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History of Freeland, Pa.
Past featured photos, page 3

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.

Note: The featured photos listed immediately below have been relocated elsewhere on the website. The others further down on the page will be relocated once I make new places for them.

WWI Memorial Grove at Freeland High School, with information and assistance from Charlie Gallagher and Carol Jones, posted 1-1-2020 - now at

The Eddie Gabuzda Orchestra, 1935, from Marion Gabuzda Boyle Denion, with help from her niece Mary Cooper and her daughter Melissa Murdock, posted October 2019 - now at

Patrick J. Gallagher, mining inspector, from Joan Killian Gallagher, Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Mamie, Boyle, local teacher, from Eleanor Boyle Duckett - originally posted September 4, 2019 - now at

Memories of growing up in a Highland coal company house, from Pat Re - originally posted July 20, 2019 - now at

Freeland silk mills, including photos from John Rock and Charlie Gallagher, and information from JP Sitko and Charlie Gallagher - originally posted May 27, 2019 - now at

Franklin N. Becker and the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, from Pierre-Yves Vachot with added comments from Charlie Gallagher - originally posted March 21, 2019 - now at

St. Ann's groundbreaking for school, etc., along with a booklet showing the planned church that was never built, both from Colleen Tatar; 3 related newspaper clippings from Shawn Carr - originally posted September 21, 2018 - now at

Photo of Freeland Shirt Co. Annex, from Colleen Tatar - originally posted September 21, 2018 - now at

St. Ann's "basement church" from Ed Merrick; and comments about the incomplete church building from Charlie Gallagher - originally posted September 21, 2018 - now at

Railroads that serviced the Freeland area, by Charlie Gallagher - originally posted Summer, 2018 - now at

Edward Gallagher and his barbershops, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Edward Gallagher Receives Sons of Erin Award, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted 4-8-2018 - now at [bottom of the page]

Tigers Club, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Tigers Baseball 1903, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Freeland Y Basketball 1931, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Kasarda Saloon, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Peter Gallagher in his classroom at MMI, from Mary Rosenkrans and Ed Bacon - originally posted April 8, 2018 - now at

Workers in Freeland's factories - group photos shown courtesy of the Freeland YMCA, Freeland Historical Society, Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, Carol Jones, Joe Moore - originally posted April 2, 2017 - now at

Freeland Chamber of Commerce Annual Fashion and Appliances Show, 1950 from Charlie Gallagher, posted 9-11-2017 - now at

Banner of Freeland Lodge #878 of the Sons of Italy in America, courtesy of Jim Etheredge and Bob Zimmerman - originally posted summer 2020 - now at

Lithuanian Peoples Choir and a Lithuanian wedding - new photos from Tom Yaruso, posted March 2, 2017 - now at

The Mulhearn building was torn down in December 2017 - posted December 2017, with these photos from Charlie Gallagher, myself, and the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society - now at

A conversation about steeples on the Washington Hotel and the Borough Building - a conversation by email with Charlie Gallagher, posted late 2017 - now at

Views around town in 1966, from the camera of Ed Merrick - posted in 2017 - now at

The Birkbeck building, early 20th century - posted February 23, 2020 - now at

Gallagher - Brogan reunions in 1935 and 1941 - posted in 2018 - now at

Influenza epidemic of 1918, from Charlie Gallagher, with information from Emily Pecora and Tony Sutherland - posted Nov. 21, 2018 - now at

More views of the Refowich Theatre, from Ed Merrick - posted September 3, 2018 - now at:

Jeddo and Freeland photos from Valerie Bedard - posted September 5, 2020 - now at:
Gallery of student class photos page;
FHS class of 1920 page;
Freeland Men's Chorus page;;
Benjamin F. Davis page;
Jeddo Highland Coal Company page;
Images of coal breakers page;
Bible schools and classes page.

Freeland and area in 1886 - Contributions from Ed Merrick, plus an 1886 photo of Freeland from Danny Balon - posted late 2021 - now at:
Early accounts of Freeland and the Freeland area

August and Margaretta Donop and family - Contributed by Susan Bulla - posted June 6, 2021 - now at:
August and Margaretta Donop and family

Freeland 1938 airmail cover sent to President Roosevelt by Postmaster Neale Boyle - Contributed by Mark Postins, posted May 14, 2021 - now at:
Post Offices

Ray Morgan, gas station owner and gunsmith - Contributed by Bill Morgan, posted May 14, 2021 - now at:
Ray Morgan, gas station owner and gunsmith

Foster Township grade school photo, ca. 1913-1920 - Contributed by Bill Morgan, posted May 14, 2021 - now at:
Gallery of student class group photos

Bill Morgan retires from the Hazleton newspapers after 58 years - Contributed by Bill Morgan (son), posted May 14, 2021 - now at: Printers, newspapers, news dealers, stationery stores

Recent obituary for former Freelander Hugh Hughes, posted 5-14-2021

Also from son Bill Morgan on another topic:
I’ve attached an obituary of a Freeland native, from our newspaper here in Arizona.

Pat Ferko Miller also sent me a copy of the obituary of Hugh Hughes. Thanks to both Bill and Pat, who thought that Freeland area residents should know about Hugh Hughes and his passing. – CT

Featured photos: Ice skating, 1930s-1960s, with photos from John Zubach and a Norm Zeisloft photo from Ed Merrick, posted March 22, 2021

So many of us growing up in the Freeland area over the years enjoyed the fun and exuberance of ice skating. Here are a few photos from 1939 and the 1960s that show what that was like. Visit the Ice skating webpage to see more, including some local reporting and ads from the 1920s-1940s.

Skating near the beaver dam along the road to Upper Lehigh

 Skating pond between Freeland and Upper Lehigh, ca. 1939 From Ed Merrick: This is a photo taken in 1939 of a frozen pond along the Freeland-Upper Lehigh road. It was taken by Norm Zeisloft, a Freeland native, who became a photographer in the Air Force and later worked at the St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times, where I served as an editor for 32 years. I remember skating on such ponds in the woods, so this photo is especially precious to me. I remember skating there and gathering around a bonfire to get warm.

Marion Denion also remembers this pond as a very popular place to skate in the 1930s-1940s, and that people would build fires around the pond to keep warm during breaks from skating.

Skating on the ice rink made near the public park

 Skating near the Public Park  Skating near the Public Park  Skating near the Public Park

These were cropped and enhanced from three photos from John Zubach showing skaters enjoying the rink next to the Public Park. Visit the Ice skating webpage to see the originals along with some local reporting and ads from the 1920s-1940s.

Featured photos: In honor of Memorial Day, here are links to several pages that highlight our Military, Military veterans and Military deceased, along with ways that we have honored and celebrated them, posted May 25, 2020

The World War I Memorial Grove at Freeland High School, with a list of those who were honored with plaques on maple trees planted in memoriam.

World War II men and women from Freeland – from Billy Kuklis, a scrapbook put together by his dad William Kuklis, Sr. and aunt Catherine Kuklis Shelhamer during World War II.

Freeland area men and women in the Military - includes: --- Freeland & Vicinity Honor Roll - Contributed by Charlie Gallagher --- Sts. Peter & Paul's Eastern Greek Catholic Church WWII memorial --- Jeddo World War II Honor Roll --- MMI Memorial dedication, 1947 --- Public Park Veterans Memorial --- Coxe Memorial, Freeland Cemetery --- 109th Field Artillery, Third Penna. Field Artillery, 1879-1917

A link to Burt McNamee’s page honoring Freeland area veterans.

Freeland Drum & Bugle Corps – with a copy of the program booklet from a 1930 Military Pageant & Bugle Corps Contest, from Charlie Gallagher – contains a history of Freeland Post No. 473 of the American Legion

The Upper Lehigh Honor Roll – with a copy of the program booklet from the Upper Lehigh Flag Raising ceremony in 1944, from Sara Wenner and Nadine Heckler, and a list of those named on the Honor Roll (those from Upper Lehigh serving in WWII at the time of the Flag Raising).

Freeland Memorial Day parade photos from 1950 and 1951, taken by Charlie Gallagher

Also interesting is the scrapbook put together by Silvio Mason (born Maso) in the 1930s, begun when he was 14 and covering local and national sports as well as automobiles, aviation, and national and international politics. It wasn’t directly about the Military, but tracks local, national and international news items that interested this young man in the years approaching World War II.

George Tancin dreaming of the Army life Family plaque showing those in the ServiceMy dad Steve Tancin grew up in Upper Lehigh in the 1920-1930s, with brothers John, Joe and George and sister Helen. The boys all went into the military -- Joe into the Navy and the others into the Army, although George being the youngest didn't enlist until the Korean War. One of these photos shows uncle Georgie as a kid dressed up in uncle Johnny's uniform (uncle Johnny was home on leave) and pretending to say goodbye to my grandfather as he was "going off to war." The other photo shows the wooden plaque that hung in my grandparents' home during WWII, and similar plaques hung in many, many other homes. Although my dad and uncles returned, their cousin George Tancin was killed in WWII and is buried in Italy.

Remembering his family in Freeland sports teams and the Army - Steve Mischissen wrote recently. He grew up in New Jersey and spent summers with his aunt and grandmother in Freeland, and he shared many fond memories of Freeland from those visits in the 1960s and 1970s. He had relatives connected with St. Mary’s, St. John’s Nepomucene, St. Michael’s and Ss. Peter and Pauls Ukranian Orthodox churches, and his uncle Nicholas Mischisin who died in World War II is listed on the stone memorial at Ss. Peter and Pauls. Steve’s grandfather was a Slovak immigrant who worked as a mule driver in the Drifton mine. His grandmother made pirohi at St. Michael’s each week. His aunt ran a small grocery on South Street between Fern and Vine in the 1960s-1970s. He was fortunate to be in town for Freeland’s 100th anniversary in 1976.

Steve noted Freeland’s love of sports and how team players in his family joined the Army and then some of them went back into sports after their service:
I was looking at photos from your website about Freeland High basketball teams from the 1930’s. My father and his three older brothers Nicky, Mickey and Johnny all played for Freeland in the 1930’s and a younger brother Thomas played for Freeland in the 1940’s, and I believe another brother for MMI in the late ‘40’s. … My father spoke very highly of Coach Herb Rathey, who coached both basketball and football in Freeland and I believe was a Freeland HS graduate himself. My father said he also was a good teacher. …

Basketball and football meant a lot to players back then, and Freeland, for its small size, put together good teams under Coach Rathey. My father and his three older brothers all went into the Army after 1939 and served in Europe during the war. My uncle Nick Mischissin was killed in action in November 1944 in Belgium, where he was buried. His infantry division, the Blue and Gray, was involved in D Day invasion in France, then the push towards Germany in later 1944. Younger brother Thomas joined the Navy in 1945. My uncle Johnny continued to play in town basketball leagues after the war. Their youngest brother, Steve, captained the Franklin and Marshall college football team in the early 1950’s. My grandfather was an immigrant (Slovakia area) and worked as a mine mule driver in Drifton.

They were the greatest generation.
Please see more of Steve’s family sports reminiscences on the Basketball page, scroll down to 1938 – especially the story about the ringers brought into a football game between Freeland and Bethlehem [steelworker ringers!] in the late 1930s.

Healers and Heroes cover And finally, although this is not about the Freeland area, it might be interesting to those who would like to read a World War II memoir written by a medic. My friend Thea Marshall recently edited and published her dad’s memoir from his time as a medic in WWII. After the war ended, Robert Marshall was in Czechoslovakia for a few weeks, and he used a “liberated” German typewriter to type up a record of what he -- a medic in General George Patton’s Third Army -- and his division had experienced in the war. The book is ‘Healers and Heroes: WWII Combat Medics: Mud and Blood from the Normandy Beaches to The Battle of the Bulge’, and also includes a partial frontline account from Walter German, a fellow medic. [The book doesn't focus on medical procedures so much as being a boots-on-the-ground account of what it was like to do the work of retrieving and stabilizing the wounded (sometimes including prisoners) before sending them on to a field hospital.] The book is available on Amazon, but Thea will send a free copy to any WWII veteran who requests one – contact her by email.

Thank you to all who have served our country and to those who are serving now.

Featured articles: Reclaiming and restoring an Irish family homestead, from Joan Killian Gallagher, posted November 3, 2019


Joan Killian Gallagher - Going Home In 1998 Joan Killian Gallagher began the restoration of the original cottages on the Irish farm where her great grandfather, Laurence Killian, was born in 1833. Fifteen years later The Killian Homeplace received the All Ireland Pride of Place Award. The 60-acre compound has been reimagined as a meeting place that fosters the educational and cultural exchange for students, relatives and friends from all over the world.

In an article in EnterprisingWomen magazine, Joan wrote: "For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to have a little stone house somewhere. … On Sept. 19, 1996 I had even written in my journal, "Who knows what my stone cottage will look like, or where it will be … maybe Ireland. It may be old, but for sure it will be in a beautiful, peaceful place, and I will be content there." Less than 2 years later she was the successful bidder at a land auction in Longford, Ireland, for half of the Killian homestead that included the Killian farmhouse. Her article "Going Home" in EnterprisingWomen magazine tells the story of the purchase, renovation and reinvigoration of this ancestral property.

PDF logo Going Home, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 1 MB)

This content first appeared in Vol. 6, No. 3 of Enterprising Women magazine ( and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

Joan Killian Gallagher - Heart of Ireland Joan Killian Gallagher - Heart of Ireland A follow-up article in the same magazine adds to the story, beginning: "In the heart of Ireland on the banks of the River Shannon, my great, great grandmother did something absolutely unheard of in her time. In 1893, Anne Furey Killian took a stand and bought the family farm. She took advantage of newly enacted land legislation and broke free of controlling British landlords that had held them economic hostage for centuries. As tenants, the family enjoyed few rights and women had even less. But she was utterly determined to become the proprietor of her family land so that her children and their children would always have a place to call home. This formidable woman, Anne Killian, was 82 in 1893 and had been widowed for almost thirty years." Joan goes on to tell the story of acquiring the property and restoring it, explaining the steps in her own story and her motivations for restoring the Killian Homeplace to her family.

PDF logo The Heart of Ireland, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 1 MB)

This content first appeared in Vol. 20, No. 3 of Enterprising Women magazine ( and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

Featured photo and announcement: Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr. Scholarship to Notre Dame available, from Joan Killian Gallagher.


Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr. Joan and her brothers also established the Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr. Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame for Pennsylvania students, to celebrate their grandfather on the occasion of their father's 80th birthday in 1992. Thomas F. Gallagher, Sr., shown at right, was born in Buck Mountain in 1876, the fourth of eight sons of Peter and Catherine Burns Gallagher. That Gallagher family also included Freeland barbers Edward and Peter Gallagher, and mine inspector Patrick Gallagher. Thomas Sr. quit school at age 9 to be a bucket boy in the mines, later becoming a mine engineer. He married Bridget Gallagher in 1904 and they had three sons before Bridget died in 1919. With the help of Thomas Sr.'s cousin Sister Miriam Gallagher, all three boys attended and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. More of this story is recounted in the speech that Joan gave on the occasion of establishing the scholarship.

When I asked Joan if I could share the speech and her articles here on the website, she wrote: I would love to have you share them. I am particularly hopeful that it could inspire some Freeland youngster to think of Notre Dame. I was very insistent that the scholarship be given to a Luzerne County student, but have not ever publicized its availability. So it would be good to put it out there.

PDF logo The Thomas Francis Gallagher, Sr. Scholarship, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 600 KB)

Jeddo Progressive Club, group photo from John Zubach

Jeddo Progressive Club event invitation
A while ago I bought this postcard that has printed along the left side: Annual Ball, Thanksgiving Eve. No year, and nothing on the back. So it's an event announcement. I don't know whether this house is just chosen as a representative image of a worker's house in Jeddo, or if there's any possibility that the club might have met there.

The only other thing in my files about this club is this very interesting group photo that I'd gotten from John Zubach some years ago, now given to the Freeland Historical Society.

Jeddo Progressive Club 1894 Jeddo Progressive Club 1894

Names on the poster, top to bottom, left to right:

A. X. McGill, B. Ferry, J. J. Marley
F. J. McHugh, D. J. McGlynn, J. J. Brislin
P. J. McNelis, P. Marley, J. E. Quigley, J. M. McHugh, A. T. McNelis
P. Timony, D. J. Marley (center), D. J. Timony
P. McMonigal, C. McCole, P. McHugh, C. M. Gallagher, J. S. Coll
P. J. Gillespie, P. D. Brislin, C. P. McGill, D. J. Boyle
J. C. Burns, J. J. Gallagher, H. B. Brislin

Written across bottom: Jeddo Progressive Club, Organized Nov. 9th 1888

Written (slanted) near bottom right: Freeland Pa. March 28th 1894

Written (slanted) near bottom left: J. J. Ward Photographer

What is this club? If you know anything about it and would be willing to share, we could post that information here.

Freeland Historical Society Open House - Sept. 15, 2018 - 1:00-4:00 p.m.

FHS Girls Basketball team, 1919-1920 The Freeland Historical Society will host its first Open House on Saturday, September 15 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The Society has been meeting monthly since its formation in 2007, and they’ve chosen their Open House date to celebrate Freeland’s incorporation as a borough on September 11, 1876. This is a free event! Stop by and see a display of some of the memorabilia that the Society has collected. There will be a small sale of duplicate yearbooks and other items. Please come and experience some of the Freeland area’s history. The Society’s headquarters is in the Seniors Building at the corner of Washington and Chestnut Streets.

This photo from the Society shows the Freeland High School Girls Basketball Team, seated on the grounds of DCM, with the old St. John's Reformed Church in the background (before the brick church was built).

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) - posted 12-31-17

Frank Ceol plowing snow 1914 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 Ceol, cowboy Frank Ceol Frank was born in 1896, and he moved to Freeland from Oregon in 1913 (so, around age 17). 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 was one 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 sharper.

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 horses 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.

Blizzard 1914 Blizzard 1914 Ice storm 1914 Blizzard 1914 Close-up, blizzard 1914

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 Hotel."

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.

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