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Category: Local history
DECEMBER 13, 2014
I really enjoyed my visit to the Frackville Museum last Sunday. It's the kind of place where you're bound to run into someone you haven't seen for awhile. The exhibits all bring back memories of growing up in Frackville, including some unusual photos of places or people you may have forgotten. The exhibit includes many photos of course, from the collection of local historian Lorraine Stanton. There are also vintage fashion items, and other collectibles especially from the 50's and 60's. I saw some photos of the interior of the Garden Theater, and one of the visitor's said that there was a special seat in the balcony that held two people! I didn't get into the balcony too much, I guess, for I didn't remember that. There was also a photo of Wagner's Dam, a small body of water that used to exist at the northwest corner of Balliet and Arch Streets. Most people don't remember it now. A visit here is a must for anyone with Frackville roots. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until Spring to visit, as it is closed for the winter months. Look here for news of the reopening in March.
Even though the library was very fortunate to escape serious damage from the fire on our block on Friday, November 21, we certainly feel very sad for the other property owners. I am especially sorry to see the two buildings at 60 and 62 North Lehigh suffering such a fate. Both of these buildings have been a part of our town for a good portion of its history. In local historian Lorraine Stanton's book, Images of America:Frackville, there are two great photographs. One shows Mr Alexander Polanchyk standing in front of his first '5 and 10' store at 60 N Lehigh. Apparently back in the the 1920's there were dances held in the basement here! The photo of 62 N Lehigh, which currently housed Amberdeen's, dates from 1914, and shows that even then the property was providing food and entertainment. W D Maurer had a restaurant and confectionary at that address. If you 'd like to have a look at these photos, stop in and have a look. We have several copies of Mrs Stanton's book available for use in the library.
The Frackville Recreation Board in conjunction with the American Legion Post 398, Frackville will be holding our community's annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30, 2011. The parade begins at Lehigh Avenue and Arch St. at 8:45AM and will proceed up Lehigh Aveneue and over Spring Street to Memorial Park. At the park there will be a ceremony honoring local veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as musical selections by soloist Mary Wofford and a gun salute and taps by the American Legion Post Honor Guard. Light refreshments will be served afterwards at the American Legion Post on East Oak Street. All Frackville citizens are invited to attend. Parade and ceremony will be held rain or shine. For more information call the library at 874-3382.
Hopefully all of you baby boomers that spent your weekends at Willow Lake will recognize the title of this record album. It is an extensive collection of the best known songs of our local celebrities, the Jordan Brothers. This group of brothers, born and raised right here in Frackville, rose to fame when they were just teens, hitting the road with their rock and roll band. Later this year, the Jordan Brothers will be honored with a memorial plaque at the Frackville Borough Building on South Center St. In celebration of the event, you can have your very own copy of Today's Yesterdays. CD's are now available for sale at the library, and the group has been kind enough to offer the library a share of the proceeds. The price of the CD, which contains 26 tracks including their famous rendition of Heart, is $25. Arrangements can also be made for the copies to be signed.
and you're invited! On Friday, November 13, 2009 the Frackville Free Public Library turns 70 years old. We're going to be celebrating with an open house event on that day at 7PM at the library. Come visit if you haven't been here in awhile, and find out what we're doing to make the library meaningful to all of the community. If you're a regular user, we hope you'll help us celebrate the institution whose services you've come to value. Be a part of Frackville history and join us.
In putting together our latest library newsletter, which is devoted to local history, I found several interesting books for kids. They all relate to the coal industry and present a fictional view of life in early Pennsylvania mining communities. The Breaker Boys by Pat Hughes tells the story of a friendship between a mine owner's son and a miner's son from the "patch." Together in Pinecone Patch by Thomas Yeserski is a picture book that chronicles the romance between an Irish girl and a Polish boy in a small mining town. A CoalMiner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska by Susan A. Bartoletti takes place in the real town of Lattimer, PA. where a young Polish girl arrives to marry a miner. These books are available for loan at your library.
On Saturday, April 19, 2008, the Frackville Historical Society will be holding its annual Founders' Day Dinner at the Elks Lodge. This event celebrates the signing of the original charter and the incorporation of the borough in 1876. A copy of the document will be on view at the dinner. Also, some well-known residents of Frackville will be honored, including the Anthony family, the Swade family, John Morgan, "Scotty" Bradbury, and Robert Berg. If you would like to attend, please call 874-1579 or 874-2945. Seating is limited.
ESPN's David Fleming has written an exciting and thought-provoking sport's story that began right here in Schuylkill County. The Pottsville Maroons, one of the first teams to play for the NFL, has long been considered by many as one of the greatest football teams ever to play the game. His new book The Breaker Boys, which tells the amazing and disappointingly brief history of this legendary team, is now available for loan. Even those of us who are not big sports fans will find it an interesting tale, as it is also a piece of our own local history. This book has also revitalized the movement to get back the Maroon's national title, which was taken from them in 1925. Have a look at this acclaimed piece of sports nostalgia at your library.
We now have a CD featuring local musical groups and soloists for sale. Where the Coal Trains Load: World Music from Eastern Pennsylvania has thirty-one selections of ethnic music recorded in Schuylkill County. These songs, captured on the CD by Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline, explore the diversity of folk cultures which can be found in our county. They range from Italian, Irish, and Eastern Europen classics to Indian tabla drumming and a Chinese song in Mandarin. This CD is definitely a collector's item. You can buy it now at the library for only $20. Part of the proceeds will go to the library's General Fund.
We currently have for sale at the library some lovely beaded bookmarks. They make a great little gift for your favorite reader and the price is just $4! These bookmarks were made by two of our most loyal patrons, a boy named Thomas and his mother Ann. We also still have a few items of Frackville Centennial Memorabilia-license plates, bumber stickers, and commemorative booklets-all at reasonable prices. These make great stocking stuffers for local history buffs. All proceeds on the items mentioned go to support the daily maintainance of the library.
Have you ever tried to remember a name or face from your high school class? The library has a collection of yearbooks from both Frackville High School and North Schuylkill High School which cover the following years: 1931, 1942-1975, 1978-1982, and 1999-2002. These are available for use in the library and are kept in our Historical Room. If you have a yearbook from one of the missing classes and would like it to have a safe home for years to come, please consider donating it to our collection.
Have a happy National Library Week! Come visit your library.