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In the 1950s, many young families moved from city neighborhoods to the wider open spaces of suburban and even rural communities, and some people missed the close relationships that often develop among neighbors when houses and apartments are closer together.

In 1958, a group of young women who had moved west of Pittsburgh to a part of Collier Township (near Settlers Cabin Park) got together and started a social club. They all lived along Cowan Road, South Cowan and Joyce Drive, and they didn’t want to play cards, raise money or do anything special. They just wanted to socialize, to talk and enjoy each other’s company. They called their get-togethers the “Hi Neighbor Club,” and they’ve been meeting once a month ever since. The women and their families have grown close and created a sort of extended family structure that makes neighborliness seem logical and natural, maybe even an essential part of being human.

They meet at the homes of all the members, taking turns over the months. Sometimes they go on outings, to the theatre, even on camping and vacation trips together. As the founding members have gotten slightly older over, they’ve started accepting younger members to the club, often their own daughters and daughters-in-law.

Our WQED crew was happy to attend the meeting in September 2004 when Germaine Bres was the hostess, and she shared some of her incredible homemade apple pies. We were grateful for the chance to capture lots of conversation and many valuable memories of this wonderful organization.

Click on the button to listen to some of "the neighbors" talk about their club.


These women are good at getting media attention.

A little about the community.

What does the League of Women Voters say about Collier?

Learn more about Settlers Cabin Park.

There’s a bike trail out there too.

See a slide show of photographs from the Hi Neighbor Club.

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