Nanticoke Historical Society

Nanticoke Historical Society

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Looking back on 2011

First of all I would like to thank everybody who has supported our organization.  The key people who make this work give passionately of their personal time and effort.  The work is thankless except for the personal gratification that  they get for giving  and sharing with you so selflessly what they have acquired over the years.

Why would someone want to get involved?  Well, perhaps you enjoy collecting historical memorabilia, or tracing back your ancestry or remembering those before you who work so hard in making this country, even as imperfect as it maybe, as great as it is today. Perhaps you would just like to reminisce  about a time when life was a little slower and simpler. Or even to recall a time when life was much harder but still brought a deeper joy into your life because of the people you were with. Maybe you enjoy being a part of community involvement, or embracing an opportunity to  hone a skill set. What ever motivates you in doing what you do, you do it simply to share with others what you have accomplished and enhance and better our community.

Let me further add that none of us do what we do professionally, receive monetary compensation or are without flaws or room for improvement. In some cases we may incur uncompensated expenses. Yet we continue to endeavor to improve constantly.  I recently handed out some cards to promote what we do at local gathering of friends and neighbors when one gentlemen rudely scoffed and smirked.  Criticism, Sir, is cheap, plentiful and amply abundant we have sufficient supplies of that.  What we need is your input, contribution, help and support.   In absence of that, your silence would be equally appreciated.
Just as on the buffet table, if we are not to your taste  move onto something else.

So what have we done?

There have been countless hours of gathering, year books, vintage newspapers, countless old photographs, research in libraries, old telephone directories, walking the streets of Nanticoke documenting and photographing old buildings or sites where key events in the city have at one time taken place. We have published a variety of books.  We have a postcards, calenders and much more. Which, the proceeds keep our lights on and doors open.

Having been with the Historical Society for little more that a year,  I can only speak  for what I have seen in my short time with them.  First of all let me offer greatly appreciated thanks to Mr. Nicholas Pucino who has contributed so much in the past.  Nick has posted stories and photos for the Historical Society for a number of years on his site  Due to health reasons Nick has given up his site and domain name to enjoy a more reclusive life style.

Since then the Historical Society has put up their own site.  In the Fall of 2010 I ventured out to observe a cerminony commemorating the 100 years anniversary  of the Hanover Fire Company Engine #4 Nanticoke Fire Dept. There I met an old friend and veteran member of the company where I explained that I had retired from my job of 19 1/2 years and returned to college to study some courses in  web design.  His wife, our president Julianna asked me to do the site for them. 12 junior college credits does not not make me by any sense of the word a professional, but it has given me an opportunity to practice what I have learned and I have learned so much more from these people than you can imagine and much more than just from in the class room.

We are on Facebook were I will announce new articles on this blog and our Web Site. On this blog I try to keep a mix of current and new things in our community as one day it will be history.  And by some fluke of the imagination maybe historically note worthy one day. Sometimes looking for something new to post can be a challenge, so your contributions can be a big help.

 We have done 13 blog posts in 2011:

  • Rich Rynkiweicz's Classic Cars
  • The Kline Cannons
  • The Flood of Sept. 8 2011
  • 911 Ceremony at Luzerne County Community College
  • The Fall Harvest Festival (postponed)
  • The Fall Craft Fair Luzerne County Community College
  • The Grove Theater - Honky Tonk Angels 
  • Our Book signing Open House Oct. 29 2011
  • The Halloween Hot Dog Block Party
  • LCCC Tree Festival
  • Flamenco Ballet at GNA
  • Barnes & Noble Book signing Area Hub Plaza
  • Memories of a Forgotten Island

Stories on our Web Site:

Millionaires in Nanticoke2011 Festival of Trees
How We StartedFlamenco Ballet @ GNA
The Samantha Mill House

An American PresidentAutomobiles in Nanticoke
Hanover fire Co. Engine 4: 100 YearsNanticoke's 400 Club
Theatres In NanticokeCastle Cloths
Horror HallTelevision In Nanticoke

Our New Book

Thank you for Supporting the Nanticoke Historical Society and have a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nanticoke Woman was connected to History of Stone Lake Manitowish Waters WI

 Post from  Koller Library Manitowish Waters Blog Spot

Read more about Beaumont's Island Manitowish Waters WI
Beaumont's Resort

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Memories of a Forgotten Island 

 Mitzi & Eleanor 1970 Three Sisters Women's Apparel  Shop Wisconsin Ave Milwaukee WI 


Reprinted from the Lakeland Times, January 2, 2009, by Joyce Laabs.

Editor's Note: Memories fade, but some are captured to be renewed. This was the case of Beaumont's Island on Stone Lake in Manitowish Waters. The following appeared in The Lakeland Times in July 1978. We thought our readers would enjoy a piece of forgotten history.

Comment posted by myself on Koller Library Blog Spot Page

Geneb53 said...
Both my parents were born and raised in a small coal town in NE Pennsylvania, Nanticoke. Dad, after the war, relocated to Milwaukee to earn a living as the life of a coal miner was hard, dangerous and without sufficient means to raise a family. In the mid to later 1960’s my mother Eleanor worked with Mitzi in Milwaukee in a women’s apparel shop on Wisconsin Ave. by the name of Three Sisters. They became good friends and we got invitations to visit them on Beaumont’s Island where my father got the opportunity to fish for the Wisconsin game fish, the Muskellunge. When I was in my later teens and early 20’s I would take him up to Manitowish Waters for summer trips from Milwaukee. If memory serves me correctly the big bell was on the property of the Coffee’s, which they referred to as the Coffee grounds. The Coffees were the daughter and son in-law of the Beaumont’s. Ed and Mitzi would tell them of our intended arrival and would ring the bell for Ed to come out for us on his pontoon boat. Mitzi’s husband, Ed, always had a big cigar in his mouth. I remember Mitzi banged out rag time on an old out of tune upright piano. Ed banged out a rhythm on the drums and I played on a bass made from a bass string, a stick and a garbage can. The “Lodge” had a stuffed bear and the walls had game fish mounted. Ed and Mitzi would tell us stories of the loggers that would walk across the frozen lake in the winter and drink in the Lodge. The Lodge had old tables. Mitzi told us that came from the Schlitz Brewing Company. The Company would provide the tables and chairs to those who sold their product and where engraved with the Schlitz logo in large letters in the backs of the chairs. The cabins had the old gas light fixtures in them that still actually worked. Ed had a gasoline electric generator and in the summer months he would run it for about an hour or two in the cabins and the lodge. If memory serves me correctly, I believe Ed and Mitzi eventually got utility power out to the island, probably at considerable expense. All my old pictures where on transparency slide film and were lost. As real as it was, after 40 years your blog posting was like a miracle as my memories where almost a dream. I’d thought the island was on Spider Lake and could not find anything at all on the web. Ed and Mitzi’s stories of Vilas County, Little Bohemia and Dillinger’s hang out were some of my best times ever. Both My parents are now gone, but you have given me back some precious memories I had thought were lost forever. Gene Bojarski
MW Library said...
Hi Gene- Thank you so much for sharing these memories with us! Janelle & I are thrilled that the blog has made a difference for you. Please let us know if there's any more info we can help you with!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Barns Noble Books

Book signing at Barnes & Noble Area Hub Plaza Wiles-Barre Township Dec. 17, 2011

First of all let me offer an apology for any inconvenience I may have inadvertently have caused.  My sources had informed me that Chet was to be at the Wyoming Valley Mall, where I had walked for half an hour looking for Barns & Noble at the Mall rather than at the Arena Hub Plaza.  Having lived in the area for 30 years, I should  have known better.  And, for those who may have been in town for the Holiday and wanted to meet Chet and could not find him well I hope you found him as I did.  The error was understandable as the Area Hub Plaza is just across Mundy Street from the Mall. Having said that my bustling Saturday afternoon at the Mall was hurried and exhausting.  The Mall crowds were unbelievable.  With the economy still in a shambles, it is amazing that people find in their hearts the spirit of the season.

Thank you for your support and response.
The first printing was nearly sold out.  We weren't sure if Chet was even going to be at the signing as there may not have been any books to sign. Chet and the Nanticoke Historical Society may consider a second printing if the need is there.  So please,  if you could not get a copy and you would like one let us know.

  If you are a history buff or are from the Nanticoke area and were looking for a present for someone or even yourself, this would have been the perfect opportunity. Not only was Chet there, but also the authors of several publications from Arcadia  Publishing.  Arcadia Publishing is the leading local  publishing company in the United States.  Many of the books available that day by this publisher were in a similar style and format as was Chet's.   A number of books about North East Pennsylvania are available through Arcadia and Barns & Noble.  The link will take you their list of books  about our region.  The Publisher is out of Charleston, South Carolina and can be contacted by phone Toll Free: 1-888-313-2665 or on the net at

Yes, yes, I know I should have gotten the names of the authors and their books.  As  journalism is not really my forte,  I try my best to get out a story for  The Nanticoke Historical Society  on occasion to let you know that we are out there to try to enhance and preserve our heritage and culture as well as promote our community. We try to be active in community events and encourage our friends and neighbors to contribute and get involved. We are always looking for help, so if you are a journalism student a columnist or any one with creative talents that can help us out please get involved.

It can be a lot of work, but we have great people in our organization.  Frankly, it really is a lot of fun.  I see on our Facebook page that we are growing and that  is great! So, come out and join us.  Let's help our community come together and thanks again for your support.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Flamenco Ballet Visits GNA High School

Flamenco Ballet, a professional production group entertained approx. 900 students and teachers at the Greater Nanticoke High School  on Friday December 2nd.Visiting schools from around the region came from as far as Susquehanna Common. The show exhibited cultural dances from Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Columbia and other Spanish speaking countries and cultures. The music was superb, the dancing amazing, the costumes spectacular.  Narration was given in English and Spanish stories of the origin of dance such as the Rumba, Flamenco and Tango were explained. The Jota, a Spanish folk dance was performed and it's origins explained.  The show primarily intended for the Spanish students was mostly done in Spanish.  Simple exercises like counting to 20 in Spanish entertained the students as many already were beyond the fundamental basics.  Different countries brought to the culture the variety of dance and music.  They showed how music and dance could act as a conduit for knowledge and understanding of  other people's history and background. They showed students the many countries that speak the Spanish language, their differences and similarities, folklore, history and traditions .The experience was entertaining and educational. For More visit:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nanticoke Historical Society participates at the LCCC Tree Festival

The Luzerne County Community College is a nucleus of activity for our community it is for that reason among many that we embrace the opportunity to to be involved whenever we can. On December 2nd we attended and participated in the yule tide celebration. The Festival of Trees was held at the college in the Educational Conference Center off of Prospect Street on the college Campus. With us were Alden Manor ,Crazy Rabbit Paint Ball, Relay for Life, First Community National Bank, Educational Conference center, UGI Utilities, Choice One Community Credit Union, South Valley Chamber of Commerce, The International Assn. of Administrative Professionals and Classic Properties .  For a $1.00 donation to the American Red Cross you could vote for your favorite tree.

 Katy Sweeney, member - Nanticoke Historical Society worked hard and contributed effort in our fine tree.  We're not certain if we had won first place, but the container for the ticket votes was quite full. Our friends and neighbors The  South Valley Chamber of Commerce and Crazy Rabbit Paintball were with us to celebrate.  We are looking forward to a Paintball Competition and perhaps a spring festival in a few months.  Efforts for a Fall Harvest Festival fell short due to complications in the planning stage.  Hopefully all  the details have been ironed out.  The event having spanned more than one community complicated planning and time was need in order to be in compliance with regulations and ordinances of both communities. Being good citizens and respecting out neighbors comes first. We're looking forward to supporting them and participating with there efforts when the time is right and everybody is ready.

I'm am preparing a web story on our site and I am inviting you to come and visit us. We're looking for new and interesting ways to make your visit with us more enjoyable.  Your thoughts and contributions are always welcome and we can be reached on Facebook and comments on our blog.  Please feel free to join in.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween 2011

It's Halloween time again.

   Legend has it that All Hallow's Eve was a night when souls would walk the Earth and we would dress in costume to scare off the spirits.  It marks the Fall Harvest Season.
With Halloween come traditions.
    Guising  or Trick -or-Treating at Halloween in Scotland is in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.[2] 
Jack-o-Lanterns originated from the carving of turnips into lanterns was done to remember the souls in Purgatory.
   Guising was also known as Souling where in England and Ireland children would go from house to house singing and saying prayers for the dead.
   One of the origins of Souling may have come from the Christmas tradition of Wasseling.
 Here in Nanticoke, as most everywhere else, this is as well true. And perhaps a new tradition maybe being born.  Center Street in Nanticoke was a place for friends and neighbors to gather and celebrate one of the most popular holidays of the year. It was not intended as such but has become somewhat of a block party where you must come in costume and you must have fun.  The children may not understand the origins of the holiday and it it is not necessary.  But, if you do and if you choose to, it is time to celebrate the lives of those you have loved and lost in a spiritual, fun and happy way.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our book signing/Open house

Thank you everybody that came out in the intrepid weather for the Open House and Book Signing of  The Images of America Nanticoke.

 The pre-Halloween storm here in Nanticoke dropped between 3 and 5 inches of snow by 9:00p.m.,way too early for a mid fall day.  The leaves barely off the trees became wet and heavy.  The roads by 10:00a.m. when our doors opened, where only wet.  But, conditions quickly worsened.  In spite of the  terrible weather local Nanticoke Historians came and shared memories and experiences brought back threw the pages of Chet's book.

Your turn out for our event was unexpected considering the weather.  We were so pleased to see you and thank you for coming out. There was a variety of tee shirts, postcards, photos, calenders, previously published books, vintage yearbooks and other memorability available  for visitors.  Chet enjoyed visiting with visitors while signing their books and shared stories, answered questions and offered information about the photos in his book.  He encouraged visitors to contribute from their attics, closets and basements, vintage photos that chronicle the history of our town.  Chet pointed out that younger generations may not realize the value of the old photos and that they should be preservered and be shared so that we can understand where we came from and how we got to where we are. Again, Thank you for your generosity and patronage.   We are so grateful that you care and that we can enrich your memories and experiences.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Nuangola Grove Theatre- Honkey Tonk Angles

The Grove Theatre is located at the top of the Alden Mountain on Church Road about a mile from the Nuangola Exit #159 and is the home to Summer Stock Theatre productions. The Grove Theatre is not located in Nanticoke but is a close neighbor.  Dave Mitchell, who has an business office in the Hanover Section of Nanticoke is the son of Walter Mitchell and  Walter Mitchell is the director for Masque Productions and is presenting the Musical Honky Tonk Angles.

Honkey Tonk Angles is story of three woman who meet while traveling on a bus.  They tell each other personal stories of their lives and find common interest in music.  They decide to perform together and thus sets the story of a musical score of country music.  Walter Mitchell at the sound board directs Alice Lyons, Tammy Fallbright and Jessica Unice whom  offer a down right charming performance. The performance features a three piece band and offers live music rather than just a recorded sound track.
 Musical direction by Hollie Major & Kevin Holbert.

 The show will be presented Oct. 7,8,13,14,15 at 8P.M. and Oct. 9,15,16 at 3P.M. 

 Reservations are accepted 570.868.3582
Produced by Special Arrangement with Ted Swindle Productions 5177 Nuangola Rd, Nuangola Pa 18707

This feature video was recorded at a rehearsal at the Grove Theater.
Listen to Walter  Read about Theaters in Nanticoke

Friday, September 30, 2011

Luzerne County Community College Alumni Assoc. Fall Craft Fair

I'll be there so should you!
October 15 at the Campus of Luzerne County Community College 10AM TO 4 PM

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Harvest Festival 2011 at Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke November 12 th and 13th

The Nanticoke Historical Society is going to attend and assist at the Fall Harvest Festival at Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke.  The event sponsored by the South Valley Chamber of Commerce will feature paintball competition courtesy of Crazy Rabbit Paint Ball. It will take place at the the Historic Site  Concrete City.

Paint Ball Competition

 Updates and Corrections

As events unfold more detailed information will be available concerning gaming participants and vendor registration or  shuttle and parking information. Our  apologies, if we have caused you any inconvenience.

The Fall Harvest Festival
The Festival will feature vendors, exhibits and entertainment on the campus of Luzerne County Community College.  Additional details will be available as they unfold.

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sept 17 911 Ceremonies at Luzerne County Community College

It was a Saturday. The cool brisk morning of the 17th was the first fall like day of the late summer of 2011. The high puffy clouds against the blue sky made for a nearly perfect day and the day ahead of me that was about to unfold would be one to be remembered.

It was about 9:15am.  I parked in the lot B of Luzerne County Community College in anticipation of a day of reflection. As I approached the fire apparatus in place along the Prospect Street entrance of the campus, Nanticoke and Hanover Township were ready. Their long extension ladders would support a great American flag to honor the fallen of 9/11, 2001. The Nanticoke high school Marching Band was staged only a few yards from memorial and played patriotic music befitting for the occasion.

The ceremony was postponed a week due to Hurricane Lee's devastating flooding of much of the surrounding communities. But now, everyone was prepared. Dr.Karen Flannery of Luzerne County Community College hosted the event as Master of Ceremonies.  Speakers included Dr. Thomas Leary President Luzerne County Community College, Rev. Fr. Adam Sexton St. John's Russian Church Nanticoke Orthodox and member of Engine 4 Nanticoke Fire Department, Representative Gerald Mullery - 109th Legislative District and Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban. The National Anthem was sung by Student Susan Porter Allen.

The day honored the fallen of September 11, 2001. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center was placed at the Memorial Site adjacent to the new Fire Science Technology Training Center and the mother of fallen Firefighter Michael Scott Carlo NYFD placed a wreath in front of the Memorial.  Michael Scott Carlo perished at The World Trade Center’s Towers in 2001.

Commissioner Steve Urban spoke eloquently of the wife of a former Military colleague Colonial Oscar White. Colonial Whites wife Sandra worked as a budget analyst at the pentagon and perished as the result of acts of terror on 9/11.

Student Susan Porter Allen, in honor of a nephew who was injured in Afghanistan, a triple amputee, performed a song that she wrote.

Rev. Fr. Adam Sexton gave a closing benediction, the ceremony concluded and guests were invited for cake and refreshments at the adjacent Fire Science Center.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flood of Sept. 8, 2011

This would be the second highest river crest since the 1972 Agnes Flood.

  • A mandatory evacuation by 4:00 pm of low lying and
     flood plain areas has been ordered for the Wyoming Valley.
  •  Luzerne County Community College is open as an evacuation center
  •  County Commissioner Maryann Petrilla announces that the National Guard has mobilized in Nanticoke
  • At 4:00 pm WBRE closes the Wilkes-Barre Studio, power is being cut in downtown
  • Governor Corbett declares a Level 1 emergency.
  • At 4:00pm this day the Susquehanna is expected to crest at 40.8 feet by 2:00am at Wilkes-Barre. The levee system protects Wilkes-Barre to 41 feet.

Here, my video shows people gathering near Weiss's  both to shop and observe the highest water in Nanticoke preceding back before Agnes in '72.  This video shows water levels rising up to as far as the State Liquor Store, a helicopter assessing the damage (possibly Gov. Tom Corbett), various cleanup efforts and the emotional climate of the afternoon of Sept 9 2011.
 Faulty monitoring equipment erroneously reports river levels lower than they actually were.

Agnes 1972

I had been away from NE Pennsylvania from 1953 until 1974.  So, I didn't experience in person the ravage of Agnes in in 1972.  Living out in Milwaukee, I can remember National news casts and videos showing the destruction of the flood. Both my parents, natives of Nanticoke, kept up on the news of events in their old home town the best that they could through news papers and television and long distance phone calls to relatives back in Nanticoke.  At that time, being of  modest means, we only had broadcast television.  Even then, cable news networks such as CNN and MSNBC were either non existent or in early development.  News was what it was.

Remembering Eloise

 My family and I were fortunate enough not to be affected by flood waters as we lived outside of the flood plain. These photos dated May 26, 1975 were taken with my Kowa  6x6 MM Single Lens Reflex Camera and Tri-X 400 ASA Black & White film and processed in my make shift basement darkroom next to the furnace.

This photo was taken in Nanticoke down on Lower Broadway when old abandon homes still stood.
This photo shows the railroad tracks just before the Nanticoke bridge. You can see the railroad crossing guards in down position activated by the flood waters over the tracks.

This photo dated: May 26, 1975 as well shows the San Souci Parkway looking toward Nanticoke from the Hanover Mall.  Harold's Market is flooded.

The Sunoco filling station, just recently reopened after a good many years on the Parkway again shows the National Guard out to help with looting patrols and cleanup efforts.

The Rosedale, a popular hangout back then, takes on significant flooding.  the Exon station adjacent on the corner of the Dundee Road and the San Souci Parkway takes on water as well.

I would be very interested in your input.  If you have additional information or corrections to the information provided here please email me at

  I'll try my best to respect the copyrights of others and a lot of times just rely on memory for my facts.
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