Doctors Guy Mason and Larry Smith, natives to Mingo Junction, have gathered up photographs from its citizens to tell the story of this strong river town.
Mingo Junctionby Larry Smith, Guy Mason
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Mingo Junction, a working-class town in the upper Ohio River Valley, has a rich mix of ethnicities and races with a history going back to the Mingo Indians, including visits from George Washington in the 1770s. Early settlement came as the coal mining industry flourished, followed by iron and steel foundries and accompanying railroads and river barge traffic. Mingo's chief industry is its steel mill, first Carnegie Steel Mill, then Wheeling-Pitt Steel Mill for over 100 years. The town's deep character is etched in its work, social, cultural, and natural landscapes. This is seen in its schools, churches, businesses and industry, daily life, active social organizations, and its famous figures: Jake Strott and George Kakasic of the 1930s Pittsburgh Steelers (Pirates); Joe Fortunato of the Chicago Bears; coach Woody Hayes; Spud Hughes, inventor of menthol cigarettes; and Bill (Lil Squirt) Albaugh, spokesperson for Squirt soda. Renowned singing groups include The Antones, The Stereos, Buddy Sharp and the Shakers, The Mingo Men, and Bob Parissi of Wild Cherry. Among major movies filmed in the town are Reckless, Hearts of Steel, and 1978 Academy Award winner The Deer Hunter.
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