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Miller Honoured With Historical Marker

Published: July 27, 2009 10:12 am ET

Last Comment: July 27, 2009 2:22 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Delvin Miller, who founded the Meadows in 1963, will be formally recognized the morning of Saturday, August 1 when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unveils a historical marker at the entrance to the Meadows honouring Miller’s memory and contributions. The unveiling will take place at 9:30 a.m.

The dedication will take place before the race card highlighted by the final of the $800,000 Delvin Miller Adios, the premier annual event held at the Meadows and named for Miller and his foundation stallion. Officials from the Meadows, the Senator John Heinz History Center and its affiliate, Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Museum of Rural Life, will participate.

"This is a fitting tribute to a harness racing hall of famer, a tireless goodwill ambassador for his sport and a community benefactor,” said Meadows interim general manager Michael Jankoviak. “The timing is also perfect as we prepare to hold the first Delvin Miller Adios in the newly opened Meadows Racetrack & Casino.”

Placement of the marker is the culmination of a formal nomination and review process overseen by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which administers the program for the Commonwealth. Miller, who died in 1996 at the age of 83, was nominated by officials of Meadowcroft, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

That is especially appropriate since the Washington County homestead of Miller and his family stood at Meadowcroft, considered the oldest site of human habitation in North America. Miller and his brother Albert provided the land for the museum.

“When we looked at the state’s historic markers, there really wasn’t anything related to harness racing,” said David Scofield, director of Meadowcroft. “It seemed natural to honor Delvin Miller and to place the marker at The Meadows, since he was the driving force in launching the track.”

David Wiegmann, acting general manager for MEC Pennsylvania Racing Services, which manages the track, called the marker “both fitting and timely.”

“The Meadows and Pennsylvania have vaulted into premier positions in the harness racing industry, and Delvin Miller’s vision and determination provided the foundation for that growth,” he said.

Pennsylvania’s marker program recognizes more than 2,200 historically significant people, places and events. Miller joins such previously honoured luminaries as composer Stephen Foster; environmentalist Rachel Carson; explorer Meriwether Lewis; military hero Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway; painter Mary Cassatt; patriots Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin; entrepreneurs Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse; music greats Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey and Mario Lanza; comedian W.C. Fields; dance legend Martha Graham; playwright August Wilson and sports superstars Wilt Chamberlain, Honus Wagner, Johnny Unitas, Connie Mack and Roy Campanella.

The marker’s inscription reads:

“Among the most influential names in harness racing and an excellent horseman, Miller won 2,442 races in 8 decades, such as the Hambletonian and the Little Brown Jug. He also bred and trained many champions, including 'Adios,' a winning stallion with numerous champion offspring. Inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1968, Miller promoted racing safety and technology. He founded The Meadows in 1963 to bring the sport to Southwestern PA.”

(Meadows)

July 27, 2009 - 2:22 pmHow nice to see that Delvin

How nice to see that Delvin continues to be recognized for his accomplishments. While he is probably unknown to many of today's racing crowd, he was at one time THE best known name in the sport. I had the pleasure and the privelege of knowing him for many years and visited him at his winter quarters in Florida numerous times. He was a most gracious host.


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