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Donora Historical Society


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

  • Donora Historical Society (DHS) was established in 1946 and is recognized as the oldest historical society in Washington County, PA. Donora Smog Museum opened in 2008. DHS and the Smog Museum, along with Cal U of PA, have partnered with the Library of Congress and their Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. DHS has lent the Library of Congress their 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 are world-wide: China, South Korea, India, Denmark, France, England, Spain, and all over the United States. We teach at Pitt’s Osher Adult Continuing Education classes. We work annually with Cal U of PA and 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 7 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 traveling Civil War exhibit in 2015 and hosted the traveling WWII exhibit in 2020.

Primary Revenue Sources

Memberships, donations, fundraising

Primary Fundraising Event

Walking Tours, special events and annual fund drive

2023 Financials

Federal Tax ID 23-7278382
Revenue 11650
Expenses 7850
Net Assets 3800


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