Donora Historical Society

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The mission of the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum is to preserve, research, interpret, and promote Donora history through cooperative continuing educational relationships with individuals and institutions; focusing on causes and effects of the 1948 "smog" tragedy and its impact on global environmental concerns and issues.

Programs and Services

  • The Donora Historical Society (DHS) was established in 1946 and is recognized as the oldest historical society in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The Donora Smog Museum opened in 2008. The DHS and the Smog Museum, along with California University of Pennsylvania, have partnered with the Library of Congress and its Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. The DHS has lent the Library of Congress its Bruce Dreisbach glass plate negative collection and had some of them digitized to be used as primary sources.
  • The purpose of the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum is to be a primary resource for students and researchers of postmodern industrial history and the 1948 smog disaster. To that end, we annually assist dozens of individuals and groups fulfilling academic requirements, papers, and projects; commercial print and broadcast media; social, fraternal and service organizations and clubs; and individuals in search of personal advancement.
  • We serve people in search of family from the great Donora diaspora. Our reach and footprint is worldwide: China, South Korea, India, Denmark, France, England, Spain, and all over the United States. We teach at the University of Pittsburgh's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute adult continuing education classes. We work annually with Cal U and the Heinz History Center's Digital Storytelling Program.
  • We promote tourism and cross-spending in Donora by hosting visitors from around the tri-state area who attend our Cement City Home and Walking Tours and Eldora Park Walking Tours. We partnered with the Carnegie Science Center in 2018 on a project that included seven Cement City homes in the Miniature Railroad & Village.
  • We are a Heinz History Center affiliate. We host school groups, as well as professional organizations, for custom tours of our museum and town. We also help authors, magazine writers, and university groups with various projects. We hosted the Heinz History Center's travelling Civil War exhibit in 2015 and hosted the travelling WWII exhibit in 2020.

Primary Revenue Sources

Memberships, donations, fundraising

Primary Fundraising Event

Walking tours, special events, and annual fund drive

2021 Financials

Federal Tax ID23-7278382
Net Assets$1,300


Name:Mark Pawelec
Title:Volunteer, Fundraising/Promotions
Phone:(724) 823-0364
Address:PO Box 522
Donora, PA 15033

This website contains an organizational snapshot, as well as links and contact information, for each of our participating charities. We have also included the tax identification number for each charity so Donors wishing to review more detailed financial and governance information may access the Form 990 for that charity via