We Commemorated July 6, 1892, Paying tribute to the Workers of the Battle of Homestead.

by Aug 1, 2017History, Latest Postings, Past Events

July 6, 2017, Actor Mark Rylance came to Homestead and helped us keep alive the story of 125 years ago.

Read these articles about our 125th Commemoration Events:

– BHF Co-Founder Charlie McCollester writes, “The Next Page: The change Homestead wrought.”

– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Front Page: “Homestead battle still resonates: Speakers will discuss its legacy, current impact.”

Actor Mark Rylance celebrates the Battle of Homestead!

And We Made the SEEN Column!

Rob Rogers Battle of Homestead Cartoon!

And from the Kansas City Star

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan interviews Mark Rylance and Peter Reder: Renowned Actor Commemorates 125th Anniversary Of Battle Of Homestead

And from the PG South Edition: Ceremony honors victims of Battle of Homestead

MEET. GREET. COMMEMORATE. ~ with Mark Rylance  –  A Great Night at the Bost Building!

On the actual anniversary July 6, 2017, we visited the graveyard/markers honoring the memories of fallen workers, George Rutter, John Morris, Joseph Sotek, Silas Wain, Henry Streigel, Peter Ferris, and Thomas Weldon. Charles McCollester and Bill Serrin lead a commemoration for the six Homestead workers who are buried at the two Homestead Cemeteries. Sermons made by Methodist Episcopal pastor James McIlyar and Roman Catholic pastor John Bullion in the days following the battle were read.

Shakespeare: Sonnet 65 – Mark Rylance:

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
   O, none, unless this miracle have might,
   That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

At the Homestead Library Music Hall on the evening of July 6, 2017, Mark Rylance and his cast performed the first staging of the new play, telling the story of July 6, 1892.

Battle of Homestead Co-Founder, Charles McCollester read his poem that night.

Commentary – Remembering Homestead 1892

“Upon this very stage, six score years before this night,

Mighty Andrew stood and to a brawny blacksmith,

Carefully chosen, presented this great hall,

A swimming pool, billiards room, books and all.

“From one humble workman, (he proudly said)

To thousands of others” more humble still.


Here, stood short but mighty Andy with bowed head

Remembering sad that bitter day when

Our Monongahela ran deep red,

When devout Peter Fares, shot in the head,

Held aloft a loaf of bread

And with dying breath to bum detectives defiantly said:

“You shall not take this from us!”


So thus, mighty machines o’ercame workers’ skills,

Bent their lives to capitalist wills,

Blacklisted from employment all resisters,

Silenced with their spies union brothers and sisters.

Until that day in ’37 when in workshops and mighty mills

Masses stood up and expressed their wills

With bread and freedom in their hearts, cried what’s just:

“You shall not take these from us!”


So too today, if truth be told, when our leaders worship

Still the calf of gold and perceive in genius only means

To push down people, line their pockets,

Drop great bombs, shoot deadly rockets,

Machines that think, robots completely heartless,

Trucks without truckers – workers powerless.

Our children and their children’s children too

Wonder exactly what to do – to secure their bread and freedom too.


This why this tale is told of fights for freedom in days of old

So our children and their children’s children too

Will pierce the lies, the misinformation sold,

Reach out to sisters, brothers, elders and child unborn:

Look to mother earth, that beautiful sister, oft so cruelly torn.

Help one another, lend a hand, remember Homestead’s hearty band,

Bread and freedom in our hearts, joined in solidarity and in trust,

“You shall not take these from us!


                                                                        Charles McCollester, July 6, 2017


You may also like


Skip to content