Duquesne Dateline – May, 1956

What a thrill! Yesterday I received an email from Bob Vislay that brought to mind an event in Duquesne’s history that I had nearly forgotten about. Along with his recollections from the event, Bob also sent pictures from his personal archives that hauntingly recall the chaos that followed the tornado of May 13, 1956.

I was only 4 1/2 years old when the tornado occurred, however I remember that my parents and brother Steve had been somewhere away from home when event took place. I recall coming down the road from St. Joe’s Cemetery and my dad saying “It got our chimney,” and it certainly had! The chimney had toppled over and had fallen in our side yard. Aside from that, our home sustained little other damage other than some snapped branches from our sycamore.

In addition to Bob’s note and photos, I have also posted the event recap from The Duquesne Times along with a few other tidbits from that same edition of the paper that I thought you’d enjoy! Be sure to let us know your recollections of the tornado! And PLEASE, if you have any photos or stories in those albums, scrapbooks or boxes of photos you’ve tucked away a long time ago, drag them out and share your memories with us!


Digging thru my archive of “memories & pictures”, I ran into the ones of the Tornado.

I remember being awaken by my mother one night, saying we are having a bad storm and had to rush down to the cellar. Turns out that on that May night in 1956, Duquesne had a tornado. I have little memory of the sounds of the storm, but I can recall seeing the damage around town. There were a number chimneys blown down, and the roof blown off of The Bus Company building. You may remember the big building next to the city dump. I certainly remember the damage along W. Grant Ave. between 5th and 6th Streets.

I have attached a few pictures. The brick building at the corner of 6th and Grant was three story until the tornado. You can see the damage looking down Grant Ave.

Thought I would share…

This entry was posted in Duquesne Buildings, Duquesne History, Feedback From Our Friends, Historic Events, Springtime. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Duquesne Dateline – May, 1956

  1. Leslie Moffat Cox says:

    Loved the article about Duquesne 1956 graduation. My aunt Phyllis Jacobs was named several times. Thank you.

  2. Judy Russell says:

    Hi My name is Judy Russell maiden name Judy Hornyak. I remember Duquesne very well graduated from DHS 1959. Love your log brought many memories back also a tear or two. Hope to hear from someone who remembers me. Does anyone remember Florians beauty salon? also a parade around 1959 for beauty queen it may have been sponsored by chamber of commerce in Duquesne. By for now hope to hear from you soon Judy

  3. Ken Denne says:

    From recall I was informed that Bob Vislay moved to North Carolina from California. Several years ago when I tried to contact Bob, I was told that he passed away.
    Ken Denne

    • Jack Schalk says:

      Looking through the old posts I found your comment about my cousin Bob Vislay, Bucky as some of us knew him.
      Bob did move to Charlotte from Calif. and passed away. The Bob Vislay that provided this story is another cousin of ours with the same name who lives in Cal. now.
      This Bob is younger.

  4. Kathy Dobransky Hudak says:

    Thanks Bob and Jim, although I was only 5 yrs old at that time I don’t remember that either, but I do like to see these old pics, and for some reason Grant street looks sooooo wide back then, Now when I come back to visit, it looks soooo narrow. Again thanks, for the old pics!!

  5. Laurie Schulte says:

    Thanks so much for posting the information on the honor students from DHS ’56. It was so magical to see my Mum’s [Joyce Schulte] name there – and more special to see this on my birthday. She has been gone almost 12 years now. I will be sharing this with my sister and my Father, who will surely appreciate the trip down memory lane.

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