2002
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This is the 2002 Nesquehoning Calendar

 

Cover

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January

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This is a picture of the Church of the Sacred Heart and the rectory in about 1910. Renovations and improvements have been made to the home and church over the years.  One major change occurred in the 1970’s when the bell tower was removed from the church. Because of its deteriorating condition it was decided to remove the bell tower and bell, which was accomplished with the use of a helicopter. When the church and rectory were built in 1887 there was no water system in town, the windmill behind the building was used to pump water from a well. Other residents that could afford their own wells had hand pumps installed, but most people would carry water in buckets from local springs or streams to their homes. 

 

February

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This is a picture of the last girl’s basketball team of Nesquehoning High School, 1931 under Harry Miller. First row, left to right, Eva Fetsurka, Anna (Katalek) Kitchko. Second row, Ester Hallahan, Anna (Derkosh) Allgaier, Jean Curry (Captain), Mary (Gazdick) Hadnagy (Co-Captain), Olga (Halupa) Benek. Third row, Pauline Grover, Margaret (Ferko) Knox, Helen Steventon (Assistant Coach), Harry Miller (Coach), Lillian Patinko and Kitty (Kusko) Stianchi.

 

March

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This is a picture of West Catawissa in 1905. There were no cars or trucks in town back then, in fact, the first horseless carriage in Nesquehoning was purchased by Ralph Corby on April 16, 1909, and when he returned from Philadelphia with his new Ford he was besieged with requests for rides. In the early days business places used wagons pulled by horses or mules to make deliveries to the people in town. There were hitching posts and water troughs for horses along the streets.  T. Dermott, a plumber and owner of a stove and tinware store on Catawissa St., purchased the first auto truck for his business in March 1911. By the end of the 1920’s most businesses bought trucks but some continued to use horses and wagons into the 1940’s.  Andrew Cully delivered ice in the 20’s and 30’s and picked up the town’s garbage with his horse and wagon in the 1940’s.  The use of horse and wagon wasn’t as safe as some would think. Andrew was injured many times when his horse became unmanageable and would make a mad dash through town, which usually ended abruptly when the animal and wagon turned topsy-turvy. Sometimes the horses became scared and started on a wild rampage. On April 21, 1921 Andrew sustained a compound fracture of the leg from being kicked by one of his horses and spent three months in the Coaldale Hospital.

 

April

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Nesquehoning Post Office 1912. The building on the right was built by Squire W.R.Watkins 1910. It was located next to the M.E. Church. One side was occupied by the Post Office; Thomas Floyd was postmaster, and the other side by Thomas Kiggins, a clothing dealer and tailor. In 1913 Thomas Kiggins moved his tailor shop and J. C. Bright and Company opened a store there. Postmaster Floyd retired and James McArdle became the Postmaster on January 9, 1915. Bright’s store was doing a fantastic business in town and asked Watkins if they could rent both sides. On May 28, 1915 Watkins leased the entire building to J. C. Bright & Co. and the Post Office moved into the Hughes building on Main Street. On October 25, 1915 the following article appeared in the newspaper: “The new post office makes a very good appearance and it is a credit to our town. New furniture has been installed; a bulletin board has been placed on the wall and also a glass case in which are placed letters held over at the post office. It is an up to date building and Mr. McArdle and his able assistant Miss Hartneady are to be congratulated for their efficiency. The old post office building has been remodeled and is being used as an annex to the Bright store. A beautiful display of furniture is shown in the annex and on the other side is a hunting display that attracts attention of both young and old and also passing trolley passengers.” Back then mail wasn’t delivered to people’s homes, they had to pick it up at the post office. In 1920 a delivery system was planned. The first thing that had to be done was the numbering of houses and the placing of street signs at intersections. John Kuntzweiler and James Bradbury were in charge of numbering the houses. The first mail delivery was on 10-1-1920, Cornelius Hartneady and Daniel Dougherty, Jr., were the carriers. The mail was delivered to homes twice a day and to businesses once per day. Another interesting item about the post office was a request from the postal department on 9-15-1920, inquiring into the feasibility of establishing an emergency aerial station at Nesquehoning for the New York – San Francisco route. A plot of ground 2000 square feet is necessary for landing purposes. It must be convenient to a gasoline supply store and the post office roof must be painted with the name of the town as a guide to the bird-men. On 10-16-1920 the postal department had the name of the town painted on the roof of the West End schoolhouse also on the roof of the post office. A landing place on the baseball field was selected in the event of an emergency requiring the bird man to descend.

 

May

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This is a picture of West Catawissa St. around 1905. Bond’s Hotel, seen on the left, was owned by William H. Bond. He acquired the property in 1900 and for a number of years he conducted a machine repair shop, doing a fine business. He was intensely energetic in all his undertakings and had a great interest in mechanics, he put in many a happy hour over some piece of intricate machinery.  The building because of its central location was converted by him into a Hotel. After a year or two he leased the hotel to others and “Billy” Bond, as he was familiarly called, returned to the mines in which he had begun life when a mere lad. He had the reputation of being one of the brainiest miners in the employ of the company. At 10 o’clock, Monday, Dec 13, 1909 he was instantly killed by a blast in Nesquehoning’s No.2 shaft. The blast it is said had failed to explode. After waiting for some time and thinking the fuse had missed fired, he went to examine it and just as he had reached the vent the explosion occurred and his life paid the forfeit, he was 45 years old. Mr. Bond’s son, Harrison, who worked by his father’s side, had a most miraculous escape, having been detained at home for an hour or two and not yet reached the mine. Rev. B. A. Barnes of the M. E. Church officiated at the funeral and spoke feelingly of the many noble traits of the deceased, who was respected and loved by all with whom he came in contact. “His many acts of kindness, his charitableness to those in need and distress are living monuments to his memory. The sympathy of the entire town goes out to his wife and six children in their sad bereavement. By his death Nesquehoning has lost a citizen who was always foremost in every move towards the betterment of the town’s interest and one whose advice was generally sought for in all movements toward the above end.” William Bond’s mother, Elizabeth, was Nesquehoning’s oldest resident when she died in 1931, at the age of ninety-one. Elizabeth and her husband had the family record in the County with, 13 children, 42 grand children, 66 great grand children and one great great grand child.

 

June

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This is a picture of two Model AC chain drive Mack trucks owned by the Fauzio Bros. in 1941. These trucks were used to haul slate, rocks and other waste from the breaker. The picture was taken on the mountainside opposite the Youth Center where Redner’s store is now located.  Back then the Youth Center was a mule stable. Men in picture are, left to right, Paul Fauzio, Terry Canzoneri, Ben Turrano and Jerome “Gigi” Vaiana.

 

July

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After the stock market crash in 1929 the Country fell into a great depression. Many people were without jobs. President Franklin D. Roosevelt started the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). People were offered an opportunity to engage in healthful, outdoor work on forest, park and soil conservation projects. They were paid $30 per month, the workers were allowed to keep $5 and the remaining $25 was sent home to their families. A CCC camp was started at Nesquehoning, it was located at the east end of town. The location of the CCC camp would later become a roadside rest and is now the site of the Nesquehoning Hose Co. #1. Company 3308CCC was made up of all black ex-soldiers, except for one or two white officers. The original company strength was 187 enrollees and three officers. They built barracks, mess hall, recreation building, tool shop, office, black smith shop, a garage to fix their vehicles and Captain Lockridge’s quarters where he and his wife and two children lived. Using picks, shovels and wheelbarrows these men built fire roads through the mountain, a fire tower and cleaned out streams at Farm Run and Shady Rest. They also did work in the four hollows – like building rustic bridges across streams out of white birch, cutting the under brush along the streams and roads, putting out brush fires and cutting forage for deer to eat. The camp was dismantled in 1938 and the lumber was furnished to athletic fields for the erection of field houses. The first field building was erected at Nesquehoning.

 

August

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This is a picture of Nesquehoning’s American Legion baseball team in the 1950’s. Front row from left – Anthony Vignone, Richard Nalesnik, Benjamin Davis, John Kusko, Robert Foster and Donald Kulick. Second row – Robert Marsden, Richard Bubon, Edward Kusko, Ted Drigan, Paul Krajcir, Robert Higgins and Joseph Kurash. Third row – manager Joseph Bincarowsky, Anthony Talocci, John Feddock, George Mitzen, Leo Drozdak and Tom Bretzik.

 

September

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This photo was taken around 1914 and shows coal cars being pulled by an electric mine motor. The mine motor pulled the cars from the mine to a point where a small steam locomotive (lokie) would take them to the breaker. In 1908 electric motors started to replace the mules that were used to pull the coal cars, and proved a great time saver. In 1909 two new motors were put into service, making five in all. By 1929 electric motors replaced most mules in under ground workings and the mine mules were added to the list of coal oil lamps, horses and buggies and other relics, which the march of time has relegated to the old and discarded classifications. An electric motor didn’t need time to rest; it required no stable, boss or veterinarian to keep it in shape. It could haul fourteen cars of coal whereas a mine mule could do its best with only 4 to 8.  Hence the mine mule was to vanish. Some miners were sad to see their “buddy” go. Maude, the four footed faithful but somewhat loose footed friend of the hard coal miner for the past century was to be retired. While the mule was of a temperamental type that might be classed as sometimes being as high tension as were the wires that supplied the new electric motors, she was loved in the mines by those who cussed her the most. Companion of the miner in the darkness, often the vigilant safety first agent who sensed a body of gas or could tell that the roof was falling, she was able to warn the miner that he should be on his guard. Able to eat anything, even to taking an arm off a careless driver, the mines proved too much for the average mule, despite the rough and ready existence that she was fitted for. Even though Jennie was 10 years old, Colonel was 12 and Frank was 16 when he died from injuries in the #2 shaft, two years was the average length of life of a mule in the mines.

 

October

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This is a picture of West Railroad Street in 1907. The man standing by the fence is Edward R. Ronemus with daughters, Amelia and Margaret. Amelia was born in 1897 and Margaret in 1903. The children standing in the street are unknown. Some children shown in this picture and other old pictures are not wearing shoes. This is not because they wanted to go bare footed, its because their families couldn’t afford shoes for their children. Some had shoes but could only wear them to school and church. Many miners’ families could not enjoy even the barest necessities of life. Miners were paid very little and worked only 2 or 3 days a week, some months the miners didn’t work at all. Many families couldn’t even afford the 8 cents needed to have new soles put on their children’s shoes, they would cut cardboard and put it in their shoes to cover the holes.

 

November

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This is a picture of the intersection of Railroad, Center and School Streets in the early 1900’s. Back in those days people referred to it as the Five Points. Because of the large open area, it was a favorite site for children to play baseball. Many different businesses occupied this spot, some sold groceries, confectionery, fresh fish, shoes, cigars & tobacco. There were shoe repair shops, barber shops, meat markets, a pool room, hardware store, Ukrainian Club, VFW, even a pop corn factory in 1914 operated by Robert Charles. This was also the site of many open-air meetings. In 1912, John P. White, international president of the United Mine Workers Union held a large mass meeting at this intersection. 1,500 mineworkers listened as their President and other high-ranking officials gave rousing speeches from the porch. Mr. Matti addressed the Slovaks in their native tongue and Mr. Paggoni did likewise to the Italians.

 

December

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This picture was taken in front of a Hotel conducted by U. S. Bobst (Shermay) in the year 1901. It was Nesquehoning’s first football team. In the early years, young men formed football teams on their own. After their team was completed they looked for someone to be their manager, who would arrange games with other towns. These games drew many spectators sometimes over a thousand paid admissions to view these games. The players were paid very little sometimes nothing. The manager usually kept most of the money. Nesquehoning teams played hard, tough ball, many of their opponents refused to come back because they said Nesquehoning played too rough. Four standing on back row, left to right, Thomas Mulligan, Lawrence Radcliff, Ernest Steventon and James Smitham. Man sitting down, James Doak, man to his left, Jack Sheeney Morgan, man to his right, Phillip Floyd. Nine men in second row, left to right, James Watkins, John Watkins, James Coll, Edward Donald, J. J. McDonald (became Nesquehoning doctor), William Kelly Watkins, Clarence (Smokey) Marsden, John R. Mulligan and Harry J. Steventon (Stimpey). The three Watkins boys are brothers, the two Mulligans are brothers.

 

Inside Back Cover

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After a disastrous fire that destroyed the Scared Heart Parochial School on January 9th, 1929, it was determined the fire company needed better equipment. It was decided to assess every citizen of Nesquehoning one dollar per month to purchase two new fire trucks. A committee was appointed and after demonstrations by various fire truck manufactures, a decision was made to purchase a ladder truck and a triple combination pumper, hose and chemical truck of 600 gallon capacity and 105 horse power motor from the Hahn Motor Truck Company, Allentown. The order for the trucks was placed on May 24th and the pumper arrived on November 19th and the ladder truck a week later.

 

Back Cover

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One of the pieces of equipment on Nesquehoning Hose Company’s ladder truck was a rescue net. If people were trapped on the upper floors of a burning building they were told to jump into the net. From 1929 to 1970, when it was disposed of, this rescue net was used once or possibly twice for its intended purpose at a dwelling fire. Most of the time it was used to treat the neighborhood children to some fun by letting them jump into it from the top window of the firehouse, as seen in this 1938 photo.

 

When it comes to brakes, your car deserves the best.

Always ask for Bendix.

Need Tires? Give Us A Call. 
We Have The Best Tires At The Best Prices.

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Rt. 209 & 93 Jct.
1201 E. Catawissa. St.
Nesquehoning, Pa. 18240-1807
(570)669-6787

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