March 26, 2018
Saint Vincent College alumna, Jennifer Sopko, C’04, wrote a book titled Idlewild: History and Memories of Pennsylvania’s Oldest Amusement Park to be published by The History Press on April 2.
Sopko is a writer and historian with a love of Pennsylvania history. A Pittsburgh native who grew up in White Oak Borough, her writing projects focus on Western Pennsylvania history with goals of enlightening readers about forgotten and obscure regional history and reinterpreting connections between familiar stories. Since 2003, she has written about the Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County and Western Pennsylvania for several regional publications, including the Latrobe Bulletin, the Ligonier Echo, Westmoreland History magazine and Western Pennsylvania History magazine. Her first book, Ligonier Valley Vignettes: Tales from the Laurel Highlands, a series of historical vignettes about Pennsylvania’s Ligonier Valley, was published by The History Press in 2013.
Idlewild began as a picnic ground along the railroad where trains would stop for passengers to eat on their way to and from Ligonier, which is only three miles away. In her book, Sopko traces the story of the park, from its relationship with the Ligonier Valley Railroad and the historic land on which it was developed to the innovators who modernized the park, its rides and attractions and the cherished memories of people who grew up here and now return with their children and grandchildren.
Sopko holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Saint Vincent College.
Photo: Jennifer Sopko
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