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History of Freeland, Pa.
St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church - Children's Lodge, 1896

St. Mary's "Children's Lodge" circa 1896

St. Mary's Children's Lodge, ca. 1896 Ann Malenky Nakpairat shared this photo. She wrote:

This picture is said to be of St. Mary's Byzantine Church School. I would date it at around 1896. My father, John Malenky, is in the first row, fourth from the right. Born in 1890, he is wearing a cap and appears to be about 6 years old. My grandfather, George Malenky, said to be a founder of the church, may be the gentleman with the mustache and hat standing at top row on far left of photo.

In addition to being a founding member, John Malenky was also a saloon proprietor and bottler, and he had his home, saloon and bottling works on Fern Street on the other side of the street from the church.

St. Mary's original church building is to the right of the photo, and the street was unpaved at the time the photo was taken. Fern Street is on a hill, so this photo is tilted to look somewhat level, but you can see the amount of tilt by looking at the building that I am guessing may have been the rectory. At this time the parish, founded primarily by immigrants from Carpatho-Ruthenia, would have been approximately 10 years old.

Correction: In St. Mary's 75th anniversary booklet, 1962, p.55, this photo is labeled “Childrens Lodge”. There was not yet an official school associated with the church in those early years, and I assume that this Children's Lodge would have functioned in its place for these young students.

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