Merkt confectionery in the Birkbeck Block

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History of Freeland, Pa.
What's featured on this home page:
  • Featured photo: 1930 ad for the Hupmobile, sold by A. Beisel & Son, 416 Washington street
  • New identifications and a correction for an undated Tigers baseball team photo
  • Book by Melanie Akren-Dickson: You Dream Every Night That I am Home: Letters from a young Civil War soldier to his wife in Eckley
Recent pages:

Correction: Mistaken information about John Yagalla's Freeland Laundermat has been corrected on the 20th-century Laundries page, thanks to Colleen Yagalla.

1930 Hupmobile ad, A. Beisel & Son Featured photo: 1930 ad for the Hupmobile, sold by A. Beisel & Son, from Charlie Gallagher

From Charlie Gallagher: If itís 1930 and you need a new Hupmobile, look no further than A. Beisel & Son, 416 Washington St.

I had not heard of the Hupmobile before. The site of the Beisel garage is still there, set back from the street unlike the other buildings on the block.

My brother Steve Tancin says that he remembers passing it frequently on his way to and from Boy Scout meetings at the Knights of Columbus building on Front and Washington (the old Lindsay building), and he says he remembers seeing two little Sunoco gas pumps there.

From directories published 1921 through 1957:

1921-1922 city directory
In individual listings:
Beisel, Arthur H, engr, r1109 Burton
Beisel, Marvin, student, r 1109 Burton

1928-1929 city directory
In individual listings:
Beisel, A. & Son (Arth H. and Marvin A.) auto reprs, 416 Washington
Beisel, Arth H (Kate; A. Beiseel & Son), h1109 Burton
Beisel, Evelyn N., cashr Am Stores Co, r1109 Burton
Beisel, Marvin A. (A. Beisel & Son), r1109 Burton

1928-1929 city directory
In business listings:
Beisel, A. & Son, automobile repairing and service station, 416 Washington

1940 city directory
In business listings:
Potochney, Geo., automobile repair, 416 Washington

1940 city directory
In individual listings:
Potochney, Geo (Helen), auto repr, 416 Wash, h423 Cedar
Potochney, Jno, h423 Cedar
Potochney, Peter (Anna), musician, r423 Cedar

1957 phonebook
Charnigo, Michael B., Rr416 Washington

Thanks to Charlie Gallagher for this 1930 ad for the Beisel business.

New identifications and a correction for an undated Tigers baseball team photo

Freeland Tigers baseball team, undated photo Tigers baseball team, 1907 John Pollack wrote with new information about an undated photo of the Tigers baseball team (left, from John 'Zeke' Zurko) that had been posted on the Baseball page in the 1920s section. He wrote: Some intel on the photo from John Zurko in the 1920s section. The player 2nd from the right sitting on the board is my grandfather, Joseph A Ferry. The player behind him (3rd from right) looks to me like Jimmy Brogan identified in the 1907 Tigers picture on the front page of the Penny Saver (right, from Joan Buday). I canít help with the date. Thank you for your work on the site.

Joe Ferry, umpire Then he wrote back: I ended up in after I saw the picture. After he played he was an umpire. The papers in the Ď20s identify him as an umpire so itís pre-1920. Not sure when players in the day hung up their gloves, he would have turned 40 in 1922. Average age to quit today would be around 30. Iíd put the picture in the teens.

Thanks to John Pollack for this! We're always grateful to have people in photos identified. These identifications have been added to the caption for the undated photo from John Zurko, and the photo has been moved to the earlier 1910s section of the Baseball page, pending possible further information. Thank you! I'll add that it would be great to have more information on our local umpires.

You Dream Every Night, book cover RECENT BOOK on an Eckley Civil War soldier, by Melanie Akren-Dickson: You Dream Every Night That I am Home - Letters from a young Civil War soldier to his wife in Eckley ...
In 1861 John Williamson, a 22-year-old mule driver at the Eckley mine, enlisted with Company K of the Pennsylvania 81st Infantry to fight in the Civil War. He and his wife Hester were expecting their first baby. This book is based on his letters to her. Using these letters shared by a family member the author retraces his journey from Eckley to training camp, then to Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, VA and the Virginia Peninsula. The book includes transcriptions of the letters, then-and-now photos, maps and other images, and first-hand accounts about places he passed through. We read of this soldierís life in the Civil War as he shared it with his wife in frequent letters to her. We also see how she was given the news of his death, and what happened with her and those around him afterward.
Now available in local bookshops and on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Melanie Akren-Dickson is also the author of Coal Country Connections (previous edition titled This, Their Friendshipís Monument), a book about the signers of her great-great-great-aunt Mary Boyd of Buck Mountainís autograph album. More about that book on the Buck Mountain page.

Pages in progress on Freeland factories and industries:

With Charles Stumpfís Freeland book and research assistance from Ed Merrick, I am remaking the previous Factories page. I hope that the new page(s) can be posted soon, with information, photos, and some personal notes from contributors. In the meantime, this interim page has three updated sections of lists of the factories and industries that I currently know of: listed by name, by location, and as they appeared in directories and on maps. The new page coming soon will also note several worker strikes that happened. So, more is coming before long. Meanwhile, please take a look at Freeland factories and industries. If you can add to the lists, please let me know.

Request for information on George T. Kushner:

If you have any information or photos relating to George T. Kushner, Jr. to share with his niece Laura Kushner, please let me know. See the Military page for what she wrote about him.

About this website: Highlighting the Businesses section

De Pierro Brothers' Restaurant Genetti's, Feissner's, Fairchild's between the banks Genetti's, 1966

These three photos all show parts of the same block on Centre street, from the Front and Centre intersection, west side of the block and looking southwest. The photo at left shows, left to right: A. A. Bachman's, Joseph Neuberger's department store in Freeland Hall, De Pierro's restaurant, circa early 1890s, photo from John Zubach.

The center postcard shows the whole block, including (right to left): First National Bank, Fairchild's Luncheonette (sold to Elwood Whitehead in 1950 to become Woodie's), Feissner's Hardware, Genetti's, Citizen's Bank ... at far left you can see the intersection of Main and Centre and Dan Gallagher's lunchroom sign painted on the side of what was later Bertha's and is now Adam's antique store.

The right photo was taken by Ed Merrick in 1966 and again shows from right: First National Bank, Woodie's, Feissner's Hardware, Genetti's, Citizen's Bank ...

The number of businesses that have operated in Freeland is amazing. The Cottage Hotel might be the oldest remaining Freeland business, but please let me know of other contenders! In the new Businesses section you can find a huge array of many kinds of businesses. Additions and corrections are always welcome. Please visit and enjoy!


Gubi from St. Mary's
              Church Past Featured Photos: 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.

Merkt Market in
                the Birkbeck Block Note: Photo at top left of this page came from J. Zubach; identification from Gretchen Collins says that the business on the right in that photo was Merkt Confectionery, run by Charles and Lena Merkt. It was located in the Birkbeck Block on Centre and Main streets, and reputedly sold fabulous ice cream.

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Site contructed by C. Tancin, and last updated March 4, 2024.
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