50 Years Ago
Beatles, Beach Boys, LBJ vs Barry Goldwater, Clay vs Liston, Summer Olympics in Tokyo - it's hard to believe that 50 years have passed . Click below to view Mahanoy Area's Class of '64.
Memorial Day Remembrances
Below you will find some remembrances of a few of the many young men from Mahanoy City and the surrounding "patches" who served our country in time of war.
Mahanoy City's VFW Post is named for George Reese and Joseph Hall who were the first from town killed in action in World War I.
Grier City's Harold Messerschmidt gave his life for his comrades in World War II and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor . Be sure to click on the link below to view a tribute to Sgt.Messerschmidt on the Armed Forces Network.
Steve Gavula endured 33 months of captivity in North Korea before returning to Mahanoy City in September of 1953. The huge parade in his honor is one of my earliest memories.
Six young men that many who view this page will remember well gave their lives in Viet Nam. May they all rest in peace.
Links to some other pages Memorial Day pages are listed below.
World War I
1937 Memorial Day Parade
World War II
Killed In Action - Viet Nam War
To read more about the Mahanoy Township Fire Click the Link Below
38 Years Ago- 1976 - Mahanoy City Celebrates America's Bicentennial
Lassie League 1963
In the summer of 1963 the Mahanoy City Lassie League players gathered in the East End Park for a group picture that would appear in the Centennial Souvenir Book later that summer. Click on the picture to view an enlargement.
The First House in Mahanoy City
The Story of a Log Cabin by Joseph H. Davies (1943)
Three years after the Victoria Theatre opened and one year after the first "talking picture" - Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer opened in New York, movies with syncronized sound came to Mahanoy City when the John Ford movie Four Sons opened at the Vic on October 1, 1928.
Four Sons wasn't a "talkie". Instead it had sound effects and music which were part of the film. This spelled the end of the days of the accompanying pianist. During the silent film era movies were accompanied by an a piano or organ player .
In Mahanoy City Michael Slowitsky and Charlie Domson were employed in this capacity. Slowitsky later became famous with the publication of his tune Once in Awhile which was a number one hit in 1937 for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
Charlie Domson worked his way up through the ranks at the Kaier Brewing Company and eventually became president.
"The Movietone sound system is an optical sound-on-film method of recording sound for motion pictures that guarantees synchronization between sound and picture. It achieves this by recording the sound as a variable-density optical track on the same strip of film that records the pictures. Although sound films today use variable-area tracks, any modern motion picture theater (excluding those that have transitioned to digital cinema) can play a Movietone film without modification to the projector. Movietone was one of four motion picture sound systems under development in the U.S. during the 1920s, the others being DeForest Phonofilm, Warner Brothers' Vitaphone, and RCA Photophone, though Phonofilm was primarily an early version of Movietone".Source: Wikipedia
Click below to view a short clip from Fours Sons and/or Michael Slowitsky's Number 1 Hit Once in Awhile played by Tommy Dorsey
Former Historical Society President Frank Selgrath has contributed thousands of hours of research in compiling hundreds of binders filled with historical and genealogical information. These binders are now located in the new historical society room annex in the Rhoades Building. Frank continues to research historical records and newspapers on a daily basis in the tenth decade of his life. He's a savvy computer user and today forwarded the collage of Record American New Year's banners seen below. Happy New Year, Frank
December 16, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the acceptance of the Petition for Charter for the Borough of Mahanoy City by the courts of Schuylkill County, thus establishing the legal existence of the borough. You can read the petition, view a list of the petitioners and a short biography of each person by going to the Mahanoy City Charter page.
75 Years Ago
1942 Fire on East Centre
Thanks to Janet Schock Kline for allowing the historical society to scan numerous pictures taken by her uncle , Bill Miles, in the 1930s and 1940s. Below are pictures from the Central Bowling Alleys fire in 1942 along with the Record American's coverage of the story. I'm amazed that some store fronts remain similar to the way they looked fifty or even one hundred years ago - even after a destructive fire.
100 Years Ago in Mahanoy City
During Sesquicentennial Week a time capsule which had been buried in 1988 for Mahanoy City's 125th year celebration was unearthed.The Mahanoy Area Histoical Society received permission from the Sesquicentennial Committee to scan pictures which had been placed in the capsule 25 years ago before they are buried again along with items collected for the 150th celebration. I scanned about 140 pictures and will put them on this site in three groups. The first two groups can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Picture of East End Park Pool taken by Elwood M. Young in 1928
“This is the second swimming pool in the East End Park. It was larger than the first by one thousand square feet. It was built in 1924 and dedicated on August 1, 1924.( Note: The first pool was dedicated on July 4, 1915.) Length from east to west was 116 feet; width from north to south was 73 feet. The depth ranged from 3 to 9 feet going east to west.
This pool was very popular for many years, and convenient for everyone…making it unnecessary to travel to Lakeside or Lakewood for a swim. Hundreds of children learned to swim at this pool…with swimming instructors giving lessons each morning during the summer school vacation periods. Special swimming events were held, especially on 4th of July and Labor Day holidays, with expert swimmers of town and vicinity participating. At various occasions champion U.S. swimmers were a featured attraction. Thousands of people would witness these events…taking a picnic basket to spend the day “At the park”.
Unfortunately the usefulness of the East End Park Pool came to a close in the late 1930’s. The settlement of mine workings under the park caused an opening on the surface which ran through the pool, making cracks approximately 2-3 feet in width in places, and the wall heaving or sinking in other sections.
The bronze tablet monument on this East End park picture was unveiled on June 11, 1920. The tree on the left was one of the memorial trees planted for each of the dead WWI veterans whose names appear on the monument. The trees were planted and dedicated on May 30, 1919. The World War I Monument is now in the German Protestant Cemetery situated on the Civil War Plot.”
Elwood Young Collection- Mahanoy City Public Library
East End Park 1940s.
The Class of 1963- Mahanoy Area High School
50 years ago this week the Class of'63 became the first class to complete four years as part of Mahanoy Area High School - the jointure of Mahanoy Township and Mahanoy City High
which occurred in September of 1959. The class of '63 was also the Centennial class, graduating during the 100th anniversay year of the borough of Mahanoy City.
History of Mahanoy City
Written in 1933-34
Most of the early history of Mahanoy City was taken from the account written by Mrs. T. H. B. Lyon. A great deal of information was obtained
by Garfield Lewis, Jeanne Faust, John Malone, Josephine Unsinn, Jane Glaudel, Elsie Oliver, Robert Lowe, Bertha Tulin, Jane Maher and Anna Ryan, from interviews with Mrs. R. P. Swank, Mrs. T. L. Thomas and Mr. William H. Boyer.
The history was compiled by Theresa Lusckus,
Lillian Bonavage, Charles Welsh and Charles Doorley. The typists were Theresa Lusckus, LillianBonavage, Freida Tulin, Leodania Wysocki, Josephine Matalavage and Anna Gnall.
Click on the Link Below to go to the History Page
Mahanoy City Then and Now - 100 West Centre Street
Daniell Brothers hardware store at 100 West Centre Street in the early 1890s. From left to right are: Bill(?) Moyers, Charles M. Daniell and George M. Daniell.
The Daniell Brothers moved from the anthracite coal region of Mahanoy City to the bituminous coal fields of West Virginia sometime after this picture was taken.
The store later became the O'Connor hardware store. See the picture below. The digitized picture was sent by Hanna Maurice, a descendant of the Daniell Brothers
This picture of O'Connor's hardware store at 100 West Centre Street was taken from a film that was produced in 1916. The film was found in the Lincoln School Building when the building
and its contents were sold at auction a few years ago.
The film was donated to the historical society by Larry Levy and digitized. The digital copy, 1916 Movie Memories runs approximatelt eighteen minutes and shows scenes of
Lakewood Park and Mahanoy City. I "captured" the image above from the digital copy.
Daniell Brothers and O'Connor's more than 100 yeras later. The bottom floor has a brick face, but notice the cornice work around
the second floor windows, and compare it to the 1892 picture.
There is still evidence in downtown Mahanoy City of the town's historic past.
The Last Duel In Pennsylvania
The last duel in Pennsylvania was fought on March 26, 1931 on a mountainside north of the 8th Street bridge in the vicinity of Pleasant Hill.
To read the full newspaper account from the March 27, 1931 edition of the Record American click on the links below.
Some Recent Articles That are Now in the Archives
Here a the links to some recent articles.