3 Muse Lane, nestled on three acres in White Oak Park has a very rich history. In 1783, a block house was built by the U.S. Government. Adam Reburn was put in charge and the block house was called Reburn’s Station. In 1788, Reburn purchased the property that included 200 acres of land and made it his home. Later on, John J. Muse purchased the property in the mid- 1800s. John J. Muse was an active politician from 1858 to 1859 and served as treasurer of Allegheny County and represented Allegheny County in the legislature. He built the colonial farmhouse and added the orchard, pine trees and gardens. According to historical documentation, there is a tunnel in the basement that leads to the woods and is believed to be part of the Underground Railroad. The property became part of the Allegheny Parks System in 1967.
Angora Gardens, named after the Angora Rabbits that once lived there, is a program of Mon Yough Community Services. The program started in the summer of 1988 with the purpose of providing service to any individual in need of social rehabilitation so that he or she may develop or regain the skills necessary to live, work, and socialize within the community.
The Angora Rabbits were used as a vehicle for client therapy. Workers and clients would help care for the bunnies and use their fur to make various objects for sale. Volunteers and clients worked very hard to keep Angora Gardens going and keep it looking good. Workers and clients maintained the gardens, planting flowers and other vegetation around the grounds and conserved plants in a greenhouse.
The program survived in its early years with help from Allegheny County and the State. But, as times changed, funding dried up and budgets were cut, it became a real struggle to remain open.
Lack of funding nearly closed the doors of Angora Gardens. In 2005, an Advocacy Work Group was formed to seek support through many donors and community events such as Septemberfest, Halloween-themed Funny Fright Nights, Easter Egg Hunt and eventually, one of our biggest fundraisers was created, the annual Autumnfest event.
In 2010, while still operating on a shoestring budget, Angora Gardens received funding from Mr. Richard Scaife and Mr. Matthew Groll from the Allegheny County Foundation. The funding allowed for expansion of the program and the individuals we now serve. The bunnies were adopted by a local rabbit caretaker, but they return for special visits, including Easter Egg Hunts. The 1800 square foot barn was renovated into a health and wellness center and reception hall.
FREE Health and Wellness Classes are now available to the clients of MYCS and to community members from all surrounding areas. You do not have to be a consumer of MYCS services to register for class activities, everyone is welcome to participate in classes that include fitness, gardening, arts & crafts, nutrition and holistic health. The facility is also available to the general public for small group use and events such as company meetings, training's and picnics as well as social gatherings such as banquets, bridal showers, wedding ceremonies, fundraisers, and birthday parties.