The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall has played a historic role in the lives of my family. My grandfather, George B. Forsythe was a Civil War veteran. After the war, he was president of the Round Heads who met in the Civil War Room on the top floor of the Library. As a member of the Espy Post he is one of the men pictured in the large framed photo on the wall of the Civil War Room. My father, Joseph W. Forsythe, his 11-year-old son, is pictured to George’s left in that Memorial Day 1905 photograph.
I remember my father telling me about attending the dedication of the Library with his father in the grand Music Hall. Andrew Carnegie was featured on the stage at the dedication. Daddy told me that as a young boy he was very disappointed when Mr. Carnegie walked on the stage. My father had always pictured this great man as a very tall and aristocratic figure. His small stature and “Santa Claus features” were not what he had expected!
When I attended Scott Township High School from 7th through 12th grades, I enjoyed performing in the Music Hall for operettas and our Senior Class Play. My graduation also took place there.
As an adult, I sang with my husband Vic in the Carnegie Chorale music group’s annual Christmas performance.
In 1994 I became a member of Stage 62 and was caught up in the thrill of performing once again in many shows produced on the Music Hall stage. At 81 years of age, I’m still a member of that wonderful group of thespians!
My husband, Victor Clay, was very active in the early stages of preserving the Library & Music Hall. He served as president of the Library Board of Trustees. Those were very difficult times for many reasons.
Thanks to the work of Maggie Forbes and the Chartiers Valley Partnership’s efforts , our Library is once again the “Jewel on the Hill!”
Wanda Bell Forsythe Clay