|Here are links to
three pages containing previously posted photos and
information from the Featured Photos section of the
home page: earliest
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.
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
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 side 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
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 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.
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
Freeland Shirt Company, July 22, 1947
What a great photo - it's huge! 1947, the war is over and
people are feeling optimistic.
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
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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posted past featured photos and more recently posted
past featured photos.