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This is the 2001 Nesquehoning Calendar



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This is the Girls basketball team in 1923. Their uniforms were white mitty blouses, black bloomers, black stockings, high top sneakers and a blue tie. They won all their games when played using the boy’s rules and lost every game when the girl’s rules were used.  The guards were, Grace Cox and Anna Thear, the forwards were Irene Skakandy and Anna Kupcha and the center was Helen Steventon. Front from left- Helen Steventon – Grace Cox and Irene Skakandy. Seated are Anna Kowalsky and Anna Kupcha. Standing is coach Miss Sutton.



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In front of Fabian’s Bar & Pool Room at 45 West Catawissa St. in 1918 are, from left, the proprietor and his wife, John and Elizabeth Fabian; their son, Jack; their daughter, Anna, and her husband, John Sophranko, and Mrs. Emro Sophranko. John was also a coal miner and worked on the Nesquehoning Drainage Tunnel besides running the bar and a butcher shop. The property was previously owned by the Dermott family. On August 8, 1914 the Dermott heirs, to settle the estate, sold the Nesquehoning Hotel conducted by Eugene McGorry to John Fabian, for $11,000, which included the good will and fixtures of the hostelry. Mr. McGorry proposed engaging in the wholesale business. A newspaper article from July 4, 1908 had the following, “The most peculiar looking thing in this town is the Nesquehoning Hotel, owned by the Dermotts, and of which Joseph Bechtel is the landlord. The hotel is standing on stilts, about 20 feet in the air, ready to receive an up to date bar room and a first class wine and beer cellar underneath”.  This property is now the site of Michael’s Floor Covering owned by Michael and Connie McLaughlin.



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This is a picture of the Nesquehoning High School gym team in 1959. First row from left – J. Slivka, M. Stianche, M. Lopresto, K, Mele, M. Hadnagy, J. Greco, S. Molinari, M. Mauro, D. Kishbaugh, M. Macaluso, N. Molinari, and G. Tierney. Second row – P. Nalesnik, P. Molinari, M. Yaniga, A. Artuso, L. Rizzo, B. Bruno, A. Yackanicz, M. Marouchoc, D. Sniscak, M. Kenlin, E. Hadnagy, M. Hrinda and P. Sahr. Third row – C. Kennedy, C. Wisely, E. Williams, M. Rehatchek, J. Marino, E. Marouchoc, M. Yaniga, R. Tanzola, B. Brics, J. Vrabic, E. Sydorak, M. Trevena and E. Marouchoc. Fourth row – R. Swartz, P. Swedar, C. Zabroski, J. Mosko, R. Roman, S. Zabo, B. Ligenza, J. Starosta, N. Stianche, J. Macenka, R. Kociolek, E. Whitehead and J. Fauzio. At one time Nesquehoning competed with other schools at gymnastic meets. The first gym team at Nesquehoning was in 1927, and they won first place in a gymnasium meet held at East Stroudsburg Teachers College. The marching and calisthenics of N.H.S. were almost perfect in form and execution and in the two final events, which were mat work for the boys, and dancing for the girls, Nesquehoning showed their superiority over all the other teams.



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At one time the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company owned 75% of the property and houses in Nesquehoning. The company would rent the houses to the miners. When this picture was taken in October 1902 the rent was $2.00 per month. This photo shows the back yard of one of their houses at the extreme west end of Catawissa St. Because of the close proximity of these houses with the mines, breaker and culm banks it was always very noisy and dirty. One lady wrote, “The high winds of yesterday carried a good bit of the local breaker culm banks into the house, the dust laden gale also played havoc with the eyes”. There were no indoor bathrooms in these days; each person had an outhouse in their back yard along with their chicken coup and tool shanty.



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When workers for Jacob Weiss first discovered coal at Nesquehoning in 1785 a major problem arose. How to get the newly discovered fuel to market. At first wagons were used but this proved to be slow and very costly. The Lehigh River was looked at as a possible way of transporting the coal to Philadelphia. In order to float these arks (boats) down the river there needed to be a certain depth of water. The river was too low most of the time and they would wait until heavy rains made the gentle stream into a raging wall of water almost at flood stage. It was in August 1814 at Philadelphia when two friends went as swiftly as they could. For the message had been sent by coal dealers. Arriving at the wharf, they found two boats there, shaped like oversized wooden boxes, each about 25 by 18 feet, and so battered it was a wonder they did not sink in the Delaware. But in the boats was anthracite coal. A crew of six, all mere boys, was headed by a young fellow called Charles Cist. They were stripped to the waist, bruised of back and face, as if from battle. They were exhausted. Indeed, as it proved, they had come to Philadelphia almost at the cost of their lives. Starting from Nesquehoning, on the wild river, the Lehigh, about one hundred miles northward, the boys had come down forty-six miles to Easton, where the river joined the Delaware. It had taken them six days to make those forty-six miles. Until the crazy little stream had been made passable by a freshet they had not even been able to start. Dragging planks from the mountains, they had built five boats. Of the five boats, the first had struck a ledge, about eighty feet from Nesquehoning, the second had been tossed into a slate ridge shortly afterwards, and the third boat had its side smashed by rocks. If they had not taken along Abiell Abbott, their guide on the journey, they would have perished, but he had grown up in the valley of the Lehigh and knew its dangers. This trip was very dangerous but also very profitable. The load of coal cost them $330.77 and it was sold for $2,400. This is photo from the 1860’s or 70’s of a structure built at the extreme eastern end of Nesquehoning along the Lehigh River. A gravity railroad called the Room Run Railroad built in 1832 transported the freshly mined coal from Nesquehoning to this site where it was loaded into arks.



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This is a picture of employees of Kaijay garment factory in 1957. The factory was located on W. Catawissa St. next to the Meeds Church. Garment factories were plentiful in Nesquehoning.  One of the early ones was a shirt factory built in 1918 with a force of 500 employees on government work. Most of the employees in these factories were women. Company’s moved to Nesquehoning because of the high quality work produced by these women. In 1957 when the coalmines closed, most of the men in town were with out jobs and the women became the family’s breadwinner. In 1993 world famous fashion designer, Calvin Klein visited the Kaijay factory. He said “I decided I wanted to see for myself where this plant was, the people here are doing a beautiful job.” Klein said he was impressed with the craftsmanship and excellent work as well as with their spirit and good attitude. “They are so special and very friendly.” “This line is very successful and it’s checking right out of the stores,” said Klein. The garments were sold at Georgio’s in Beverly Hills and fine shops in Palm Springs and Palm Beach. Front row from left-Joe Beshoch-Ethel Dare-Christine O’Donnell-Helen Becker-Mary Citrano-Rose Sparich-Margie Kochaba-Vicky Santore-Elizabeth Mele-Sue Spinelli-Margie Ouly-Elizabeth Mikovich-Helen Kashlak-Francis Watto and Betty Kennedy. Standing: Mike Zavagansky-Mamie Watson-Amelia Thomas-Pauline Gazdick-Mary Gayda-Loretta Karpisz-Mary Varanka-Mary Gilham-Millie Rose-Margie Nester-Anna McGorry-Lettie Riley-Betty Ricarrdi-Mary Rudolph-Doris Hochmiller-Anna Drozdak-Mary Dare-Mary Barno-Mary Malak-Pop Kaplan-Olga Pecha-Anna Kulick-Dorthy Viana and Anna Halko.



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The Hauto Screen Building was constructed in 1873 following the completion of the Hauto Tunnel through the Nesquehoning Mountain. Over 100 men were employed at the Screen Building, which led to the settlement of the village. At one time the company only had sale for large size coal, the smaller size coal had no value so it was discarded. Millions of tons of this refuse or culm were dumped. In 1873 the company started to find uses for smaller size coal and built the Hauto Screen Building. Salvage of these culm banks yielded from 15 to 60 percent in good pea and stove coal. In 1885 440,000 tons of coal were processed at a cost of 13 cents per ton. Small non-marketable sizes were used as colliery fuel while larger sizes were shipped to market



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This is a picture of a coalmine in Nesquehoning from the late 1800’s. This type of mine was called a slope because of its downward pitch and as usual it was so steep that ropes or cables were used to haul the coal to the surface. At one time coal was the main energy source. It is not easy to overestimate the value of coal in those days. It furnished heat for peoples homes, the power to drive engines, locomotives, steamships, and dynamos that produced electricity. Without coal the railroads were useless. Coal was a precious commodity especially during wars. During the Civil War a lot of coal was needed and the mines at Nesquehoning were geared to the demands of war. Tunnels were driven three thousand feet through Mammoth Vein. Miners worked twenty-four hours a day. Anthracite leaped from three to eleven dollars a ton. Wages of miners bounded upward. There could not be too much coal mined to make iron for rails, locomotives and ammunition. After World War I, government official Harry A. Mackey, Esq., Chairman Workmen’s Compensation Board said, “I have frequently said that had I the power to portray upon the canvas my ideal patriotic and brave citizen, or were I endowed with the ability to chisel from marble or stone the figure of the man who I considered made the greatest contribution towards success in the world’s darkest hour, I would either paint or carve the anthracite mine worker of Pennsylvania. I would have him garbed in his working day clothes. I would crown him with his cap and his miner’s lamp. And above and beyond everything else, I would place upon his face the dirt and grime of his honorable occupation. For he is the man who goes to work every morning with the fortitude and bravery of a soldier. He goes down into the bowels of the earth each day, knowing that he may or may not return, perhaps descending to his everlasting sepulcher. This is the man who brings out of the earth midst all the dangers of his occupation, the dynamic force that runs our mills, propels our ships and keeps ever turning the wheels of industry of this entire country. And he it was who won the war.”



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This is a picture of West Catawissa St. in 1905. Meed’s Memorial Methodist Church built in 1889, is one of Nesquehoning’s most familiar and historic buildings. The Church was almost destroyed by a fire on September 5, 1922. On that day at 3:30 a.m. the citizens of Nesquehoning were awakened by cries of fire and on discovering the location of the conflagration to be the Heffelfinger bakery situated next to the Church. The first to discover the fire and give the alarm were the citizens of New Columbus who alarmed the whole town by firing revolver shots. Cooking oil used for frying doughnuts became ignited and started the blaze, which gained headway in a surprisingly short time.  Much sympathy was expressed for Mr. and Mrs. Heffelfinger and their eight children who recently purchased the bakery. They came here from Fogelsville where they were completely burned out and saved only a sewing machine from the wreckage. The Methodist Church that towered above the ruined building to the West suffered greatly, the eaves having caught fire from the soaring tongue of flame. So intense was the heat that the leaded portions of the memorial windows melted and ran down the inside of the church. It is a blessing that the Church was of brick construction else it would have been a prey to the blaze.



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1947 Black Diamond League Champs. The Maroons, with Captain Vic Mikovich the only holdover from the previous season, played nineteen games. They won fifteen and lost four. Two of their setbacks came at the hands of Tamaqua, one against West Hazleton in an early season exhibition game and the other against Catasauqua in the District Eleven semi-final play-off at Rockne Hall in Allentown. The Nesquers copped the second half championship of the Black Diamond League, winning six games in a row, then defeated Tamaqua, first half titlist, in the playoff for the league crown. Vic Mikovich rated one of the top players in the coal regions was the leading individual scorer with 303 points, Billy Feddock had 235 and Lou Higgins finished third with 161. Front row, left to right: Billy Feddock, Lou Higgins, Captain Vic Mikovich, Mike Feddock, Jimmy McCann and Joe Span. Second row, left to right: Andrew Sweetak, student manager, Joe Conzoneri, Francis Krajcir, Gene Setar, Bob Patroff and Coach George Roscoe



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This is a picture of Church Street in the early l900’s. This street is now called High Street. The photo shows the Sacred Heart Church, which was built in 1887 to replace St. Patrick’s Church. St. Patrick’s was build in 1839 and was the first Catholic Church erected between Tamaqua and Easton. Poor people from Mauch Chunk would walk to Nesquehoning in their bare feet and put their shoes on to go into church and then make the return journey in their bare feet. St. Patrick’s was located at Catawissa and Ratcliff Streets, when the church was torn down the stones of the church were used to construct a wall around the church ground and became a parish cemetery. The wall was torn down and the cemetery leveled and became a Community Park in 1979. The cornerstone for Sacred Heart was laid Sept. 4, 1887; the Church cost $15,000 to built. Scared Heart Church is commonly called the Irish Church. In October 1890 Rev. Father Bunce married Mr. Eugene McGorry and Miss Maggie Duke. Felix, brother of the groom and Miss Rose, sister of the bride did the honors. This was the first marriage in the new church. On June 14, 1933 a strange accident occurred at the church that took the life of Rev. Joseph O’Connor.  On account of the steep incline it was necessary to put two blocks under the wheels of his car to prevent it from reversing. Father O’Connor was preparing to go to Hazleton with his niece, Miss Gertrude Hallier, and it was while he was removing the blocks that the car was released and ran over him. Rev. O’Connor was pastor at Scared Heart from May 25, 1912 till his untimely death in 1933.



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On January 11,1929 a largely attended meeting of citizens of Nesquehoning was held for the purpose of better equipping its fire department. The outgrowth of the disastrous fire that destroyed the new Sacred Heart parochial school on January 9th.  It was decided to assess every citizen $1 per month and arrangements were made to have it collected by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. It was expected that about $15,000 could be raised. The best the company had was a chemical engine. The following committee was appointed to arrange for the collections: Patrick Hartneady, Harry J. Steventon, Tim Boyle, Thomas Morgan, and Joseph Watson. After many demonstrations by various company’s it was decided to purchase two new trucks from the Hahn Motor Truck Company, Allentown. One was a pumper, chemical and city service truck and the other one was the hook and ladder truck shown in this picture. When the new equipment arrived in October, the old apparatus was given to New Columbus, so that section would be protected against fire. Nesquehoning Hose Co. # 1’s new hook and ladder truck had 212 feet of ladders and various other equipment. On the side of the truck can be seen the rescue net. If people were trapped on the upper floors of a burning building they were told to jump into the net. This rescue net was used once or possibly twice for its intended purpose at a dwelling fire. When the firemen would have practice they would treat the neighborhood children to some fun by letting them jump into the net from the top window of the fire house. This truck was used until 1965 when the body was taken off and put on a new Chevrolet chassis and in 1978 it was replaced with a 100 ft. Seagraves aerial truck.


Inside Back Cover

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The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company placed the Hauto power plant in operation in 1913. It was the world’s largest anthracite burning power plant. Nesquehoning High School published a newspaper called “THE PEPTIMIST”. The following article appeared in the November 1927 issue and was written by Andrew Sakara.
             Senior Class Visits Hauto Power Plant On Educational Tour.
On Friday morning, November 4th, we the Senior Class, through the courtesy of the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company journeyed to Hauto where we had the pleasure of touring their plant. We left the High School about quarter after nine, the transportation being furnished by the school bus, Zaengles Nash, Pauffs Nash, Cipkos Hudson, Koomars Davis and Mr. Rices’ Ford. Upon arriving at the power plant we were ushered into the office, our passes being collected at the entrance. Here we were obliged to sign our names in a book, and oh, you should have seen the penmanship! Now don’t think the Seniors can’t write. It was only our numb hands. After this preliminary red tape was over we were divided into groups of eight, each group was given a guide, who immediately proceeded to take them around the plant. I beg your pardon, but from here on I will have to leave the class and relate the experiences of our group only. Our appointed guide was a superintendent clerk from Mauch Chunk. He was an intelligent young man who seemed to know the plant from A to Z. Upon receiving his appointment, he immediately proceeded to conduct us on our tour. He led us from the yard, at the end of which is the afore said office and which is planted with many young pine trees, this being on the eastern side of the plant where we saw a very good example of the division of labor, a man was in a box car unloading bricks by taking one at a time and placing it on an apparatus, which consisted of two side pieces of wood, between which were a series of rollers on which the bricks slid into a wheelbarrow at the other end, the latter being taken away by another man. From here we were taken into the plant and after climbing up a few flights of stairs, we found ourselves on the bridge, which connects the plant with the railway leading to the banks of coal, which we were told contained about 232,000 tons of coal, enough to last about six months, and which was bought for $1.50 and $2.00 a ton, the price depending on the grade, whether it was number 2 or number 3 buck. Here we had a good view of the canal, which carries off the water from the plant, after this our guide showed us the bunkers. These are situated under the railroad tracks. The cars of coal are brought over the bunkers and then are emptied. The coal falling into the bunkers passes from there to the stokers, which act on the principle of an endless chain. The coal is taken into the furnaces by these stokers, it being burned out by the time the stokers move it to the other end of the furnace where it falls into a hopper from which the ashes is dumped into cars and taken away to the ash banks. We were permitted to view the inside of a furnace by the use of a mask, which contained a cobalt glass. The heat generated in these furnaces is very intense and often crumbles them, so they have to be renewed quite frequently. This heat is used to generate steam in the boiler above, the water that enters these boilers is always near boiling temperature in order to save as much time as possible. The generated steam is used to turn the gigantic turbines, which run the generator, which in turn generate the electricity. We saw all of these processes, which were thoroughly explained to us, but due to the noise we were unable to hear all that was said, and thus did not understand some of the things that we saw. The smoke from the furnaces is carried off by smokestacks, their being eight of them. They are 160 ft. high, about 16 ft. in diameter at the bottom and about eleven at the top. Some other things that we saw were the steam control room, the main control room, the storage battery room and the lighting arrestors. The man who has control of the steam control room has a very responsible position, for as we were told, he has the company’s pocket book, for their profits are controlled by his work. Near this room, there is posted a bulletin giving the number of pounds of coal used to generate one kilowatt of electricity. This ranges from 2.92 lbs. for one month to 3.33 lbs. for another. Four men work in the main control room, which contains many little lights, red, green and white. These lights indicate all disturbances and trouble on the different lines. This job is easy whenever there is fair weather but whenever there is a storm, the poor men need six hands instead of two, as one of the guides expressed it. The storage battery room contains seventy-two storage batteries, which are kept for an emergency in case the power plant fails to work, these batteries generate enough electricity for the use of the plant. The lightning arrestors are on the outside. Our guide told us that they were very expensive and do not always function very well. They are being generally displaced by relays and trips within the plant. These are only some of the things we saw. I would like to tell you more but it is impossible, for due to the noise as I said before I was unable to gather more than I have given you here. Upon coming out one of the boys was asked, “What did you see in the plant? “Oh, everything, but gee if I know anything about what I saw.” – Andrew Sakara, Literary Editor.


Back Cover

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Msgr. Agnello J. Angelini, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in the New Columbus section of Nesquehoning. He was born to Joseph and Theresa Angelini in 1899 in Caivcano, Italy. Graduating with honors in 1918 from Bangor High School, he passed up scholarships to Lehigh and Lafayette to enter St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook. Angelini, who had served as an altar boy, was ordained in the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, by Bishop Thomas J. Shahan on June 6, 1925. His arrival in the early fall of 1932 breathed new life into the hardworking mining community struggling to survive the Great Depression. A few weeks after his arrival, Angelini began the annual Shower of Roses festival honoring Saint Theresa, the Little Flower of Jesus, who said "I will let fall from the heavens a shower of roses." The daylong festival, celebrated in October, drew thousands of the faithful, many traveling by bus from New York, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote him in the 1930s on the occasion of a special anniversary program in the church. President Harry Truman wrote to him in regard to a St. Theresa celebration and even had Navy planes make a flyover. Angelini gave up driving in the early 1930s after he had three accidents. If a parishioner wasn't available to provide a ride, he would take a ride in whatever vehicle stopped, thus earning the nickname, ''Hitchhiking Priest.'' His decision not to drive didn't keep Angelini from getting around. Dressed in his cleric's garb and thumbing rides along Route 209, the Hitchhiking Priest was a familiar figure throughout Carbon County. During World War II, the Korean and the Vietnam wars, he made it a practice to be at the two railroad stations, then in Jim Thorpe, to bless every departing contingent of Carbon County draftees and present each with a medal and a blessing with a handshake and a prayer for their safe return. Every Memorial Day he remembered the deceased servicemen with an outdoor Mass celebrated in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Msgr. Angelini was known throughout the county, and far beyond, for his annual blessing of cars in honor of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. Each summer for more than 50 years the priest sprinkled holy water on automobiles and their occupants to protect them from accidents. He was elevated to Monsignor in 1964 by Pope Paul VI, and had the honor of concelebrating a Mass with Pope John Paul II as the Allentown Diocese's representative when the pontiff was in Philadelphia in 1979. In 1972, Angelini sent a letter to President Richard Nixon telling him a novena was being offered to Our Lady of Lourdes on behalf of a successful trip by the president to the Peoples Republic of China. Nixon answered that he was deeply grateful for the spiritual remembrance ''as I work toward the stable and enduring peace we so earnestly seek.'' He died Saturday May 16, 1987 in the rectory of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. Years ago, the road leading to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the New Columbus was unpaved and unnamed. Monsignor Agnello J. Angelini, didn't have much to do with getting the road paved. However, he was instrumental in having the road named Venice Street. On May 15, 1988 the road was named in Angelini's honor. His brother, Charles, the mayor of Roseto, climbed up a ladder and unveiled the new street sign in front of the church. Venice Street is now Angelini Avenue.

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