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HISTORICAL SOCIETY | 11 Robinson Township happenings in the 1990s


Brand-new Clever Park Playground, 1996.

By Janet Gonter


In the 1990s, who knew that the once-quiet suburb of Robinson Township was on the cusp of a housing, shopping, and population explosion that continues to this day?


Enjoy this listicle of 11 Robinson happenings that occurred during the 1990s:

  1. Popular weatherman Joe DeNardo visited Forest Grove Elementary School to deliver a one-hour presentation on the weather. He landed in a helicopter on the Forest Grove athletic field to cheers from waiting students, who later presented him with a $500 check for Project Bundle Up.

  2. John Butya died at the age of 84. Founder of Butya’s Tavern, Butya’s Beer Distributor, and the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In, Mr. Butya was fondly dubbed Father Joe by locals.

  3. The Union Church Children’s Center, which provided childcare for approximately 60 children from infants to preschoolers, received a much-needed renovation. The center also hosted a yearly summer camp with arts and crafts for a registration fee of $15.

  4. The Montour High School Law Team, consisting of 14 students, competed against 26 other Allegheny County schools in a mock trial at the Allegheny County Courthouse. Team members assumed the roles of attorneys, witnesses, and defendants. The team began meeting in October to prepare for mock trial competitions that began in February.

  5. Montour High School hosted the second annual Penn Classic, a state competition for female high school gymnasts. It was held to boost interest in the sport, which had dwindled from 50 teams statewide to just 17.

  6. Instant Replay Video’s top rentals included Michael, Extreme Measures, Up Close and Personal, and Flipper. At the Showcase Cinema, viewers flocked to see Jerry McGuire, Grease. Jaws 2, Independence Day and The Goodbye Girl.

  7. A second access road to Burkett Park was added to alleviate the ever-increasing traffic problems entering from and exiting Route 60. The new road connects with McCormick Road.

  8. A local band called Bonehead played at an “Elfland” concert at Clever Park.

  9. The Robinson Township Municipal Building received a $400,000 grant to accommodate the U. S. Geological Survey’s bid to occupy a large part of the second floor. The proposed 5-year lease would bring $170,000 per year in rental fees.

  10. Robinson resident Bob Perrins grew 14-foot stalks of corn in his yard on Forest Grove Road, a feat that was highlighted in local newspapers.

  11. The Robinson Community Foundation drew up plans for a playground that would look like a castle. The Clever Park playground was completed in 1997 at a cost of $120,000. (It has since been completely rebuilt.)


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