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History of Freeland, Pa.
Freeland saloons
What's on this page:
  • Introduction
  • 1911 newspaper article - Wilkes-Barre judge not granting any more licenses to Freeland
  • Mystery bar from Main Street in Freeland
On related pages:

This is an evolving set of pages on Freeland's taverns, saloons, bars. Bars have been an important part of Freeland area society and culture for as long as Freeland and the nearby towns have been there! If there is a bar that you would like to see highlighted here, please send me information and also photos if you have any. Thanks, enjoy!

1911 granting of saloon licenses This article reports that a Wilkes-Barre judge didn't see why Freeland needed more saloon licenses granted in 1911. As Charlie Gallagher has pointed out, he was completely overlooking the fact that the company towns surrounding Freeland did not have saloons, and so people from those company towns walked or rode to Freeland to drink! So the "number of residents" to be served should have been considered to be much larger than Freeland's population.

The judge said: "Freeland now has seventy-five licenses places, one for every eighty inhabitants. If more places are desired, application should be made to the legislature and not to the court." Apparently there were even more saloons in Nanticoke in terms of number of saloons in proportion to number of residents, the limit specified by law. He said about Nanticoke that the number of places in proportion to the number of residents exceeds any that exists in any other civilized community on the face of the earth except Freeland! He continued about Nanticoke: "If 103 licenses places are not enough to relieve the aridity an appeal should be made tof new legislation to provide a remedy."

The article comes to us from Christina Humphreys.

Main Street bar A bar on Main Street in Freeland, still to be identified, photo bought on eBay: This photo is glued to a mat board, on the back of which is written "Bar on Main St., Freeland, Pa." It doesn't say what bar it is. I love that the photographer or bar owner seem to have asked the other customers to move to the side so they're not in the picture, but you can see them all in the mirror (you can see this better in the crop, below).  I've conferred with Ed Merrick and Charlie Gallagher to get their thoughts on which bar this might have been.

Main Street bar Ed wrote: "Compare it with the photo of Balon's, which you posted in Businesses. The tin ceiling is the same, but that doesn't surprise me. Remak's had the same ceiling. This could be an earlier photo of the same bar when it was much newer and less the worse for wear. The wooden supports under the arm railing are almost identical, although the decorative posts are missing. It would have been taken in the other direction, also. I guess we'll never know." Then he followed with this note: "Chuck, I just happened to remember the Italian Club on Main Street just west of Centre and right behind the store, which was a photo studio when I was a kid. I was never inside so I can't say this is a photo of the place, but it's a possibility."

Sanborn map detail 1895 Charlie wrote, about the calendar on the wall and about the photo in general: "Well, the best I can see is the date is Feb 11? 190_ something. What I can tell you is the building has a wallpaper ceiling. To the right is the front of the building and that must face south as there is the image of sunlight hitting the bar from the front window on the lower right. So if that is the case the building would be on the north side of Main. (Believe me sunlight never hits the front of the buildings on the south side of the east-west streets in Freeland.) I think that would leave out Dushak's (as that was later Genie Boyle's) on the southwest corner of Main and Washington. My best guess is it was the saloon on the northwest corner of Washington and Main on the 1895 Sanborn map. This is where the post office is today. Only a guess ..."

On Facebook, Joan Yersevich Hale wrote: "I remember the bar. Next to the post office and across the street from my aunt Elsie Peterssen's beauty shop. Her dad, my grandpa Adam Yersevich, would ask her for some coins to go for a drink. I could see him sitting at the bar while I sat on the porch swing. Great memories from the 40's."

Here below is the information that I had sent to Ed and Charlie, along with a copy of the photo:

There weren't all that many bars on Main Street in the early decades. Here's a list pulled from city directories, some of them located on a Main Street corner and fronting on the cross street. The address numbers (except for Remak's) are in the old numbering system.

Ferry, Morris Washington corner Main
Gallagher, Hugh Centre corner Main
Given, James Centre corner Main
Kennedy, William T. Centre near Main
Shigo, John Centre near Main

Carey, Patrick 27 E. Main
Ferry, Morris Washington near Main
Kennedy, William T. Centre near Main

Carey, Patrick 14 E. Main

Haas, Frederick - southeast corner Washington and Main
Murphy, Edward (or Edwin) - Centre corner Main
Snyder, Daniel - 17 Main
Dusheck, Charles - southwest corner Main and Washington
Zemany, Michael - 28 Main

Dusheck, Charles - southwest corner Main and Washington
Zemany, Michael 17 E. Main

Gross, Samuel, saloon, Main
Murphy, Edward, saloon, cor. Centre and Main
Dusheck, Charles, liquor dealer, cor. Main and Washington

1921-1922 and 1928-1929
Remak, Michael 709 Main (there from 1910)
So, website visitors, any other ideas as to which bar that might be in the photo? All feedback is welcome.

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