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NAFF Walk of Fame

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Honoring Appalachia's past and the contributions of its people are central to the goal of the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival, Inc. 

Through the Walk of Fame brick laying ceremony and the various historical markers NAFF, Inc. has had installed throughout the region, these stories will live on to inspire future generations.

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Past Inductees

2023

Public Health

Granny Women of Appalachia

From the 1880s to the 1930s, the Appalachian granny-woman served as the primary childbirth support for many women. Despite being discredited by the medical profession in the early 20th century, they played a crucial role using herbal remedies in childbirth and community survival. Their herbal-based practices, though often misunderstood, were vital to their communities. 

Music

Stephen Foster

Stephen Collins Foster, hailed as "the father of American music," was a Romantic-period composer celebrated for over 200 songs like "Oh! Susanna" and "My Old Kentucky Home." Despite his songs' Southern ties, Foster visited the South only once on his 1852 honeymoon. Born in 1826 in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Foster has been identified as "the most famous songwriter of the nineteenth century" and is possibly the most recognizable American composer in other countries.

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The Arts

August Wilson
August Wilson, acclaimed as the "theater's poet of Black America," is renowned for his monumental series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle. Works like "Fences" and "The Piano Lesson" earned Pulitzer Prizes, highlighting the African-American experience throughout the 20th century. Wilson's writings explore themes of identity, racial exploitation, migration, and discrimination. Posthumously, films adapted from his plays like "Fences" and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" aim to continue his legacy, championed by Denzel Washington to bring more of Wilson's powerful narratives to a broader audience.

Human Rights

Albert Hazlett

A staunch abolitionist, Hazlett became a lieutenant in John Brown’s provisional army and participated in the raid on Harper’s Ferry Arsenal in 1859. He was captured, tried, convicted, and hanged for his involvement following the failed Harper’s Ferry attack. This incident, intended to arm slaves to fight for their own freedom, was a major catalyst for the outbreak of the Civil War. Hazlett was born and raised in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Chief Cornplanter

John Abeel III (born between 1732 and 1746–February 18, 1836), known as Gaiänt'wakê (Gyantwachia – "the planter") or Kaiiontwa'kon (Kaintwakon – "By What One Plants") in the Seneca language and thus generally known as Cornplanter, was a Dutch-Seneca war chief and diplomat of the Wolf clan. As a chief warrior, Cornplanter fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. In both wars, the Seneca and three other Iroquois nations were allied with the British. After the war Cornplanter led negotiations with the United States and was a signatory of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784). He helped gain Iroquois neutrality during the Northwest Indian War.

Environment

Rosalie Barrow Edge
Rosalie Barrow Edge (November 3, 1877 – November 30, 1962) was an American environmentalist and suffragist. In 1929, she established the Emergency Conservation Committee to expose the conservation establishment's ineffectiveness and advocate for species preservation. In 1934, Edge also founded the world's first preserve for birds of prey—Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Kempton, Pennsylvania. Edge was considered the most militant conservationist of her time, and she clashed publicly for decades with leaders of the Audubon Society over approaches to wildlife preservation. An environmentalist colleague described her in 1948 as "the only honest, unselfish, indomitable hellcat in the history of conservation".

Sports

Elroy Face

Elroy Leon Face, known as "The Bullpen Baron," was a pioneering MLB relief pitcher, notably with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Regarded as a closer archetype, he set multiple records in the National League during his 17-year career. Face was the first to achieve multiple 20+ save seasons, led the league three times, and set a remarkable .947 winning percentage in 1959. Holding various NL records for saves, games pitched, and wins in relief, he retired ranking among the top pitchers in MLB history for appearances and saves.

Education

Rick Peduzzi

Rick Peduzzi served as the Technology and Education Specialist for the United Electrical Workers (UE) Union. Joining in 1987, he contributed significantly, creating educational materials like the "UE Stewart Handbook" and "Solidarity and Democracy," reviving the "UE Stewart" publication, and pioneering the UE website, honored as "Labor Website of the Year" in 2009. His impactful work included producing videos for organizing and member education, elevating the union's educational initiatives and digital presence.

2022

Music
Anne Feeney
Folk musician, singer-songwriter, political activist, and attorney, born in Charlerloi, Pennsylvania.
Arts
Kamal Youssef
Egyptian-born avant-garde artist currently living in Dayton, Pennsylvania.

Education
Richard Trumka
Attorney and former president of the United Mine Workers.
Public Health
Father George Hnatko
Catholic Orthodox Archpriest known for his work with the homeless, elderly, and less fortunate.
Environment
Joseph Rothrock
Environmentalist known as the "Father of Forestry" in Pennsylvania.
Human Rights
Robert Mitchel
Sports
Jim Thorpe
Native American athlete and Olympic gold medalist, educated at Carlisle College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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2021

The Environment

Gifford Pinchot 
First head of the United States Forest Service and 28th governor of Pennsylvania.

                             

Sports 

Carlton Haselrig
Heavyweight wrestler and NFL player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

                                           

Human Rights

John Brown 
Abolitionist leader and Underground Railroad conductor in
 Pennsylvania. 

 

 

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The Arts

Ken “Hiram” Holliday
Local music legend and coal miner, born and raised in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Education

Mother Jones

Irish-born American labor organizer and activist.

Gave her first public speech at a Labor Day rally at Mack Park in Indiana, PA, 1921.

Public Health
Jonas Salk
Virologist who discovered the polio vaccine while a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

2020

Education
Lucy Donnelly

Businesswoman, newspaper publisher, and pillar of the community of Indiana, PA. 

 

Sports
Bernice Gera

First woman to umpire a professional baseball game. Born in Ernest, Pennsylvania.​

Human Rights
Marilyn McCusker

Advocate of women's rights and fair wages in the workplace. First woman coal miner to die on the job at Rushton Mine in Pennsylvania.​

 

Environment
Peggy Clark

Local Environmentalist and founder of CAWLM (Concerned About Water Loss due to Mining). Namesake of the Indiana, PA League of Women Voters Peggy Clark Grassroots Environmental Leadership Award.

Arts
Abby Morris

Local performer, educator, and co-founder of  "The Indiana Players" in Indiana, PA.

Public Health
Dr. Rachel Levine

Current United States Assistant Secretary for Health and former Pennsylvania State Secretary for Health.

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2019

Education

​Nellie Bly 

Pioneer of in the field of investigative journalism.Early in her life she lived in Pittsburgh and briefly attended the Indiana Normal School (now IUP).

Human Rights

John Brophy   

English-born labor leader who emigrated to Pennsylvania and became a child coal miner. Became an important figure in the UMWA and CIO from the 1920s - 1940s.

 

Environment
East Run Hellbenders Society, Inc.  

Environmental group from Grant Township, PA who have been fighting Marcellus Shale to stop wastewater disposal into their well water supply since 2014.

Arts

Jim Rogers   

Indiana, PA local photographer, faculty advisor of the Communications Media department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and WIUP-FM disc jockey.

Sports
2017-18 IUP Woman's Basketball Team

​The Crimson Hawks won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division regular season title, the PSAC tournament championship, and another Atlantic Region crown to advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the second consecutive season. IUP head coach Tom McConnell was named PSAC West Coach of the Year, with seniors Carolyn Appleby, Lauren Wolosik and Brittany Robinson each earning all-league honors. Appleby also earned All-Atlantic Region and All-American accolades.

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2018

Sports
Jim Nance

The first two-time African American Pennsylvania high school state heavyweight wrestling champion, a star football running back at Syracuse University, and the first two-time NCAA heavyweight national champion. Later, he was a star running back for the Boston Patriots (now the New England Patriots.) Born and raised in Indiana, PA.

Arts ​​​
Andy Warhol

A visual artist and filmmaker native to Pittsburgh, PA who popularized the Pop Art

movement of the 1960s.

The Environment 
Edward Abbey

Indiana, PA-born author and essayist known for his anarchist political views and environmental advocacy.

Education

Ida Tarbell

Teacher, writer, and investigative journalist, a leading muckraker of the Progressive Era.

Human Rights
Chris Catalfamo

An Indiana resident and former St. Vincent's College history professor said to be the "catalyst" for the transformation of the ​former Second Baptist Church into the Blairsville Underground Railroad History Center.

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2017

The Arts
Jeff Kelly

Local musician and self-taught blues historian.

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The Environment 
Rachel Carson

A marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring is credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Education

​Dr. Irwin Marcus
Professor Emeritus of History at IUP who developed the first course of “working class history” in the state.

Human Rights
Clara Roberts

Texas-born political organizer, activist, and crisis hotline counselor who worked in Indiana, PA before her untimely death in an automobile accident.

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