Monday, July 4, 2016

Answers from Trivia Night at the Sesquicentennial

Now that you've had a day to think about the questions, I now freely give you the answers.
Here is Lehighton's first chief of police, William Swartz.
He was killed by a rowdy and drunk youth of twenty-
two at the Carbon House that sat at the corner of
North and First Sts.  He left eight children when he was
shot in 1917.

~QUESTIONS POST: Here is the link back to the questions.  You could have a tab open with each post to go back and forth to.

~BACKGROUND STORY: From the twenty-five stop "Trolley Tour" to accompany the commemorative 150th book sold at the event.  If you missed out, the Lehighton Memorial Library will continue to sell these.

1. "C": Mayor Thomas Mase
2. D: Friday
3. D: 6 Parks.  The consensus was that the "Upper and Lower" parks count as one.  Baer Memorial, Skyline, and The Grove were definitely thought of as parks.  However, the new Rails-to-Trails Bike path trail-head was overlooked.  Also, included here is "Sixth and Coal Sts" athletic field.
4. A: $5 for a moving permit.
5. A: Basketball
6. B: Dr. Marvin Snyder
7. C: The Excelsior Marines was not a Lehighton Organization.  The Germania Saegerbund was located next to the "Academy" Building on southern First St.  The Loyal Order of Buffalo (L.O.O.B), Lehighton Herd #17 started in April of 1913 with Lehighton Press's David McCormick's father William, the Civil War Veteran, was the first chair. Applicants for membership had to "be of the Caucasian race and not less than eighteen years of age and more than fifty years of age."  Admission fee for the herd was $10 for 18 to 40 year olds and $15 for 41 to 50 year olds.  Fifty cents a month paid in a advance were the yearly dues.  Though they stated they were not an "insurance organization," payments were made to sick and disabled "brothers."  "No sick or death benefits shall be paid for illness or death resulting from immoral or intemperate habits of any Brother."  Along with the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) there were a total of nine secret societies in Lehighton as of 1890.
8. C: Field Hockey
9. B: the Lions
10. C: Miss Carbon County Pageant
11. A: Packerton Yard (Some thought this choice was wrong because it was technically out of the Borough limits.  The Baer Silk Mill at it's peak employed about 400 around 1915.  Scotty's Fashion was third and Blue Ridge Pressure Castings had a Lehighton payroll of less than 100.
12. A: ice cream
Jess Ripkey, Livi Frendt, Izzy Baka, and Sam Banning work the registration table from the LAHS Student Council.
13. C: Lehighton Hardware started in 1925.  Zimmerman's Dairy, though a long-time family farm in the Mahoning area, did not establish itself in Lehighton until after Gerstaluer's Dairy in the 1950s.  Gerstlauer's took over Small and Koch at the present day location of Zimmmerman's around 1934.  Blue Ridge Pressure Castings started in a warehouse on the Fair Grounds in the 1940s before moving to its present location after a fire.  Lehighton Hardware started by Mahlon Kistler Sr and William F. Hamilton started on First St and moved to Second St after a 1963 fire.
14. D: Count Zinzendorf himself oversaw the selection of the site at the mouth of the Mahoning Creek for his group of hard-working Moravian missionaries.
15. D: Kleintop's Diner was located at the bottom of Ninth St where the "fotune teller" single-wide is today.  One of the Kleintop boys was the recently deceased Paul Kleintop that ran Normal Square Inn in the 1990s and early 2000s before retiring to become a Carbon County Community Transit bus driver. His specialty and my favorite: Vienna Onion Roast.  Melted in one's mouth!

Parting gift Question: Lehighton has about 155 fire hydrants in the Borough limits.
The Brights Department Store credit card.  Brights put
Lehighton's Cohen Department Store out of business
partly by providing free bus transportation to its Lansford
Store in the 1950s.  Later, Brights bought out Cohen's less
than a year after starting this program.  Brights also
provided a free Mother's Day luncheon for all its female
shoppers.  As for how they procured the finest items?
Lehighton purchasing agents were often flown to
Newark New Jersey for buyers meetings sometimes
up to two to three times a week, employing local pilots
like Mr. Walp from South Street to fly out of Lehighton's
own airstrip off Ninth St at the Fairgrounds.

Round #2:
16. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, is still a leader in the manufacture of specialty parts for the automotive industry.  Knepper Airplane Parts building is now a hospital auxiliary building, the Hersh Iron Foundry closed many years ago while Blue Mountain Machine has recently become a leading producer of mobility chairs.
17. A: An escalator and an elevator.  Bright's had style.  Once it moved to the Carbon Plaza Mall in 1976 (it occupied the Mahoning Valley Cinema down to and including Big Lots) it also opened their own "Hess Brother's"-styled restaurant.  They also provided their own store credit card like the large stores like Macy's and JC Penny's.
18. C: W. Melvin "Mush" Moyer and Earl Haupt formed "Moyer and Haupt" in 1945.  They sold their dealership to the Bennett group in 1986.  Mush Moyer formed a orchestra known as the Lehightonians from 1928 to 1942.  They started their American Motors dealership in 1957.
19. D. Serfas Motors (used just one final 's') was located on Iron St at the alley behind the former Classic Theater/Times News Building.  The fire occurred in May of 1918.  The current building was built sometime after this date and was once occupied by Moyer and Haupt before they moved to First St.
20. B: Dave Warner, son of Dave "Pap" Warner from North Eighth Street was a three year letter winner at Syracuse and tried out for the Eagles before getting cut.
21. D: Colonial Court reviled Asa Packer's mansion as the grandest of Carbon County homes.  It burned to the ground in 1916 and was catty-corner from the Grove.
22. A: 1940.
23. B: about 6,500.
24. C: about 40 degrees north latitude.
25. D: Lewis Dunbar.  It was later taken over by Mel Gilham who moved it from Fourth St to the bypass in the 1980s.  It continues today under the ownership of Craig and Jennifer Gilham, Mel's son.  Lewis enlisted in Ohio and that is where he married his wife who was from that state.  By 1930, his mother-in-law moved here to Lehighton and lived with Lewis and his wife.
26. C: Moravians first came here to live in 1746.  Therefore our birth as a town goes to 1866, but our founding was in 1746.
These placards were used in the southern section of town
during Lehighton's 1903 outbreak.  This one was from 1916
Lehighton Board of Health.
27. D: Baer went home to New Jersey to visit his parents and siblings.  It wasn't apparent until he reached home that their unknown malady they were starting with was smallpox.  This was part of a larger outbreak in many major northeastern cities at that time.
28. A: Orville Shoemaker was from Lehighton, made a go of this business first in Allentown before resettling back here and making Lehighton "Grandma's Chips" permanent home, north and opposite of the Legion Home, next to the home of James and Shirley Wentz.
29. C: Semanoff's grocery store was on the corner of Fourth and Iron Sts, most recently well-known as Marshall's Meat Market.  This iconic Lehighton building is the last of many that once had a porch overhang roof over the sidewalks in front.  This is an ideal bus stop location for kids bused to the western end of town today.
30. A: Denny Semmel.  Made it to the NCAA championship round in the national wrestling tournament for West Point.  He is currently a fifth grade math teacher at Lehighton.

Parting Gift Question: The first bridge between Weissport and Lehighton was built in 1804.

1. Jim Thorpe - Lehighton was led by point guard Randy Rabenold while his father Randolph Rabenold was Jim Thorpe's assistant coach.  Lehighton went on to win twenty-one games in a row to earn an undefeated season in the inaugural Centennial League of 1976.
2. Thomas Kresge, brother to Steve and Greg who themselves also fine Lehighton players.  Son of Russell and Donna Kresge.
3. Betty Mullen Brey - Her son is the current Notre Dame Men's Basketball coach, their winningest coach in their history.
4. Hughie Jennings played here before going off on a Hall of Fame career as a major league player and coach.  He was from Pittston and a lawyer by trade.
This picture of an unidentified wreck at the Lehighton Fair certainly matches what is known of the two fatalities from September 6, 1958.  It was said that there was only a light wooden picket fence.  According to newspaper accounts these wrecks occurred about an hour apart.  However, according to the death certificates of Shirley George of Trachsville and of Dennis Mertz of Bankway, the time of injury was listed for both at 3:30 PM.  Mertz died of "severe shock" and internal injuries ("mutilated left leg and thigh") while the George died of a "fractured neck" along with internal injuries ("compound fracture of the left hip").   This picture confirms the lore of what I heard in my youth, inevitably came up anytime an adult was nearby whenever we were climbing the trees near the chicken house near the horse stables.  Thanks to Roy Mertz who helped with these details.

5. Stock-car racing.  There were two fatalities in two separate accidents.  Eleven year old Dennis Mertz of Mahoing Valley was in a tree and seventeen year old Shirley George of Palmerton was pinned to a tree on September 6, 1958 at the Lehighton Fair.

1. Franz Kline.  His works are in most every major museum in the world.  He was known to come home, especially for fair week, in his grey Ferrari.  He came to Lehighton with his mother, after his father killed himself over a sour real estate deal on the family hotel prorperty he first sold and then tried to reclaim.  Franz was a handsome young man who excelled in sports too.  He was known to punt the football bare-footed.
2. The Lehighton Fair was first located in the vicinity of First Ward school at Fourth and Alum Sts in the 1870s to the 1890s.
3. Boston.  Moxie executives wanted to 'modernize' the recipe to the resistance of the Lehighton bottlers.  The coporation closed the Lehighton bottler as a result of this disagreement.
4.  Fred Horlacher ran a bottling works at First and Bridge Sts.  After he moved to Allentown, Horlacher Beer had a large and loyal customer base in the Northeast, especially after son George took it over.
5. Dennis "Denny" Seiwell is a brother to Darryl Seiwell of the locally popular "Becky and the Beasts."

1. Three: Gnaden Hutten, Lehighton, and the Ss Peter and Paul Cemetery at the end of North Fourth St.
2. There were fourteen people employed in cigar making in Lehighton in 1880.  Two of which were women who were "tobacco strippers" the one facet of the industry reserved for women.  Painters was the next group with eleven, followed by five ministers, four doctors and three barbers.
3. Constitution Avenue is the short block in front of the Municipal Building.
4. Armando Gallasso.
5. Lonnie Armbruster.

1. "Ev-Ko" was formed from Mel Everett and Paul Koch's last names.  Their partnership dissolved after a fire with Mel keeping the furniture line of the business and Koch continuing with the appliance line of their business on Coal St, eventually expanding to Palmerton and Bowmanstown.
2. Hammel's Store.  Prior to becoming a merchant, Hammel worked at the New Jersey Zinc and later in the Packerton Shops while working part-time as a vaudeville magician.  A fact that attests to his carrying of small magic tricks.
3. Owned and operated both the Lehighton Hotel (at the corner of Main Lane and First St) and the Hotel Carbon (at the corner of North and First Sts).  The Mandours owned the Hotel Lehighton until it was demolished to become the Lehighton Elderly Hi-Rise.
This picture was taken just south of the intersection of Fourth and Iron Sts.  Though he ran bread for George A. Strohl's Lehighton Bakery, Cal with his currently hip 'man-purse' shows his comical side with his outward turned foot, on a truck bearing his name.  His hard work eventually manifested itself in "Haas' Store" at Fifth and Coal Sts, Lehighton's longest running family run corner grocery store.
4. Cal Haas opened the store in the early 1930s.  His son Robert took it over in the 1960s until 1998.  TV-13 used a picture of Cal on his George Strohl Bakery Truck in their promotional introduction to the parade.  Cal ran at least three bakery routes, selling five cent loaves of bread, to earn enough money to start his own store.  He was my grandfather and Robert was my uncle.
5. Henry Bretney.  Son of the Dine Bank Cashier and related to the Bretney Photography studio, Henry Bretney's character lives on in the many who knew him.  He was a close friend of Franz Kline.  A painting Kline gave Bretney can be viewed at the Lehighton Memorial Library.

1.  Mary Strohl, who along with her sister Karen Reichard, the borough police secretary paired up to compete in Trivia Night.  Both Mary and her son Steven were "150 Club" members.
2. Lehighton Area Pool Pals, who was headed up by Citizen of the Century and Shade Tree Committee member Mark Hoffman among many others.
3. Patrick Mriss, brother of assistant chief Michael Mriss.
4. Henry Long, who's Perseverance Jazz Band played immediately following Trivia Night.
5. Frank Kuhn.  A former Laneco Store Manager, Frank fulfilled a dream of one day owning his own store.

The final contestants were given a choice between an open-ended question and a question that was more "cut and dry."  They unanimously decided to go the shorter route.  It was "Name the streets and alleys that were named after people.  The team of Mriss and Young had the most at eight of the twelve.

They had Dunbar Alley ,Grant Alley, Hamilton St, Sgt Stanely Hoffman Blvd, Blakslee Blvd, Lentz Ave, Stedman Ave, and Graver St.  They missed Ebbert's Park, Willard St, Lentz Alley, and Penn Ave.

The open-ended response was going to involve judging from the audience.  Contestants would have been given ninety seconds to explain why they loved their hometown.

There were sixteen "Battle Questions" developed for this game that went unused.  Some of them are presented here for information purposes.

#1. Borough Council: Had a contestant felt knowledgeable of the seven current council member names, they could have selected this question and chosen another competitor to 'battle' against.  The person who gives the last correct answer wins.  Given that there are seven names, the person initiating this question should have chosen to go first.  They then should have said the most familiar of the names, such as "Grant Hunsicker."  The other person would then given another valid name such as Sesquicentennial Committer person "Helen Torok."  This would continue back and forth until all the names were used or someone couldn't give another name.  Remaining members are: Scott Rehrig, Lehighton firefighter Joe Flickinger, Lisa Perry, Darryl Arner, and Jared McEvoy.

#2. "Women": There have only ever been four women to serve on Borough Council.  Two of them are currently serving.  The others were Melissa Ebbert Wagner and longtime councilperson and mayor's wife Bessie Bauchspies.

#3. "Homes": This one was tricky.  Working backward, name the current to the previous owners of the Funeral Home at Third and Alum Sts: Corey and Rebecca Schaeffer, Ken Phifer (1988-1998), William Garrett (1947-1988), Wendell Swartz (1944 to 1947), and John S. Lentz.  All but Lentz used the home as a funeral home.  Lentz was yardmaster at the Packerton Shops.

#4. "Papers": Name all the newspapers that once operated in Lehighton.  I wont give you the answer here, but there were at least five of them.

#5. "Streets": Name all the streets and alleys named after people.  This question was used in lieu of the open-ended essay question discussed earlier.

#6. "Streets": Name the streets and alleys named after trees.  All but two are alleys.  However the two that are named 'streets' are actually nothing more than the width of an alley: Birch Alley, Cedar St, Cherry Alley, Cypress St,  Maple Alley, Peach Alley, and Poplar alley.

#7. "Chiefs": Name the last twelve (and most likely only) police chiefs of Lehighton.  Our first known police chief,  William Swartz was also our only patrolman lost in the line of duty in 1917.  He left eight children.    Next came Mark Blank who would later become a U.S. Marshall in Scranton.  Then Harry Yenser who died of a heart-attack at the wheel of his squad car in front of the Municipal Building in 1947.  Then it was Lee Walsh, Bill Kunkle (contestant and public works supervisor Kris Kunkle's father), Lionel Cote,  Edward Hutto (who killed himself outside his wife's church because of his concern with her apparent close relationship with its minister), Frederick Scott, Dennis Wentz, Matt Bender, Neil Ebbert and currently Brian Biechy.

#8. "Streets": This one was discussed at the beginning of the 'question' post.  If I could have done it again, I would have chosen this question as the Final Jeopardy questions: Name the streets and alleys that are named after industrial elements: Carbon Alley, Carbon St, Ochre St, Coal St, Iron St, and Alum St.

The remaining categories will simply be listed here in an effort to save them for another Trivia Night in the future.

#9. Name the original first four numbered streets in Lehighton (they obviously weren't always just numbers).
#10. Sports: Name the members of the 1975 to 1977 (two-years) of Lehighton boys basketball team.  The 1976 team won the Centennial League and the 1977 matched that but also won the District 11 title.
#11. Name Lehighton's Furniture Stores, including appliances.
#12. Clothiers and Department Stores
#13. Family named restaurants.
#14. Gas Stations: Must give the owners name, not simply "Exxon."
#15. Pharmacy: Again must give the owners name.
#16. Garment/Silk Mills.

What's Next for Lehighton History Here?  For the remainder of this year, this blog will feature mainly Lehighton stories.  There will be one more post on trivia questions as well as at least one post focusing on Lehighton's mayors and police chiefs.

Thanks for visiting!

Questions from Trivia Night at the Sesquicentennial

The Top Five Teams sweat out the last "Jeopardy" question: Name all the streets and alleys named after people?  From the Left: Deb and Kris Kunkle, Steve "Hogan" Ebbert, Mike Mriss and Jimmy Young, and Justin Markell and Scott Nothstein.  Off frame to the left was Nancy Shaffer.  Contestants could compete alone or in pairs.  The Lehighton Fire Department Brothers of the Brush were well represented.  Scorekeeper was Nate Rabenold.  (A full list of contestants are listed at the end of this post.)  Trivia Night photos are courtesy of Lisa Hopstock photography.  Click here for her website.
Lehighton was the world's gateway to the industrial revolution.  As one step from the coal transport hub of Mauch Chunk, many saw the town's industrial potential.

Parryville had Carbon Iron Works.  The Beaver Meadow Railroad was the first rail-line in Carbon County, originating in 1830.  Not to mention the paint pigments mined in the Bowmanstown area in the 1800s.  The Lehigh Valley Railroad sourced through town in 1855 and Lehighton's Packerton Yard became its main repair facility.

For other Lehighton posts:

A testament to the area's industrial past comes from this 1851 article
about a powder mill in Mahoning Township owned by the Dormetzger
~Lehighton Sesquicentennial: The Pioneers and the Promise

~Lehighton Sesquicentennial Trivia Night Introduction and sample questions

So it is little wonder with America's industrial apotheosis can be directly connected to the coal and iron that came through town.  Evidence of the promise of our town is shown in the naming of five of our streets: Carbon Street, Ochre Street, Coal Street, Iron Street, and Alum Street.

On the second last night of the eight-day Sesquicentennial Celebration this week, eighteen teams squared off in a trivia contest that answered questions about our town and our proud history.

Over 100 questions were developed, however only about forty-five were used.  This will be the first of two posts written on this trivia.  Following here will be the questions as posed Friday night.  However the answers to them will appear in the next post, giving the reader a chance to test themselves.

Besides the committee members like Autumn Abelovsky and Duane Dellecker, the Trivia Night would not have been possible without the volunteer help of many individuals: Rosanne Klotz Hoats, Nate Rabenold, Lori Stubits, Rachel Quinn, Kim Rabenold, Kathy Rhoads Long, Angela Tobash, Olivia Frendt, Izabella Baka, Samantha Banning, Jess Ripkey, Dane Frantz, Nate Petit-Clair, Nathan Kemmerer, Jake Petit-Clair, Alyssa Stubits and Kennedy Quinn.
Hosting of the event at the Amphiteahter
were Ronald Rabenold and Kathy Rhoads Long.
Courtesy Hopstock Photo.

The focus of the second post will be to cover the information contained within the questions that were not used.  All 100 questions (with answers) as well as competitor names will be sealed into the time-capsule bench in front of borough hall to be opened in 2066.  I'll be ninety-nine, and judging from the current state of my mind, I am certain all this material will be fairly absent from my mind by then.

1. Who is the current mayor of Lehighton?
A. Scott Rehrig, B. Grant Hunsicker, C. Thomas Mase, D. Cap Bauchspies

2. What day is garbage day in Lehighton?  A. Tuesday, B. Wednesday, C. Thursday, D. Friday

3. How many parks does Lehighton have?
A. 3, B. 4, C. 5, D. 6 - (This question was thrown out due to a discrepancy on what a 'park' is...I didn't count "Sixth and Coal" but I can see how many disagreed.)

4. How much does a moving permit cost in Lehighton?  A. $5, B. $10, C. $15, D. $25

5. What Lehighton sports team won the 1977 and 1987 District 11 Title?
A. Basketball, B. football, C. Cross Country, D. wrestling

6. Nominated for “Citizen of the Century,” this man was one of the last doctors to still make house calls:
A. Dr. Owen Snyder, B. Dr. Marvin Snyder, C. Dr. Alvin Reber, D. Dr. R. Scholl

7. Which one of the following is NOT an actual benevolent Lehighton organization?
A. International Order of Odd Fellows, B. Loyal Order of Buffalo,
C. The Excelsior Marines, D.  Germania Saengerbund ("Zanger-bund")

8. What Lehighton sports team is the only one to win a state championship?
A. Cross Country, B. Tennis, C. Field Hockey, D. Wrestling
(Though the gymanstic team led by teachers Lewis Ginder and Mildred Obert won regionally at least four years in a row which included a trip to Pittsburgh and competed in a national invitational in 1935.  Mildred was the granddaughter of town meat-packer Joe Obert and Lewis Ginder was a respected teacher, football coach and along with his wife, ran the popular "Camp Chickawaukee" summer program.)
Obert married George Fritzinger of Mauch Chunk in 1936.
He graduated from Bucknell with an engineering degree
and worked for PP & L.  Obert attended LHS and Sargent
School of Physical Education in Cambridge Mass as well
as doctoral studies at Columbia Universtiy.  She was well
traveled to places in Europe as well as our west coast.

9. In the 1950s, this civic group started a fundraising campaign to fund the Lehighton Memorial Library:
A. the Masons, B. the Elks, C. the Lions, D. Loyal Order of Buffalo  (Remember the gumball machines with Ford gum?  That was the original of these gumball machines is still in use at the Lehighton Boulevard Drive-in.)

10. The Lehighton Lions also sponsored what annual event starting back as far back as 1949.  It continued at the Lehighton Fair into the 1980s.
A. Bicycle races, B. Demolition derby, C. Miss Carbon County pageant, D. pie-eating contest

11. Which of these Lehighton businesses was known to employ the most people:
A. The Packerton Yard, B. Scotty’s Fashions, C. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, D. Baer Silk Mill

12. Which of the following could you purchase at Kirkendall’s on South Second Street?
A. ice cream, B. bicycles, C. shoe repair, D. tombstones

13. Which of these current Lehighton businesses has operated the longest:
A. Zimmerman’s Dairy, B. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, C. Lehighton Hardware, D. Dunbar Bottling (Hint: This question may also be open for discussion as the Zimmerman's Dairy first started in Mahoning Valley, those years were not included in this logic, so this question too should have been thrown out.  Of "B," "C," and "D," the correct business was started in 1925.)

14. Though this is the 150th year of its incorporation as a borough, Lehighton was actually founded prior to the Revolutionary War, over 250 years ago.  Who founded this first settlement?
A. Col. Jacob Weiss, B. Ben Franklin, C. George Whitfield of Nazareth, D. Moravian Missionaries

15. Who made the tastiest chicken in all of Lehighton, known as “chicken in the rough?”
A. Your mother, B. the Boulevard, C. Getz’s, D. Kleintops

This ended round one and we had to say goodbye to our lowest scoring teams.  Before they left the were given the chance at a “parting gift” question:
Approximately, how many fire hydrants does the borough of Lehighton have?
A. Less than 50, B. 50-100, C. 100-150, D. More than 150 (Contestants did not get choices to pick from.  The winner of a Sesquicentennial mug was Tanner Eckman.)

The top 15 teams advanced to the next round.

Round Two:
16. Which Lehighton business once produced the iconic and highly sought after 'Hurst' shifter handle:
A. Hersh Iron Foundry (down on the 'flats') B. Knepper Airplane Manufacturer (Iron St)
C. Blue Mountain Machine(originally started at Graver’s Pool) D. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings

17. What store in downtown Lehighton was the first and only business  in Carbon County to have both an elevator and escalator:
A. Brights’ Dept Store, B. Cohen’s, C. Greenberger’s, D. G.C. Murphy

18. This auto dealer was first on Iron St, then moved to First St, and lastly on Route 443:
A. Hahn & Son, B. Kovatch, C. Moyer and Haupt, D. Serfas Motors

19. This early auto dealer suffered a devastating fire in May of 1918:
A. Hahn & Son, B. Otto Kropf Studebaker, C. Moyer and Haupt, D. Serfas Motors

20. This Lehighton man had a stand-out football and basketball career at Lehighton, became the quarterback at Syracuse University and is presently offensive coordinator at Michigan State University.
A. Pete Barclay, B. Dave Warner, C. Tom Kresge, D. John Armbruster
Not only did T. A. Snyder buy the Michigan State building, but other
buildings from the Pan-Am Expostiion in Buffalo New York were brought
here to create a resort area of the Flgstaff Mountain in an effort to build
ridership on his trolley line.  Click here for more on Snyder.

21. Theodore A. Snyder bought a mansion at the Pan American Exposition and had it reassembled near the Grove and was considered our grandest home until it burned.  The home was called:
A. Windmere, B. Builtmore, C. Mahoning Court, D. Colonial Court

22. Which of the following year was Lehighton said to have reached its peak population:
A. 1940, B. 1960, C. 1970, D. None of these

23. What was Lehighton’s peak population:
A. 5,500, B. over 6,500, C. Over 7,000, D. Over 8,000

24. Lehighton lies on this line of north latitude of the equator:
A. About 25, B. 35, C. About 40, D. 55

25. This Lehighton bottler died in 1945.  He was overweight and one inch too short to be enlisted in WWI.  But after hanging around the recruiting station for over a month, his “mirthful spirit” caught the eye of a major and they took him overseas.  
A. Mahlon Kistler, B. Eugene Baer , C. Eugene Small, D. Lewis Dunbar

(Lewis Dunbar was a wagon driver a confections business in the 1920s and up to the 1930s.  He wanted to enlist in WWI, but was an inch short (5'3") and was about 100 pounds overweight.  He didn't take 'no' for an answer.  Living in Ohio and married to a local girl there at that time, he hung around the recruiting station for a month until finally a major couldn't resist his “mirth” and humor.  He attended a 1935 national Legionaries' convention and made the papers as the nations heaviest veteran at 285 pounds, with a 65 inch waist (at 63 tall!).  Naturally plagued with illness including diabetes, he died of a coronary in 1945 at the age of 56.)
From the 1931 LHS yearbook.

26. What was the year of Lehighton’s first founding by the Moravians?
A. 1707, B. 1737 (year of Thomas Penn’s Walking Purchase), C. 1746, D. 1755 
Joseph Semanoff was a veteran of WWII in
the 101st Airborne and was Carbon's
state representative to the General Assemply.
 His son Gene served in the Air Force and
Gene's son Peter is a Captain
 in the Army today.  Gene's daughter
Major Alison serves as an Army doctor.
Another son of Joe Semanoff, Greg, did
two tours in Vietnam with the combat
engineers.  Greg's son, Mike Semanoff, was
in the 82nd Airborne in the 1990s.
27. This Lehighton business man was said to have accidentally brought smallpox into the community in 1903 causing a general quarantine of southern Lehighton:
A. James Blakslee, B. Moses Heilman, C. Theodore Snyder, D. Eugene Baer

28. Who made Lehighton’s famous “Grandma’s Potato Chips” on Bridge St:
A. Orville Shoemaker, B. Gordon Bennett, C. George Freeby, D. Mel Gilham

29. Prior to representing Carbon County as our state representative in the 1970s, what was the profession of Lehighton’s Joseph Semanoff?
A. mechanic, B. teacher, C. grocery store owner, D. hotel owner

30. Who was a state qualifier in wrestling and went onto West Point and finished as a NCAA National Runner-up in college.  He is currently a teacher in Lehighton: 
A. Denny Semmel, B. Rick Long, C. Charlie Bachert, D. Dave Warner

After this question, only the top five teams remained to play a round of "Jeopardy."  All five of these teams scored at least twenty points, the highest advancing team had twenty-five points.  The topics were: "Sports," "Famous," "Borough," "Corner 'Stores'," and "Current Events."  
Even though it was a "Jeopardy" board, Alyssa and Kennedy worked as "Vanna White's" removing category markers during game play.  Courtesy of Hopstock Photo.

There were five questions in each category numbered in graduated difficulty from one to five.  These points were added to previously earned points.  Not all the questions were selected, but all of them are listed here.  Questions that were not used in competition will be marked with an '*.'
Guided by Mildred Obert and Lewis Ginder, the Lehighton Gymnastics teams of the early 1930s went unbeaten in
regional competition and even went onto compete nationally.

*#1. The 1976 Boys Basketball team went undefeated in the inaugural Centennial League, winning 21 games before losing in Districts.  However, they lost their season-opener to whom?     

*#2. What Lehighton athlete sits in the Top 70 scorers of all time in Pennsylvania Basketball history with 2,234 points, this was in a 1980s career without the 3-point line.  (#63 on the list is Wilt Chamberlain!)

#3. This Olympic athlete from Weissport held the world-record in the butterfly and trained at Graver’s Swimming pool.
#4. This man once played for Lehighton’s semi-pro baseball teams in the late 1890s for $5 a game eventually made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  (He was a lawyer by trade from Pittston and was known to have entered to words into our lexicon: "Atta-boy" when someone does a good thing as well as "Ee-yah!"  He was known as an incessant picker of grass from his first base coaching post.  Made the Hall for his managing, coaching, and playing.)
A family of fair-goers in the early 1960s.
The photo, from the Morning Call archives
of Ralph Kreamer lists "Mr and Mrs
Thomas German with daughter
Brenda Dianne.
#5. What sport came to an end in the borough with the two fatalities in two separate incidents at the Carbon Fair?

Franz Kline had a little fun drawing this sketch in the 1931 LHS yearbook describing a day in November when he and Harold Rabenold took a day off for "nature study."  Using some Pennsylvania Dutch humor of "I vonder vare dot rabbit vent to."
#1. Arguably the most famous person to come out of Lehighton, he was best known for his abstract art, he painted the Legion mural.
In addition to Dunbar Bottling, there
was also Ripkey's "Carbon Bottling
Works" in the alley
of South Ninth between Iron and
Ripkey carried Horlacher's that
got it start with father and son
Fred and George at Bridge
and First Sts Lehighton before
moving to Allentown.
#2. Lehighton’s Fair was well-known state-wide.  Where was it in the 1870s-1890s?
 #3. Lehighton Moxie outsold Coca-cola in the early 1900s.  In the 1930s and 1940s Lehighton was one of two places this soda was produced.  Name the other city.        
*#4. This regionally famous beer got its start at Lehighton’s First and Bridge Streets in the late 1800s/early 1900s with father and son Fred and George.
#5. Most widely known for playing drums with Paul McCartney’s “Wings,” this Lehighton native also played for Janis Joplin, James Brown, Art Garfunkel, and Billy Joel.

In what only can be described as
a bizarre piece of news, William
Hammel was threatened by a lynch
mob for his refusal to buy a war
bond even though the drive was
over.  It is unknown if his decision
was based on economics or some
other objection.
#1. How many cemeteries are there in the borough?
#2. In 1880, which occupation was claimed by the most Lehighton residents?   Doctors, barbers, cigar makers, ministers, or painters?
#3. Name the shortest street in town.
#4. Who is the current supervisor of the Lehighton Water Authority?
#5. Who is the current supervisor of the Power Dept?
CORNER "STORES" (not just stores):
*#1. Koch and Everett partnered in furniture and appliances at the site of the former Trainer’s Grocery Store at Third and Cypress.  What was their business called?
#2. The steep hill of Coal St is named after this business.
     (As a bonus questions, give William Hammel's occupation before he started his store?)
#3. The Mandour family (Joe, Ed, George) ran what two well-known Lehighton businesses on two different downtown corners. 
*#4. Larry Markley’s Nationwide Insurance agency is the current site of a corner grocery store, Lehighton’s longest family run grocery store, into 1998.
#5. Who ran an Atlantic gas station on the corner of 7th and Mahoning from the 1930s to the 1980s?

#1. Who is Lehighton’s tax collector?
#2. Name the organization that saved the Lehighton Baer Memorial Pool?
#3. Who is Lehighton’s Fire Chief?
#4. Who is the longtime bugler for the UVO, cemetery care-taker, and well-known for his Perseverance jazz band? (His band played in the amphitheater following Trivia Night.)
Son of a silk mill owner in New Jersey,
Baer's son Carlos married Florence Teets.
It was Carlos who arranged for the lands of
southwest Lehighton to be made into a
recreational area.  Carlos and Florence were
uncle and aunt to current town resident
Carlos Teets.
*#5. Who is the current owner of Mallard Markets?
The Contestants:  (Occupations were listed for purposes of the historical records to be entered into the Time Capusle.)
#1 - Danny Stubits – Retired
#3 Olivia Frendt and Jess Ripkey - Students
#6 Tanner Eckman
#15 Suzy and Lyle Cordes – Teacher and child/student (daughter of Lehighton Electronics Austin Blew)
#20 – James Young/Michael Mriss – HVAC Technician/OPS Mgr & Asst Fire Chief - FIRST PLACE FINISHERS
#22 Susan Cook/Jordan Cook – Wilkes College & LAHS Student
#24 – Justin E Markell & Scott Nothstein – Senior 911 Dispatcher/Equipment operator - TOP FIVE FINISHER
#27 – Mary Strohl & Karen Reichard (Snyder sisters) – Lehighton Tax collector and Borough police secretary
#29 – Nathan Kemmerer & Jake Pettit-Clair -  LAHS Students (They marked “Hoodlums” as their occupation!)
#32 – Nancy L. Shaffer – retired - TOP FIVE FINISHER
#44 – Sam Banning and Isabella Baka – Students LAHS
#69 – Duane and Barb Dellecker
#46 – Nick and Logan Yaro – Students
#50 – Nicole Beckett – Borough Manager
#55- Jean Everett – Retired bank teller
#57 – Kris&Deb Kunkle/Superintendent of Public Works - SECOND PLACE FINISHERS
#60 Dane Frantz and Matt Pettit-Clair – Students

Answers will appear in the next blog post in a few days!

All of the Top 5 contestants can be seen in this photo: Nancy Shaffer, Deb and Kris Kunkle, Steve Ebbert, Michael and Jim Young, and Justin Markell and Scott Nothstein.  Mriss & Young finished first followed by the Kunkles and Ebbert.

This picture was used by TV-13 for their parade coverage intro and is my favorite picture of my grandfather who founded Haas' Store in the early 1930s. 
Cal Haas' son Robert at the meat counter in the middle 1970s.  Bobboy took over the store in the 1960s and ran it until 1998.
Add caption

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lehighton Sesquicentennial Trivia Night

Trying to enjoy all the intriguing events of this week is tough to do.  The Trolley Tour on Saturday, the Cemetery Tour last night and the parade and fireworks coming up Saturday are among the many highlights, not to mention the talent show, various contests, and of course the variety of musical performances each night.

One of my favorite Lehighton pictures:
Chief of Police (most likely Harry Yenser) and
then Mayor William J Zahn chat in our business district.
Zahn served as Chief Burgess from 1934 to 1941.  Chief Yenser
modernized the department by adding new technology necessary to combat
the "gangster" 1930s: a teletype machine, a .45 cal machine gun, and
bulletproof glass in the windshield of the patrol car.  Most work
was still done on foot and even horseback into the 1930s.
The department also owned a motorcycle as early as 1929.

I have a two fold reason for sharing this post to those interested in the Trivia Night this Friday, July 1st from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Amphitheater: To give a sampling of some of the questions and also to give a rundown of how the contest will work.

No matter what your level of Lehighton knowledge is, you will be rewarded by attending this event.  Not only will you learn tidbits you never knew existed, but by competing you will achieve a shred of immortality: All competitor's names will be placed in the Time Capsule at week's end along with all the questions and answers.

This was the Lehighton Airport dedication day, on July 20 and 21, 1929 (photographer is facing the homes on Ninth Street).  Pictured here is Mahlon Kistler Sr (4th from left).  It is unclear if Jensen is in this picture.  Other dignitaries attending the event were Governor Fisher and National Labor Secretary Davis.  Jensen was born in Kansas but also
lived in Harrisburg in the 1930s.  One article stated that he was a former resident of our town.
So let's start with a few sample questions that didn't make the cut.

Sample #1: Martin Jensen was the second person in the world to fly from California to where?  (Answers will appear at the end of this article.  Jensen took his $10,000 of prize money from the Dole fruit company to invest it in Lehighton's airfield.  At least 15 other crews attempted this feat, most of those ended fatally.)

Now that could be hard for some folks?  Well first of all, this one is so tough I threw it out.  Also, the first three rounds are all multiple choice.  So is it: A. Jamaica, B. Spain, C. Iwo Jima, D. Hawaii?

An attempt was made to make the questions begin with some relative ease.  Given freely here are some hints at a few of them: "What day does this certain weekly event take place in Lehighton?"  "What is the fee the town charges for someone applying for a ______ permit?" etc.

Sample question #2: Although this is Lehighton's 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a borough, what group originally founded here many years before?  

#3: Give the year of Lehighton's founding by this group.  (Again this is multiple choice in the first three rounds.)

#4: Name one thing you could buy at Karl Shaeffer's store on First St?
Karl "Smotz" Schaeffer ran a novelty
store in downtown Lehighton for years,
here in World War II.

There will be questions about the lives of some of the people nominated for "Citizen of the Century."  #5: He was among the last doctors to still make house calls?  #6: Who are the current owners of the Eugene Baer Silk Mill on Bridge St? etc, etc.

Here's How it will Work:
You can go it alone or pair up with a partner to become a dynamic duo.

Let's say we have 50 teams competing.  You will have a 50% chance of advancing based on how well you do on the first fifteen questions of Round One.  At the end of Round One, only the top 25 teams will advance.

There are lucky-guess tie-breaker questions to help sort out ties if needed.  Here's one: Name (guess) the year Ben Franklin came to Weissport to build a fort.  Or how about guess the number of fire hydrants there are in town.  Person's getting it on the nose will advance.  If no one answers it correctly, the closest without going over will advance. 

Easy right?

Here's an interesting question that was eliminated because it was too hard: Name the Lehighton Chief of Police who died of natural causes at the wheel of his patrol car in 1947?  (See sample answer #6 below).
Mark Blank was Chief of Police prior to
Harry Yenser in the 1930s.  He later became a
US Marshall in Scranton.  In 1929 he was
seriously wounded in a head-on collision on
a motorcycle on the "Mahoning Trail."
The force did have a motorcycle in its livery
at the time.

Round Two and another fifteen questions (they are getting harder now) will have the top fifteen teams advancing to Round Three.  After Round Three, we will have just the top five teams left.

Now it gets interesting.  Multiple choice is gone.  Contestants will then enter the "Jeopardy"-style of play, except for one twist: when in control of the board, they can choose "Battle Questions."

Here's an example.  Suppose this were "State Trivia."  A Battle question could be "Name all the states beginning with the letter "N."  Each question has the number of correct answers available.  In this case there are 8 correct answers.  

The player in control of the board may choose one of these Battle Questions as their turn.  They also get the option of answering first or second.  The player/team that gives the last correct answer gets 5 points.  The losing competitor loses 5 points.  So if you believe the competitor you are playing against knows all their states, you can have them go first, allowing you to give the last correct answer and winning.

Here are some of the Battle Question categories: "Streets (7)," "Streets (11)," "Players (10+)", "Restaurants (10+)," "Service Stations (10+)," and etc. 

There are parameters, such as "Name the streets, including alleys, named after people."  There are eleven of them.  Make sense?  Good.  "Players (10+)" asks contestants to name the players of the 1977 District 11 championship basketball team.  There are more than ten correct names that could be given.  You wont have to know them all, you just need to know one more than the person you choose to "battle" with.

As for the "Jeopardy" side of the game, the categories are: "Sports," "Famous," "Borough," "Corner Stores," and "Current Events."

Questions could be something like: Where could you buy ice cream on South Second Street?  Who was the Olympic Swimmer who trained at Graver's Pool?  Who is our current Chief of Police? etc etc.
Here is one tough looking dude.  He was William Swartz
and he was Lehighton's police chief in 1917.  He tried to
calm down a rowdy 22-year old punk in a Lehighton hotel
and was shot and killed.  The only Lehighton officer killed
in the line of duty.  He left 8 children.

Then of course there is the "Final Jeopardy" question where the five finalists will wager an amount of their score before they answer.  I can tell you the topic now: "Lehighton."

These questions were designed to challenge yes, to inform, certainly.  But my ultimate hope is for all of us present to be enriched by our shared knowledge and love of this great town of ours.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


PS: After the event is over, a complete post of all the questions and answers will be posted, accompanied of course with current and historical pictures.

Sample Answers:
#1: D. Hawaii
#2: The Moravians
#3: 1746
#4: Novelties, trophies, fireworks, small games of chance supplies
#5: Dr. Marvin Snyder
#6: Woody and Robin Frey
Only three of these questions are actually in the game, however they are seen here in a modified form.  The other three questions will not appear at all.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lehighton's Sesquicentennial: The Pioneers and the Promise

Although this is Lehighton’s 150th year as a borough, its original founding reaches back to 1746.

Currently, a group of dedicated individuals is wrapping up several years of work to showcase the essence of Lehighton: a trolley tour, a talent show, a cemetery walk, revival of the Brothers of the Brush and Sister of the Swish, etc.

There will be all kinds of contests such as corn on the cob eating, trivia night, and the Coaster Races.  The Coaster Races are said to have originated in Lehighton in 1923 and have been revived from time to time over the years.  (See pictures of the 1950 & 1951 races at the end of this article.)
The Leuckel Building, most recently known as "White's Trading," in the 1980s it was Rea and Derrick Drugs seen here around 1942 with the opening of the Windsor Clothing Store.  There for the promotional first night was the then Lehighton Boys Band, roughly 40 years before they changed to the Lehighton Boys and Girls Band.  The Leuckel Building was completed in 1899 by Frederick and John Leuckel and once housed the post office and two banks.  The expressions on the faces of the citizens in their hats and band members in their capes as well as  the young girl looking down from the window gives this photo a classic Americana feel.  This never before published photo appears here courtesy of Paula Kistler Ewaniuk, a descendant of the T.D. Clauss and Mahlon Kistler, both key Lehighton businessmen from the glory days of Lehighton's downtown.

There will be an opening ceremony of the burying of men’s razors and women’s makeup as well as the uncovering of them on the last day.  The park will have music each night with it all culminating with a fireworks display that will be seen from anywhere in Lehighton.

It could be easy to develop a romanticized version of life in those days.  Often times the “good old days” are remembered as blissful times without strife.

Lehighton’s early days had a “wild west” mystique.  There were saloons and cigar shops, and unsolved murders in our muddy streets.  We had constables, horse thieves, and posses, but we had no jail.  Once in 1870, a trio of banks robbers was caught here and was held captive in Mantz’s Hotel over night (see 1940s picture of First St below for the Mantz Hotel).

Constable John Weston formed a posse and cornered the desperate outlaws amid a fierce February snowstorm.  The outlaws had swum the icy Lehigh to a hiding place in the woods across the river.  This robbery also led to an unsolved murder of an unidentified man here in town over thirty years later (See footnotes for more).

Another story tells how the southern end of town was quarantined and several citizens died due to smallpox that Lehighton silk mill owner and town benefactor Eugene Baer accidentally brought to town from New Jersey in 1902.  (See footnotes for more & click here for more on Baer's Mill and family.)

You name it, we had it: Rowdy council meetings with political backbiting, scandalous behavior at the fair including illegal gambling and drinking, as well as fraud and other crimes of all sorts, from the salacious sort to the comical and accidental.

      Other Lehighton articles on this blog:
~Questions from the Lehighton Trivia Night
~Answers from the Lehighton Trivia Night
Lehighton Business of the Past Post #1: Maria CultonLehighton Business Post #2: Lehighton Business Post #3: Young's BakeryHaas' Store: Cal HaasLewis & Henry Graver articlesMoravian & Massacre ArticleThe Recluse of Lehighton: Frederica Misca

Two men who clashed in the 1890s were Burgess (mayor) Benjamin J. Kuntz and newspaperman George W. Morthimer.  Kuntz, who succeeded Dan Olewine at his Seventh and Bridge Sts tannery, summoned Chief of Police Raworth to town council meeting to “settle down the rowdies.”

The Lehighton Press of North First Street - David McCormick, son of locally famous Civil War veteran William Carpenter
McCormick in the press room with his longtime pressman Harry Miner.  The two women are likely other longtime employees typist Alice Heintzleman and McCormick's sister, columnists Mary (McCormick) Ray.   This picture and other valuable McCormick family primary sources provided by Bill and Kathy White of Lehighton. 
Morthimer was a member at that council and among other things, didn’t appreciate Kuntz’s allegations.  However Morthimer’s power of the press (the “Fourth Estate” as they say) led to Kuntz’s undoing.  Kuntz was mayor in 1879 and later again from 1891-92.  However, his fourth run (as mayors seemed to serve only one year terms in those days) as mayor ended in November 1892 amid attacks from Morthimer’s “Carbon Advocate.”

Morthimer later served as mayor from 1903 to 1913.  McCormick served from 1918 to 1921.  By this time, it seems like the three-year terms had begun.

A March 1890 snipett in the Carbon Advocate announced B.J. Kuntz as "big, tall, tanner and Republican politician was a familiar figure on our streets on Wednesday."  Morthimer was a Democrat.  One of Morthimer's complaints about Kuntz was that not until after he lost the election did he complain about the illegal gambling at the fair grounds.

As of June 1910 Lehighton had three newspapers.

By 1902, Morthimer sold his "Carbon Advocate" to Attorney Philip M. Graul.  One long-time employee of Graul was future Lehighton mayor William F. Hummel (1942 to 1953).  But Morthimer would continue a South First St paper under the name of Lehighton’s “Evening Leader."  His other competitor, David McCormick, ran the weekly “Lehighton Press” on North First.  Both of these men were themselves involved in public office.  (See footnotes for more on Morthimer and McCormick).

Graul's weekly "Carbon Advocate" raised its rate from $1.00 to $1.50 for its annual subscription.  This was announced in February 1917, taking effect for 1918.  Gaul was the first in the county to raise the rate, thought the other county papers soon followed.  The Advocate burned in the early 1920s.  Graul was appointed postmaster when President Wilson took office in 1913.

George Williams Morthimer as
he appears in Brenckman's Carbon History of 1913
Morthimer ran the Lehighton Evening Leader.
Born 1866 - Died 1918.  Buried in the Lehighton
The Carbon Advocate had some advice for improving our town back in 1890: “Consider…Electric illumination, widening of the thoroughfares leading from Fourth St to the Fair Grounds, and from Alum Street to Kuntz’s tannery, a town hall and hose house and the beautifying of the two Parks.  Cut this out and paste it in your hats.”

After several months of pleas using such phrases as "let there be light" and trying to shame the town for still using coal-oil because Lansford, Mauch Chunk, and Weatherly already had electiric street lights, The Carbon Advocate was pleased to announce in June 1891 that the town had secured a contract with the electric company to "illuminate the town."

Lehighton was of course founded by the Moravian settlers on the banks of the Mahoning Creek in 1746.  It was part of what was known as the Moravian “Economy,” various industrious pursuits to make money for the mother organization to further its missionary work among the Indians.

This letterhead among the papers discovered inside Guy Morthimer's copy of
Brenckman's Carbon County History from 1913.  G. W. (George Williams) Morthimer took over the Carbon
Advocate from his father Harry V. Morthimer.  And in turn Guy Morthimer took full control of the Leader
when his father passed in 1918.
Lehighton was just one town of the many founded by the Moravians.  Bethlehem and Nazareth were their first two settlements in the area as well as Emmaus in 1759.  The Moravians also made settlements elsewhere, as far away as Georgia.

Lehighton was formed as an important stepping stone to the harder to reach native groups of the Wyoming and Susquehanna valleys.  They lived in peace here but many colonial leaders had viewed these missionaries with at least some suspicion and perhaps a bit of contempt.

As the French and Indian War approached, laws were passed in New York barring Christians from spending the night among the native groups.  This was aimed at the French Jesuit priests who lived among and ministered to the Indian souls they were trying to win over.  Many felt the Moravians were simply French Catholics in disguise and were trying to infiltrate the English speaking lands

Fear of Indians led to an overall distrust of anyone who aided the natives.  The Lehigh Valley then became a refuge for these exiled New York Moravians and their Indian cohorts when they were forced out of New York.

Another sticking point came from the Moravian blacksmiths.  Though it was colonial policy not to provide the Indians with firearms, the Gnadenhutten blacksmiths were eager to help repair the flintlocks of any Indian who passed through here, and many did.

With British General Braddock’s western Pennsylvania defeat in July of 1755 came fear of further Indian reprisals would move eastward.

They of course were right.  Attacks were made on many area settlements, but the peace and good relations the Moravians established here made them feel impervious to any hostility.  And as the story goes, on the evening of November 24th it all came to an end here.  Many of those attacked here had only been in this country for a few weeks.

Not all were killed.  One husband and wife became separated: she spent the night in the hollow of a tree and he ran to Bethlehem and back through the night, to get help.  They were reunited in the morning, each fearing the other had died.

And had the 16-year-old lad Joseph Sturgis not jumped from the burning attic and lived, we may not have the pretzel today.  He went to live at another Moravian settlement in Lititz and was a successful potter.

His grandson Julius Sturgis developed the first commercial pretzel bakery in the country.  (More of this including information of those lost and those who survived can be read here.)

Few people realize that one somewhat mysterious woman came to live on these grounds.  Here purpose was to venerate the martyred souls lost here.  Her name was Fredericka Misca.  (More of her can be read here: )

Jacob Weiss of course bought some of the Moravian lands on both sides of the river.  And another highly industrious man named William Henry partnered with him.  Henry learned the gunsmith trade in the Moravian settlement of Lititz before moving to Nazareth.  When the mission here faded, the Moravians found an eager buyer in Henry and Weiss.

The timing of this venture was enhanced with Josiah White’s successful launch of the coal trade, first on the river with his “bear trap locks” and later in 1828 with the Lehigh Canal, leaving the lands of Weiss and Henry open to the future promise of the industrial settlement of Lehighton.  (More on Josiah White can be found here.)

Speculative minds and hard working hands soon followed.

Of the first industries here were grist mills and leather tanning.  There was a mill sluice and run that ran parallel and along today’s Route 209 bypass, behind today’s Lehighton Hi-Rise.

Later Moses Heilman had a grist mill on the Mahoning Creek and a large dam behind what is today’s Boulevard Restaurant.  He also had a feed mill on First Street.  He last lived at the corner of Third and Alum Sts.

In 1915, the Burd brothers well-diggers found three human skulls near Heilman’s dam, which was just downstream from where Henry Graver would build his ice dam and pond.  The skulls were thought to be from the colonial days of the Moravians.  Some speculated these were Indian skulls.

However, another theory that should be considered would be those of the six men Ben Franklin hastily buried along the banks of the Lehigh when he came to build the fort in Weissport in January 1756.  About six colonial militiamen were lured into an attack on New Year’s Day that year.

Heilman was just one of many of our town’s “pioneer” residents.  Another was Lewis Graver, father of Henry, the patriarch of the many Graver enterprises here.  Lewis came to timber the Moravian lands as a youngster of twelve with his father and was an early boat builder with his brother Andrew.  They had a boatyard at the canal and were also leather tanners.
Here is a view from the Carbon House looking south on First St Lehighton around the 1940s.  You can see the Elk's
Building, destroyed by fire in 1934, is refurbished here with the A&P Store in residence.  Also, G.C. Murphy, Hotel Lehighton (now the Hi-Rise) and further down the "Mantz Building" with its ornate top (most recently Renee's Beauty Shop).

Lewis Graver’s son Henry later ran a brickworks, ice house, and skating rink.  He also built two of Pennsylvania’s largest cement swimming pools.  First here and another in Lebanon PA in the 1920s (Read more about this family here:).  Lewis also had two daughters with business sense.  Alvenia and Adaline were milliners in town (Read more here):

Eastern Pennsylvania, but especially northern Carbon County in the Pine Swamp and Hickory Run area, held plentiful reserves of hemlock pine trees.

Hemlock (and oak to a slightly lesser degree) bark was preferred for the tanning of hides into malleable leather because of its high tannic acid content.  So the fact that Lehighton had no less than two well-established tanneries should come as no surprise.  

The first tannery in town is believed to be started by David Heller in the area behind First Street in 1820.  It was in the vicinity of where G.C. Murphy was operated a department store, across the narrow street of today’s Hi-Rise.

This tannery property was eventually developed into what was known as the “Linderman Block, so named for Asa Packer’s son-in-law, Dr. Garrett B. Linderman.

Dr. Linderman came to Mauch Chunk in the great cholera epidemic in 1854, falling in love with Packer’s daughter Lucy.  (Read more here: )

It is unclear whether Heller sold his interests directly to Stephen Kistler (no direct relation to Lehighton’s Daniel "Jacob" or "Jake" Kistler).  After Stephen left to develop his Tannersville properties, he left the Lehighton tannery in the hands of his brother William.  However one newspaper article mentioned a tanner and animal fertilizer business owned by a Benjamin J. Kistler (not to be confused with Lehighton tanner Benjamin J. Kuntz.)

Kistler came from Kistler Valley to start his first one of the four tanneries he would eventually own.  At his death, it was said that he was the wealthiest tanner in the state and perhaps the nation.

He lived and operated a larger one in Monroe County’s “Tannersville” as well as two in Susquehanna County.
Owen W. Snyder once owned this fine Victorian-era home on the corner of Second and Alum Sts.  Snyder was a horse surgeon born in the Kistler Valley, Lynnport in 1860.  He died of heart failure in 1922.  He and his wife Amanda did not have children, though they did raise her nephew Arnold Rusell (born 1912).  Snyder lived first in the Mansion House Hotel when he arrived here in the spring of 1887.  By 1890 he was living near Kistler's Livery at the Carbon House.  Since this is most likely Snyder and his nephew Arnold who looks to be as young as maybe 5 or so, this picture is probably taken around 1917 or so.  The house was later owned by widowed physician John Hammel, father of two well-known Hammels: William and Andrew.  Currently Gregory Duschak is refurbishing the home and it will be for sale.  (Picture courtesy of the Brad Haupt collection.)
Here is a modern view of the three Queen Anne sashes in the attic tower of the Snyder home, currently being refurbished by Gregory Duschak.

Owen W. Snyder lived in a handsome Victorian-era home on the corner of South Second and Alum Sts (currently being refurbished by Gregory Dsuchak).  He was a veterinarian surgeon, specializing in the many horses that kept Lehighton running in the early days.

Born in the Kistler Valley, he attended the "celebrated" Ontario Veterinary College.  Snyder made the papers frequently, known for his cure for tetanus in horses, he performed hernia operations, and removed tumors.  He was also always prepared to put a horse or cow down if he had to.  Dead animals were then taken to B.J. Kistler's animal fertilizer plant in Jamestown.

The gambling in town most definitely centered on the Fair's horse racing.  Purses of $100 or more were often touted in the papers.  Horses from places like Stroudsburg and Allentown would come here to race our local mares.  Snyder was known for always having the nicest, newest and fastest mares as the Carbon Advocate would often announce.  He and Jonathan Kistler were known to trade gray mares with each other as well as Snyder buying from horse trader Knaus and others in Allentown.

Snyder encountered a run of some paid luck starting in the fall of 1902.  In September, a half-drunk horse thief entered town and made off with one of Snyder's thoroughbreds and one owned by William Walters of town.  Unknowingly, the Rev G. G. Kunkle of Mauch Chunk accepted a ride from a "half-drunken" man who drove him from Packerton down the Mansion House hill.

Rev Kunkle said the man drove so recklessly that he tried several times to have the man stop and let him off.  However he drove the horse so hard and into the wall that the horse died.  Kunkle walked home, thinking little of it until he heard of the horse thefts.  The next morning the dead horse of the Mauch Chunk mountain road was found to be Snyder's valuable track horse.

It is believed the horse thief went back to Lehighton and then stole the Walters' horse.  That horse was found dead a few days after on the Blue Mountain.

Then in early June 1903, Snyder's stables were struck by lightning and two of his horses were killed.  It did not mention the specific location of these stables.  One article in 1893 implied he owned stables on Seventh St and was trying to get council to open up Alum Street through to his property there.  His stolen horse was valued at $750, a vast sum in those days.

Following Snyder in this home was Dr. John Hammel, father of Hammel's Store owner William Hammel.  William was a magician in the old vaudeville days before opening the store at First and Coal Sts.

His brother Andrew was a projectionist at theaters in town before opening Hammel's Gas Station near today's Mahoning Elementary school (the small white shed on the opposite side of the road was the station and is still there.)  He was also the projectionist at the Mahoning Valley Drive-in for years.

Lehighton the Borough was only six months old when the famous Dan Rice Circus came to town in June.  A one “mile-long” parade was sent down First St to try to lure townsfolk into the show at fifty-cents a head.

However, as one team of Rice’s horses approached the lower park, the team became “spooked,” supposedly due to the severe from Kistler’s tannery.

The team made a deadly trot toward one of Lehighton’s earliest hotels, the “Carbon House,” which sat on the corner of First and North Streets (below today’s library).  Some reports say it was a Mauch Chunk man, others that it was a man from the Mahoning Valley, who was killed (or so severely injured he wasn’t expected to live) trying to arrest the team.

(Read David Carlyon’s book “Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You Never Heard of.”)  Rice was once considered for candidacy for president.

The Carbon House, from North and First Sts,
at the corner below the library ~ Circa 1900.
Another Lehighton tanner and pioneer resident was Daniel Olewine.  He and his wife Esther (Zoll) originated from Towamensing Township.  Olewine first journeyed to Mauch Chunk as a tanner.  But by 1856 he built his own enterprise at Seventh and Bridge Streets in Lehighton in 1856.

Today the former Penn Lace building stands where the tannery once operated.

Olewine was a founding president of First National Bank in Lehighton in 1875.  This bank was first housed in a portion of Joseph Obert’s First St residence in the 1880s.

The bank later became the Hazleton National Bank that opened for business in its once thoroughly modern stone-façade building.  Though now vacant, it is still an impressive downtown building that first opened in 1910.

Olewine’s tannery burned down in 1873.  At that point he retired to his spacious brick home next door that still stands at 600 Bridge St.  As mentioned earlier, the tannery was then rebuilt by B. J. Kuntz who operated it into the 1890s.

Daniel Olewine was father-in-law to two well known Lehighton residents: Chief clerk of the LVRR Car Dept Franklin Pierce Lentz (Clara Olewine) and William S. Koch (Susan Esther Olewine) of the well-known Koch farm in southwest Lehighton.
Isborn Koch and his brother William S. once ran a cigar
factory in downtown Lehighton.  Their partnership
dissolved in 1882.  I.S. continued on while W.S.
went full-time into farming.

William was just one of the first three Koch brothers to live in Lehighton, all sons of Daniel and Mary Ann Koch of Northampton County.  Besides, William there was Isborn S. and Milton.  Until 1882, Isborn and William were in the cigar manufacturing business together in downtown Lehighton.

Isborn continued in cigars while William furthered himself in his large 200-acre farm in the southwest corner of town.  (One of several unsolved Lehighton deaths was once solved by I.S. Koch, search this story for more on that).

A portion of this farm became the Small and Koch Dairy Farm with William’s son and son-in-law Reuben Koch running the dairy until the mid 1930s.  It later became Geurstlaurer’s and still operates today as Zimmerman’s Dairy.

From the horse drawn days of Small and Koch Dairy.  Originally started on William S. Koch's farm by his son William "Daniel" Koch  and son-in-law Reuben Small, they first called it Orchard Poultry and Truck Farm.  Reuben Small
arrived in the Lehigh Valley for business school and met and married 'the farmers' daughter' Esther Koch
in 1905.  Small and Koch operated the farm until the mid-Depression.  (Small & Koch photos are courtesy of Lois Small).
Reuben Small (left) and William "Daniel" Koch left in the early 1900s at the Small and Koch Dairy in the southwest corner of Lehighton.

Small and Koch Dairy was the first Carbon County dairy to pasteurize milk.  It was also the only diary of the over 268 in the county to receive a state department of health satisfactory rating in 1916.  (See footnotes for more on Reuben Small).

Lehighton was also home to two of the three Lentz brothers from Colonel John Lentz.  Col Lentz was a soldier in the War of 1812 and later, though advanced in age, led a defense of Harrisburg when Lee’s army advanced there in the summer of 1863.

One of these sons, Lafayette of Mauch Chunk, made a fortune in the coal fields.  Lentz Trail along Mauch Chunk lake and creek is named for him.

Lafayette’s son, Horace DeYoung Lentz, graduated Harvard Law in 1891.  He in turn endowed a scholarship there that still provides full tuition to any Carbon resident who attends Harvard Law.  Current resident Neil Makhija of Lehighton is the only living person who has benefitted from this trust.

Here in Lehighton, John S. Lentz lived at Third and Alum Streets, today’s “Schaeffer Funeral Home.”  He was superintendent of the Packerton shops.

Franklin Pierce Lentz lived at the former brick home of his father-in-law Daniel Olewine.  He held various positions with the LVRR including chief clerk of the car department at the Packerton Yard as well as Justice of the Peace in Lehighton.  He was educated at Lehighton’s “Academy” school.
The crowning achievement Frederick Leuckel's life of work in Lehighton, his 1899 building still stands today.  Neither Frederick and his son John who completed the building would live long to enjoy it.
Both men were dead 
by October 1899.  (Most photos without photo credit are from the Haupt family collection).

Another pioneer immigrant of Lehighton was Frederick Leuckel, his building is still prominent in the downtown.  Born in Germany in 1807, Frederick Leuckel came to America by way of Amsterdam with $40 to his name.

He apprenticed there for seven years as a butcher.  He then made a 130-day voyage to New York City at the age of twenty-three.  He worked in the sugar factory in Easton and started a meat shop there before moving to Lehighton.  He married another German émigré Lecetta Lenzler.

Leuckel rose to financial prominence from the hard-work of his butcher shop, to investing in real estate, banks, and other businesses.  He was a major shareholder in at least four banks: two in Mauch Chunk, one bank in Catasauqua, as well as in Lehighton’s First National.

By the time of his 1875 “retirement,” he was one of our town’s wealthiest self-made men.
This circa 1908 fire next to the Leuckel building led the way for
Citizen's National Bank to construct its stone facade building next door
in around 1909.

The ‘Leuckel Building,’ completed in 1899, was the former home of Lehighton’s post office and was home to Leuckel’s and Olewine’s “First National Bank.”   It later housed the “Citizen’s National Bank.”

A fire next door around 1908 led the way for “Citizen’s” to build its prominent stone-façade modern bank building next door.  First Federal, the last and most recent bank that occupied this building, added a more modern metal face to it in the 1970s.

Lehighton has had its shares of fires.  Many of these will be detailed in 25 stop trolley tour guide book being published by the Sesquicentennial Committee.  But many businesses have been relocated or otherwise affected by the many downtown fires over the years.  The tour book will chronicle the major ones from the 1930s Elks fire, to the 1950s North First St and the 1960s South First St fires.
Here is the bunting of the opening
of the new Citizen's National Bank
building with the Leuckel
Building to the left.  The building
still stands today, however the last
bank, First Federal, covered it with
a more modern looking metal facade.
Serfass Motors before May 1918 fire - Looking north on Iron St,
with the former Trinity Lutheran Church tower at Third and Iron
in the distance.

Serfass Motors burned to the ground in May of 1918 and a three-story brown brick building went in its place.  (It is currently a Blue Ridge Cable office behind the former Times News building.)

Within the personal collection of dairyman Reuben Small are pictures of burned out cars from a "Lehighton garage fire."  Though no one is certain these are of the Serfass Motors, it is certainly a possibility.  These photos will appear at the end.
This is the Serfass fire from May 1918, taken from the south side of
Iron St, looking toward the alley behind what would one day by the
the Opera House/Bayer Building/Times News Building.  The long
building in the background was the original band hall and still stands.  Look at the end of this story for fire pictures from the Reuben Small personal collection from this time period. 

Eventually, sometime before 1946, Moyer and Haupt had their first garage there.  By 1946 they took over the former Acme building at 200 to 206 North First St and began moving their Ford dealership there, this being another currently building housing BRC offices today.

Later, Moyer and Haupt moved out to Route 443 with an Edsel dealership, this dealership now trades as "Lehighton Ford."  They also operated a service station at the corner of Eighth and Mahoning Sts, today it is a medical center in the 1940s.
Moyer and Haupt on Iron St pre-1946.  Not the brick ornaments
above the row of windows.  Those can still be seen today on
this building currently housing some Blue Ridge Cable offices
at the alley behind the former Times News Building.

This picture shows Moyer and Haupt converting the old Acme
back into a garage.  Prior to it being Acme, it housed Otto Kropp's
First St garage.  Today it is the main Lehighton BRC office.

Prior to the Acme occupying 200 North First, Otto Kropp had a garage there.  He also had a Studebaker and Hudson dealership in the area of our current library.  Otto must have been quite a character.  It has been said that he once made a late-night car-swap deal with gangster "Legs" Diamond, a bootlegger who operated between New York and Philadelphia.

In 1937, Otto and his wife hosted Dr. J. Lavarowitz who was president of the "Rambling Hobos of America."  Otto was the grandfather who raised the well-known Lehighton geography teacher Michael "Corky" Kordilla.

Another well-known Lehighton business that grew, burned, and moved to another street was Kistler's Hardware.
Here is Mahlon Kistler (left) and business parnter William F. Hamilton in his mid-1920s First St Hardware Store.
It transferred to his son Mahlon "Jake" in 1957 and later to his
step-son George Griffith.  The store continues today on Second St as "Lehighton Hardware."  Hamilton was born in Scranton and was a boilermaker for the LVRR in 1910.  He died of a stroke in 1935 at the age of 50.
(Kistler pictures appear courtesy of Paula Kistler Ewaniuk.)

Kistler’s Lehighton Hardware would later move to Second Street, its current location.  Kistler started his hardware store in 1925 and ran a progressive business model, taking pride in decorating his front window.  In 1957 he handed the reins over to his son Mahlon Jr.  In 1963 they were burned out and moved to its current location on Second St.  The business went from Mahlon Jr's step-brother George Griffith.

The show window of Kistler's first hardware store included shotguns, shells and stuffed raccoons.  See the end of this story for the new store front further up First St that later burned in a 1963 fire, sending the store to Second St.
Curiously, Kistler's Hardware was located at 237 North First St,  in what would be in today's Rite Aid parking lot.  After the fire, the A&P, which was then located in today's Lehighton Hardware's Second St building, built the 14,000 square foot building Rite Aid uses today.  The A&P left the current Rite Aid building back in the 1980s.

One of the longest tenured corner grocery stores in Lehighton was Cal Haas' store at the corner of Fifth and Coal.  It served their neighborhood with credit for groceries from 1930 to 1996.  The last thirty years it was ron by Cal's son Robert "Bobby" Haas, who was known for his regimented scheduled coffee breaks at the Beacon 443 Diner.
Here are some of the Haas family from the 1955 celebration of
the 200 year anniversary of the Gnadenhutten Massacre.  From Left:
Robert Haas, his wife Geri Haas, Cal Haas, and daughter
Madeline (Haas) Kreiss Folweiler.  (Madeline's first husband
Ezra Kreiss was lost in Operation Tiger in WWII.  She re-married
Chester Folweiler, another WWII veteran.

The Trainer family had a corner store on Third and Cypress Sts.  It was taken over by Mel Everett and Dick Koch as "Ev-Ko" furniture and home appliances in 1966.  A fire destroyed the business in 1968 and the pair split in 1974.  Everett continued there in furniture and Koch established himself on Coal St where they remain today.

Mel's brother Arlington "A.W." Everett's furniture frame business in Franklin Township is also still running today, though now they specialize in frames for lift chairs.

Like Leuckel, Joseph Obert was another German immigrant butcher who prospered here.  He opened a dry goods business in Lehighton in the 1870s to which he parlayed into farm land speculation.

He eventually built one of the largest pork and cattle processing and packing plants in the east.  His sons continued the business into the 1930s.

Livestock would arrive on the LVRR and enter Obert’s stockyard on the east side of First St.  Pigs and cattle (but mostly pigs) were then marched across the street and up the alley between what is today Alfie’s Pizza and the former Hinkle’s Downtown Grille (a building first built by Obert and once held “Malta Hall” on the second floor.
This building still stands across the alley from
Obert's (today's "Alfies") and was built by Obert
after the "Lyric Theater" was torn down.  It was
home to Losos and Sondheim clothiers (who
once occupied part of the Obert building).
The second floor once housed the Knights of
Malta and a portion of Obert's slaughter
house can be seen rear left.  Look for interior
pictures of this building at the end of this
article.  Most will also remember the most
recent owner of this building was
Hinkle's Downtown Grille.

The large slaughter house was located on what is today a municipal parking lot behind Alfies.  The block across from this alley, once was known as the Obert block.

The Obert’s lived at both his sprawling building in front of his slaughter house on First Street as well as another home he built later on South Second near Trinity Lutheran Church (now owned by Barrett Ravenhurst and Rick Brong).
The beautiful Victorian-era home was first built by Joseph and Catherine Obert in the 1880s or 1890s at
212 South Second, catty-corner from Trinity Lutheran Church and is one of the 25 stops of the Sesquicentennial
Trolley tour.  Seen here in this photo is Joseph and Catherine's son William and their grandson Horace
Obert Sr.  William's wife was Florence.  Horace Obert Jr was the long time chiropractor in Lehighton up until
is recent retirement a few years ago.  The new and only third owners of the home are currently Barrett Ravenhurst
and Rick Brong.

The three Gaston brothers (Carson, Wayne, and LeRoy who run the pizza shop), are the current owners of Obert’s First St property and have done well maintaining the building’s former glory.
This picture gives quite a glimpse at the classes of society of early 1900 Lehighton.  The Victorian-era garbed
ladies and gentlemen on the yard versus the blood-stained work clothes of the man in the street.  You can
also see Loso's and Sondheim's former location before moving across the alley.

It is here where we can see the meeting point today.

By studying the many buildings in Lehighton and by getting to know our history, we can see where our past meets our future.  The Obert and Leuckel buildings are a good place to start.

The once ornate dental work and finials are gone.  The large rectangular sign that proudly touted the “Leuckel Building 1899” now says “White’s Trading.”

Just like the once powerful anthracite and transportation industries are likely never to return, the works and fortunes of our pioneer residents are also mostly long gone.

But we are here today because of them.  And their legacy to us is to live in a town where their dreams once prospered.  It is for us to fulfill that potential as we are fit to do.


Lehighton Deaths of the 1890s:

The 1890s were hard on many of Lehighton’s most prominent pioneer citizens.  Lewis Graver died in January 1892 (just weeks after his and Leah’s 50th wedding anniversary).

Joseph Obert died in June of 1897 at the age of 76.  He once donated the land at the corner of Second and Iron to build Zion’s United Church of Christ.

Moses Heilman died in May of 1898.

Also, two sons of two early Lehighton tanners died prematurely in 1898.  Daniel Olewine Sr died at seventy-nine in March of 1895.  But his son Daniel Irwin Olewine died of typhoid fever in Philadelphia in January 1898 at the age of forty-two.

Another Lehighton connected tragedy occurred in May of 1898 when Burgess B. J. Kuntz’s son Edward was seriously injured from an exploding gasoline tank at a Missouri steel company.  He had just begun working there as a chemist.

Upon receiving the news via telegram, Postmaster and former tanner and mayor Kuntz immediately left for Missouri.  However he was unable to reach his son before he passed.  His remains were shipped back to Lehighton for burial.  Edward J. Kuntz was only twenty-five.

Ironically, in 1899, in the same year that their building was completed, both Frederick and John Leuckel died.  Frederick in June and his son John died unexpectedly in October from stomach difficulties.

Incidentally, John Leuckel’s mother-in-law, who was also the mother of Lehighton’s well-known planning mill owner Henry Miller died in an unfortunate accident just months after John’s death.  Mrs George Miller died at the age of 79 from a fractured her skull after falling into the family well at their Franklin home.

The Wilkes-Barre Bank Heist in 1870 leads to arrests and a murder:

My favorite story involves a pair of bank robbers who hit a bank in Wilkes-Barre in 1870 who came to Lehighton to lay low.  The four suspicious men were “loafing about” Mantz’s Hotel (in the block south of the Hi-Rise today) and rumors quickly spread around town about the character and deeds of these men.

Forty year old Constable John “J. T.” Weston took the gossip seriously.  The robbers instantly drew their guns on the constable’s approach, making their escape out the back of the hotel.  And though it was February, they crossed the LVRR tracks and went into the river, all the while during a “raging snowstorm.”

Weston gathered a posse of men, all armed, and made their way to Weissport, to the vicinity of old bottling works (behind Hofford’s red-brick mill at the end of the bridge owned today by Tom McEvilly) where the crooks were said to leave the river.

The men were captured later, but not without resistance.  Their attempts to fire at the posse were in vain as their weapons were too wet from their mid-winter swim.  Rumors quickly spread that the $30,000 in cash, bonds, and securities were stashed on the mountainside somewhere opposite of Packerton dip, in the Long Run section of East Weissport.

The robbers were sentenced to 20 years in the Eastern State penitentiary and were said to have died there.  However by 1906, it was speculated that they communicated the whereabouts to other prisoners who upon their release came to town to claim the treasure.

In May 1906 three strangers arrived in town, at least one of them was well-dressed and seemed to be carrying a large sum of money.  He and a friend got into fisticuffs in a Lehighton “saloon” in the afternoon, the friend threatening to have the other arrested.

Later, word spread through town that these men, along with another man, were seen digging in the area of the missing bank loot.  That night, three shots rang out in a yard of a home on the outer edge of town.

They found the well dressed man with three bullets in his lungs, with the muzzle blast burned into his clothes, shot at close range.

Suicide was ruled out.  He had a watch and about $35 on him.  Authorities suspected the clever perpetrator left a small portion to give the appearance of suicide over robbery.

Constable J. T. Weston was born in Carbon’s “frontier” logging settlement of Sandy Run.  He died in Allentown in 1914.
Lehighton's Three Stone-facade Banks:

At about the same time Citizen's Bank was going in, the Hazleton National Bank arrived in town and likewise wanted to build an impressive structure to lure Lehighton's abundant cash flows.  Hazleton took over the former First National Bank.

First St was once known as “Bank St," most likely referring to the street closest to the bank of the river.

The Hazelton Bank building was opened in December of 1911, and for the convenience of a parking lot and modern drive-up window, moved to the corner of First and North Sts in 1963.  The original stone face of Citizens Bank has long been obscured by metal-work meant to give the old bank a “modern” look.  It was most recently known as First Federal Bank.  Another bank, on South First, was once known as Dine Bank in 1916, then later Bank of Lehighton, then People’s Bank, and most recently PNC Bank.

Next to the former PNC Bank building was once the regal looking hotel owned by Alvin Hausman, which was later run by his son Howard Hausman.  Howard's son Willard graduated from Lehighton High School Class of 1927.

Alvin's hotel was torn down by People's Bank to make way for a parking lot.  This picture shows Alvin standing at post, with his son Howard at the wheel of the car along with grandson Willard.
This is the Alvin Hausman hotel as it appeared on First St around 1920 (Willard, the boy in the car was born in 1909).  This was torn down to make room for People's/PNC Bank's side parking lot.  Note two things: You can still see the steep gables of the building to the left in today's green-painted "14-Acre Farm" Deli (formerly Lehighton Bakery).  Also note the edge of the building on the right has balcony woodwork that matches Owen W. Snyder's balcony woodwork.  The fact that both this hotel and the Snyder property picture show their respective buildings festooned with our flag leads me to believe it was an important anniversary year.  The 150th Centennial of our nation would have been 1926, however that would make the boy Willard in the passenger seat to be 15 or 16 and he is certainly younger than that.  Perhaps it was the 50th year of our town, which would have been 1916.
The woodwork of the railing of Dr. Owen Snyder home today being
readied to be remounted to the balcony is the same pattern as the First
Street building next to the Hausman Hotel pictured above. 

The McCormicks of the Lehighton Press:

Publisher David McCormick was the grandson of Mary Mockler.  In her obituary of 1900, Mockler was described as a longtime resident of Lehighton with an ever clear mind.  She was well versed in world and local affairs due to her extensive reading.  Her first husband David McCormick was born in Ireland in 1804 and died here in 1854.

But when the Civil War broke out, her new husband, Dr. William Mockler (also of Ireland) enlisted along with her three of her sons, including William Carpenter McCormick.  Mockler was fatally killed at Fredericksburg and the twice widowed mother lived out her years with her son W.C.

William Carpenter McCormick, father of publisher David owned a bit of Civil War celebrity.  After the war, McCormick was known to be among the people to personally guard ex-Confederate President Jefferson Davis.  The two grew in friendship and mutual admiration for each other.

A current Lehighton-area resident, Larry E. Ahner of Long Run had a similar experience.  Ahner was given command and control of guarding Saddam Hussein after his capture during the Iraq war.  Ahner had daily, personal, one-on-one contact with the reviled dictator.  Ahner is hoping to one day write a book of this experience.

After the war, the McCormicks first lived at Hickory Run, working for the logging families there, which is where David and his siblings were born.  Two of those siblings died as toddlers and are buried in the peaceful little cemetery near the park office, surrounded by majestic 200-plus-year old hemlocks.
The quote on James and Thomas McCormick's grave at
Hickory Run reads: "Suffer them to come unto me and
forbid them not."

Prior to the McCormick family arrival in Hickory Run, there was a devastating flood there in October of 1849.  Due to the over timbering of land and the steep and narrow terrain, flash flood waters rushed unabated into three dams, one of which owned by logger J. S.  Gould (it was a 70-plus-acre dam) and two owned by Mahlon Taylor, gave way.

Most of the family homesteads were wiped out, children, fathers and mothers were lost.  One well-respected blacksmith of that area lost his wife and four children that night.  He survived them by forty years and was one of the last people buried in this nearly forgotten cemetery.

The Morthimer & McCormick Rivalry:

Not only did the business and political rivaly spill into their respective papers from time to time, but I have in my possession G.W. Morthimer’s copy of Brenckman’s 1913 “History of Carbon County.”  Based on his handwriting and notes in the margins, Morthimer apparently regularly consulted this copy when preparing articles such as obituaries of Lehighton’s leading people.

Brenckman’s book of course was written in rather flattering language.  However, when David McCromick died at the age of 60 of a heartattack in 1933, allowed Morthimer to write his rival’s obituary.

The Evening Leader’s copy is fairly true to Brenckman’s biography with a few edits.  Morthimer’s pencil crossed out words like “well-known” and striking out phrases like “The Lehighton Press faithfully mirrors the important happenings” with “No” written in the margin.

McCormick had also been postmaster of Lehighton several years after Morthimer’s tenure.  McCormick was also treasurer of Lehigh Fire Company and was the first person of the newly formed “Loyal Order of Buffalo” lodge in Lehighton in 1912.

The “Lehighton Press’s” David McCormick was also involved in politics, running for some of the same offices held by Morthimer.  McCormick was the son of the locally famous Civil War veteran W.C. McCormick.
One of David McCormick's palm cards from his
mayoral run in the early 1900s.

Given the prominence of his father’s veteran status, gives little wonder in his chairman’s role in the Sons of Veterans organization.  This group held a large encampment at the Lehighton Fair grounds in the summer of 1916.

Members from all over the county and beyond came to parade, drill, and wake to reveille each morning in a week long camp out during the first week of July.  They even fired guns on the grounds of the fair.  Lehighton won the right to host this annual event over Weatherly’s application due to McCormick’s persistence.  Several letters of correspondence for this event still exist and are included here.

The final edition of the “Lehighton Press” ran on Christmas Day 1947.  With David’s passing in 1933, the paper was published by son Robert David McCormick.  In the end, the final three employees were: linotypist Alice Heintzelman, Robert’s sister and columnist Mary (McCormick) Ray, as well as Harry Miner who was a 54-year employee who worked as typesetter and printer for most of his career but also as reporter.

Miner was of the old Weissport Miner’s.  This family was deeply involved in Weissport’s past from postmasters to the Fort Allen Iron Works.)

George W. Morthimer took over the Evening Leader from his father, an immigrant from Scotland.  He was county auditor in 1893, a member of Borough Council and the board of education in town.  He himself became burgess as it was then known in 1903 and ran again in 1909 unopposed.  He was also Assistant Postmaster of Lehighton during Grover Cleveland’s first term in the late 1880s.

Handwritten notes of Guy Morthimer from the
news of the day, August 1, 1924.

A typed letter from David McCormick of the
Lehighton Press 1918.

Reuben Small of Small and Koch Dairy:
Employees of Small and Koch in 1926.  The very front and center gentleman is Reuben Koch.  On his right is
his father-in-law William S. Koch and to Reuben's left is William Daniel Koch.  The man to the right of William S. looks like one of William S.'s brothers.   Isborn Koch who was formerly in business with his brother died in 1930.
 The taller woman left of the post is book-keeper Rachel Strang who one day pronounced to all that she would one day marry Reuben.  And they did.

Reuben Small came to the Lehigh Valley from Massachusetts to attend business school.  Along with his education, he married Mary “Esther” Koch 1905 and created one of Carbon County’s best early dairies.  William S. and Susan (Daniel Olewine’s daughter) Koch owned the southwest 200 acres of Lehighton next door to the Olewine homestead.

The first enterprise of Small and his brother in law, William “Daniel” Koch on the Koch land was to form the Orchard Poultry and Truck Farm.  Soon after it became the business traded as Small and Koch Dairy.

But then it appears that Reuben had a few missteps in the early years of the Great Depression.  He built a large brick home (the home directly behind the PennDOT building on Ninth St today) and apparently misapplied money from the dairy for its construction.

His marriage to Esther also ended and Reuben married the dairy’s bookkeeper Rachel Strang.  Strang once grandly pronounced to Esther that she would one day steal Reuben away from her.

Eventually bought out by Gerstlauer Dairy, Small moved back home to Massachusetts with his second wife Rachel.  The well-known and recently departed WWII veteran of Mahoning Valley, Chester Mertz, was a relation to the Smalls and visited them often, helping out on their Westport dairy farm.

Gerstlauer’s operated well into the 1950s until it was taken over by the Zimmerman family of New Mahoning.  Zimmerman’s of course is home to the champagne of Lehighton, Zimmerman’s Dairy ice tea.
Reuben Small and his family and friends loved hunting in Potter County.  The more well known picture of them at the Lehighton Park appeared in Ebbert and Ripkey's Lehighton book.  These photos all appear courtesy of Lois Small
of Westport, Massachusetts.
That's Reuben Small on the right.  Photo taken 1/2 block from Bretney's Photo Studio above the Jacob Weiss Park in 1920s.

Isborn Koch Solves a Death:
I. S. Koch was involved in helping to solve a local suicide mystery in an odd occurrence of happenstance.  In September of 1900, the body of a man was discovered in the Packerton Yard.  It was determined that the man had purchased a bottle of carbolic acid from a drugstore in Mauch Chunk and swallowed the deadly dose in a freight car.  The man’s age was estimated at thirty-three years of age and he was buried in the “common ground” of the Lehighton Cemetery.

While talking to customers on a routine business sweep through the lower Lehigh Valley, Koch was able to connect the unidentified man to a missing butcher from Richlandtown near Quakertown.  His name was George J. Jones and he had a wife and two children.  It was fully expected that his family would reinter his body closer to his home.

Moses Heilman and the construction of his Ice House:

Tragedy befell the Heilman’s when in 1891 he contracted Thomas Arner of Franklin Township to expand his ice house to a 60 by 160 foot building.  Not only was this building to be 30 feet wider, it was also 30 feet higher than the previous one.

Arner had a 30 foot platform built for his workers to set the heavy timbers for the rafters of this mammoth building.  The then aging Moses Heilman was there supervising when he saw the great weight cause the platform to fail.  When the timber smashed down, several workers were thrown into the air.  Oscar Heilman, a son of Nathan Heilman, was among two of the young men killed that day.  Arner received a broken jaw.
Eugene Baer- Silk and Smallpox:
Of course Baer and his expansive silk mill at Seventh and Bridge Sts was an asset to our community.  Baer had bestowed land to the borough on which the community pool was built along with our booster club football field.  Baer even sponsored one of our local semi-professional baseball teams.

His parents were the ones who got their start in silk mills and still lived in and operated one in New Jersey.  Upon visiting his family in Paterson in February 1902, Eugene came home to Lehighton with the dreaded disease and his home was quarantined.

This was not an isolated outbreak.  Many cases were reported in the larger cities in the northeast at that time.  By May however, it was more widespread in Lehighton with at least eight more people in this vicinity became ill, including Nathan Ebert, Carrie Bachman and her father William, the and the Robert Drumbore family.

Most of the cases were near Baer's Third and Alums Sts home and along Bridge St in the upper vicinity of his silk mill.  The Lehighton Board of Health took the extreme measure of quarantining this portion of town and southward on Bridge St with rope, with monitors to ensure no one would enter or leave.

Railroader and grocery store owner William Bachman of Bridge St died in June.  His adult daughter Carrie followed him two weeks later.  His widow Sarah continued running their Bridge St grocery store with their daughter Gertrude.

Benjamin J. Kuntz – Tanner & Mayor:

Kuntz, as mentioned earlier, was a three-term mayor of town and lived in a small home at the corner of Second and Alum, across the street from the O. W. Snyder residence.

Kuntz spent his last years as a fire insurance agent in Philadelphia, but made arrangements to be buried in his hometown, alongside that of his son Edgar and wife Ellen.
The End

Appendix of Pictures:

At first glance, this almost looks like the former G.C. Murphy building that once operated across the lane from today's Hi-Rise.  However this building burned in a 1963 fire in what is today the parking lot of Rite Aid on North First St Lehighton.

Above is the inverted cross painted on the ceiling of the Knights of Malta Hall, on the second floor of the former "Hinkle's Downtown Grille."  Also pictured here are the wardrobe closets.  Each door was labeled for the costumes contained: "Blueman Master Builder," "White...Goliath's," "Knight of the Green," and "Priestly Pass."
The Moyer and Haupt Edsel dealership did not last long before the entire Ford Garage located there when
the Edsel line of cars was discontinued.  Lehighton Ford trades in this Route 443 building today.
Inside of the Elks August 12, 1950 Coaster Races Program in Lehighton.

Back of the August 11, 1951 Coaster Race giving the history of the
event back to 1923 in Lehighton.

The above three fire pictures are from Reuben Small's collection of that time simply labeled "Lehighton Garage fire."  The problem with this being Serfass is there doesnt appear to be brick walls in the known Serfass Motor fire pictures.  
This picture is from the Haupt family collection of the Serfass Motor fire in May 1918.  Note the distinct roof profile of today's Dr. Bruce Hartman's dental office building, next to today's Mallard Market (not seen here), in the background.  This is the current location of a three story brown brick building directly behind the former Times News Building on Iron St.