James Halttunen, 2014 to Present
James is currently serving as the interim curator of the Block House, a post he has held since June 2014. He is originally from Oregon, having moved to Pittsburgh to continue his studies in history at Duquesne University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Willamette University in Oregon and he completed his Master of Arts in public history at Duquesne in May 2014.
Prior to accepting the position of interim curator, James served as an intern at the Block House in the fall of 2013 as part of his studies at Duquesne. During his coursework he also worked as a research assistant conducting deed research in county offices and as an archival intern at the James Van Trump Library of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. James’ previous field experiences include working with the New Haven Colony Historical Society in New Haven, Connecticut; the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History in Eugene; and the Mission Mill Museum in Salem, Oregon.
Emily Weaver, 2011-2014
Mrs. Weaver had the privilege of overseeing the Fort Pitt Block House as it prepared for and celebrated its 250th anniversary throughout 2013 and 2014. She supervised such projects as the creation of the first website for the Fort Pitt Block House, the preservation of the original gun-loop timbers during the summer of 2013, and the construction and dedication of the Edith Ammon Memorial Garden in the spring of 2014. She also completed the first comprehensive history of the Fort Pitt Block House ever written, published in October 2013 by The History Press, Inc.
Kelly Linn, 2005-2011
While serving as curator of the Block House, Mrs. Linn coordinated the much-needed renovation and restoration of the Block House and its grounds in 2007 as well as regenerating its interpretation by introducing permanent and temporary exhibits and displays to the Block House interior.
Franklin LaCava, 2001-2004
Eugene Churma, 1985-2001
Paul Herrmann, 1983-1985
George Parkas, 1964-1984
Husband of Iva Parkas. Last caretaker to live in Caretaker’s Lodge prior to its demolition in March 1966.
Harry H. Uplinger, 1959-1964
Shared role of caretaker with wife, Bertha. Retired in 1964 owing to construction of Point State Park and proposed demolition of Caretaker’s Lodge.
Marie Mowery, 1952-1959
Iva Richey Parkas, 1946-1952
With a teaching degree in history, she moved from Texas after marrying Pittsburgher, George Parkas. She became a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter NSDAR in December 1973, eventually serving as its regent.
Mary Lips McClelland – Buchanan – Beck, 1919-1946
Originally serving as a housekeeper to James Bruckner, she eventually became the caretaker of the Block House. Married three times, she was known throughout Pittsburgh as “Aunt Molly.” She died in the Block House yard as a result of a stroke on July 4, 1946.
James Bruckner, 1912-1919
Civil War veteran. Census records list his occupation as “Janitor at Public Building”.
Mary & Edward McGonigal, 1911-1912
Referred to as “curator” in 1911 newspaper, Mary McGonigal was a niece of Mary Golden and had helped at the Block House prior to Mary Golden’s death.
Anthony Manson, 1911
Special Guard for 3 months.
Mary Golden, 1904-1911
Wife of Matthew Golden, she assumed curator/custodian position after Matthew’s death in 1904. She remained at her original home until the DAR constructed the Caretaker’s Lodge on Penn Avenue in 1905. Mary Golden sadly committed suicide in the Caretaker’s Lodge on July 4, 1911. Edith Ammon of the Pittsburgh Chapter DAR was appointed as guardian of Mary’s daughter, also named Mary.
Matthew Golden, 1894-1904
First curator/custodian of the Block House. He lived in the Point District in a house that straddled the Block House property line. He passed away in 1904 leaving behind his wife, Mary, and their daughter.