Sunday, December 17, 2006

State College owes its name to scholarly pursuit

History of State College, PA ...

State College's metaphorical groundbreaking, in Hench's view, actually occurred in Harrisburg in January 1853, when the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society "highly approved" Gov. William Bigler's recommendation "that an institution to impart instruction in the science of agriculture should be established."

Two influential members of that society were William G. Waring who, as Hench wrote, organized one of the pioneer teachers' institutes in Centre County in 1851, and James Irvin, a member of Congress and part owner of the Centre Furnace property.

Read full article from

Oil City High School, Oil City, PA 1928 Football Team

View the photograph

Lettermen: James "Red" Dorwart - captain, Philip "Nooky" Olmes - Captain-Elect, Jack Reynolds, Edward York, Dude Moran ___ Vogler, Maynard Hipwell, Bernard Haumesser, John "Jack" Hadley, Jack Hershelman, ___ Muldoon, William Bechtel, ___ Stroughton, ___ Waitkus, Floyd Malcolmson.

R. E. Brown - Coach, W. L. Palmer & E. E. Bellen - assistant coaches, Ed. Richards - manager

The photo includes several unknown players.

More Venango County Old Photos
More Pennsylvania Old Photos

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Warren High School, Warren, PA 1931 Football Team Photo

View the Photograph

In the photograph: Everett Samuelson, John Gettings, Frank J. Graziano, Ray W. Caldwell, Robert C. Christie, Robert A. Murphy, Jack Logan, Richard Juline, Philip Taylor, Thomas Lyle, William Wilson, Paul Coppola, Homer T. Morrison, Walter Streich, Walter Confer, and ___ Scalise. Managers: Walter Bowes and Joseph Allen Coach: J. B. Leidig. The other coach may be Henry G. Kolpein.

More Warren County, PA Old Photos

10,000 Pennsylvania Old Photos

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pennsylvania Train Wrecks, Fires, Floods, Storms & Other Disasters, finding Genealogy in Tragedy

New Pennsylvania disaster articles at chronicles the events that touched our ancestors' lives - train wrecks, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, storms, mining explosions, ship wrecks, drownings, and accidents. Transcribed newspaper accounts, excerpts from historical books and photographs detail hundreds of life's tragedies that our ancestors' endured, from the 1800s to
the 1950s. (and it's free)

Here's what's just been added:

Austin, PA Weisert's Store and House Fires, May 1902
Bodines, PA Train Accident, May 1902
Bridgeville, PA Train Wreck, Apr 1907
Carnegie, PA Train Wreck, Jun 1907
Charleroi, PA Monongahela River Drowning, Jun 1913
Chester, PA Trolley - Train Wreck, Aug 1895
Connellsville, PA Drowning, Jan 1909
Connellsville, PA Storm & Flood, May 1902
Curwensville, PA Flood, May 1889
Delaware County, PA Flood, Aug 1843
Doylestown, PA Fire, Dec 1913
Eddystone, PA Baldwin Locomotive Works Fire, Nov 1915
Essington, PA Delaware River Drowning, Jun 1901
Exeter, PA Train Wreck, Oct 1884
Faunce, PA McDonald Barn Fire, May 1932
Glenshaw, PA Train Wreck, Nov 1908
Hamburg, PA Church Fire, May 1875
Hamburg, PA Fire, May 1930
Huntingdon, PA Brush Fire, May 1885
Huntingdon, PA Fisher House Fire, Feb 1913
Huntingdon, PA Train Wreck, Mar 1888
Hyndman, PA Train Wreck, Sept 1908
Indiana, PA Gas House Fire, May 1890
Lynn, PA Redstone Creek Drowning, Apr 1895
McDonald, PA Storm & Lightning Strike, Mar 1902
Norristown, PA Train Accident, Aug 1895
Philadelphia, PA Electricity Accident, Jan 1902
Philadelphia, PA Fire, Feb 1865
Philadelphia, PA Grand Central Theatre Fire, Apr 1892
Philadelphia, PA Phoenix Pants Shirt & Overall Co., Feb 1907
Philadelphia, PA Standard Glass Varnish Co. Fire, Mar 1882
Philadelphia, PA Tornado, Apr 1856
Pittsburgh, PA Fire, Apr 1845
Pittsburgh, PA Storm, Apr 1894
Pittsburgh, PA Storm, Aug 1895
Pittsburgh, PA Train Accident, Feb 1896
Portage, PA Train Wreck, Jan 1902
Slate Run, PA J. B. Weed & Co. Sawmill Fire, Jan 1893
Somerset, PA Storm, May 1911
Springdale, PA Six Men Drown, May 1898
Troy, PA Train Wreck, Oct 1907
Uniontown, PA Windstorm Hits Circus Tent, Jun 1917
West Leisenring, PA Connellsville Coal & Iron Co. Explosion, Feb 1884
West Pittston, PA Lehigh Valley Coal Co. Accident, Jul 1894
Wilkes-Barre, PA Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co. Explosion, May 1890
Wilkes-Barre, PA Mine Explosion, Dec 1896
Wilkes-Barre, PA Mine Explosion, Mar 1890
Wilkinsburg, PA Fire, Mar 1908
York, PA Tornado, Apr 1856

Thanks to Michelle, Trish, Regina, Regina, Audrey, Victoria, Ken, Trudi & Rosemarie and our other transcribers for helping get this material online!

Don't see the disaster you've been researching? Try out the search engine - or browse through the hundreds of other train wrecks, tornadoes, drownings, mine explosions, fires, etc. catalogued on the site.

Photo above Hyndman, PA Train Wreck, Sept 1908

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Eldora Park Remembered

Eldora Park was big part of the Pittsburgh - Monongahela Valley area history

Leonard Marraccini is a man on a mission. And he's leaving few of those proverbial stones unturned in his quest for information about Eldora Park, a popular recreation and amusement site for many years in Carroll Township.

Marraccini's pursuit of the history of Eldora Park extends far beyond the realm of its reputation as a gathering place for family reunions, dances, picnics and myriad other events. In reality, it's an expansion of his natural interest in the mining industry

Read the full story from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gettysburg Railroad Station Restored

Historic railroad station built in 1858 and used by Abraham Lincoln gets a new look.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- The railroad station used by President Lincoln when he came to this small borough in 1863 to dedicate the Soldiers' National Cemetery and deliver the Gettysburg Address has been completely and beautifully restored.

Read the full story

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Do you really know the history behind Scranton’s name?

Through Trial and Failure, the Scranton Brothers persevered

Ask any Scranton resident who their town is named for, and most will say Gov. Scranton’s family. But how many people really know the circumstances under which
the city was founded?

Read the story from the Times-Tribune, Scranton, PA

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pennsylvania Train Wrecks, Tornadoes, Fires, Explosions, and other disasters on line

New at - Events That Touched Our Ancestors' Lives

Pennsylvania Disasters:

Reach these new articles directly from the main page of the Pennsylvania Disaster section:

Blairsville, PA Flour Mill Fire, July 1888
Blairsville, PA Train Wreck, Jul 1902
Brownsville, PA Fire, Feb 1922
Cambridge Springs, PA Tornado, Oct 1908
Chester, PA Morton & Black's
Chester Dock Fire, May 1884
Clinton County, PA Sawmill Explosion, May 1901
Curwensville, PA Fire, Jan 1936
Emporium, PA Aetna Powder Company Plant Explosion, Feb 7, 1916
Emporium, PA Aetna Powder Company Plant Explosion, Feb 24, 1916
Emporium, PA Aetna Powder Company Plant Explosion, Dec 1916
Ernest, PA Jefferson & Clearfield Coal & Iron Co. Mine No. 2 Explosion, Feb 1916
Huntington, PA Train Wreck, May 1947
Knoxville & McDonald, PA Wind Storm, Mar 1902
Lloyd, PA Enoch Blackwell & Co. Store Fire Apr 1884
Lost Creek, PA Train Wreck, Oct 1888
Lovett Station, PA Train Wreck, Aug 1904
Lucerne Mines, PA Mine Accident, July 1910
Mansfield, PA Fire Jan 1884
Mt. Union, PA Aetna Explosives Company Plant Explosion, Sept 1916
Pittston, PA Twin Shaft Mine Cave In, June 1896
Roscoe, PA Globe Mine Accident, Jan 1916
Shaffer, PA Fire Dec, 1865
Two Lick, PA Train Wreck, May 1907
Wellsboro, PA Fire, Feb 1880

Thanks to Jenni, Edna, Trish, Carla, Michelle and the other Pennsylvania transcribers.

1905 Time Capsule to Opened in Oil City

Christ Episcopal Church in Oil City holds special service Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the dedication and first use of its parish hall.

The parish hall's cornerstone was set in place Sept. 24, 1905, during a special service. The rector prayed: "Almighty and everlasting God, be mercifully pleased to bless this stone which we are about to place in the name and strength of Him who is the tried and precious cornerstone."

He struck the stone three times at the name of the Blessed Trinity. The congregation sang "The Church's One Foundation," and following further prayers, the ceremony ended with the hymn "Work for the Night is Coming."

A handmade copper box was inserted into a void in the cornerstone and cemented in place with asphalt. The box was then covered with a metal plate and several inches of Portland cement, sealing it for the next century and completing parish hall construction.

Items from the cornerstone will be on display at the celebration.

Read full article in The Derrick

Friday, August 18, 2006

New Biographies at Pennsylvania Biographies

New Biographies at Pennsylvania Biographies or the shorter, easier to remember address:

Aber, O. E.
Ackison, J. E.
Aggeman, John J.
Agnew, Daniel - Hon
Agnew, Franklin H. - Hon.
Allen, Festus
Allison, Edward James
Almy, Sanford
Altsman, George W.
Anderson, A. T.
Anderson, Alex. H.
Anderson, Joseph L.
Anderson, Samuel
Anderton, James
Andriessen, Hugo
Armstrong, John
Badders, William Perry
Baker, George
Balzer, John
Banks, Francis L.
Bannon, Jeremiah
Barker, Harry T.
Gaston, John
Gerber, George Henry
Goldsmith, Harry
Gormly, J. M.
Graebing, John
Graham, Alexander
Graham, William
Grim, William H.
Imbrie, James Milton
Imbrie, R. S.
Inman, John W.
Inman, Nelson
Irons, John D.

Early Public Schools in Franklin County, PA

History's Echoes: Early Schools in Greencastle and Antrim
At one time Franklin County hosted approximately 200 buildings operated under the one teacher system for the elementary grades. By 1952, that total was reduced to 25. The first county school superintendent was James McDowell of Greencastle. S.H. Eby Sr. of Greencastle, also served in that post for a number of years.

The first school building on record in Antrim was the Guitner one-room schoolhouse of the ill-fated Enoch Brown tragedy. July 26, 1764 an Indian massacre took the life of Schoolmaster Enoch Brown and 10 of his pupils. The raid was conducted by a group of renegades who were part of the Pontiac Rebellion during the French & Indian War. Archie McCullough was the 11th pupil, he survived but did not truly recover the ordeal or the wounds received. Following the massacre teaching returned, for a time, to the former system of teachers visiting the homes of children as a "circuit" education was offered.
Read the full story from the Greencastle-Antrim Echo Pilot

Photo of Greencastle School early 1900s from Pennsylvania Old Photos

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Oil City High School, Oil City, PA Varsity Basketball Team 1929

View the photo

Team roster: Russell Carll, Harold Conrad, ___ Fitzgerald, John Hadley, ___ Haumesser, Jacob Heyison, Maynard Hipwell - captain, ___ Kane, ___ Lilly, Eugene MacFarlane, Howard Rose, Edward York (Yorke), Coach R. E. Brown

Over 500 more Venango County old photographs on line at Venango County Old Photos

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Northampton County: 150 Candles for Freemansburg

Freemansburg Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Thursday is the start of a four-day celebration to mark Freemansburg's 150th anniversary, when many of the newcomers will get their first glimpse of old-time borough traditions such as the cakewalk, a cross between a raffle and musical chairs with baked goods as prizes. Event organizer Judy Lasso said ''the walk'' used to be popular, but couldn't recall any held after 1991.

Another major part of the celebration will be historical photographs that show how the borough has changed.

From 700 original inhabitants, Freemansburg grew to around 1,200 by World War I. The canal, then later the railroads and an electric trolley fed local commerce. One hundred homes were built around 1918 to house wartime employees of Bethlehem Steel, and the massive steel plants became as important to Freemansburg's economy as they were to Bethlehem's.

Read full article from the Morning Call Online

Friday, August 04, 2006

50 Years in Mother Goose Land

Story Book Forest Turns 50

LIGONIER, Pa.— A doorway beckons visitors to pass through a book made of concrete that stands some 28 feet high. The simple verse on its open pages reads in part, “Here dreams are real ... and so are your story book friends.”

There are no massive roller coasters, bumper cars or swings that spin visitors high in the air at this 17-acre attraction, tucked into the rolling mountains of western Pennsylvania.

But for the little ones in the family — or anyone who is simply young at heart — you will find Mother Goose, Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood waiting to play at Story Book Forest. Part of the larger Idlewild amusement park, Story Book Forest this year is celebrating 50 years of making the characters and scenes in children’s stories and nursery rhymes from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Snow White” come alive.

Story Book Forest was built in 1956, an era when many children’s parks based on storybooks were sprouting up around the country. The Pennsylvania attraction was created by Idlewild’s then-owner C.C. Macdonald and Arthur Jennings, who was a performance clown at the park. Jennings had always said he wanted to create a theme park “based on emotion rather than motion.”
In 1983 Story Book Forest became a part of Idlewild. Read about history of Idlewild from the website.

Read full article from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette News, Worcester, MA

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pennsylvania Dutch Barns Featured in Survey

How many Dutch barns still exist in Pennsylvania?

The Dutch Barn Preservation Society is going to count, inventory and create an accurate study.

The Dutch Farmstead survey -- which will look in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont -- will take three years. It began last year with a basic, quick survey to identify properties for more intensive study. The second phase will add a brief history, written description and sketches of each property. Then, surveyors will compile in-depth examinations, including comprehensive history, site plan, measured drawings and detailed photos.

Members of the preservation society and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture will lead the survey. Vernacular architecture refers to ordinary buildings representative of a given period. The two groups will work with the Stichting Historisch Boerderi-Onderzoek (Institute for Historic Farm Research) in the Netherlands. All are nonprofit organizations.

The Dutch barn is one of the last physical reminders of the pre-industrial agricultural heritage in the eastern United States, said Schenectady county and city historian Don Rittner. The efficient, heavy timber structure was adapted from the European style and reflects the skills of the predominantly Dutch immigrants who settled the area and their descendants, he said.

Dutch barns differ from other historic farm buildings because of their distinctive boxlike shape, low side walls and broad, pitched gabled roofs. Beams are joined on the interior in an H-shaped frame, providing a rigid core that supports the external roofing and walls. Columned aisles are positioned alongside a central space, which was once used for threshing grain. The ends of crossbeams projecting through the columns are often rounded to form tongues, a distinctive feature found only in the Dutch barn.

Visit their website at

Read the full article from the Albany Times Union

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wilson High School, Easton, PA Girls Basketball Team 1924-25 photo

Wilson High School, Easton, PA Girls Basketball Team 1924-25 photo.

In the photograph: Coach Alberta Cline, Mildred Hall, Adelle Williams, Nelda Kanter, Helen Parks, Violet Cromarty, Helen Morris, Helene Elliott, Frances Willauer, Evelyn Doneker, Evelyn Brown

View the photo

More Pennsylvania Old Photos

More Venango County Villages

Lucinda, Sunville, and Plumer are featured in Venango County village series from

James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States, used to own the land around Lucinda, known at the time as "Vogelbacher's Settlement" after the Black Forest immigrant who tamed the territory in 1820.

Sunville ... holds a unique spot in history for its decision to incorporate as a borough - and then to unincorporate 24 years later. The town maintained a steady population of about 100 during its brief stint of self-government, and the move to rejoin Plum Township in 1903 came with little fanfare or explanation. Borough council folded, and life went on.

Plumer's chief characteristic today, however, is the extent to which it has remained intact. While the population now stands around 200 (down from an 1860s high of 8,000), the village boasts churches and a general store as most similar-sized
communities lack both.
Read the full article from

Monday, July 31, 2006

Canton Borough Schools Band, Canton, PA photo

At Pennsylvania Old Photos

Canton Borough Schools Band, Canton, PA

View the photo

The names of the band members are unknown.

You may recognize some of them.

Photo taken probably 1920s-1940s.

More Pennsylvania Old Photos

Villages now Just a Dot on the Map

Forgotten Villages of Mayburg, Helen's Furnace, Petroleum Center, and Pine City

Locally, many villages are one-time oil boomtowns that were named, settled and depopulated in a decade or less. Petroleum Center claimed 15,000 residents at its peak in 1870 and saw no need for governance beyond the dictates of Cornplanter Township, according to an 1890 history of Venango County.

"(Village names) were just a way to find your way around and have somebody know what you're talking about," said Sylvia Coast, a researcher at the Venango County Historical Society and Franklin Public Library. "The villages just fade away over time."

Before 1902, rural residents had to collect their mail from a local post office - often no more than a desk inside a general store or home. That meant every crossroads or hitching post with mail facilities needed a name; letters would arrive with simple addresses like "John Smith, Fern City, Pa."

With the advent of rural free delivery - that is, a postman dropping letters in curbside mailboxes - the urge to christen towns abated. Nearly every village with a PennDOT marker today can trace its appellation to the 19th century.

Despite changes to the postal code, village arrangements remained a mainstay of the Pennsylvania social fabric for another half-century, with small-scale stores, churches and clubs forming the nucleus of farm communities and other secluded settlements.
Read the full article from The Derrick

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Washington High School, Washington, PA Basketball Team 1937 photo


View the photo

Players: George Caputo, Joseph Cowden, Thomas Babington, Archie Thomas, Glenn Anderson, Oscar Humphreys, Donald Meighen, Paul Shearn, Clyde Davis, Leroy Hogg, Fred Bolden, Robert Goodridge, Frank Watson

The names of the coach and the managers are unknown. You may recognize them.

More Washington County, PA Old Photos

More Pennsylvania Old Photos

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Allegheny High School, Allegheny, PA Baseball Team 1922 photo

Players: Millard Baker, Gerald Burger, Regis Berger (or Burger), Austin Cochrane, Robert Ebitz, Paul Higgins, Arthur Hoffman, Howard McCaw, James Rooney, Alf Schmidt, John Stoltz, William Titzel, Charles Van Horn, Edward Wittmer

Coach Harrison R. Briggs.

View the photograph

More Allegheny County, PA Old Photos

More Pennsylvania Old Photos

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New Pennsylvania Biographies


New Pennsylvania Biographies on line

Achre, David
Alexander, B. S.
Alexander, James S.
Alexander, M. W.
Arbuckle, W. N.
Barnes, J. S.
Bastress, D. S.
Black, W. C.
Boston, Adam
Brandon, George W.
Buckham, Edward
Christley, A. U.
Coulter, W. A.
Courtney, Thomas
Cribbs, James
Crill, John T.
Davis, J. P. - Rev.
Davis, Washington
Drake, Samuel
Eberle, Jacob
Elliott, T. S.
Giles, Henry
Gilfillan, James G.
Gilson, David
Glendening, William
Glenn, James T.
Gordon, Benjamin F.
Graham, Arthur W.
Graham, James M.
Graham, William J.
Harrison, W. H.
Highbarger, Andrew
Hosack, James
Hosack, John J.
Houston, Thomas
Houston, William
Ifft, Jacob
Johnston, Arthur J.
Junkin, Joseph & His Family
Kennedy, Alexander
Knauff, Adam
Loutzenhiser Family
Loutzenhiser, David
Loutzenhiser, Jacob
Loutzenhiser, James S.
Loutzenhiser, John A.
Loutzenhiser, John
Loutzenhiser, Joseph
Love, Ezekiel W.
Masson, Philip
McConnell, Nathaniel
Michaels, James
Montgomery, J. A.
Moore, James L.
Moul, Nicholas
Munnell, Thomas P.
Nelson, J. W.
Nelson, John A.
Orr, Hiram
Palmer, G. W.
Reed, Thomas
Williams, G. W.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Pennsylvania Biographies


New Biographies online:

Armstrong, W. J.
Brayton, F. W.
Brooder, J. D.
Campbell, George W.
Campbell, James
Colcord, J. B.
Colcord, Mahlon Joseph
Coleman, O. D.
Corson, H. H.
Davis, Joshua
Davis, Lemuel
DeYoung, Calvin
Donovan, Rick
Fleming, Fred Francis
Fleming, John
Gillis, C. V.
Griffith, J. T.
Griffith, Webb
Hoskins, T. R.
Howells, David
Jones, Thomas J.
Kane, Thomas L. - Maj. Gen.
Keelor, Thomas
Kelly, J. F.
Kelts, O. G.
Kemp, C. H.
Lay, O. B.
Leonard, John Braden
Leonard, John D.
Lillibridge, Alva N.
Lytle, Joseph
Maxwell, J. R. - M. D.
McConnell, B. F.
McCrystle, Jerome
McNutt, George D.
Paul, Philo V.
Sartwell, S. C.
Sheldon, Adelbert
Thompson, Albert E. - Dr.
Ward, Lee Kersey
Williams, G. A.
Zahniser, Montgomery John

Friday, June 23, 2006

A Little Wine and History...

Liquor Store Displays Old Historic Photographs of Narberth, PA

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced that the Narberth Premium Collection Wine & Spirits Store in Narberth, Montgomery County has completed a remodelling project.

The renovated interior pays homage to the history of Narberth with 23 historic photographs, reproduced from those in the Lower Merion Historical Society archives, including the city's 1930s semi-pro baseball team, "The Rocket" steam engine from the Philadelphia & Columbia Rail Road (c. 1940), the Narberth Fire Station (1895-1896), the old Narberth Rail Station (c. 1950) and the World War I parade (1917).

Read the full article on the Yahoo Finance site

Thursday, June 22, 2006

York High School, York, PA Class of 1901 photo

At Pennsylvania Old Photos

View the photo

No roster or student listing was given with the photo, but these students listed below were listed in the York High School 1901 Vidette as being seniors in 1901, so probably they are in the photo, as well as other unnamed students.

Alice Crowell, Nellie Dempwolf, Ralph Gardner, Edith B. Gibson, Maurice Gilbert, Mamie Gilbert, Mabel Gise, Oscar Heckert, Mabel Heilman, J. Clifford Hoffman, Edith Johnston, Eliza Kell, Harry Koch, Wilbur L. Lafean, Edward Lentz, Henrietta F. Lenz, Mable McClune, Blanche Mitzel, Mercedes Murphy , Flora Pearse, Jac. C. Reichley, Harriet T. Root, Lena Root, Laura Schwenk, Horace J. Sitler, Charles H. Smith, Mabel Spayd, Ella B. Stewart, Samuel Strickler, Meta Van Baman

View the 1901 York High School Vidette Magazine at

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

446 Bridges to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Author Counts Bridges

The dozen or so bridges that cross the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, joining downtown and its southern and northern neighborhoods, represent only a small fraction of the spans that crisscross this city.

Just how many are there? Depending on who has been doing the counting, that number has varied over the years.

Now, a local author who is a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh believes he has come up with a definitive number: 446.

Read the rest of the article from NEPA news

Federal Street Bridge, Pittsburgh, early 1900s photo from Pennsylvania Old Photos

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Red Lion High School, Red Lion, PA Baseball Team 1928

View the photo

Roster: Levere Smith - Manager, Fred Uffleman, Preston Raub, Charles Olp, Preston Waughtel, Kenneth Waughtel, James Thompson, Oliver Kinard, Kermit Taylor, Foster Laucks, Allen Frey, Horace Uffleman, Wilson Gladfelter and Arthur Kinard.

Pennsylvania Old Photos, over 9000 vintage photographs on line

Jenkintown High School, Jenkintown, Pa Football Team 1925 photo

View the photo

Football Team Roster: Charles Howard Taylor, Anthony Panaccion, William Moore Jr., Andrew Graham Boutcher, Joseph George Stein, Henry Clark Land, Andrew Cassel Bowdle, Bernard Edward DiJoseph, Carl Raiser, Alfred Anglada, Filbert Oakford, Robert Weyrich, Henry Ulrich, Hatty Harris, Walter Flack; Martin S. Baldwin - coach, Daniel Creamer - manager.

There are also 12 unidentified players in the photograph. You might recognize them.

Other Jenkintown High School photos on line:

Jenkintown High School Girls Hockey Team 1926

Jenkintown High School 1925

View over 9000 Pennsylvania photos on line at

Friday, June 16, 2006

Downtown Brookville Much Like it Was 100 Years Ago

At a time when the downtown areas in many small communities resemble a ghost town, one borough has created a bustling business district.

At first glance, the main street area of Brookville may appear as it did more than 100 years ago when lumber was king and prospects for industrial and commercial development were abundant.

"We have a lot of historic buildings. We have a Historic Brookville Inc. board that tries to get people to have their building historically correct. We don't have a Wal-Mart or a Kmart, but I think we are better for it," Bullers said.

Read full article from
Downtown Brookville early 1900s photo from Pennsylvania Old Photos
View more Old Photographs and Postcards of Brookville, PA

Thursday, June 15, 2006

New Pennsylvania Biographies


New biographies online -

Bateman, W. Grafton
Britting, F. C.
Chambers, Fred N.
Chambers, Wesley
Criswell, David S.
Dale, Henry L.
Donnelly, Thomas
Gates, George
Hallet, John F.
Hunt, Warren G.
Johnston, D. K.
Kramer, William J.
Lowentritt, Myer
McGuigan, James
Nicholson, Thomas H.
Parsons, John T.
Roess, Louis
Shepard, Charles H.
Shively, J. S.
Smithman, John B.
Stubler, John
Thomas, James M.
Trax, David L.
Turner, A. M.
Waits, John W.
Welch, Theodore Jackson
Wick, W. S.
Wood, Wilbur Fisk - Rev.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fort Augusta 250 Year Celebration July 13

SUNBURY — Northumberland County Historical Society will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Fort Augusta during 2006 with a variety of special programs including a three-day celebration beginning July 13.
Among the commemorative activities planned is the grounbreaking for a new model of Fort Augusta to replicate the large model of the fort which once sat on the lawn in front of the Hunter House, the historical society announced.
Read full article from the Daily Item

Venango County Gas Station Series Continues

Part 3: As population shrunk, so did number of gas stations
By the mid-1960s, small towns like Oil City and Franklin were feeling the effects of a shrinking local economy and a declining population.
As the two cities began to contract, so did many of the businesses that had thrived in small neighborhood settings. Hit the hardest were two of the more visible enterprises - neighborhood grocery stores and small gasoline stations.
From 1955 to 1965, Oil City lost about 10 of its filling stations, leaving the number at 21 in the city limits. Franklin, too, had fewer stations, dropping to 24 from 30 just a decade earlier.
Read the full article from

Part 4: The Redfield Family
The Redfield family has been in the gasoline filling station business for more than 50 years and shows no signs of easing back.
"My dad, Ansel, but everybody called him 'Red', started in the business in 1952 at Hank Malene's Quaker State station on Main Street in Oil City. And our family still owns and operates gas stations here," said his daughter, Rita Rodgers.
Redfield ran the Main Street station until a major city redevelopment effort resulted in razing most of the neighborhood in 1964.
Eyeing an up-and-coming part of the county, he moved to Cranberry Township and bought a gas station at the intersection of routes 257 and 322, site of the Kwik Fill station now. At the same time, he opened a filling station at the top of Seneca Hill, now quarters for McMahon's Insurance.
Read the full article from

A Look at Pennsylvania's Bridges

From Penn State: Inventory of the Pennsylvania Bridges Collection, 1884-1915

The collection contains photographs of railroad bridges in Pennsylvania, mostly in the Pittsburgh area, 1891-1915; photographs of technical drawings produced by the Pennsylvania State College, Civil Engineering Dept. depicting structural details and complete designs of modern railroad bridges, 1903-1904; and lantern slides of railroad bridges, 1884-ca. 1904.

The railroad bridges, built in the 19th century, were photographed between 1891-1915, and depict different types of bridges, structural details, transmission towers, and bridge construction. The bridges were used by at least seventeen different railroads including the Pennsylvania Railroad, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, Susquehanna and Buffalo Railroad, West Penn Railway, and the West Virginia and Ohio Railroad.
View the collection

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gas Stations in Venango County's Past Chronicling Gas Stations and Automobiles in Franklin & Oil City

Parts one and two online of a five-part series tracing the history of gasoline stations in Oil City and Franklin.

  • Gas stations once were everywhere in town Part one, the early days, 1910s.
    In the first decade of 1900, the very few automobile owners in Oil City and Franklin went to a general or hardware store - maybe Seep Brothers at 35 Seneca St. or Chambers Hardware on the South Side - for gasoline. Lugging a container, usually a bucket, the driver would stop and buy a few gallons from the shop owner who kept a small tank under a lean-to in the back. While there, the purchase of a Saltzmann brew or a confectionery or perhaps a cigar might also be made. Read full article

  • Oil patch natural setting for autos Part two, gas stations and auto dealerships in the 1910s-1920s
    Oil City had 20 new car and truck dealerships in 1927 in the city limits, including Chrysler at M&C Motors, Dodge at McMahon & McLane, Chevrolet at Oil City Motor, Hupmobile at Boyle Motor Co., Olds and Stutz at F.D. Walters, Studebaker at Warren Motor, Buick at Weaver's, Pontiac at Moore Motor, Willys-Knight Overland at Penn Overland, Chandler at G.L. Pressley, Hudson and Essex at Liberty Sales, Nash at Oil City Nash, Ford trucks at W.W. Jeffrey. Read full article

Villa Maria Academy, Erie, PA Junior Class 1927


Class of 1928 When They Were Juniors

Surnames: Bach, Barber, Bonnell, Cronin, Dadeo, Dillon, Franklin, Gahagan, Gray, Hickey, Jaeger, Jerge, Kelley, King, Lee, McQuillion, O'Connor, Peterson, Pfadt, Pletz, Richardson, Roehl, Rooney, Ruth, Seyboldt, Spiesman, Spiesman, Sullivan, Thompson, Wax, Weindorf.

Armstrong County - One Stop, Seven Historical Societies

Armstrong County Historical Societies Unite on the Internet

The Armstrong History Alliance went on-line about a year ago and local historians are hoping the endeavor will help advertise the diverse offerings of small historical societies scattered throughout the county.

The alliance was formed by the county’s seven historical societies: Apollo Area, the Kittanning-based Armstrong County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society, Brady’s Bend, Dayton Area, Freeport Area, Leechburg Area and Lower Crooked Creek.

Connie Mateer, the Kittanning society’s genealogy librarian, said the alliance offered a central gateway to the events, programs and information each historical society oversees.

“It’s sort of a huge events calendar,” Mateer said. In addition to listing events, the Web site details the different historical buildings each society operates and provides contact information for each, including independent Web sites for those that have them.

Mateer said the Armstrong County society also has a database that lists details of most of the tombstones in the county’s 300-plus cemeteries. Those details also could be made available on the Web for people searching their genealogy.


Read full story in the Leader Times

Photo of the Armstrong County Court House from Armstrong County Old Photos

New Pennsylvania Biographies


New Biographies added:

Beaty, David
Benedict, Willis B.
Currie, Joshua Turner
Curwen, John - M. D.
Davis, Alpheus J.
Foley, John
Fullerton, J. D.
Gainor, Peter
Gardner, J. K.
Gillis, James L.
Grant, E. T.
Guth, L. S.
Hagerty, J. H.
Hamblen, W. S.
Hamilton, D. B.
Healy, W. C.
Horton, W. S.
Houk, Jacob V.
Kellogg, C. L.
Kime, John R.
Kime, R. V.
Kline, M. S.
Larson, John
Lesser, L. J. A.
Little, Horace
Lowry, Samuel
McCauley, Calvin Hudson
McEwen, J. H.
McGeehin, Hugh
McGinnis, J. S.
McKinney, Peter
Meagher, Michael - Rev.
Merritt, Charles C. - Hon.
Scofield, Glenni William
Shaner, F. P.
Stone, Charles W.
Struthers, Thomas
Tanner, Archibald
Templeton, William J.
Watson, Lewis Findlay
Wetmore, L. D. - Hon.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Chadds Ford, PA 100 Years Ago

Photographs Show What Life was Like in Chadds Ford 100 years ago

A new exhibit at the Chadds Ford Historical Society caters to those who want to know what the village area of Chadds Ford was like almost 100 years ago. Conceived and designed by CFHS volunteer Sallie Corbishley, the exhibit is an enlarged village map of Chadds Ford with old photographs strategically placed to show where in the village certain buildings used to be.

Drawn on the wall of the large exhibit room at the Barn Visitors’ Center, it is based on a 1913 road map of the village showing the area around Station Way Road, the Brandywine Creek, Route 1 and Creek Road.

It’s also a good way for the society to show off some of its archived photographs. Most of the society’s historical collections are on display at the John Chad House and at the Barns-Brinton House, Westerman said, but there is also a large collection of archived material and a reference library. Without the photos on display, visitors don’t know they exist.

Chadds Ford Historical Society website

Read full article at, June 5, 2006

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Clarion State Normal School, Clarion, PA Junior Class 1914 photo on line


Group photo of the Class of 1915 when they were Juniors

View the photo

Surnames: Allio, Amo, Amsler, Arner, Arnold, Bowman, Brown, Calvert, Calvert, Cochran, Croasman, Darling, Elliott, Erwin, Frampton, Goodrow, Hanst, Hill, Hochinson, Humphreys, Jordan, Kerr, Kirby, Klugh, Kribbs, Leach, Levine, Linhoof, Lowry, Mayes, McClune, McQueen, Mooney, Moore, Morrison, Mullin, Myers, O'Neill, Pollard, Radaker, Rhodes, Robinson, Rogers, Rylander, Schmader, Schrecongost, Schwartz, Shadle, Shirley, Skinner, Stover, Nelson, Terwilliger, Thomson, Weaver, Weeter, Williams