Season ticket for
                Stoffa's Pool

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History of Freeland, Pa.
Recreation: Movie theatres, wedding/dance halls, parks and picnic grounds

MOVIE THEATRES (please also visit the Entertainment section)

[Thanks to Ed Merrick, David Timony, Pete Timony for additions and corrections. Photos of Stoffa's Pool and pool ticket from Al Stoffa; all other photos of buildings and postcards by Chuck and Steve Tancin.]

Additions from the 1940 Federal Census come to us courtesy of Ed Merrick. In some instances, it's not clear whether the individual is the owner/proprietor of the store or an employee, but we'll list them here. Some of the addresses from the 1940 Census might be home addresses rather than business addresses. He adds: The handwriting was hard to decipher in many instances, and so corrections are welcome. Many of the businesses have been in the same family for years, and so the first names may differ in earlier or later years.

Popular Drive-In - Zubach family - Freeland-White Haven highway - 1949-1978

Refowich Theatre - Centre &  Main Streets (Opened Feb. 17, 1914, 670 seats; Jake, Ike, and Moe Refowich, original proprietors; then Siroki brothers; later run by Will Doynics, Stanley Potoski and Tom Landers; closed in 1974?)

Rialto Theatre - Timony family; then Refowich brothers; then Siroki brothers - South St., between Centre & Ridge Streets (formerly Timony Theatre as of 1920; Strand as of 1935; Rialto as of 1938) - 1920-1957

St. Mary's School Auditorium (also known as The Greeks, or The Auditorium Theatre) - Fern St. (Sylvester DeFrancesco, proprietor; later H. F. Christy and John Urishin)  - 1931-1954 or 1957

Timony Theatre - South Street between Centre & Ridge streets (originally Timony Hall, a dance hall; later the Rialto Theatre, then later a clothing factory) (From David Timony: I'm always looking to see if there are any physical remains of the Timony businesses in Freeland. Many folks there still refer to the landmarks--take a left at the Timony Theater--but there is no evidence to be seen.) (From Pete Timony: My great-grandfather Peter Timony owned many businesses in Freeland, including the theatre. I was sorry to see in your web-site that Timony Hall was torn down in March. I recall someone pointing it out as a kid. I would have loved to revisit it today.)

Thomas Danko - 518 Cedar St., ticket taker, theater (age 21 in 1940 Census)

Walter Drasher - 710 Main St., janitor, theater (age 48 in 1940 Census)

Morris Finkel - 946 Washington St., motion picture operator (age 45 in 1940 Census)

Herman Hirchhorn - 639 Centre St., theater manager (age 38 in 1940 Census)

Michael Lukac - 1222 Walnut St., usher, theater (age 20 in 1940 Census)

Angeline Marchetti - 446 Adams St., cashier, theater (age 27 in 1940 Census)

Margaret Shrader - 184 Alvin St., cashier, theater (age 22 in 1940 Census)


Company Store, Upper Lehigh Boyko's Hall - Main St., Upper Lehigh (built in the 1880s by the Windsor Coal Company, to serve as the company's general store and butcher shop; later acquired by the Boyko family and operated as a dance hall; when I was four years old I was the flower girl for my aunt Helen and uncle Charlie who had their wedding party there - photo at left shows the building when it was the company store; the building eventually burned to the ground)

Highland Hall - Highland road

Krell's Hall - corner of Front & Washington Streets

Public Park
                pavilion Public Park Pavilion - Public Park, east Front St.

St. John's Church Hall - Ridge & Luzerne Streets (the old hall, was formerly the old church)

St. John's Church Hall - Fern Street between South and Main Streets (the new hall, on site of former Freeland Brewery)

St. Mary's Parish Hall - Fern Street, next to St. Mary's rectory (on the site of the old grade school)

St. Michael's Bowling Alley - Fern & Carbon Streets

Timony Hall - South St. between Ridge and Centre Streets (see also Timony Theatre, above)


[Thanks to Ed Merrick, Bill Beissner, Eddie Barna]

Site of the Poolroom Brazina and Myers Poolroom - 512 Centre St. (Zeke Myers and Bucky Brazina, proprietors) (From Ed Merrick: "Bowling and Billiard Perfection" ('53 Minamek)) (From Bill Feissner: The sign on the poolroom read "Brazina and Meyers Bowling and Billiard Academy." Zeke Meyers, I believe was married to Dot, who owned Dot's Restaurant, and least we forget Cookie -- Cookie works parttime at Nocchi's Pharmacy. Zeke was an amputee, he had one arm off at the elbow. The poolroom had the front room with a candy/cigarette counter, 3 coolers, two for beer and one for soda, and 2 pinball machines. The back room was like a large hall. The front of it had 4 pool tables, and the rear of the hall had 5/6 bowling lanes. They even used to hire us kids to pick pins when the had bowling tournaments. 10 cents a game plus tips, not too bad in those days.) (From Eddie Barna: My uncle John Brezina was a partner in the Brazina and Myers Pool Room from 1940 until around 1962. He was from the Brezina family that was one of the founders of St. John's church.  FYI: The poolroom was originally a movie theater around 1900. I believe that it was John Nowak that started the business of a poolroom and bowling alley, but I don't have any info on the date. John Myers joined John Nowak, who later sold out to Tommy Bzdil. My uncle bought into the business around 1940 and ran it with Myers until 1962-63?) - See also Myers Cigars, below.

Bzdil and Myers Billiards, Bowling - 512 Centre St. (1940 city directory, 1941 phonebook) (From Eddie Barna: My uncle John Brezina was a partner in the Brazina and Myers Pool Room from 1940 until around 1962. He was from the Brezina family that was one of the founders of St. John's church.  FYI: The poolroom was originally a movie theater around 1900. I believe that it was John Nowak that started the business of a poolroom and bowling alley, but I don't have any info on the date. John Myers joined John Nowak, who later sold out to Tommy Bzdil. My uncle bought into the business around 1940 and ran it with Myers until 1962-63?)

Rocco Della Croce - 350 Centre St., billiards and pool (1940 city directory)

John Kasarda - 330 Centre St., billiards and pool (1940 city directory)

Isadore Petrosino - 814 South St., billiards and pool (1940 city directory)

Andrew Uricheck - 602 Ridge St., billiards and pool (1940 city directory)


[Thanks to Ed Merrick. Tom Detweiler, Al Stoffa, Karl Krone for additions and corrections. Thanks to Al Stoffa for the images of the pool and the season ticket, too.]

[Park near Schwabe St., name unknown] - below Schwabe St. (From Tom Detweiler: There was also a playground behind my grandparents house, my grandfather helped construct it and the small meeting/grill house. I would say it was constructed between 1958 and 1960. There was also a reservoir behind their house in the play ground area. I used to fall into that at least once a summer chasing frogs. I'm not sure if the playground had a name or not. At least I can't remember anyone referring to it with a name. It had swings, a merry-go-round, a sliding board, and a couple of sandboxes. If I remember Schwabe street correctly it was South of it. You had to drive down a dirt and stone "road" to get to the playground. We used to sleigh ride down that road in the winter.) (From Chuck Tancin: I think I collected frogs' eggs and caught tadpoles somewhere near that park, maybe in that reservoir, with Bernadette Banja sometime when we were in grade school. I thought she called it the 2nd Ward Park, but I don't know )

4th Ward Park (swings, sliding board, picnic facilities, baseball field) - between Walnut & Foster Streets?

Angela Park Site of former M&M Roller Rink Angela Park - Route 309 (amusement park and picnic area, not in Freeland, but much loved by many Freelanders) (Thanks to Captain Clint for this postcard image.)

Fairchild's Pool Fairchild's Pool (photo courtesy of the Freeland Historical Society)

[Park behind Freeland High School] - Dewey and Alvin Streets (From Karl Krone: There was a park and ball field on the grounds of the current Freeland Elementary School. It was located north of the old FHS building in a rectangle bordered by Dewey & Alvin Streets, the outdoor FHS Basketball Courts and the alley between Birbeck Street and the high school. It had a sandbox, swings and teter totters. It was a short walk from there to Spock's Store. The ball field was used as an extension of gym class and for pickup ball games. The park was there from at least before the early 50's and lasted until they built the new Freeland Elementary School sometime in approximately the late 70's. It was right below Freeland High School.It ended in a V at the junction of Alvin Street and the school alley.)

Little League Field (baseball field) - Luzerne & Vine Streets

M & M Roller Rink - Ridge & South Streets (Mr. Mills, proprietor, early 1960s) (former factory; later a warehouse for Balas's Tires)

Nocchi's Pool - Schwabe St. (Tony Nocchi)

Public Park Public Park (swings, sliding board, merry-go-round, dance hall, picnic facilities) - Front St., between Washington & Birkbeck Streets

Rossi's Ice Skating Rink - Carbon St., near Adams St. and near the railroad trestle, which no longer exists (Marino Rossi, proprietor)

St. Casimir's Picnic Grove (in what is known as St. Ann's)

St. Mary's Grove (dance hall, picnic facilities) - St. Ann's Drive

St. Michael's Bowling Alley (bowling alley, dance hall, pirohi sales) - Fern & Carbon Streets

St. Michael's Park (swings, sliding board, breezeway, picnic facilities) - Luzerne St., between Fern & Vine Streets

Stoffa's Pool Stoffa's Pool and Grove - Rte. 309, Drums (Joseph Stoffa, proprietor) (From Ed Merrick: My friends and I spent so many afternoons there, and I have always regretted that I never took a single photo of the place. The water was always freezing cold because there was no filter system since there was a constant fresh flow from a mountain stream that fed the pool. We stored our clothes in a box, which had a number and which we turned in at the
refreshment stand attached to the bathhouse. If you forgot your number, you had to
wait until all the other boxes had been emptied to get the one that was left. My
friends and I would hitchhike down and back. There was a trail through the woods
that eliminated having to walk along the hairpin curve in the steep road there, but that meant you missed your chance of picking  up a ride.) (Photo from Al Stoffa.)

Tigers' Field (baseball field) - Hazle St., at south end of Centre St.

Victory Grove - (park with dancehall) Freeland-Sandy Run crossroads  (From Tom Detweiler: My Grandfather also helped build the Victory Grove and Mickey Mike and Mary, my grandmother's half-brother and his wife, ran the place. I remember they had a small bar right next to the larger building.)

Freeland YMCA YMCA (basketball court also used for dances, bowling alley, meeting rooms) - Front St., between Washington & Birkbeck Streets

________ [and a mystery park ] (From Tom Detweiler: There was also some sort of playground or park behind my grandfather's brother's house on Ridge Street. I remember that it had a cement block club house/bar right smack dab in the middle of the field. My grandfather would always take us up there and we usually came away with free creamcicles. I don't know if it still exists or houses were built on it.)

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