|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. Some of these have also been
integrated into other parts of the site, while others are still waiting
for that. Meanwhile, these past Featured Photos are always available
via these links.
Featured Photos, posted May 27, 2019: Freeland silk mills,
including photos from
John Rock and Charlie Gallagher, and information from JP Sitko and
Freeland had a thriving silk industry in the late 1890s and going off
and on for nearly 50 years. A page will be made about that industry
soon, but meanwhile here are five silk mill locations. A couple of them
might be a suprise.
In city and phone directories, the Freeland Silk Mill is listed at this
Birkbeck Street location in 1897, 1901, 1912. Then in 1917 and 1921 is
is listed as the Luzerne Silk Throwing Company at this address. It was
also shown on Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps in 1900, 1905, 1912 and 1923.
In 1929 it was shown as the Luzerne Silk Throwing Company.
In his book on Freeland history, Charles Stumpf wrote: "The Freeland
Silk Mill made application for charter on March 18, 1897. The mill
opened on May 24 with raw silk imported from Japan and woven into
various patterns. The mill employed 50 workers under the supervision of
Frank Frigerio [corrected from Frigeriu]. Three floors were equipped
with looms and other machinery. The plant had a capacity of producing
100 pounds of silk per day."
Later in 1906 it was reported that the deed for this silk mill was
transferred to the Luzerne Silk Throwing Company. I'm still working to
understand the ins and outs of this local silk industry, so more on
In the mid-20th century this building was repurposed as the Freeland
Company. It burned down in 1983.
In city and phone directories, the Washington Silk Company is listed in
1912, 1917, 1921 and 1928 as being on
Ridge Street just north of the public school that was later purchased
by the Belekanich family. It was also
shown on Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps in 1912, 1923 and 1929. Early maps
showed the address as 951 Ridge, and the 1923 map showed that the 951
numbering had been changed to 425-429. City directories variously
reported the address as 435 and 439 Ridge. As shown on the map below,
factory building occupied what is now the empty lot on the north side
of the former public school, later Belekanich's bar and home. I have
not seen a photo of this factory; all I
have at present is a photograph of the empty lot, taken in 2017. The
view is from the alley and you can see a corner of the Belekanich
building at top left in the photo.
In his book on Freeland history, Charles Stumpf reported: "The
Washington Silk Mill, located at 439 Ridge Street, began operation
during the summer of 1911 with 50 employees, under the management of
August Rupert. In October the first piece of silk woven in the mill was
exhibited in the window of John Shigo’s store." A local newspaper
mid-August 1934 reported: "The mill was badly damaged in 1926 when mine
settlings took place in the old Woodside mine after the water had been
pumped out to prepare for operations to be resumed. The building sagged
in several places but after being strengthened by supports, operations
were resumed. Later after the Washington Company suspended operations,
the plant was run by the Meadow Brothers before they moved to the Danko
property at Ridge and South streets."
A few weeks later a newspaper article reported that officials of the
holders of the defunct company have made a deal and will dispose of the
silk mill building "that was established on Ridge St. over 25 years
it has been sold to a citizen of White Haven who began yesterday to
dismantle the structure."
In November 2018 I received this email message from JP Sitko: Chuck,
I came across your website about Freeland's history when searching for
information about a building that used to be there. My grandfather
Henry Sitko and greatgrandfather Condy Sitko purchased the Washington
Silk Co building to build a dairy barn in White Haven in the early
1930s. I attached some stories from the 30s that I came across about
them and the building that I attached. Thanks to your website I also
found the exact location of the building. The barn was built with brick
and large red stone window sills. If you have any photos of it or ever
come across any photos of the original silk mill building I'd love to
see them. If you also find any additional information about the
building I'd be interested in that too. Thanks for the information on
the website, JP Sitko.
JP also sent a newspaper clipping from nearly a year later in May 1,
1935 that said that the
building had been sold to Henry Sitko of White Haven, and that the
razing of the building was "nearing completion, and bricks, lumber and
materials are being trucked away. After the building is removed, the
plot of ground will be fenced in as a safety measure." So you can see
that in the 1930s it took some time to carefully dismantle a building
so that the parts could be re-used in another building, and then
hauling the pieces to a new location, as opposed to just knocking it
all down and dumping the pieces. Of course, winter also got in the way
of such work.
In the early 1920s the Washington Silk Company's business was
expanding. The 1928 Freeland directory lists both the Washington Silk
Company at 435 Ridge and its Annex at 818 Front Street, behind the
First National Bank. The Annex is also shown on the 1923 Sanborn map.
That same building has also been home to several other businesses over
the years, including S and S Soda, a shirt factory, and John R.
Gallagher's branch office of the Hazleton Buick Company (thank you,
Charlie Gallagher, for the Buick info!). I'll get these
various tenants sorted out a little better and will report on that on
the business pages of this website. The building is still there, I saw
it when I was in Freeland in March 2019!
The Washington Silk Company mill on Ridge Street was badly damaged in
1926 when mine settlings took place in the old Woodside mine after the
water had been pumped out to prepare for operations to be resumed. The
building sagged in several places but after being strengthened by
supports, operations were resumed. Bringing back the work after the
Company suspended its operations, the plant was run by the Meadow (or
Meadows?) brothers before they moved to the Danko property at Ridge and
streets. I'm assuming that they moved the business because of the
damage the Ridge Street building sustained as a result of mine settling.
In his book on Freeland history, Charles Stumpf wrote that the Grand
Opera House opened in 1896, thrived for many years, and then after
being vacant for a long time the building was converted into a factory
for the one of Freeland's silk companies in the mid-1940s. In the early
1980s the building was once again converted into apartments for
seniors. The photo comes to us from John Rock.
Charlie Gallagher shared this photo of his father and sister,
photographed with a cow in what was then a field two streets away in
wrote: My Pop (Bernie Jr.) holding
sister Sheila on the back of the cow. They would have been standing
near the south end of St. John's parking lot on Vine Street. (Notice
the cars in the background are on Fern St, not Ridge St.) So the
photographer was on Vine Street, looking east across undeveloped land
with the buildings on east Ridge Street in the background.
The two buildings at right, also shown enlarged here, are the white
public school (later Belekanich's bar and home, painted a deep rose),
and the Grand Opera House that would later be turned into a silk mill.
The photo was taken in 1941, and the silk mill transformation would
happen soon after. But the reason these photos are part of this
section is that this is the only photo I have at present that shows the
Grand Opera House!
Thank you to JP Sitko, John Rock and Charlie Gallagher for photos and
and of course to Charlie Stumpf. If you have any information or photos
to share regarding Freeland's silk mills, will you let me know? Thanks!
Featured Photos, posted March 21, 2019:
These photos and information about Frank Becker and the Jeddo-Highland
Coal Company power plant in the 1930s were sent by his great-grandson,
Pierre-Yves Vachot. The photos come from his grandmother's photograph
album, which she has kept all these years along with a messenger bag of
her father's, filled with blueprints. You never know where remnants of
the Freeland area's past are being saved! Thank you to Pierre-Yves, his
grandmother and his family.
Franklin N. Becker and the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, from
Pierre-Yves Vachot with added comments from Charlie Gallagher
Left to right:
Frank Becker was an All-American football player at Lehigh University.
After returning from service in WWII he was a professional engineer.
He worked for Jeddo-Highland Coal in the 1930s, also patenting several
inventions during that time.
He took dozens of photos of the power plant and other aspects of
In early January 2019 I received an email from Pierre-Yves Vachot, a
French engineer. He wrote:
I am doing some researches on
my great grandfather (Franklin Nelson
Becker) who has lived near Jeddo when my grandmother was a kid (in the
1940s). When my grandmother was 7 or 8 years old her father passed away
and she left Pennsylvania for France. She only came back once since, in
the '90s and got to see her old house again. She doesn't have any
address, the only thing she remembers is Jeddo. …
I am also looking for the
location where my great grandfather has
worked in 1933, supervising the construction of a big power plant for
the Jeddo Highland Coal company. I believe that this power plant has
been taken down in the '90s and I couldn't find any traces of where it
used to be. The power plant had a huge chimney made of bricks, and you
could read JEDDO on the side of it. It was giving electricity to the
nearby mines, and It was built next to a Coal Breaker that was built in
1915 (on which you could read "5 Jeddo Highland Coal Co.", I think it
had the nickname of Jeddo #5). I read that it was on the road between
Freeland and Eckley.
When Pierre-Yves wrote to me, I shared his note and photos with Charlie
Gallagher, and he and Pierre-Yves have had
considerable correspondence since then. Charlie was able to locate
grandmother's house, which was exciting, and the two men have been
sharing information and photos. Pierre-Yves' family has given
permission to have a number of the photos posted here. These are
interesting views of Jeddo-Highland
in the 1930s, mostly showing the power plant and some other parts of
the operation that Pierre-Yves' great grandfather Frank Becker worked
Please visit the four
about Frank Becker and his work for
Jeddo-Highland Coal to see
what Pierre-Yves and his family have
with us. Many thanks to them, and also to Charlie Gallagher. Between
him and Pierre-Yves we have updated context for the photos you will
And, if you see something you recognize and can offer additional
information, please let me know and we'll post that, too!
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
thesis about Ralph Pecora's tailor business, chapter 2, pages
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
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
Thanks to Charlie, Emily and Tony for these reminders of an epidemic in
the Freeland area from a century ago.
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;
St. Ann's "basement church" from Ed Merrick; and comments about the
incomplete church building from Charlie Gallagher
adding something new to the featured photo that was posted on 9/21.
That day we saw a large group photo (left) that Colleen Tatar had from
father and allowed me to scan some years ago. Recently I posted it on
facebook and asked for comments on what it might be a photo of, as she
didn't have any information about it. Consensus was that it shows the
groundbreaking of St. Ann's School, rectory, and perhaps also the
convent. Thanks to everyone who participated in that discussion.
Meanwhile, I had also scanned another item from Colleen, a booklet
called the Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register. She also had
this from her father. Dated circa 1924, it contains many local business
ads and a brief biography of parish founder Rev. Michael J. Fallihee,
in addition to the Catholic reference material that forms the core of
the text. However, the most interesting thing about this for local
history is the image
on the cover and the ad on the inside back cover. Charlie Gallagher
tells the story:
"I was told that was the church that
was never built.
On page 12 you see that Durnin
Construction was to have been the
General Contractor for the Church.
They got the basement completed
and that was it until the new church
was built October 15, 1967.
(but the basement church had
its charm and was unique).
Apparently upon completion of
the school, convent and rectory, the
church construction was started.
I’ve been told that concerns
over the amount of debt the parish
undertook resulted in a suspension of the additional construction.
Father Leo Gilroy, who brought
the parish out of debt, was pastor of
St. Ann’s from 1946 until he died on February 17, 1965.
He was succeeded by Father
Gilleogly, who raised the money for a new
church in 24 months and built it in 18 months."
He added: "It couldn’t have been a
worse time to start a full parish
construction project. Just before the 1929 stock market crash and the
continuing depression into the mid thirties. Then right after all that,
WWII. I imagine donations dried up during those years."
Shown at left is St. Ann's first church, founded in 1874 in Woodside,
as a mission of the Immaculate Conception Church in Eckley. The center
shows St. Ann's second church, which was built in the 800
block of Centre Street and served the parish for about 40 years, from
the 1920s to the mid-1960s (photo from Ed Merrick). At right is the
model for the planned completion of the 'basement church.'
Here is the booklet that shows what the church would have looked like
if it had been completed in th 1920s.
Clicking this link will open an Adobe PDF file of this
booklet. If you don't have Adobe Reader on
your computer you can download it for free at www.adobe.com.
Catholic Reference Booklet, circa 1924 - (PDF file size = 4.1
This is the groundbreaking photo from Colleen Tatar. St. Ann's Band was
in attendance, along with a large group of parishioners. Perhaps
someone from your family was there! The enlarged crop shows the priest
holding a shovel.
These clippings come from Shawn Carr, who wrote: "Picture looks like
groundbreaking for the rectory. Found these clips in Wilkes-Barre paper
And in another
example of how clues to additional pieces of Freeland
area history show up in photographs of other things, Cal Herring
noticed that the photo includes the only view I've seen of the Freeland
Shirt Company Annex, which suffered a major fire two years later in
1931. According to news coverage at that time, "The building is an old
Freeland landmark and was built 42 years ago [circa 1889 - CT] by
Emmanuel Berger, Freeland contractor, for a religious sect known as the
"Burger Church." ... It was the first factory to be operated by the
Freeland Shirt Co., but was abandoned a number of years ago, when the
new Dewey street mill was completed. Almost two years ago
[approximately when this photo was taken - CT] it was remodeled and
converted into a cutting department and storage house by the company
and has been used for this purpose ever since." The building apparently
continued to stand for some years, as Bob Zimmerman remembers it from
his childhood in the 1940s; I don't know whether it was repaired and
used again after the 1931 fire or not.
More about the Berger Church on a
page about it here. A newspaper article quoted there seems to
indicate that the building was still standing as recently as 1974.
Thank you, Colleen for sharing this great photo and the booklet. Thank
you to Ed Merrick, Shawn Carr and Charlie Gallagher.
Jeddo Progressive Club, group photo from John Zubach
A while ago I bought this postcard that has printed along the left
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.
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
More views of the Refowich
theatre, from Ed Merrick, posted 9-3-2018
Corrections/additions received after I posted this page are
marked with ***.
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
*** And here's an interesting piece of information: Charlie Stumpf
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.
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. ???
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.
*** Ed and Harold
Refowich both say that
man in the photo at right was Irving Refowich. Ed said that these two
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 -
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
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
Church in the background (before the brick church was built).
Railroads that serviced the Freeland area, by Charlie
Charlie Gallagher has contributed a group of web pages about our local
linked from the Transportation page.
Four railroads served the Freeland
area in the late 1800s and for much of the 20th century. You can’t tell
anymore, but at one time Freeland was a railroad town.
Until the 1970’s the railroad supplied Berger Lumber on Birkbeck
Lehigh Valley SW9 locomotive. Photograph courtesy Greg Gunshore.
Here is LV SW9 locomotive on the trestle that crossed Carbon Street in
the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. The rail line made its way from the
south end of town at the Freeland Freight Station (where the MMI
Gymnasium is today), then Griffith’s Lumber, and ran north along
Feussner Ford east of the Park and up to Ira Berger Lumber.
Photo courtesy of Charlie Gallagher,
previously owned by great-grandfather Patrick J. Gallagher.
DS&S # 16, 2-8-0. One locomotive Class 10-28E (later Lehigh Valley
#690). Baldwin Locomotive Works, Burnham, Williams & Company 1893.
D. S. & S. Miniature Locomotive # 3 was the locomotive that Daniel
Coxe was riding when he died is at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
in Strasburg, PA.
Edward Gallagher's barbershops and other Gallagher-related
photos from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - posted 4-8-2018
Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon are sharing some interesting photos and
information on several topics that all relate to their family in some
way: their grandfather Edward Gallagher’s barbershops where he and his
brother Peter worked together for decades; their great-uncle Patrick’s
mining career in Nevada; the Gallagher-Brogan family reunions that were
held in 1935 and 1941; the Tigers Club, the Tigers baseball team, the
YMCA basketball team; Andro Kasarda’s saloon; and an early MMI
classroom where their great-uncle Peter was a student in 1904. There’s
a lot here that they are sharing with us! We begin with their main
topic: Edward and Peter Gallagher and Edward’s barbershops.
In cases where I have more information about these photos, there are
links provided to other pages on the site.
Edward Gallagher and his barbershops
Edward Gallagher had
3 barbershops in his career: first at [old
address numbering] 51 S. Centre Street [later renumbered 513], then at
354 Centre Street, and finally at 713 Main Street. His brother Peter
was also a barber and worked with Edward for his entire career. Their
brother Mickey also worked with them for a while.
Mary wrote that Edward’s
and Peter’s father was Peter Gallagher
(1834-1887), and their mother was Catherine “Kitty” (Burns) Gallagher
(1852-1906). The father “came from Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland as
did many of Freeland’s Irish immigrants. He worked, of course, as a
coal miner.” They had eight sons, two of whom died in childhood. Three
sons would become barbers: Edward Joseph (born 1879), Peter Joseph
(born 1884?), and Michael “Mickey” (born 1872). Mickey later worked as
a shoemaker; Edward and Peter were barbers together for nearly 50 years
until both died in 1963. Mary doesn’t know how they got into the barber
business, or who trained them.
Here are five of the
eight Gallagher brothers: back row, L-R
Edward and Peter; front row L-R Michael, Thomas, James (Shamus).
Missing from the photo were Patrick, Frank and John. Mary thinks the
photo was taken between 1900 and 1910. --- More info on this family on Gallagher's
Barbershop page ---
When Edward Gallagher received an honorary life membership in the Sons
of Erin in 1954, the newspaper article said that he had been a barber
for 61 years. That would mean that he began barbering around 1897. He
is listed as a barber in the 1900 U.S. Census, but where was he
working? In the Freeland directories that I’ve seen, he first shows up
specifically listed in 1900-1901 as a barber on Centre Street, but with
no address number given. His younger brother Peter was still in school
in 1900, according to the census. Did Edward have his own shop at
first, or did he apprentice or partner with another barber on Centre
Street? Mary has seen him listed as a barber at 51 Centre Street around
Edward’s Barbershop at 51 S.
Centre Street [old address numbering]
There were side-by-side
barbershops shown on the 1895 Sanborn map
at 53A and 51A, (Address note: 51 was later renumbered 513 Centre) and
the proprietor of the barbershop at 51 was listed in the 1897 directory
as Joseph Fenstermacher; he was also listed as a barber on Centre
Street in the 1900-1901 directory. Did Edward start out working with
him there? Mary Rosenkrans thinks that Edward might have purchased
Fenstermacher’s barbershop, because after Edward’s mother died in 1906
and around the time that he married in 1908, Edward was living at 51 S.
Centre Street and operating a barbershop there. --- More info on this
location on Gallagher's
Barbershop page ---
Edward’s Barbershop at 354
After working at 51 Centre
Street for some years, Edward moved to a new
location, in a building newly constructed sometime between 1905 and
1912. The 1905 Sanborn Fire Insurance map showed an empty lot at that
address, while the 1912 map showed a barbershop there.
The 1921-22 and 1928-29 Freeland directories list Edward Gallagher’s
barbershop at 354 Centre, and Edward and Peter Gallagher as barbers.
--- More info on this location on Gallagher's
Barbershop page ---
Move to 713 Main Street
Mary wrote: “Sometime between
1920 and 1930, the barbershop was moved
to 713 Main Street, Freeland. My grandfather who was known as ‘Eddie
the Barber’ and his brother Peter ran the shop until the early 1960s.
He passed away in February 1963, followed by Peter in December 1963.”
She was later able to pinpoint the move to Main Street to 1930.
Here are Edward and Peter
Gallagher, Sons of Erin, in the barbershop on
Main Street in April 1961. I mentioned Edward Gallagher’s barbershop to
Ed Merrick, as Merrick’s grocery store was across the street from 354
Centre. Ed replied: “I don’t remember the Gallagher barbershop on
Centre Street, but the Gallaghers did relocate their barbershop in
later years to the building west of the Remak residence at 709-711 Main
Street. Ed and Pete were the owners and operators, and my father,
brother, and I used their services for years. They had a tag team of
sorts and often handed off in the middle of a haircut, about which [my
brother] Tom and I used to laugh later.”
Charlie Gallagher (from a different Gallagher family) commented: “Well,
713 Main was later Joe Rish’s Barbershop. It is now a residence. That
was next to Remak’s and was damaged during the fire. Something tells me
that ABC Television or ABC Electric may have been at 713 before it
became Joe Rish’s barbershop, but I’m not 100% sure.”
Here are some photos of the
barbers and the three barbershops:
Earliest photos, ca. 1910-1914 –
possibly at the first barbershop at 51
S. Centre (later renumbered as or near 513 Centre)
The barber at left is
unidentified, and at right is Edward. They’re
wearing professional white jackets; notice the customers reflected in
Unidentified man on
left, Edward Gallagher in center, and his brother Mickey Gallagher on
right. Mickey later left barbering and worked as a shoemaker. Notice
the barbers’ white jackets, and the wall shelving for shaving mugs.
Mary says that the large wall furnishing that holds the long mirror and
cabinets as well as the shaving mug shelving were moved from shop to
shop and were in all 3 barbershops.
Another early view,
with Mickey and Edward working on two customers, and it looks like a
third barber is at work off camera at far right, reflected in the
mirror – his reflection looks like the unidentified barber in the first
of these 1910-1914 photos. Mary and I both think that the customer at
left resembles the man standing at left (not a barber) in the previous
--- More photos of the counter and bottles on Gallagher's
Barbershop page ---
Around 1915 – at the second
barbershop at 354 Centre Street
This is the front of Edward’s second barbershop at 354 Centre Street.
We see his brother Peter Gallagher at left, an unidentified barber who
worked with them at center, and Edward Gallagher at right. There’s a
young child visible in the doorway. Also shown are enlarged details of
the shop windows. Notice the traditional striped barber’s poles
flanking the doorway.
Andro Kasarda’s saloon
was just across the street, and here are Peter Gallagher (left) and the
unidentified third barber (right), and that might be Andro Kasarda at
center standing in the doorway. Because the two barbers in this and the
previous photo look to be about the same age in both, and because
there’s a 1915 poster in the saloon window, we are dating these photos
around 1915. There's more about this photo on a new (in process)
Around 1915-1917 – at 354 Centre
Peter Gallagher at
left and the unidentified barber at right. If you recognize him from
family photos, please let me know!
customers. The three standing barbers, left to right: Edward and Peter
Gallagher and the unidentified third barber. Notice that they are no
longer wearing white jackets.
Around 1920 – at 354 Centre
Here Peter and Edward Gallagher are older and are shown with Edward’s
children (left to right): Edward, Marie, Eleanore. Enlarged details
show the razor strap, decorative woodwork plus tiger painting, and
chairs, sink and shaving mug shelves.
April 1961 – at the third
barbershop at 713 Main Street
Forty years later, here
are Edward (left) and Peter at the barbershop at 713 Main Street in
April 1961. They are dressed in their Sons of Erin uniforms, and the
wooden wall furnishing that contains mirror and counter is still with
them after all those years.
Memories of My Grandfather Edward J. Gallagher, a short writing by Mary
Rosenkrans. Mary also sent this sweet reminiscence of the few years
when she and
family lived with Edward and Peter.
Edward Gallagher Receives Sons of Erin Award
March 17, 1954 -
Freeland Sons of Erin Present Membership: “Edward Gallagher (extreme
right) received the 1954 honorary life membership in the Freeland Sons
of Erin during that organization’s banquet last night. Presenting him
the membership is John Dennion, chairman for last night’s arrangements.
Extreme left is James Crowley, principal speaker, and Atty. Martin
O’Donnell, toastmaster (second from left).”
March 15, 1954 – To
Receive Erin Certificate: “… The certificate will be presented by Erin
president, Vincent Maloney in recognition of Gallagher’s many
contributions to the Irish organization and to the community over the
Patrick Gallagher, Mining Inspector
Short biography of Patrick J. Gallagher, in Nevada: A
Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land (vol. 3, 1935)
Patrick J. Gallagher biographical description - (PDF
file size = 2.4
Patrick was not shown in the
photo of five Gallagher brothers
on this page. Now we know why! According to the brief biography shown
here, Patrick struck out for the West around age 22 in summer 1898. He
first worked in harvest fields and then at a cattle ranch owned by his
uncle, Frank Gallagher! He then worked in several mines, attended
business college, and after several more years’ mining experience he
served as president of the Western Federation of Miners, then two years
as a justice of the peace, four years as a notary public, president of
the Round Mountain Athletic Club, and district mining recorder. He was
later in real estate and insurance, did some prospecting, and was
appointed deputy United States marshal for Southern Nevada. The
caricature from the Reno newspaper labeled him as Deputy State
Inspector of Mines.
The portrait and brief biography were sent to Mary from her cousin Joan
Killian Gallagher, granddaughter of Thomas Francis Gallagher, and more
photos came from Mary and her brother Ed.
Tigers Club – Tigers Baseball 1903 – Freeland Y Basketball
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.
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.
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.
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
First Annual Reunion: Three hundred at Gathering of
Gallaghers and Brogans at Evergreen Park,” from the Hazleton Plain
Speaker, August 19, 1935
Plans for the reunion, from The Plain Speaker - (PDF
file size = 505 KB)
Plans for the Reunion.
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.
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.”
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
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
Peter Gallagher in his classroom at MMI
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
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
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 was born
in 1896, and he moved to Freeland from Oregon in 1913 (so, around age
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
I read his note, looked at the images he sent, and remembered a photo 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. Here too at left is a
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
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
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
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
- 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 /
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
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
purchased by MMI for the purpose of expanding their parking lot.
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
but here are six photos I took then that show some interesting
features of the building.
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
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
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.
Gallagher pointed me to these photos from
1912; they are part of the Joe Zogby collection of the Anthracite
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
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
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
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
These were annual events until about 1953.
This picture has John Mulhearn
of J.A. Mulhearn on the left.
Right to Left:
Peter "Potsy" Zaroski
Mary B. Gallagher
The rest I don't know.
Right to Left:
Peter "Potsy" Zaroski
The crowd in the Pavillon!
Right to Left:
I don't know!!
[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!]
I don't know any of these gentlemen.
I don't know who they are.
Maybe the Stuntz family ?
Maybe the Horn family ?
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
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
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.
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."
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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
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
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
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 Overall Mfg. Company
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 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
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
What a great photo - it's huge! 1947, the war is over and people are
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.
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.
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.
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
As always, additions and corrections
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
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."
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