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Historic Old St. Luke’s Church 8-17-19

Nestled away in Scott Township is a hidden gem of a church called Old St. Luke’s Church.    If you were not looking for it, you would not know that this is a beautiful, restored church, that is still periodically used today.

Travel in time with me to a long ago era…….Close your eyes & just imagine………

Old St Luke’s was a Frontier Church, dating from prior to the Revolutionary War days.  According to literature available, Old St. Luke’s was one of the oldest frontier churches of any denomination west of the Allegheny Mountains.  Colonial militiamen who accompanied General John Forbes on his mission to capture Ft. Duquesne in 1758 returned later to settle & become landowners along the Chartiers Creek Valley.  Many of the streets in this section of Scott Twp. are named after the men who were part of General Forbes’ military mission, and are also buried in the graveyard surrounding the church today.

Major William Lea was a member of the Forbes expedition & received a King’s Grant of 335 acres of land in 1770 from King George of England.  He set aside 10 rods square for the Church & Burial Ground.  Title to the land was duly recorded in West Augusta County, Virginia.  (Pennsylvania did not exist yet.  We were still considered to be part of Virginia).

Major Lea married the love of his life, Dorothy Nelson, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   They returned to the Chartiers Valley area to build their house, and the log church that superseded Old St. Luke’s Church.  Their daughter, Jane, was born & baptized in Old St. Luke’s Church in December, 1774.  She was the first settler’s child born in Chartiers Valley, west of the Allegheny Mountains.  (Jane died in 1859, at age 85, and is buried in the cemetery that surrounds the church).

About 1790, the log stockade church was replaced by a frame building.  And in 1852, the present stone church was erected.  During the Whiskey Rebellion,  when England imposed unreasonable excise taxes on locally produced products, the church became a gathering point for many — while many were driven away from the church.   (The Whiskey Rebellion was one of the many skirmishes  leading up to the Revolutionary War).

This church, still small by today’s standards, seats roughly 90 to 100 people.

The pipe organ, still played today, was purchased in England by Trinity Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh, and was brought over the mountains by mule.  This organ was given to Old St Luke’s Church in 1852, when Trinity acquired a new organ.  This organ is the oldest pipe organ west of the Allegheny mountains, and is still played today for all weddings and ceremonies held in the church.

By many accounts, the cemetery surrounding the church contains the graves of over 200 or more individuals.  Some of the graves are marked.  Some are not.   Some headstones have disappeared over the years due to weather, time and in some cases vandalism.  Archaeological work by Dr. Ron Carlyle in 1991 and later work by a CMU computer group have identified where a number of graves are potentially located.

Old St Luke’s Church & Burial grounds & Garden is now a non-profit corporation, and is maintained by volunteers, and thru donations.   It does not hold regular church services, or have a regular congregation.   It is available for wedding ceremonies for a fee of $500. + separate fees for the organist and clergy.  (For wedding information — please call 724-745-8278).

Tours of the church & burial grounds are conducted each Sunday from Memorial Day thru Labor Day — Sundays — 1:30 to 4:00 pm.   Group tours are also available (Call ahead 412-531-9333).

More information about Old St. Luke’s Church can be found at: www.oldsaintlukes.org. This gem is close by the city, yet hidden from most views.  We invite you to take a ride on a Sunday, and enjoy  a journey back in time!

 

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6-8-2019 – Clear Skies and Bright Blooms

The weather shined for us!

On June 8th, 2019, it turned out to be another beautiful day in our Pittsburgh neighborhoods.  Our visit to Epiphany Catholic Church on Washington Place showcased just how many hidden gems our city contains.  This beautiful church was actually built in 1902!

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Our bride, Megan, carried a colorful, bright bouquet (#982) of blue hydrangea, ivory roses, cherry brandy roses and spray roses, and feathery astilbe.

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Her bridesmaids, dressed in light blue gowns, also carried bright bouquets (#983): white hydrangea and cherry brandy roses and spray roses.

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Their reception took place under the stars in the Rose Garden at the National Aviary.  Help from Nicole Brough (Your Big Day Wedding Planner) was greatly appreciated, as there were lots and lots of pieces and parts to get into place for the reception.  The centerpieces were wreaths of blue hydrangea and coral spray roses surrounding gorgeous golden vases holding flickering candles.

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We are sure that the guests enjoyed the stroll through the Aviary as well as the wonderful setting for socializing.

Thanks to the newlyweds for allowing us to assist you and congratulations again!!!

2018 — Winter Wedding Wonderland

Nichole and Howard exchanged vows  on 12-8-2018 at Alla Famiglia Restaurant, in an  intimate wedding ceremony for just their close friends and family.  Nichole carried a beautiful crystal bouquet down the aisle, which we lined with with glass enclosed candles.  White poinsettias accented the sparkling pine arch, which was the backdrop for the ceremony.

The bride, groom, and their wedding guests dined at a family style table at Alla Famiglia Restaurant.  Their centerpieces were full with vendella roses, lisianthsus, gold hypericum berries and various winter greens in our silver mercury glass bowls.

This weekend, on 12-15-2018, the festivities continued at Monterey Bay Restaurant.  The newlyweds had a reception for many more of their friends and family in the lower level of the restaurant,  which was decorated with festive red flowers & decor, in the spirit of the holiday season!  The low centerpieces, prepared in gold cubes, contained  red roses, red carnations, frosty pine cones, with  golden curly willow  accents.

Petite  bubble bowls with roses and gold ornaments adorned the cocktail tables.

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The high centerpieces had red roses, red carnations, golden ornaments, frosty pine cones, winter greens, golden curly willow, and other gold accents.

And of course, we can’t forget the stunning view of the Pittsburgh skyline that the venue provides:

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It was truly a pleasure working with Nicole & Howard  to make their vision a reality!  We hope that they continue making special memories like these for many years to come, and are thankful that we could help them on these  most special days. Congratulations Again!

 

PS…..and we understand that Santa came!!  He Did!  He Did!

 

11-10-2018 A parade was held…

You might have thought that the parade on Saturday in Washington, PA was being held to honor our wedding couple.  You would be wrong – it honored our veterans – but it marched right on by the wedding site!

November 10th was a star-studded day for Lia & Devin in many ways.

Their black and white wedding colors looked awesome in the stately George Washington Hotel Ballroom.  Black candle screens and lanterns furnished by Parkway Florist were the perfect compliment to the ballroom’s colors!

Lia carried a bouquet (Bouquet #914) of all deep red roses, while her bridesmaids carried bouquets of all white roses (Bouquet #915).

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Rose petals adorned the cake table as well as the stylish crystal candelabras furnished by the George Washington Hotel.

Thank you, Lia & Devin, for allowing Parkway Florist to be a part of your special day.  We hope all your dreams came true!

Arches & More

Brass Arch  –  Our Brass Arch is a flat arch, primarily used inside, because it needs a level surface to stand on.  We frequently will decorate it with flowers, as shown below, which are then removed when pictures are completed.  The flowers are then re-purposed into  a reception venue on a head table, cookie table or similar area.

Sometimes the arch is decorated with tulle and lights, which is perfect for a winter wedding!  The entire arch is often moved over to the reception area, and used behind the head table, or as a backdrop for photos during the reception.

 

Black Arch  —  Our Black Rod Iron arch is very sturdy, and can be used inside and outside.    A flower piece is made for the top  of the arch, which is removed after pictures, and transferred to the reception area.    We also have free-standing Shepherd’s hooks and lanterns, which can be used on an isle with flowers, mason jars with flowers, etc.

 

Hexagon Arch  The Hex Arch is our newest creation,   and one that is pretty outstanding!   This was the result of a picture presented to us by a Bride, who asked if we could do this.  We said Yes, and proceeded to make it happen.  The hardest part was making the pieces fit together in such a way that it could be transported in our trucks.

Again, flowers are added so  that they can be detached and re-purposed into the reception area.  This arch is sturdy and can be trimmed with fabric as well as flowers. Materials can be hung from the top on ribbons for a completely different type of look

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Candle Screens –   We own folding wrought iron candle screens, that can be rented for wedding ceremonies.  Each candle screen contains approximately 50 battery operated votive candles enclosed in glass cups.  When these are all turned on, the flickering glow of the candlelight is awesome!!  We most frequently use all four screens, for the most impressive impact.

 

 

All of this equipment is owned by Parkway Florist, and is available to you, our customer, if we are providing flowers for your event.  Equipment is available on a first come – first served basis.   We also have a supply of columns, glass vases and risers that are not pictured here.  Please contact us if you have questions.

 

The Eliza Bistro – A New Gem

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Technology Drive – Specifically 329 Technology Dr., is the new home of Hotel Indigo and The Eliza Bistro. Technology Dr. parallels Second Ave. and was the home of Jones and Laughlin Steel for many years.  This site has been reclaimed by many new and exciting companies, often as part of UPMC, Pitt, and CMU.  As we watched these companies move in, we wondered how many buildings would be built before a hotel or restaurant was built.

Surprise!! It has  happened!

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Hotel Indigo is an IHA affiliated property.  In an acknowledgement to the heritage from which it rose, the style of the hotel is very neat and industrial.  Over 100 sleeping rooms are available.  It also has a courtesy shuttle available for guest use daily.

The Eliza Bistro Restaurant is a wonderful entity just off the lobby.  The restaurant was named after the J & L Eliza Blast Furnace.  There are mill-related items on display here and in the lobby.

In addition to the restaurant, there is banquet space available, with outside patios on the first floor and the  5th floor rooftop.  All of the banquet and patio space, as well as the restaurant,  can accommodate rehearsal dinners, private parties, and other functions up to   approximately 100-120 guests.

What a neat surprise……. to visit a part of my past and witness the transformation that has taken place.  I urge you to try the Eliza Bistro and Hotel Indigo.  You will not be disappointed!