Skip to main content

Donora Historical Society

Nonprofit Overview

The Donora Historical Society was established in 1946 and is the oldest historical society in Washington County. The Smog Museum was opened in 2008.

We’ve been a Heinz History Center Affiliate since 2013 and partnered with them on a number of projects. We have working partnerships with Carnegie Science Center and Rivers of Steel and relationships with local universities. We help students from middle school, high school and college students from around the US and the world.

Annually, we conduct Cement City and Eldora Park Walking tours that bring in tourists from the tri-state area and beyond.

We’ve hosted professional groups to discuss the 1948 Smog story during live and virtual meetings.

We’ve presented various Donora-related subjects at the Heinz History Center, U Pittsburgh and multiple historical societies, libraries and senior care facilities around the Western Pennsylvania area.

We’ve worked with many book authors and documentary film crews.

Donora photo 7
Donora photo 6

Current Needs

Our mission is to preserve, research, interpret and promote Donora history through cooperative continuing educational relationships with individuals and institutions, focusing on causes and effects of the 1948 "smog" tragedy and its impact on global environmental concerns and issues.

The current need is to recognize the 75th anniversary of Donora's 1948 Smog that took the lives of over 20 people by hosting an environmental symposium for professionals and academics in the air quality, weather forecasting and sustainability fields, along with other events.

The 1948 Smog is recognized as the United States' first industrial disaster that laid the groundwork for government legislation to improve air quality. Our Smog Museum helps keep the memories of our victims in the forefront and our continuing education on the subject attracts attention from around the world.

The symposium will be held in Donora - Ground Zero of air quality. Our slogan is "Clean Air Started Here."

Learn more about the Donora Historical Society

Visit their website at