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Civil War History On Display At Area Carnegie Library

CARNEGIE (KDKA) – It's not too hard to find history around the Western Pennsylvania Area, but one area library has a living time capsule in their upstairs.

It takes visitors back to the Civil War.

According to the former librarian of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, there are about 20,000 items.

About 2,000 of those items are related to the Civil War.

Civil War Room

On the second floor, there is the Espy Post for the Grand Army of the Republic.

"The Grand Army of the Republic is responsible for what we celebrate as Memorial Day," former librarian and current curator Diane Kleinfelter said while pointing to a picture in the room.

The Grand Army of the Republic formed after the Civil War.

They could be compared to a modern day American Legion or Veteran of Foreign Wars Post.

"Mainly to get veterans benefits," Kleinfelter said.

They were designed to last until the last veteran of each post passed away.

For the Espy Post, that was back in the 1930s.

The door was locked and essentially hidden away until the 1980s.

It was renovated in the early 2000's, and it reopened to the public in 2010.

"It's quite unique and very rare," Kleinfelter said while showing KDKA the room.

At its peak, there were about 7,200 posts across the country.

Kleinfelters believes this is one of the only posts left.

"The library signed an agreement with those Civil War veterans that they would leave all of this to us to take care of forever," she said.

Inside, it is the same as it was left in the 1930s, beside a few tweaks.

For the past ten years, they have given tours to the public on Saturdays.

They have a variety of events to teach people about the Civil War.

More information about upcoming events can be found online.

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