STRUTHERS — This city has a connection to a winning Super Bowl team.
That tidbit of information is in a recently published book, “Images of America: Struthers,” written by former Struthers resident Patricia Ringos Beach.
In addition to the scintillating data regarding the Super Bowl, the book also portrays the more homey aspects of the city: the weariness and the pride of local steelworkers, revealed in old black and white photographs in the just-published pictorial history; a picture of the 1978 Struthers High School girls basketball team showing the players’ joy and satisfaction in winning the AAA state championship that year; names below the picture of the 1937 Struthers High School football team — Babich, Pasquelle, Delsignore, Gordon, Bero, Elias, Kuba, Marosovich, Markesevich, Mestrovich, Elash, Benson, Mihalko, Thompson, Boyarko, Kimmel, Tombo, Suhey and Macejko — testifying to the city’s ethnic mix.
Other photos in the book will help longtime residents
recall the overwhelming winter storm of Nov. 25, 1950, when 20.7 inches of snow fell in 24 hours; or give reality to stories they have heard about the devastation caused downtown by flooding in March 1913.
These images and dozens more fill the pages of a 128-page picture history of Struthers, covering from the 1800s to the recent past.
Compiled by Beach, in association with the Struthers Historical Society, “Images of America: Struthers” went on sale Sept. 22. Beach is scheduled to participate in a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Struthers Historical Society, 50 Terrace St. The price of the book, published by Arcadia Publishing as part of its “Images of America” series, is $19.99.
Beach has a past and present connection to the city, giving her an insight into the city and access to others who helped with the book.
She lived in Struthers until she was 23, attending Holy Trinity School, Struthers High School, and St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing before moving away. Her parents, Paul and Rose Ringos, helped her compile material for the book. Her mother died recently. Her sister, Paula, was a member of that 1978 championship basketball team.
She grew up on Hopewell Drive, which she said gave her a daily view of Yellow Creek from her living room window.
Not surprisingly, the book is heavy on Yellow Creek pictures. Yellow Creek was the site of the Hopewell Furnace, built around 1803, which is credited with being the birthplace of the iron and steel industry in the Mahoning Valley and Ohio.
Now an oncology and palliative care nurse working at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Beach said she traces her value of education and family back to her Struthers roots.
Beach said she pitched the idea of the book to Arcadia Publishing after becoming aware of its “Imaging of America” series. She said her parents were a great help with the project, which took about a year to complete.
“They know everybody, and that opened doors for me. When I interviewed people, I would bring my parents with me. They would start talking, and I was smart enough to just shut up and listen and take notes,” Beach said.
Her father worked for the Cullen and Mahoning Sash and Door Co. for many years after serving in the Navy from 1950 to 1954. Beach’s mother worked at the Dollar Bank in Struthers off and on for 42 years.
Some in the community might be surprised to learn from this book that the 1978 girls basketball team was not the only Struthers girls basketball team to win a state championship.
A picture of the 1924-25 and 1925-26 squad, which won state titles and lost in the finals of the national tournament at the end of those seasons, are also in the book.
Or, that Stephen Belichick, father of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, graduated from Struthers High School in 1936.
Beach said she is looking forward to when local people see the book to “find out what I left out. I wish I would have gotten more personal stories in the book.”
She gave particular thanks to Marian Kutlesa, a founder and officer of the Struthers Historical Society, and longtime historical society member Laddie Fedor, for their “generous time and resources” in compiling the book, which, she said, in the final analysis is a scrapbook.
Kutlesa praised Beach for sticking with such a big endeavor and doing a wonderful job in a relatively short period of time.
“The book is a way of preserving our history ... a keeper of the past. I love it,” she said.
Beach’s hope for the book is that it helps people appreciate the heritage of Struthers, its people and stories; that it influences readers to preserve history either on their own or by donating artifacts and documents and pictures to the historical society so they can be preserved; and that it inspires readers to scrapbook their favorite historical stories.