Nanticoke Historical Society

Nanticoke Historical Society

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tony Brooks Luzerne County Historical Society Visits NHS

Building of Wilkes-Barre 250 years of local Architecture

Tony Brooks of the Luzerne County Historical Society gave a lecture and a slide presentation on the origins of  Wilkes-Barre Architecture at the Samantha Mill House, home of the Nanticoke Historical Society on Thursday March 29, 2012.

 Here is a resource, probably terribly under utilized simply because many people are unaware of it. Having gotten a last minute invitation to the lecture, I went in completely unaware of what was about to follow.  And, to my pleasant and unexpected surprise I found it to be entertaining and informative.  Anyone from the area interested in the history and beginnings of the  area would be fascinated by attending an event such as this.

Tony starts out with a brief explanation of the village of Wilkes-Barre, identifying well know streets by their original names and explaining how and why the changes came about.  He explains the progressions and changes through out the years,  the influences from people who came into the area who made their mark and what they brought with them and how changes came about.  The lecture then continues to identify different architectural influences on Wilkes-Barre, who introduced them, how it happened.

Because of the migration of people from Connecticut and Massachusetts the first influence on the architecture of the area were brought here by them.

Then other  influences were to follow:
saltbox New England Architecture influence
Philadelphia Style Gregorian Architecture
Tutor Revival English Influence
Greek Revival Greek Influence
Queen Ann Queen Ann Style Architecture
New York Styles Different styles of New York Influence

I'm not going to tell the whole story as I would not do it justice as Tony could.

Having been made aware of the the different styles of buildings around the city of Wilkes-Barre one can see the influences. Who brought them here?  You maybe surprised or maybe not.  A lot of the names that you are familiar with have deep roots and have left lasting impressions.  If you dig deep and research on your own you may find the answers. Or, you could visit the Luzerne County Historical Society and be pleasantly enlightened. The hard work has been done for you and is presented in a very fascinating and entertaining  way.

Two interesting slides in the presentation particularly caught my eye.  One was of the Wilkes-Barre Lehigh-Susquehanna Railroad Station.  I can remember as a child, perhaps in the late 1950's or early 1960's, while visiting home from out of town, actually arriving at the station while it was still in operation.  The second slide was about a particular building in Wilkes-Barre that honored  from Wilkes-Barre an artist of Native American Culture.  Having taken a day trip to Manhattan Island and  a short stay at Battery Park, I had discovered, quite by surprise, the George Catlin Museum just across the street honored an artist who was one in the same.

When in high school we took history classes not thinking of how it would effect our personal lives.
Think about your life and how it has been influenced by the places or events around you.  You may find a connection closer than you think.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Story of the month February 2012 Col. Edward C. Mack

This is a reprint of the story of the month for February 2012 on Nanticoke History  Our web site is a way for us to talk to you and our blog is a way for you to talk back to us. I try to find stories of interest about our area that you may not find on your own and post them here. If you have once lived here and moved away but would like to know a little about whats happening around town or the area, I will try to fill you in with what I find. 

From time to time we get reader feedback.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to allow you the reader to share your thoughts and stories in your own words about this article.  Please feel free to share your comments with us as we love to hear from you.  Your comments on this article as well as any other are welcome.

Lt./Col. Edward C. Mack
Edward C. Mack
Many residents of Nanticoke may not know that Mack Street was opened in 1959 and was named in honor of Col. Edward C. Mack, a Nanticoke native and WWII Veteran.
As early as high school, the youth distinguished his self by defeating a wrestler by the name of Joe Mott, who challenged all comers at a carnival in Lincoln Field.
Mack, a West Point graduate, was stationed with the US Army in the Panama Canal from 1931 to 1933 and then Fort Wadsworth.
Col. Mack was one of three soldiers from Nanticoke captured by the Japanese during WWII. The men were tortured and used as slave labor until the end of the war. Despite painful injuries after the surrender of Corregidor, he continued to help and minister to the troops of his command until his death as a prisoner of the Japanese. Joseph L. Stepanski, another Nanticoke native, later recalled that Col. Mack was “a fine soldier and gentleman.”

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