made two promises to the citizens of Perryopolis and the surrounding area. The first is to create a virtual community to reunite old friends and make it possible for Perryopolis-area natives -- wherever in the world they may be -- to stay in touch with each other and with events in the Perryopolis area in a way that was never before possible. The Classmates page, the Grist Mill Bulletin Board (including the Guestbook) and countless heart-warming e-mails of thanks that the Webmaster has received have proved our success in keeping this promise.

The second promise is to spread awareness of the Perryopolis area and its historical attractions to the entire world. That’s a tall order, but this is, after all, the World Wide Web. Considering that we have had visitors from all 50 states and over 60 foreign lands, I would say that we have fulfilled this promise as well. The page that you are now viewing shows one more way in which has fulfilled the promise of spreading the word about the good things to be found in Perryopolis. We feel very humble that was chosen for the important exhibit depicted below.

May we again ask you to patronize our sponsors? Please tell them that you saw their ad
on, and thank them for helping to make this web site possible!

David E. Illig, Originator, Owner, and Webmaster of

Photographs by David E. Illig

A few years ago the Alcoa Company moved from its famous aluminum-clad building on Mellon Square to a new Pittsburgh headquarters. Alcoa donated the Alcoa building to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) to be used as a center for promoting economic development in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The building was renamed the Regional Enterprise Tower to highlight its role as a promotional showcase for Southwestern Pennsylvania. On February 22, 2002, a 3,300 square-foot Multimedia Regional Showcase called “Xplorion” opened in the lobby of the Regional Enterprise Tower. was a part of this invitation-only Regional Showcase.

Here’s how it came about: Agnew Moyer Smith, Inc. (AMS), the prestigious Pittsburgh design firm that was retained to design the Xplorion, discovered last year—as did thousands of individual visitors from around town and around the world. AMS liked the site and invited me to participate in the Regional Showcase. My submission consists of a computer-based “slide show” that focuses on the Perryopolis Area Heritage Society’s Pioneer Days Festival to highlight Perryopolis’ historic attractions. I recently visited the Xplorion to get a better idea of what it was about and to see what the SPC had done with my submission. Here is what I saw.

The Entrance to the Xplorion in the Regional Enterprise Tower
Immediately upon entering the Xplorion one is greeted by an array of high-definition plasma television displays with constantly-changing images of local industries and attractions.


Three pairs of kiosks, each pair consisting of two Macintosh G4 Cube computers and two 22" Apple Cinema Displays, provide a user-controllable tour of the development opportunitie and sattractions and of Southwestern Pennsylvania—including and the Perryopolis Area Heritage Society.
The most visible feature of the multimedia display is the Xplorion Quest, a theatre with an eight-foot computer screen where the best of Southwestern Pennsylvania is on display. It is in this theatre that the presentation is displayed.
My guide for my visit to the Explorion was the very capable and very knowledgable Ms. Jael Jones, Showcase Ambassador and Customer Information Specialist of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s Business Resource Center.That long title gives just a little hint of the long list of duties that Ms. Jones performs with great skill. Here she is showing the first slide in the presentation.
Ms. Jones shows more Perryopolis scenes.
Ms. Jones explains the Xplorion concept to Mr. R.C. Baughman
A head-on view of the Xplorion Quest’s 8-foot screen with scenes from the 2001 Pioneer Days Parade.
A wider view of the Xplorion Quest theatre.
The Pioneer Days presentation would not be complete without Ed and Jeannine Churby’s superb bread or Craig Martin’s appearance as Grand Marshall.
There had to be a plug for, of course, and the Thank-you’s: Toni Dzurko, Joan Lyons, Ruth Shields, everyone of you who have visited, and the sponsors who helped make possible!

See the entire Xplorion presentation here.

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