomas Espy Post No. 153 was chartered in 1879 and moved into the library in 1906.
When the last Civil War veteran member died in 1938, the Room was locked and left undisturbed for 50 years – it became a virtual time capsule.
Not only does it house invaluable artifacts, but the room itself provides a unique historical record of the first part of the century. It was lovingly restored in 2010.
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Espy Docent Program
If you have an interest in Civil War history, good communication skills, and an outgoing personality, consider volunteering as a docent for the Espy Post Room. Our docents lead observation and inquiry based experiences for visitors to foster an understanding of the Grand Army of the Republic and its place in history. If you are interested, please contact Diane Klinefelter, Curator, 412-276-3456, x9.
The Grand Army of the Republic
The Grand Army of the Republic was formed in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois and rapidly spread across the country. What started as a benevolent society for Union Civil War veterans quickly became one of our nation’s most powerful veterans’ organizations. Membership was open to honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors, or marines.
The GAR was instrumental in founding soldiers’ homes and orphan schools, and lobbying for pension legislation. When the last member of the GAR died in 1956 the organization was dissolved. The Espy Post housed in the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall is believed to be one of only a handful of GAR Post rooms in the country when at one time there were more than 7,000.
The Post is named in honor of Thomas Espy, a prominent resident of Upper St. Clair Township. He was 53 years of age when he enlisted July 4, 1861, as Captain of Co. H, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
The Post was used for meetings and to house the veterans’ collection of flags, books, prints and relics from 1906 until the the last veteran died in 1938. Not only does it retain priceless artifacts, but it provides a unique historical record of the first part of the century.
This collection of 100 photographs of Abraham Lincoln ranges from an 1847 daguerreotype to the only known photograph of Lincoln in his coffin, taken April 24, 1865. The original photographs were taken by Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and Alexander Hesler among others. The Lincoln Gallery opened on February 16, 2015 and is free and open to the public during regular Library hours.