est. 1880


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Est. 1880

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Logging Industry

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Even Children Worked in Logging

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River Route Ridgway to Pittsburgh

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How is the River Used?

This video shows how logs move down a raging river. The students could get a sense of how powerful the river can be.

Documentary on Early Frankfort Logging Industry - This source will give the students a sense of what it was like to work in the logging industry at the turn of the century

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Railroad played a big part


1872 railroad map of Pennsylvania. This source could be used to show the route the lumber would take out of Ridgway on the railroads

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What was life like in

Ridgway in 1880?

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Ballads tell the story!

This folk music is a series of classic American song-stories flowing from the bedrock of the American experience. Through these captivating songs, a tale is told of America "once upon a time”.

Examine the liner notes from the album. They lyrics can show us what life was like in the late 1800's because folksongs and ballads tend to tell a story.

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Labor Unions

Struggle for workers forming unions


The Autobiography of a Labor Leader: James Williams Independent LIV (Nov. 6, 1902), 2634 38. This primary source shows students the struggles of the workers as they were forming the unions that would help instill their safety.



document on railroad riots - pillaging for food

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Child Labor Laws

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The Five Cent Shave by Tom Cannon

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Price of a Shave in Ridgway, Pennsylvania

In keeping with the theme of a shave costing $.05 in 1880, use the link to find the cost of a shave in 1980 and 2005.

If current trends continue, what will a shave in Ridgway, Pa cost in 2030, 2055,and 2080? 

Complete the chart, and be sure to explain how you came up with your answer. 

Year Price

1880 .05

1905 .07

1930 .18

1955 .68






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Performance Opportunity

With a partner write a nursery rhyme to the tune of “Are You Sleeping” that focuses on what life must have been like in Ridgway in 1880.

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Description of Railroad Riots

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Anti-Trust Cartoon

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Compose and Perform a Rap

*Use the NARA worksheet for both the document and cartoon examples on the previous 2 slides. Dig deeper and speculate about what life would have been like.

*After completing the worksheet individually, break into small groups and use a Venn diagram to come up with common descriptive words that could be used in a Rap.

*FINAL PROJECT = group performance of a 4 measure 16 beat rap that the group wrote.

*Critical thinking skills will be used to find the key descriptive words that will be used in the rap. Not only do you need to describe what life would be like, but also use a specific rhythm pattern and rhyming words so that the rap flows and follows the correct form.

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What else was happening when Ridgway was established?

1868 US Treasury Warrant in the amount of $7.2 Million for the purchase of Alaska

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What else was happening when Ridgway was established?

1878 Constitution of the Knights of Labor

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What else was happening when Ridgway was established?

1880 Thomas Edison patented the incandescent light bulb.

1881 Portrait of Thomas Edison

Video Bibliography of Tomas Edison


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What else was happening when Ridgway was established?

1881 President Garfield dies


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How was music changing when Ridgway was established

Short music excerpts from the late 1800s along with photos from the time period

America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets


The beginnings of Ragtime Music

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Scott Joplin

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Scott Joplin

Around the same time that Ridgway was established as a borough a unique American art form developed, Ragtime.

Ragtime music with its use of syncopation and improvisation is a uniquely American art form.

Before listening to examples of Ragtime music, study the picture and poster using the SEA chart. Use this to predict what the music might sound like. Discuss some of the intrinsic qualities of Ragtime (syncopation, improvisation, etc). Here is some primary source listening example of a classic rag on the LOC web site .

Study Scott Joplin and his contributions to Ragtime music. Students will use the KWL chart along with a Bibliography of Scott Joplin to finish off this lesson on American music of the late 1800s.