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History of Freeland, Pa.
Past featured photos, page 3

Here are links to three pages containing previously posted photos and information from the Featured Photos section of the home page: earliest postings, more recent ones, and the most recent ones. They are credited to the sources.

Note: The featured photos listed immediately below have been relocated elsewhere on the website. The others further down on the page will be relocated once I make new places for them.

WWI Memorial Grove at Freeland High School, with information and assistance from Charlie Gallagher and Carol Jones, posted 1-1-2020 - now at

The Eddie Gabuzda Orchestra, 1935, from Marion Gabuzda Boyle Denion, with help from her niece Mary Cooper and her daughter Melissa Murdock, posted October 2019 - now at

Patrick J. Gallagher, mining inspector, from Joan Killian Gallagher, Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Mamie, Boyle, local teacher, from Eleanor Boyle Duckett - originally posted September 4, 2019 - now at

Memories of growing up in a Highland coal company house, from Pat Re - originally posted July 20, 2019 - now at

Freeland silk mills, including photos from John Rock and Charlie Gallagher, and information from JP Sitko and Charlie Gallagher - originally posted May 27, 2019 - now at

Franklin N. Becker and the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, from Pierre-Yves Vachot with added comments from Charlie Gallagher - originally posted March 21, 2019 - now at

St. Ann's groundbreaking for school, etc., along with a booklet showing the planned church that was never built, both from Colleen Tatar; 3 related newspaper clippings from Shawn Carr - originally posted September 21, 2018 - now at

Photo of Freeland Shirt Co. Annex, from Colleen Tatar - originally posted September 21, 2018 - now at

St. Ann's "basement church" from Ed Merrick; and comments about the incomplete church building from Charlie Gallagher - originally posted September 21, 2018 - now at

Railroads that serviced the Freeland area, by Charlie Gallagher - originally posted Summer, 2018 - now at

Edward Gallagher and his barbershops, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Edward Gallagher Receives Sons of Erin Award, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted 4-8-2018 - now at [bottom of the page]

Tigers Club, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Tigers Baseball 1903, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Freeland Y Basketball 1931, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Kasarda Saloon, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Peter Gallagher in his classroom at MMI, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Workers in Freeland's factories - group photos shown courtesy of the Freeland YMCA, Freeland Historical Society, Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, Carol Jones, Joe Moore - originally posted April 2, 2017 - now at

Freeland Chamber of Commerce Annual Fashion and Appliances Show, 1950 from Charlie Gallagher, posted 9-11-2017 - now at

Featured photos: In honor of Memorial Day, here are links to several pages that highlight our Military, Military veterans and Military deceased, along with ways that we have honored and celebrated them, posted 5-25-2020

The World War I Memorial Grove at Freeland High School, with a list of those who were honored with plaques on maple trees planted in memoriam.

World War II men and women from Freeland – from Billy Kuklis, a scrapbook put together by his dad William Kuklis, Sr. and aunt Catherine Kuklis Shelhamer during World War II.

Freeland area men and women in the Military - includes: --- Freeland & Vicinity Honor Roll - Contributed by Charlie Gallagher --- Sts. Peter & Paul's Eastern Greek Catholic Church WWII memorial --- Jeddo World War II Honor Roll --- MMI Memorial dedication, 1947 --- Public Park Veterans Memorial --- Coxe Memorial, Freeland Cemetery --- 109th Field Artillery, Third Penna. Field Artillery, 1879-1917

A link to Burt McNamee’s page honoring Freeland area veterans.

Freeland Drum & Bugle Corps – with a copy of the program booklet from a 1930 Military Pageant & Bugle Corps Contest, from Charlie Gallagher – contains a history of Freeland Post No. 473 of the American Legion

The Upper Lehigh Honor Roll – with a copy of the program booklet from the Upper Lehigh Flag Raising ceremony in 1944, from Sara Wenner and Nadine Heckler, and a list of those named on the Honor Roll (those from Upper Lehigh serving in WWII at the time of the Flag Raising).

Freeland Memorial Day parade photos from 1950 and 1951, taken by Charlie Gallagher

Also interesting is the scrapbook put together by Silvio Mason (born Maso) in the 1930s, begun when he was 14 and covering local and national sports as well as automobiles, aviation, and national and international politics. It wasn’t directly about the Military, but tracks local, national and international news items that interested this young man in the years approaching World War II.

George Tancin dreaming of the Army life Family plaque showing those in the ServiceMy dad Steve Tancin grew up in Upper Lehigh in the 1920-1930s, with brothers John, Joe and George and sister Helen. The boys all went into the military -- Joe into the Navy and the others into the Army, although George being the youngest didn't enlist until the Korean War. One of these photos shows uncle Georgie as a kid dressed up in uncle Johnny's uniform (uncle Johnny was home on leave) and pretending to say goodbye to my grandfather as he was "going off to war." The other photo shows the wooden plaque that hung in my grandparents' home during WWII, and similar plaques hung in many, many other homes. Although my dad and uncles returned, their cousin George Tancin was killed in WWII and is buried in Italy.

Remembering his family in Freeland sports teams and the Army - Steve Mischissen wrote recently. He grew up in New Jersey and spent summers with his aunt and grandmother in Freeland, and he shared many fond memories of Freeland from those visits in the 1960s and 1970s. He had relatives connected with St. Mary’s, St. John’s Nepomucene, St. Michael’s and Ss. Peter and Pauls Ukranian Orthodox churches, and his uncle Nicholas Mischisin who died in World War II is listed on the stone memorial at Ss. Peter and Pauls. Steve’s grandfather was a Slovak immigrant who worked as a mule driver in the Drifton mine. His grandmother made pirohi at St. Michael’s each week. His aunt ran a small grocery on South Street between Fern and Vine in the 1960s-1970s. He was fortunate to be in town for Freeland’s 100th anniversary in 1976.

Steve noted Freeland’s love of sports and how team players in his family joined the Army and then some of them went back into sports after their service:
I was looking at photos from your website about Freeland High basketball teams from the 1930’s. My father and his three older brothers Nicky, Mickey and Johnny all played for Freeland in the 1930’s and a younger brother Thomas played for Freeland in the 1940’s, and I believe another brother for MMI in the late ‘40’s. … My father spoke very highly of Coach Herb Rathey, who coached both basketball and football in Freeland and I believe was a Freeland HS graduate himself. My father said he also was a good teacher. …

Basketball and football meant a lot to players back then, and Freeland, for its small size, put together good teams under Coach Rathey. My father and his three older brothers all went into the Army after 1939 and served in Europe during the war. My uncle Nick Mischissin was killed in action in November 1944 in Belgium, where he was buried. His infantry division, the Blue and Gray, was involved in D Day invasion in France, then the push towards Germany in later 1944. Younger brother Thomas joined the Navy in 1945. My uncle Johnny continued to play in town basketball leagues after the war. Their youngest brother, Steve, captained the Franklin and Marshall college football team in the early 1950’s. My grandfather was an immigrant (Slovakia area) and worked as a mine mule driver in Drifton.

They were the greatest generation.
Please see more of Steve’s family sports reminiscences on the Basketball page, scroll down to 1938 – especially the story about the ringers brought into a football game between Freeland and Bethlehem [steelworker ringers!] in the late 1930s.

Healers and Heroes cover And finally, although this is not about the Freeland area, it might be interesting to those who would like to read a World War II memoir written by a medic. My friend Thea Marshall recently edited and published her dad’s memoir from his time as a medic in WWII. After the war ended, Robert Marshall was in Czechoslovakia for a few weeks, and he used a “liberated” German typewriter to type up a record of what he -- a medic in General George Patton’s Third Army -- and his division had experienced in the war. The book is ‘Healers and Heroes: WWII Combat Medics: Mud and Blood from the Normandy Beaches to The Battle of the Bulge’, and also includes a partial frontline account from Walter German, a fellow medic. [The book doesn't focus on medical procedures so much as being a boots-on-the-ground account of what it was like to do the work of retrieving and stabilizing the wounded (sometimes including prisoners) before sending them on to a field hospital.] The book is available on Amazon, but Thea will send a free copy to any WWII veteran who requests one – contact her by email.

Thank you to all who have served our country and to those who are serving now.

Featured photos: The Birkbeck building, early 20th century, posted Febrary 23, 2020

The Birkbeck building This is the building on the northwest corner of Centre and Main Streets. In 2007, with Tom Landers’ permission and assistance, I scanned this photo along with a group of others that were stored in the YMCA basement. Joe Flanagan tells me that most of these photos have now been given to the Freeland Historical Society. We enjoy these views of the Birkbeck building here courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan and the Freeland Historical Society.

This photo had previously been published in the Freeland Suburban PennySaver in 1963, but the quality of the image was poor (see top left corner of this page). Here is a fresh scan of a better original at a higher resolution.

I don't know what year this photo was taken or what the occasion was, but the building is really decked out with banners and flags. I'm guessing that it was taken in the first decade of the 20th century, perhaps around the time of the Pearl Jubilee or maybe even during that celebration, but I don't really know. Guesses are welcome!

The Birkbeck building, photo detail The Birkbeck building, photo detail The Birkbeck building, photo detail

Above, left to right: the first floor, the second floor, the second and third floors. The views of the upper floors shows that attorney Charles Orion Stroh had a second floor corner office, and at present I'm not sure what business(es) occupied the other space on that floor at the time of this photo. I can’t read the signs on the right-hand windows, but it looks like an insurance company, possibly the Prudential Insurance Company of America? I’ll try to confirm or correct that later. The third floor held Dr. Nixon Maley’s dental office and some club rooms; the Eagles met there.

Top of Birkbeck building
A different photo courtesy of Charlie Gallagher showed the lettering on the top front of the building: “Birkbeck 1883”. That is hidden by a banner in the photo scanned at the YMCA. Later that evidence of when and for whom the building was made was removed, and “K of C” was put there in its place, for Knights of Columbus. The rest of this photo and a similar view will be part of a Birkbeck building webpage (in progress).

The Birkbeck building, photo detail

William Birkbeck’s hardware store held pride of place on the first floor on the corner. In 1895 he advertised hardware, paints, oils, glass, plumbing, heating and ventilating, roofing and spouting, stoves, heaters and ranges. It looks like he had a very eye-catching window display! In this photo you can also see a couple of the buildings across Main Street.

The Birkbeck building, photo detail

Between stores on either side of the first floor is a large door leading to the stairs for the upper floors. More of the hardware store window display is shown, and a welcome banner for the Fraternal Order of Eagles hangs over the central doorway. Signs to the right of the central doorway advertise Dr. Maley’s office, possibly Philadelphia One Price Clothing (Samuel Senie, manager), and other tenants. For a time Michael Merkt had his confectionery here in a storefront of the first floor, including when the photo was taken.

The Birkbeck building, photo detail Bressler Bank Roll cigar tin Here we see Michael Merkt’s confectionery. The sign in the left-hand window advertises ice cream, which he made on the premises, along with a wide variety of candies. The banner across the front advertises Ice Cream & Soda Water. There is a “Welcome” banner over the door, and in front is parked his horse-drawn wagon, on the side of which is an advertisement (faint in this photo) for Bressler’s Bank Roll cigars. Notice that even the horse is dressed up for the occasion!

Featured articles: Reclaiming and restoring an Irish family homestead, from Joan Killian Gallagher, posted November 3, 2019


Joan Killian Gallagher - Going Home In 1998 Joan Killian Gallagher began the restoration of the original cottages on the Irish farm where her great grandfather, Laurence Killian, was born in 1833. Fifteen years later The Killian Homeplace received the All Ireland Pride of Place Award. The 60-acre compound has been reimagined as a meeting place that fosters the educational and cultural exchange for students, relatives and friends from all over the world.

In an article in EnterprisingWomen magazine, Joan wrote: "For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to have a little stone house somewhere. … On Sept. 19, 1996 I had even written in my journal, "Who knows what my stone cottage will look like, or where it will be … maybe Ireland. It may be old, but for sure it will be in a beautiful, peaceful place, and I will be content there." Less than 2 years later she was the successful bidder at a land auction in Longford, Ireland, for half of the Killian homestead that included the Killian farmhouse. Her article "Going Home" in EnterprisingWomen magazine tells the story of the purchase, renovation and reinvigoration of this ancestral property.

PDF logo Going Home, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 1 MB)

This content first appeared in Vol. 6, No. 3 of Enterprising Women magazine ( and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

Joan Killian Gallagher - Heart of Ireland Joan Killian Gallagher - Heart of Ireland A follow-up article in the same magazine adds to the story, beginning: "In the heart of Ireland on the banks of the River Shannon, my great, great grandmother did something absolutely unheard of in her time. In 1893, Anne Furey Killian took a stand and bought the family farm. She took advantage of newly enacted land legislation and broke free of controlling British landlords that had held them economic hostage for centuries. As tenants, the family enjoyed few rights and women had even less. But she was utterly determined to become the proprietor of her family land so that her children and their children would always have a place to call home. This formidable woman, Anne Killian, was 82 in 1893 and had been widowed for almost thirty years." Joan goes on to tell the story of acquiring the property and restoring it, explaining the steps in her own story and her motivations for restoring the Killian Homeplace to her family.

PDF logo The Heart of Ireland, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 1 MB)

This content first appeared in Vol. 20, No. 3 of Enterprising Women magazine ( and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

Featured photo and announcement: Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr. Scholarship to Notre Dame available, from Joan Killian Gallagher.


Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr. Joan and her brothers also established the Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr. Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame for Pennsylvania students, to celebrate their grandfather on the occasion of their father's 80th birthday in 1992. Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr., shown at right, was born in Buck Mountain in 1876, the fourth of eight sons of Peter and Catherine Burns Gallagher. That Gallagher family also included Freeland barbers Edward and Peter Gallagher, and mine inspector Patrick Gallagher. Thomas Sr. quit school at age 9 to be a bucket boy in the mines, later becoming a mine engineer. He married Bridget Gallagher in 1904 and they had three sons before Bridget died in 1919. With the help of Thomas Sr.'s cousin Sister Miriam Gallagher, all three boys attended and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. More of this story is recounted in the speech that Joan gave on the occasion of establishing the scholarship.

When I asked Joan if I could share the speech and her articles here on the website, she wrote: I would love to have you share them. I am particularly hopeful that it could inspire some Freeland youngster to think of Notre Dame. I was very insistent that the scholarship be given to a Luzerne County student, but have not ever publicized its availability. So it would be good to put it out there.

PDF logo The Thomas Francis Gallagher, Sr. Scholarship, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 600 KB)

Influenza epidemic of 1918, from Charlie Gallagher, with information from Emily Pecora and Tony Sutherland - posted Nov. 21, 2018

Charlie Gallagher wrote: "Before October is over, you may want to commemorate the influenza of 1918." He cited Emily Pecora's thesis about Ralph Pecora's tailor business, chapter 2, pages 108-109:

The stress of war time was compounded in early October of 1918 by the outbreak of the Spanish influenza in Freeland. To control the spread of the virus, all churches, schools, and places of amusement (including Freeland’s widely popular saloons and movie theaters) were forced to close, and most public gatherings, including funerals, were forbidden. The pastor of St. Anthony’s church publicly decried the closing order as “discrimination on the part of health authorities,” pointing out that the profitable and powerful “factories, workshops, and trolley cars” of the town—all sites of public gatherings themselves—were allowed to continue to operate. Idle teachers were put to work distributing food and linens to housebound residents and four army doctors helped tend to the sick. By late October, 277 cases of the flu had been reported in the town of Freeland alone. In late November, the State Department of Health reported 42,000 influenza deaths statewide.

Think about that: in just 2 months, Pennsylvania had 42,000 influenza DEATHS. Charlie shares these two photos captioned "The nurse aides at the Freeland Borough Building, 1918 Influenza. Mary B. Gallagher second from right." We are looking at a portrait of courage here. Just think how brave these women, as well as doctors and other volunteers were, to be willing to tend to and otherwise assist their fellow citizens who were suffering from this very contagious sickness!

Health care workers in Freeland 1918 Health care workers in Freeland 1918

In addition to Charlie's photos and Emily's thesis, here is some information that came to me some years ago from Tony Sutherland, then editor of the Jednota newspaper. He had been looking through information in the Jednota library and reported that he had found "seven names of people in Freeland who died from the influenza epidemic 1918-1919. These are only the people who belonged to the FCSU [First Catholic Slovak Union] and had [FCSU] insurance. I am sure there were many more. The FCSU members were: Kristian Cajko (Shigo, age 37), Mikulas Ondusko, Orsula Kirvetajtes, Juraj Tokar, Anna Hirkala, Leonard Suchy, and John Kusnir."

Looking just at the FCSU rolls, he continued: "There were 32 people in the September 1918 FCSU death list. In October this number jumped to 168; November 441; December 179, January 1919,103; a total of 891. ... Only mass immunity saved the rest of the population." He noted that sometimes the influenza would come on suddenly, but the type where the onset was more gradual proved generally to be more deadly, adding: "Incidentally, the 1918-1919 influenza outbreak coincided with one of the worst winters of the century, at least in New York. … There was also a typhoid epidemic or outbreak around 1903 and a diphtheria outbreak [possibly in] the 1890s." [I don't know if those outbreaks also occurred in Freeland.--CT]

Regarding the influenza epidemic in the Freeland area, my brother Steve and I remember walking through the Upper Lehigh cemetery in the late 1970s or early 1980s and also in the Freeland cemeteries, seeing many tombstones dated 1918 that included many, many children and sometimes whole families.

Thanks to Charlie, Emily and Tony for these reminders of an epidemic in the Freeland area from a century ago.

Jeddo Progressive Club, group photo from John Zubach

Jeddo Progressive Club event invitation
A while ago I bought this postcard that has printed along the left side: Annual Ball, Thanksgiving Eve. No year, and nothing on the back. So it's an event announcement. I don't know whether this house is just chosen as a representative image of a worker's house in Jeddo, or if there's any possibility that the club might have met there.

The only other thing in my files about this club is this very interesting group photo that I'd gotten from John Zubach some years ago, now given to the Freeland Historical Society.

Jeddo Progressive Club 1894 Jeddo Progressive Club 1894

Names on the poster, top to bottom, left to right:

A. X. McGill, B. Ferry, J. J. Marley
F. J. McHugh, D. J. McGlynn, J. J. Brislin
P. J. McNelis, P. Marley, J. E. Quigley, J. M. McHugh, A. T. McNelis
P. Timony, D. J. Marley (center), D. J. Timony
P. McMonigal, C. McCole, P. McHugh, C. M. Gallagher, J. S. Coll
P. J. Gillespie, P. D. Brislin, C. P. McGill, D. J. Boyle
J. C. Burns, J. J. Gallagher, H. B. Brislin

Written across bottom: Jeddo Progressive Club, Organized Nov. 9th 1888

Written (slanted) near bottom right: Freeland Pa. March 28th 1894

Written (slanted) near bottom left: J. J. Ward Photographer

What is this club? If you know anything about it and would be willing to share, we could post that information here.

More views of the Refowich theatre, from Ed Merrick, posted 9-3-2018

Corrections/additions received after I posted this page are marked with ***.

Refowich Theatre Ed Merrick sent this photo showing the building in its early years. Notice that there is no marquee over the entrance! In the early 1920s Candyland, an ice cream parlor managed by George Sax, was in the corner space later occupied by Lenny Steward's Florist Shop, as listed in the 1921 city directory. We see that they sold candy, ice cream and Hire's root beer (according to Wikipedia, first created in 1876). There's a Hire's poster on the side of the building, along with two others that are hard to read. There is a sign lettered on the windows above the candy shop, but I can't read it. The center upstairs windows are lettered for an what I think is the Metropolitan Life Insurance company (lettering still there in a later photo), and there is lettering on the right upstairs windows but I can't read it. George Wise apparently had a business on the ground floor on the other side of the theatre entry area, although in directories his harness business is listed at other addresses and not this one. Can anyone tell us what the sign says that is fastened to the telephone pole in front of the building? And look at how cool the entrance to the theatre was! Movie posters and photos of the stars in glass-covered displays on either side, and there's the ticket booth. Wow. And there's some patriotic bunting hanging over the entrance, so maybe this was taken around Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.

*** Ed writes that those steps to the right of the ticket booth "did not go into the theater but led upstairs to the offices and also the projection booth, into which Stanley Potoski allowed me once. The entrance to the theater was to the left of the steps and had double doors, which opened to a short hallway usually lined with posters of coming attractions and which ended at the back of the theater. The end of the hallway had a set of stanchions across which a velvet rope could be fastened to hold back a crowd waiting for the next showing, and to the right was the refreshment stand."

Here's what it says in city directories from the 1920s about this building, and it shows there there were a number of rooms upstairs that were rented out for office space:
Refowich Theatre Building (1921 city directory) and (1928 city dir.); Novelty Cloak & Suit Store, Samuel Presel & Samuel Steiner; Thomas H. Mays, Physician (1921 city directory); Rooms 6-7, James F. Gallagher, physician, and Patrick H. Dunphy, dentist; rooms 4-5, Thomas H. Mays, physician, Prudential Insurance Co., and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (John J. Gallagher, asst. supt.); Refowich Theatre and Refowich Theatre Co., Inc. (theatre managed by Clyde D. Klinger, 1921 city dir.) (1921 city directory) and (1928 city dir.) Candyland, George Sax, mgr., Centre corner Main (1921 city directory) [Note: Patrick H. Dunphy, dentist, was listed in Birkbeck Bldg. across the street in 1921 dir., but in the Refowich building in the 1928-1929 directory.]

*** And here's an interesting piece of information: Charlie Stumpf reported that in the 1890s, I. Refowich Men's Clothing and Tailor was on this same site (current building not built yet - thanks to Harold Refowich for that correction), as was Jacob's & Barasch, clothiers.

Refowich Theatre Another photo from Ed Merrick. Pinocchio in Outer Space was made in 1965. Ed was taking a lot of photographs in downtown Freeland area in 1966, so this photo might be from 1965 or 1966. On the side of the building we see a poster for the movie Lord Jim, another 1965 film. Lenny Steward's Florist Shop occupied the corner part of the building and we see a lovely display in the window - I'm not sure what was on the other side of the theatre entrance, looks like a mannequin in the window and an "N" above the windows. In previous decades there were various businesses and offices upstairs as well, but I don't know about the 1960s. I don't see any signs in the upstairs windows, although I do see some icicles. Freeland winters! What a beautiful building this was, though. The many decorative details on the exterior are so interesting, very ornate for our town. We were lucky to have this wonderful theatre for such a long time, and it's very good that the building has been repurposed as seniors' apartments rather than left to deteriorate and then torn down.

I see that in the 1920s Samuel Presel's & Samuel Steiner's Novelty Cloak and Suit Store was in the Refowich building. Maybe that was the source of the "N" above the windows on the business space to the right of the entrance in this photo from four decades later. In email with Charlie Gallagher, he suggested that maybe it could have been Lucy forte's Novelty Dress Store (531 Centre Street, next to the Refowich Theatre). It's also possible that the "N" was there for the earlier Novelty Cloak and Suit Store and then years later when Lucy Forte set up shop in that space, she selected a name for her shop that would use the "N" that was already on the windows, maybe even referencing the earlier Novelty name. ???

Refowich and Timony theatre ads Ed Merrick has these movie ads in a scrapbook! Thank goodness for people with scrapbook hobbies. Here we see ads from the Refowich and the Timony theatres for shows playing in Freeland in mid-December, 1929. Note that the top left ad says "all talking," as this was not long after sound was introduced into movies. Before that, they were all silent, with live music provided locally. Also note the "9 shopping days till Christmas" ad. The Timony was on South Street mid-block between Centre and Ridge. It would later become the Rialto Theatre, where my dad occasionally went to movies as a kid and where I did the same in the 1950s.

Refowich in 1939 or soon after Refowich in 1939 or soon after *** Ed and Harold Refowich both say that the man in the photo at right was Irving Refowich. Ed said that these two photos were taken on  February 15, 1940, adding: "I don’t know if you will be able to read it from the photo, but the windows upstairs designate a Prudential office on the left and a Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. office on the right. To the left  of the entrance downstairs is the Sugar Bowl, a soda fountain, candy, and sundries business, the name of whose owner I can’t remember. I think that might have been a hat shop to the right. The marquee reads: “To-nite $70 bonus” and the movie “Intermezzo.” The lobby cards on the left advertise a Charlie McCarthy movie and on the right the movie “Eternally Yours.” The hanging banners read “Cash BONUS every Thursday” and “Eternally Yours."

That's interesting about the Sugar Bowl, apparently the business that succeeded Candyland in that corner location.

Ed, thanks for these photos and information. More photos and information about the Ref and other theatres on the Entertainment page.

Freeland Historical Society Open House - Sept. 15, 2018 - 1:00-4:00 p.m.

FHS Girls Basketball team, 1919-1920 The Freeland Historical Society will host its first Open House on Saturday, September 15 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The Society has been meeting monthly since its formation in 2007, and they’ve chosen their Open House date to celebrate Freeland’s incorporation as a borough on September 11, 1876. This is a free event! Stop by and see a display of some of the memorabilia that the Society has collected. There will be a small sale of duplicate yearbooks and other items. Please come and experience some of the Freeland area’s history. The Society’s headquarters is in the Seniors Building at the corner of Washington and Chestnut Streets.

This photo from the Society shows the Freeland High School Girls Basketball Team, seated on the grounds of DCM, with the old St. John's Reformed Church in the background (before the brick church was built).

Tigers Club – Tigers Baseball 1903 – Freeland Y Basketball 1931

Tigers Baseball team 1903 Tigers Baseball team photo caption

This photo of the 1903 Tigers baseball team was sent to me some years ago by Ed Bacon, who said that this photo had hung on the barbershop wall. Now Mary has sent a caption that identifies everyone in the photo, including Edward Gallagher. More info on the Baseball page.

1898 Tigers Club article 1898 Tigers Club article 1898 Tigers Club article
Here’s an article about the Tigers Athletic Club from the Freeland Tribune, December 26, 1898. This copy was sent by Mary Rosenkrans; an earlier copy came from Joan Buday.

Baseball group photo 1906
Another baseball photo – I don’t know the circumstances of this photo. The men are wearing shirts that look like they might be from several teams, and most of the players are in blackface. ??? The photo was taken the year of the Pearl Jubilee. Mary thinks her grandfather is seated on the far right.

YMCA champs 1931-32
Here is the Y.M.C.A. basketball team of 1931-1932. The basketball shows that they were N.E.PA. Champs that year. More info on the Basketball page.

Gallagher - Brogan Family Reunions in 1935 and 1941

This was a huge family reunion that brought members of these families together from several states in 1935. It got a lot of press in the local papers.

Gallagher-first-annual-reunion-1935 “Family in First Annual Reunion: Three hundred at Gathering of Gallaghers and Brogans at Evergreen Park,” from the Hazleton Plain Speaker, August 19, 1935

PDF logo Plans for the reunion, from The Plain Speaker - (PDF file size = 505 KB)

Plans for the Reunion.

Gallagher-first-annual-reunion-1935 Gallagher-first-annual-reunion-1935

PDF logo 1935 Gallagher - Brogan family reunion with some of the names provided - (PDF file size = 816 KB)

Photograph of the Gallagher-Brogan Reunion of 1935, and the same photo as a PDF with names of those who have been identified. Edward and Peter Gallagher are in this photo.

Article about 1941 Gallagher-Brogan family reunion The reunion in 1935 was so successful that another one was held in 1941. Here is Aubrey Powell’s reporting in one of the Hazleton papers’ “Freeland and North Side News.”

Kasarda Saloon

Andro Kasarda's saloon Edward Gallagher's barbershop Some years ago Ed Bacon sent me these two photos of the barbershop and the Kasarda saloon, writing: “I am the grandson of Edward J. Gallagher. He and his brother Peter were barbers first at 354 Centre St. and then 713 Main St. We lived on Main St with them until the mid-1960s. I have a number of photos that were on the Main St. shop walls.” One shows 5 men in front of Andro Kasarda’s saloon, right across the street from Edward Gallagher’s barbershop at 354 Centre Street, shown at right: Edward Gallagher is on the right, his brother Peter is on the left, and a third barber, name unknown, is in the center. Based on the poster in the saloon window (advertising the National Athletic Club, Monday evening, June 7, 1915), this photo was likely taken in 1915. So that puts the photo of the front of the barbershop also at around 1915, as two of the barbers are in both photos, looking very much the same in both. I’m assuming that the man standing in the doorway is Andro Kasarda; I don’t know who the other two men are.

There are four cropped details from this photo and more information at a new page in progress on Freeland saloons.

Peter Gallagher in his classroom at MMI

MMI classroom, 1904 MMI classroom, 1904 MMI classroom list, 1904

This is an MMI classroom, and that’s Mary’s and Ed’s great-uncle Peter in the back row, center seat. The note with the photo says it was taken in 1904, so that would have been at the newly built school below Carbon Street. The teacher is Professor Edmund. It’s hard to read the blackboards, but the left boards contain a mathematics lesson and some Greek text. The boards to the right in this photo show text headed “Lesson 47,” a map, and more text. I’m adding a closer look at the faces.

It looks like the students’ names on the list might be given in order, but if so we don’t know whether the list starts with the row nearest the blackboard or the row nearest the camera. Either way Peter is at the end of the middle group of six.

Many thanks to Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon for sharing these fabulous photos and information!

Frank Ceol plowing snow with the help of Jim Boyle's horses, and views of the winter of 1914 (with thanks to Marie Marencin and Ed Socha) - posted 12-31-17

Frank Ceol plowing snow 1914 Marie Marencin told me that her father Frank Ceol was a cowboy before he moved to Freeland a little more than a century ago, and that when he was new to Freeland he worked at Jim Boyle's livery stable on Johnson Street (in front of what would later be the site of Freeland High). That was already exciting information - a cowboy! And another livery stable, one I hadn't known of. Around the same time that I spoke with Marie, Ed Socha alerted me to this newspaper clipping showing Marie's father plowing snow in 1914 with Jim Boyle's plow and horses. The newspaper clipping is used courtesy of the Standard Speaker.

Frank Ceol, cowboy Frank Ceol Frank was born in 1896, and he moved to Freeland from Oregon in 1913 (so, around age 17). When he was a child, he and his older sister Anna rode a horse to the one-room schoolhouse they attended. He only went to school through 2nd grade, but he could read and write. Marie said that in the coal mines they spelled his name "Cole." His brother Joe's wife Ruth (Horn) Ceol was one of my Girl Scout leaders in the 1950s-1960s. These two photos come from Marie Marencin; the  sepia tone images were "washed in Google images" by Charlie Gallagher to make them greyscale and visually sharper.

Jim Boyle had been at that Johnson Street location at least since 1912; he was listed in the 1912 and 1917 phone books this way: "Boyle, James W., Con & Bldr, Johnson nr Alvin." In the 1921-1922 Freeland directory he's listed: "Boyle, James W., 415 Johnson" under the heading Contractors and Builders. In the 1928-1929 directory there's this: "Boyle, James W. (Rebecca; Boyle's Garage), Lumber, Building, Roofing and Contractors Materials, General Contractor and Stripper, 415 Johnson." No mentions of a livery stable anywhere, though. Marie Marencin told me that his daughter Mary Boyle was the Home Economics teacher at Freeland High School.

Speaking of Frank Ceol plowing snow in 1914, Freeland had at least one spectacular blizzard that year and quite an intense winter, remembered on these four postcards (some previously featured here). The photo at left looking north at a pair of horses pulling a sleigh down Centre Street is shared courtesy of Carol Jones and the Freeland Historical Society. The horses are just about in front of the drug store and hotel shown in the second photo.

Blizzard 1914 Blizzard 1914 Ice storm 1914 Blizzard 1914 Close-up, blizzard 1914

The photo showing Schilcher's Drug Store and the St. Elmo Hotel came to me from John Zubach, as did the one of DCM during an ice storm. The fourth photo was seen on eBay and is looking south toward the Front and Centre intersection; the enlarged crop gives a sense of how much of a hassle it must have been getting around in the snow in 1914. The poles holding up an awning at far right in that photo mark the entrance to Amandus Oswald's general store. The photo with Schilcher's Drug Store and the St. Elmo Hotel was published in the Pennysaver in 1969 with this caption:
"Photo on Centre St. after blizzard, March 1914 - looking north. We're informed that this is the storm a young girl lost her life in when she froze while out for a buggy ride. This picture comes to us through the courtesy of A. L. Mitke, who also gave us the identities of some of the people pictured here. Left to right: Antone Leppler, unknown, Tony Leppler, small boy unknown, Willy Dougherty in sweater, prop. of the St. Elmo Hotel."

Dr. Frank Schilcher was listed in the 1882-1884, 1884-1886, 1886-1888, 1895, 1897 and 1901 directories as a physician and often also as a druggist, always at the same location on Centre between Front and Walnut streets. In 1895 he was also listed as Secretary of the Freeland Water Company.

The Borough building - a conversation by email with Charlie Gallagher

Charlie was looking at an old postcard of the Bethel Baptist church, wondering about the oddly-shaped steeple seen at the end of the block on the left. Here are the postcard images of the Bethel Baptist church (postmarked 1913) and the Borough building (postmarked 1907) that Charlie sent me, and he asked when the Borough building was built, and if it was built with the tower. I sent him some information from Charlie Stumpf's history of Freeland and an enlargement of that steeple part of the postcard with the opinion that we were looking at two steeples, but in the meantime he had also figured that out and he sent the cropped detail shown below on which he highlighted the two steeples. He wrote: The Hotel / Bar at 11 West Walnut is in front of the borough building (as the borough building is set back from Walnut). The hotel steeple is outlined in red, the borough building in yellow.

Bethel Baptist church before 1913 Borough building before 1907 Two steeples near Walnut and Centre streets Two steeples near Walnut and Centre streets

I read his note, looked at the images he sent, and remembered a photo Tigers Club 1906 Washington Hotel that Mr. Deitos senior allowed me to make a cell phone copy of several years ago. It shows the Washington Hotel, run by Al Goeppert and located on Walnut Street next to the Tigers Club, not far from the intersection of Walnut and Centre. Here at right is Mr. Deitos's photo of the hotel, along with a photo of the Tigers Club (as seen on eBay) during the 1906 Pearl Jubilee - you can see the same hotel to the left of the Club. Washington Hotel 1895 Here too at left is a detail from the 1895 Sanborn map showing the two buildings (the address numbers are from an earlier numbering system). The Washington Hotel is mentioned (sometimes along with Mr. Goeppert's name) in Freeland directories from 1886-1888, 1897, 1901-1902, and is shown on Sanborn maps as the location of a saloon in 1895, 1900, 1905; in 1912 the map specifically named the Washington Hotel there. Charlie saw his name in a list of people applying for liquor licenses in 1892. So the Washington Hotel is what the first of the two steeples in the Bethel Baptist church postcard belonged to.

Meanwhile, there was Charlie's question of when the Borough building was built, and whether it was built with the tower. I am assuming that the building was built with the tower/steeple. Charlie Stumpf gives the date as 1884. Charlie Gallagher set out to confirm it by visiting the Borough building, where he was allowed access to the 2nd floor and photographed the two plaques shown here. Charlie, thank you for sharing these photos!

Borough building plaque Borough building plaque

Nicely done, so it's 1900 for this building. I wrote back to him to thank him, expressed interest in the "public library and reading room," and I asked where he thought the Borough Council was meeting for all those years before the borough building was built? The 1873 Freehold map shows a town hall on Ridge between Front and Walnut. The 1895 map shows Freeland Hall (built 1891) where Woodie's was later, and doesn't show the Ridge street town hall. So maybe all of their Council meetings were at the Ridge Street town hall before 1891, and then they met at Freeland Hall for a few years after that? BUT Charlie Stumpf mentioned (page 7) a Borough Building being erected in 1884 that had a Council room and a jail. Maybe there was a small building (just a council room and jail) built in 1884 that was used until the current building was built? Wonder where that would have been? The current site wasn't donated by the Knights of Labor until 1899, according to Stumpf.

Here are some relevant notes from the Stumpf book:
- The meeting to decide the new name of Freehold was held at the town hall in 1876 (page 7).
- At the 2nd meeting of the Council in 1876 it was decided to build a small jail at Pine and Johnson streets, which was used until 1884 when the Borough Building was erected (page 7).
- Land for the Freeland Municipal Building was donated by the Freeland Chapter of the Knights of Labor. Construction began in August 1899. The Council first met there on December 10, 1900 (page 15).

There are still unanswered questions there, but regarding the reading room / public library, Charlie replied: From my understanding of the borough building, the reading room / library was the north side of third floor. This was one large room.
First Floor: Police Office, Borough Secretary Office, Police Holding Cell, Men's Room, Women's Room, Fire Garage.
Second Floor: Council Chamber, Council Secretary Office, Citizen's Hose Company Office, Office (later Magistrate Office), Men's Room, Women's Room, Storage Closet.
Third Floor: Engineer's Office, Storage / Records Room, Reading Room / Library.

Thank you, Charlie Gallagher, and I'm remembering Charlie Stumpf with appreciation for all of his work. If anyone knows what the 1884 date in Charlie Stumpf's book on page 7 refers to, please let me know and I'll post it here!

The Mulhearn building torn down in December 2017 - with photos from Charlie Gallagher, me, and the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society

This is to remember the old Mulhearn building that was just torn down in December 2017. Charlie had emailed me these and other photos of the demolition as it progressed over a number of days, and reported that the land and building were purchased by MMI for the purpose of expanding their parking lot.

Mulhearn building demolition 12-2017 Mulhearn building demolition 12-2017 Mulhearn building demolition 12-2017 Mulhearn building demolition 12-2017

When I was in Freeland in March 2017 I photographed some buildings, including that one. I don't know what the original purpose of the building was, but here are six photos I took then that show some interesting features of the building.

Mulhearn building 3-2017 Mulhearn building 3-2017 Mulhearn building 3-2017 Mulhearn building 3-2017 Mulhearn building 3-2017 Mulhearn building 3-2017

When I heard that it was being torn down, I checked to see what was in my files about it. Not much, but I do have these mentions of that site/building and one just to the north of it as they were listed in early city directories and on maps in the days before Mulhearn's Plumbing and Heating:

239 Centre Street (old address 805 or 806 Centre)
1890s - it was an empty lot
1910s - Hay warehouse (1912 Sanborn map)
1920s - Charles Karnatski, grocery (1928-1929 directory)

229-231 Centre Street (old address 804 Centre)
1890s - it was an empty lot
1900s - Bottling works on the north side of the train tracks (1900 and 1905 Sanborn maps)
1910s - Bottling works (1912 Sanborn map)
1920s - Mrs. Hilda Boyle, gasoline, automobile accessories and supplies (1928-1929 directory)

Here are details from the 1912 and 1923 Sanborn maps. When I posted this page on New Year's Eve 2017, I was confused about which building shown on these maps was the building that was torn down! So now I see that it was the building right next to the tracks, 229-231 Centre street. Looking at the 3rd photo from the left of my 6 photos above and comparing it to the left photo of the two from Anthracite Railroads below makes it clear that they are the same building. I apologize for any confusion encountered by those who read this page before I made this correction! So apparently the Mulhearn building was a bottling works in its early life.

1900 map detail near depot 1912 map detail near depot 1923 map detail near depot

Freeland RR tracks, looking east near Centre Freeland RR tracks, looking west near Centre Charlie Gallagher pointed me to these photos from 1912; they are part of the Joe Zogby collection of the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society (ARHS), used by permission. Both were taken by someone standing on the railroad tracks, and Charlie tells me that these photographs were made during accident investigations. The one looking east shows the railroad depot at left and across the street on Centre shows the building at 229-231 Centre, with a storefront visible. The one looking west shows the Freeland Overall Company left of the tracks with a train car parked alongside to load or unload a shipment, while to the right of the tracks in the foreground we see the building at 229-231 Centre, and the railroad depot across the street. Behind the brick building there is a small wooden addition and behind that is a Farmer's Dairy horse-drawn wagon. In 1912 this building was listed as a bottling works; perhaps the Freeland Dairy wagon was there to pick up some new milk bottles.

Freeland Chamber of Commerce annual Fashion Show, Fall 1950, from Charlie Gallagher - posted 9-11-2017

Charlie wrote:
It was fall of 1950.
The war was over and things were turning for the better
The Freeland Chamber of Commerce had its annual "Fashion Show" at the Freeland Public Park Pavillon.
This showcased all the new modern appliances and television!
These were annual events until about 1953.

Fall 1950 Fashion
                  and Appliance Show

This picture has John Mulhearn
of J.A. Mulhearn on the left.

Fall 1950 Fashion
                  and Appliance Show
Centre Electric:
Right to Left:
Louise Zarosky
Peter "Potsy" Zaroski
Mary B. Gallagher
Elizabeth Gallagher
Bernard Gallagher
The rest I don't know.

Fall 1950 Fashion
                  and Appliance Show
Right to Left:
Peter "Potsy" Zaroski
Louise Zarosky
Elizabeth Gallagher
Bernard Gallagher

Fall 1950 Fashion
                  and Appliance Show
The crowd in the Pavillon!
Right to Left:
I don't know!!

Fall 1950 Fashion
                  and Appliance Show

[CT: Charlie did not supply any text with this one, but it's my favorite. The large and small stoves, the Coolerator refrigerators, the "Syncro-Brain" TV, the radios (More Tubes, More Power!), and the Betty Crocker endorsement with a very different picture of her than I remember from my childhood because apparently she'd been updated by the late 1950s. These must have been really wonderful events for the community - AND a fashion show, too!]

Fall 1950 Fashion
                  and Appliance Show

Jeddo Supply.
I don't know any of these gentlemen.

Fall 1950 Fashion and
                Appliance Show
Last picture.
I don't know who they are.
Maybe the Stuntz family ?
Maybe the Horn family ?

Thank you
CT:  Finally, here's a letter to Bernie Gallagher and Potsy Zaroski from Martin O'Donnell on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, thanking them for their work on the event. Elizabeth Gallagher also got a shout-out.

Thank you, Charlie, for sharing these fabulous photos with us all. Think of all the work that went into staging this event every fall! The pavilion has seen some amazing things over the years.

Views around town in 1966, from the camera of Ed Merrick

This is Freeland as I remember it from my high school years. Thank you, Ed, for capturing some of it on film! Three of these photos were posted here in 2011, when Ed was one of our earliest featured photo contributors.

Caster's Florist
                  Shop and Fairchild's Looking south from above Front Street, there's Caster's Floral Shop on the right, next to Fairchild's news shop. That Fairchild's business was in the building that was built in 1893 and which contained Freeland's post office at one time. On the other side of Caster's, Dr. Drogowski had his office in that corner building. Seventy years earlier it was the site of Amandus Oswald's General Store. Below Front Street the People's Bank, Genetti's and Citizens Bank signs are visible.

St. Patrick's Day parade
                1966 Here Ed was standing in front of the Refowich Theatre, watching the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 13, 1966. To the right across Main St. is Allan's Show Store, with Vercusky's Drug Store and Bellezza's Shoe Store signs visible. Seitzinger's Drug Store is across Centre St. The same buildings shown in the previous photo are seen here from the other direction. Charlie Gallagher, another early contributor, commented that the box on the telephone pole is a phone box that the Freeland Police used up to about 1973 or 1974. When you called the Freeland Police  (636-0111) the phone would ring in the borough building and on the pole in front of the Refowich. It was a locking box with the Police having the key. He added that the Freeland PD used to park on Center in front of the Ref and watch the town before the advent of radio communications with the Luzerne County Communications Center, and about this photo he said "I believe that is Rich Petchol and Nick Goida standing next to it in the photograph."

St. Patrick's Day parade
                1966 Turning in the other direction we see the J. J. Newberry Co. (later VideoMania) and, to the extreme left, part of the sign for Pittman's Furniture Store. They had pretty crummy weather for the parade that year, but that didn't dampen the spirits of the marchers or the hardy souls who came out to see them. Parades have always been a special thing in Freeland, a way for the town to turn out and celebrate the greater Freeland community.

Main St. behind Refowich 1966 Freeland
                train depot 1966 At left, Ed was standing behind the Refowich theatre in the rain looking toward Centre street, and you can see the Western Auto store on the corner. At right there's the train depot, two homes on Centre no longer there, and the large building that had been Bereznak's saloon, boots and shoes store and hotel, which in 1966 was Pavlick's factory. On the other side of Carbon was Resuta and Machella's bar, formerly the Miner's Restaurant (as recently as 1952).

                1966 St. Ann's
                Church 1966 At left, was standing on Walnut street looking toward Centre. You see the PP&L building on the corner, and across from it the white building was the Nagels' house. Note the Pitman's Furniture delivery truck. At right, we have St. Ann's church, built in the 1920s, never finished above the basement, and replaced in 1967 with the church that's now Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

                1966 Blizzard
                1966 Freelanders and neighbors know all about blizzards. Here are 2 views from January 1966. At left, and east-west street with plow-drifts. At right, the Clover Bar and Tom Zubach's absolutely amazing car at Luzerne and Ridge streets. Tom was the publisher of the Freeland Pennysaver, with assistance from his brother John (Fuzzy).

                and Kosticks, 1966 And while we're enjoying the snow and ice, here is a shot of Kostick's bar and the North Side Pizzeria (formerly Merrick's grocery store) in 1966, corner of Centre and Luzerne streets.

                Main St. 1966 Blizzard closures 1966 Finally, at left is a view of Main street in Eckley in 1966, when it was still a real, living town. Lovely to see those trees. And at right, a list of business/industry closings due to the blizzard in the greater Hazleton area. Thank you, Ed, for saving this news clipping. It was another time!!!

Workers in Freeland's factories - group photos shown courtesy of the Freeland YMCA, Freeland Historical Society, Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, Carol Jones, Joe Moore - posted April 2, 2017

Do you recognize anyone in these photos? They were taken from the 1920s to the early 1960s - you might see yourself, or family, friends, neighbors. If you can identify anyone, would you please let me know? I can post identifications here. Also, if you can provide any information about any of the photos or the factories, I'd love to hear from you. The earliest photos are shown first. Photo credits follow the 1963 factory photo near the bottom of the page.

Freeland Overall Mfg. Company

                Mfg. Co., early 1920s Charlie Gallagher noticed that the flag has 48 stars here, and guesses that this photo might have been taken sometime around 1923. In this photo we see how grand the factory building looked there on lower Ridge street, next to the railroad tracks, and we can also see a few buildings on the other Freeland Mfg. Co., early 1920sside of the tracks. The Freeland Overalls logo is painted on the front windows. A group of 24 men stand on the steps (see photo at right), and one more man is standing at the far right of the photo. Approximately 139 women sit or stand in front of the factory.  It's fascinating to see the variety of clothing and hair styles, a few hats, and how these folks posed for this photo.

Freeland Mfg. Co., 1920s Freeland Mfg. Co., 1920s

Freeland Overall Mfg. Company

                Mfg. Co. Here is another photo of workers at the Freeland Mfg. Co., makers of Freeland Overalls, possibly taken in the early 1930s. When I again consulted Charlie Gallagher regarding when the photo might have been taken, he wrote: "Some of the women are now sporting curls (that would have been late twenties, early thirties)." Regarding their wearing pants, he added, "twenties but not really accepted until 1930. You can thank Amelia Earhart, Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn. I believe the two gentlemen at the bottom are Oberrenders. The uniforms, to me, suggest marching in a parade or festival of some kind. Did Hazleton have a 40th anniversary parade as a city in 1931?"

The cropped copy below left should make it easier to see faces, and when I noticed the man behind the right window I thought we should take a look at him, too.

Freeland Mfg. Co. Freeland Mfg. Co. Freeland Mfg. Co.

Freeland Shirt Company, early 1930s

This is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that we have two different takes here! (I need to go back and scan the left end of the take 2 photo.) Actually I don't know which one was take 1 or take 2, I'm just using those names here to differentiate them. There is also a sheet of paper that has some identifications or possible identifications listed. I'm especially taken with the women looking out of the window at far left (why are they still inside?), and the guy leaning on the building at far right. A note on the back of this photo said that it was taken in the early 1930s and was the property of Wilberta Breznitski.

                Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland
                Shirt Co. early 1930s

Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s

Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s

Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s

Some of these people, like the girls seated behind the guys in the front, seem very young! This take 2 photo has a couple of boys poking their heads in at right that weren't in the other photo. Also, here there's a young woman sitting on the plank in the front with the 5 guys. In the take 1 photo she's at right center next to the man in the dark sweater. Maybe this was really the first take and they made her and the two kids at far right move. It's always tempting to think of narratives and scenarios when looking at these old photos!

Freeland Shirt Company, July 22, 1947

                Shirt Co. 1947

What a great photo - it's huge! 1947, the war is over and people are feeling optimistic.

                Shirt Co. 1947 Freeland
                Shirt Co. 1947 Freeland
                Shirt Co. 1947

Freeland Mfg. Company, November 1956

This photo was apparently made by Hines, the name written under the date at top left. Joe Moore very kindly sent me scans of the sepia photo some time ago, and I copied the black and white photo in Freeland in 2008 when Carol Jones lent it to Tom Landers for me to scan. It had belonged to Wilberta Heyes Breznitski, then Sara H. Corazza, Lou Corazza, then Carol Corazza Jones.

Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956

Freeland Mfg. Co.
                1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956

NEW ID: Charlie Gallagher reports that two of his aunts are in this photo. Susan Kuskolis, married to Andrew "Pundy" Evanisko, is standing behind the 6th woman from the right in the front row, standing 2 rows back, dark coat and short dark hair. Gizella Kuskolis, married to Stephen Spock, is standing directly behind the woman in the front row in white toggle coat, with dark coat and dark hair.

Identifications on back of the black and white copy, as written: front row, from left: 13, Irving Abrams older son - 14, Abrams owners - 15, Simon Abrams youngest son - 16, Ilene Hollick - 17, Leola Poltrock - 18, Gertrude Poltrock Hollick --- second row, from left, 6, Wilberta H. Breznitski.

Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956

Freeland Shirt Company, May 1963

This is the photo with the highest likelihood of people actually seeing themselves in it! Scanned at the Y. I might not have gotten the entire thing scanned, and I don't know whether the blurriness in my scans comes from the photo or my scanning, but maybe I can post a clearer copy at some point. Meanwhile, this is what I have.

Freeland Shirt Co. 1963 Freeland Shirt Co. 1963

Freeland Shirt Co. 1963 Freeland Shirt Co. 1963 Freeland Shirt Co. 1963

NEW ID: Mark Berta tells me that his father Joe Berta, who worked at this factory as plant manager, is the third man from the left in the back row.

These six group photos were scanned between 2008 and 2014. In 2008 the late Tom Landers, then president of the Freeland Historical Society, offered to put out a call to the community to see if anyone would lend him photos or documents so that I could come and scan them, after which he would return the items to the owners. A few of these photos come to us that way. He also gave me scanning access in 2008-2009 to a group of photographs that were housed in the basement of the YMCA under his watchful eye (Joe Flanagan, manager of the Y, tells me that most have now been given to the Freeland Historical Society, while a few remain at the Y on display). Joe Moore kindly sent me scans of the 1956 photo of the Abrams factory. A couple of other photos were at the Freeland Historical Society and I was allowed to scan them there. I'm grateful to everyone who lent photos, shared photos, gave me access to photos, and to Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, Carol Jones, Joe Moore, the YMCA and the Freeland Historical Society for making it possible to capture and save these images digitally and to share them with you through this website.

As always, additions and corrections are welcome.

- MORE PERSONS IDENTIFIED! - Lithuanian Peoples Choir and a Lithuanian wedding - new photos from Tom Yaruso, posted March 2, 2017

A day after these photos were posted, Joan Vanderlick Chisholm wrote: I think I know 4 people in the Lithuanian Choir photo ... In the same row w/the priest, on the left side, 2nd boy is Anthony (Tony) Ravutsky; next to him (1st girl in that row) is my mother, Millicent Yenalevich Vanderlick; the young lady on the priest's left is Millie (married name Ravutsky, Victor's wife); in the 2nd row from the top on the right side, 2nd man is Victor Ravutsky (married to Millie, brother of Anthony). The Ravutsky and Yenalevich families were cousins - their mothers were sisters. Since I don't have a picture of my mother really young, I compared the photo with one of her in her teens and I'm pretty sure it's her. Thanks so much for posting these pictures - I could spend hours going thru Freeland history. It's so interesting and so unbelievably connected.

Both of these photos were taken in the basement of St. Anthony's Church, where Lithuanians who left St. Casimir's Church were invited to hold their services while they decided what to do next - make a new church or join St. Anthony's parish. Apparently they were considering founding a new church in Freeland called St. Mary's Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church, as there was a listing for it in the 1928-1929 city directory, with an office located upstairs in the Seitzinger building. However, as it turned out, instead the decision was made to join St. Anthony's parish, responding to a generous invitation from Rev. Francis P. Bitetti. Some of the Lithuanian Freelanders went instead to Ss. Peter & Paul's Lithuanian Church in Hazleton, but many joined St. Anthony's.

So these two photos from Tom Yaruso are from those few years when they had left St. Casimir's but the decision on what to do next had not yet been made. The basement of St. Anthony's was a temporary "home" for these Roman Catholics.

Lithuanian Peoples Chorus 1926 Lietuviu Parapijos Koras - Tom wrote that this is a picture of the "Lithuanian Peoples Choir, taken in the basement of St. Anthony's Church 1926 just after Lithuanians broke away from St. Casimir's Polish Church, and services were held in the basement of St. Anthony's Church. Third row from top, third girl from left is my aunt Verna Martonis, and fourth girl is my aunt Mary Martonis from Highland. I hope some family members [or others] can pick out their parents or grandparents." What a wonderful photo! There are 40 men, women and children shown here, along with the priest, possibly Rev. Simon J. Struckus. I wish we could hear what this choir sang in Lithuanian!

Lithuanian Wedding, late 1920s The second photo shows members of a Lithuanian wedding, again photographed in the basement of St. Anthony's Church. Tom wrote, "My aunt Verna Martonis from Highland is second girl from right. Can anyone tell me the name of the bride and groom? I would say late 1920s." I really like the headpieces that the women are wearing. Everyone looks dignified and well-posed.  Wonder who the photographer was?

I've added higher-resolution crops of both photos for better close-up views of the faces. DO YOU RECOGNIZE ANYONE from your own family photos? If so, please let me know and I'll post the information or guesses here. Please help us all to learn more about this part of Freeland's past. Thank you to Tom Yaruso for sharing these photos here.

Lithuanian Peoples Chorus 1926 Lithuanian Wedding, late 1920s

Also, I'm adding below the photo that Tom sent to post earlier (posted here in late Decemter 2016), because perhaps some of the same people are in that photo, too.

St. Casimir's Communion class St. Casimir's Communion class 1914, from Tom Yaruso: "Nice picture of St. Casimir's Communion Class 1914, Freeland. My aunt Verna Martonis from Highland is 5th girl from left, top row. Wonder how many people will know their old family members by looking at this picture?" Tom later added: "The priest is Father Inczara. The date on the picture is August, 2 1914."

Click here to see earlier posted past featured photos and more recently posted past featured photos.

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