Happy New Year! Here are three sets of
featured photos to welcome in the new year.
What's on this page:
- Frank Ceol plowing snow with the help of horses, and views
winter of 1914
- The Borough building and the Washington Hotel
- The Mulhearn building torn down in December 2017
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)
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.
updates to the site: Please visit the WHAT'S
NEW! page for announcements and updates.
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.
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.