Saturday, January 30, 2016

Albrightsville: The Fire and the Fury Part 2 - "The Fury"

So the Devil was Waiting…
“…Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?...So I run to the rock, please hide me…But the rock cried out, ‘I can’t hide you’…I said, ‘Rock, what’s a matter with you rock?  Don’t you see I need you, rock?’...So I run to the Lord, ‘Please hide me Lord, don’t you see me prayin’?’… The Lord said, go to the Devil…So the Devil was waitin’…” ~Nina Simone “Sinnerman”
“Most men there serve as guides during the hunting season.  Otherwise they grow potatoes or do a little lumbering.  Hardly anybody but hunters ever go in that section and when they want a deer, one of those swamp men will get him one.” ~Samuel W. Hofford, clerk of U.S. court in Scranton in 1933 and former Carbon County resident.
Long-line of undertakers and hunters of the Pine Swamp - Henry C. Melber (l) with sons Ed Melber and Harry Melber with his son Nathan Melber, proudly display their readiness for bird hunting, a tradition that is still carried on by the successive generation (5) of Melbers being undertakers and hunters.  Henry was the originator, starting as a furniture maker in Mauch Chunk.  Great, great grandson Tom Melber and his son Nathan continue in Jim Thorpe and Weissport today.    
Everyone fights their own war.

Folks in the Pine Swamp had no more, and most likely no less, distress than most anyone else.

But it was a devil’s sequester: far from the “city” life of say Mauch Chunk or Lehighton. 

People vanished here.

The embrace of a bear.
Jacob Hait brought the Pine Swamp bruin down with a gunshot, presumed it to be dead, and knelt beside it “to draw the blood.”  
Jacob Hait grew up in Tannery and later lived in the Pine Swamp,
though no census record exists for him after the 1880 Census.

With one mighty and final stroke of power, the bear swiped a paw downward, breaking Hait’s neck and drawing his face into his mouth.

They found both Hait and the bear in a death embrace. 

His parents, John and Sally Hait, show up in the records in Tannery in the 1870s and 1880s with Jacob, Eliza and other children.  The article of Jacob’s death said he lived in the Pine Swamp, but no record exists of him after the 1880 Census.

The Pine Swamp was so rural, many folks were simply invisible to the Census takers of those days.

“Stumble in and fall out.”
“Hicks” Bergenstock lived the life of a hobo.  He’d traded in paint: painting interiors of farmhouses and exteriors of barns in exchange for room and board. 

At times he traded the isolation of the Pine Swamp for the bustle of city life in Mauch Chunk, painting while living in the American Hotel. 

By the 1940s, he squatted on a patch of land across from the Albrightsville Fire Co, his mailbox said it all: “Stumble in and Fall out.”

Hicks is remembered today for his painting of Christ in the clouds at St Paul’s Lutheran.  His final and most permanent residence is there, in the rear of the church graveyard, a stone’s throw from his only other known address.

 “R.D. Ritter’s” wife packed on ice.

At least one swindler succeeded in using these north woods as cover for a con. 
On a summer day in 1892, teary-eyed “Ritter” (hereafter known as the “Swindler”) appeared before undertaker Harry C. Melber of Mauch Chunk to make arrangements for his wife.

Harry made the sober arrangements with the Swindler, promising a coffin and six chairs, for the weary mourners to sit upon, to be delivered up to Tannery the following Monday.

Harry’s bill of service came to $36.12.  Forthwith the Swindler provided him with a check for $42.00, drawn from the “Second National Bank of Wilkes-Barre.”  Harry coughed up the $6.12 difference in hard-earned currency and the con was complete.

The ever faithful Harry set out early Monday morning, up and over the dusty mountain road, the same used by the stage coach (today’s Old Stage Road), finding no said wife on no said ice.

And then there was blood.
Two murder-suicides occurred with two months, and later, two suicides occurred between two sister-in-laws within ten days.

Two Murder Suicides:
Benjamin and Ellamanda Kresge were longtime homesteaders of Leonardsville, near Hayes Creek.  Their daughter Margaret “Maggie” Kresge received many proposals from “Big John” Woblan, by some accounts the two were lovers.  Big John worked at the neighboring Mel Dotter farm.
Margaret "Maggie" Kresge - Killed
by her lover in Kidder Township.
Just why she objected to his overtures is unclear.  However on a Thursday afternoon on September 19, 1912, he gunned Maggie down in the kitchen of her parents’ home. 

Big John then went to shoot himself, on her back porch.  Maggie was just nineteen and John was 25.  She is buried in White Haven from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church there.
The home of Maggie Kresge near Hayes' Creek.

Two months later, Irwin Hawk lost control of his jealousies with his fiancĂ© and did the same to Mary “Mae” Gibson.

Irwin was the son of Jacob S. and Mable Hawk.  Jacob was a Civil War veteran, county commissioner, wintergreen distiller, sawmill owner, and hotel keeper who was born in Albrightsville.  His lumbering operations were disrupted in the Great
Benjamin Kresge and his horse Collie.  Benjamin
and Ellamanda were parents of Maggie.
Fire of 1875 (See Post #1 of “Fire and Fury”.)

Son Irwin, age 27, worked for his father as both a lumberman in the Pine Swamp as well as a bartender at the family hotel on Susquehanna Street in Mauch Chunk.  Mae Gibson, aged 28, worked there as a house keeper.

She died of two bullet wounds to the chest on November 29th, 1912.  Irwin died the following day in Palmerton Hospital, of a single shot to the right side of his head.

At first arrangements were being made to have her body taken to family back in New York City (she was born in England).  

However, through either a bittersweet change of heart or perhaps just for convenience, the two were buried side-by-side in Old Albrightsville Cemetery.

Ever faithful H. C. Melber handled the arrangements.

Sister-in-Law Suicide #1:
Roger Meckes was a hearty lumberman in the Pine Swamp, also known as Carbon’s “Christmas Tree King.”  

He also competed with Robert Getz for title of “The Potato King."  Over the years he employed different area men in this pursuit.  
April 1927 Scranton Republican - Mellie Meckes

Norman Eckley Sr., now of Lehighton, formerly of Meckesville, picked for Roger at $4.00 per day. 

Roger took leave each fall to the woods of Maine and Canada to secure freight cars of Christmas trees to resell here in Carbon, taking young Getz’s, Kibler’s, and Henning’s over the border to Quebec with him as helpers. 

Meckes could be a hard man and was known to be a bit of a rake.  His wife could bake a variety of pies, and still he’d hunger for what wasn’t there.

Whether out of kindness or opportunity, Rog’ even employed young widowed boarders and their sons to work his farm and timbering interests. 

Roger and his first wife Mellie (Eschenbach) took in his widowed, invalid step-mother (Rosanna Himmelberger) as well as his own children.  He also had for a time an adopted son George Shupp (whose mother Sarah Shupp bled to death near the end of her last pregnancy).

Mellie Meckes sought to schedule her own death, her opportunity was found in the death of Roger’s cousin Amandus Meckes.

Roger took the older children along with him to Amandus’ funeral which left Mellie at home with the eight-month-old, a toddler, and her sickly step-mother-in-law.
A young Roger Meckes from a family portrait with his
three sisters (Courtesy of Jean Keiper of Meckesville).

She took care of her morning duties and breakfast dishes.  She even churned some butter.  She saw Rosanna’s needs and tucked-in her eight-month-old.  

Then she took Roger’s .38 revolver for a 300-yard walk down Mauch Chunk road, in the fields beyond her back step, far enough, she’d hoped, to mute the sounds of her last sin.

Roger found her there upon his return late that night.  She was thirty-three.

Maria Getz answered the call of domestic assistance for Meckes.  Maria was the daughter of Freeman and Arsula Getz of Albrightsville.  (Grandson Charlie Getz still lives on their farm.) 

What was to be simple, temporary assistance, turned into either a romance or a permanent business arrangement.  Maria became Mrs. Roger Meckes the Second.

Sister-in-Law Suicide #2:
If one had any Pine Swamp gossip to dole, prudent discretion was certainly necessary.  Though these neighbors were flung apart on dirt roads and up the wilderness of sawmill creeks, their bloodlines made them tighter than a woolen girdle left out in the rain.
Pittston Gazette - May 1927 - Ella Meckes Altemose

The family names of Christman, Dotter, Eckley, Getz, Henning, Hibbler, Kibler, Meckes, and Van Horn dotted the limbs of most people’s family trees.

One “undercover” Meckes was Mrs. Ellamanda Altemouse, wife of Milton.  She was Roger’s sister and Mellie’s death ten days before encouraged her to do the same.

Milton knew Ella was fragile.  She battled private wars of depression for years.  He was always careful to take precautions with her during her downswings.  The shock of Mellie’s death seemed to resonant an ever increasing bleakness inside her ever darkening mind.

The children of Samuel and Isabella (Ziegenfuss) Meckes:
from left: Ellamanda, Emma Jane, Amelia and Roger.
Ellamanda married Milton Altemose and died in his arms.
The picture is circa 1900 (Courtesy of Jean Keiper).
Her extended morning absence to fetch fresh water wasn’t noticeable, until Milton went to shave and realized his razor was missing.

He found her in the woods, her neck opened from ear to ear.  She died moments later in his arms.

Thus this little hamlet of fewer than ninety people suffered two suicides in two weeks.  “Mental disorders” were blamed in both deaths.  She was 52, ten years younger than husband Milton.

Blurried Lines:
In June 1878, Rueben Serfass hired the 17-year-old wife who lived “up the road” to assist his wife, Caroline. 

Caroline Groat married George Brown in 1875 when she was just 15 and Brown was a spry forty-five.
The Carbon County DA took some flak from the local papers
for its handling of the Brown vs Serfass case in January of 1879.
The Brown's were represented by Gen. Charles Albright himself.

Both Caroline Brown and Caroline Searfoss had young, still nursing newborns.  

Emma Searfoss was born in February of 1877 and George Brown Jr. was born eight months later.

Both parties were satisfied with the arrangement.  The Browns received extra “pin money” and the Serfass’ increased their domestic bliss with a lightened load, for Emma was their seventh child, age twelve down to newborn.

Then one night things went south.

Mrs. Serfass made an overnight visit to her aging father in Towamensing.

Upon her return, Mrs Serfass found her home humming and gleaming.  She found all the coziness of the tidying and fresh baking to smack of a “crookedness hatched out of Gommorah.”  

The enraged Mrs Serfass gave Caroline Brown the boot.

According to later testimony of the Serfass', Mrs. Brown had forgot her place.  

Also according to the Serfass' testimony, the case against Mr. Serfass resulted from Mrs Brown feeling ashamed and jilted by her ousting of Mrs. Serfass.

However the Brown's maintained that Reuben was imposing certain extra domestic demands upon his young servant woman.
The record shows the young Mrs. Brown was a “novice making herself understood in English.”  The court hired regionally and nationally known character “Pit Schweffelbenner” (Mauch Chunk resident editor Captain Edward H. Rauch) to translate her testimony in her case against Reuben.

The trial exonerated Reuben.

Soon after, the Browns moved to Franklin Township.

Love and Death of Arlington Hay.
Some say similar passions were at work in the death of Arlington Hay, a handsome and well-liked man of the Pine Swamp.  A World War I veteran, he married Evelyn Wernett on May 30, 1920, in the city of Allentown.
Arlington Hay was a popular
and handsome man of the Pine
Swamp.  A WWI veteran
he died, some say poisoned,
early on in his marriage.

Family loyalty dictates who to believe.  Those in the Hay tree say Evelyn had fallen for Claude Kibler while Arlington was overseas, but married Hay anyway despite finding this new love.

They say she poisoned him with a pesticide used by local apple growers known as “Paris green,” so named for its use in that city to control the rat population back in the 19th-century.

Arlington fought a three-day battle with “indigestion due to drinking stagnant water,” which are the same symptoms of the said poison.

Hay served in WWI as a corporal in the 305th Motor Supply Train from April of 1918 until August of 1919. 

Brash Boy Bandits.

Edward and Joseph Lewis were hucksters from White Haven. 

Hucksters Edward and Joseph Lewis of White Haven robbed
by Frederick and Charles Wernett in May 1919.

During the broad-daylight robbery, one of the Lewis brothers had his ear creased from a pistol.  It took place four miles from the Wernettt Hotel.  

Suspicion quickly fell upon two rascals belonging to landlord Charles Wernett:  Frederick (age 20) and Charles Wernett Jr (age 18), brothers of Evelyn Wernett Hay Kibler. 

Their denials could not save them from a hearing before Squire Granville Rehrig in Mauch Chunk.  Not only were they innocent they claimed but they knew who did it.  It was the Van Horn brothers, most likely Harrison and either his brother Austin or Monroe they said. 

Magistrate Rehrig wasn’t fooled and immediately sent the Wernett’s to Judge Barber.  They were fined $500 each with costs and to serve not more than ten nor less than eight years in prison. 

However, it appears they served four years or less.  Charles Jr. married a Bethlehem woman in Lehigh County almost four years to the day of the incident.  He lived out his life in Bethelhem until his death in the 1970s.

Older brother Frederick worked for their father, who had a farm, lumbering and stave mill.  He also ran the Charles Wernett House with his brother Xavier until it burned down in October of 1948.  Frederick died of throat cancer in Bethlehem in the 1960s. 

Enter the one-armed school teacher.
Harry Wilkinson left his hometown of Freeland to teach.  Either from birth or accident, he was without his right arm.  

Early on, he was a night watchman in a Freeland Silk Mill, later turning to teaching: first in Foster Township and then, fatefully, a job in the Meckesville School appealed to him.
H.C. Wilkinson left Meckesville for Big Creek -
Seen here with graduates of Franklin Schools.  He
was Assistant Principal with B. M. Shull of Lehighton.

It wasn’t long before some “bad blood” developed between the new teacher (who was also serving as deputy game-agent) and the Henning family. 

Aquila Henning Jr., the 18-year-old son of “Quilly” Henning was arrested by Wilkinson for a game law violation some months before.

The rest of the story and the true motives of those involved is a Carbon County mystery lost to time.

It was Thanksgiving Day, 1932.

What is known is that one of the dogs used by the Wilkinson family was shot and killed.  Earlier, according to Robert Wilkinson’s testimony, Aquila Henning Jr. taunted Wilkinson with threats against the family’s dogs.

Later, according to Robert, upon entering a clearing, he indeed found one of his dogs shot to death.  At the same time, “obscured behind a stump” was the elder Henning, Quilly,  who just took a potshot at Harry Wilkinson, scraping the top of his head.  (Some say two dogs were shot, others say one.)

Robert Wilkinson felt he needed quick action to prevent a second shot from killing his brother.   So he shot Aquila Henning Sr. with buckshot, flooding his lungs with blood.  

Harry Wilkinson quickly summoned help to carry Quilly out of the brush and arranged for a vehicle to take him over an “ancient logging” road, over the mountain to the Palmerton hospital.  He arrived there alive.

Some of Quilly’s last words to the staff included his denial of knowingly shooting at Wilkinson or his dogs.  He died within hours.

The subsequent trial sought justice for what the Henning family saw as murder. 

However the law saw it as justifiable self-defense and Robert Wilkinson was acquitted.

There were two other suits brought to court over the case.  
Woman of the wilderness: Annie Henning
Still dressed in black a year later, the “backwoodsman’s wife” Annie Henning, was back in court in November of 1933. 

She refused to take the $4,000 from the New York Life Insurance Company policy.  Annie was holding out for the $8,000 double indemnity clause she felt was owed.  

The witnesses called were as “characteristically rustic as herself.” Annie sat, unmoved, next to her counsel as Robert Wilkinson described the details of Quilly’s death with the accent “peculiar of those of that area.” 

At 31-year-old who looked to be still in his teens, his testimony never wavered. 

New York Life’s attorneys saw it as no accident, meaning they favored the Wilkinson testimony which proved in their eyes that Henning's malice is what resulted in his death. 

So they refused to double the payment.

 Annie returned home broken-hearted.

The Case versus Wenz:
Old Albrightsville Cemetery - Aquila's marker from the Wenz Company of
Allentown stirred controversy, depicting Henning as a victim of an ambush
by a one-armed man and accomplices, some with faces of dogs.
Five and a half years later, Harry Wilkinson sues the Wenz Memorial Company of Allentown for $50,000 in damages, claiming the tombstone falsely implies his guilt in Henning’s death. Hennings stone says an “innocent soul sent to eternity.”  It replaced the usual “BORN” and “DIED” language with “SHOT.”

It also shows what could be considered dog-faced images that could be human or canines.  But central to it all, stands a one-armed man looking like he’s part of an ambush in the woods.

The Reclusive Harrison Van Horn:
The Van Horns were a knock-about family of Meckesville for a time.  They still lived the hard life of private day to day lumbering when times were at their leanest.  Harrison, Monroe, and Austin Van Horn were unmarried and still living in the ramshackle cabin of their dead parents.
14 August 1952 - Mauch Chunk
Times News

(My mind travels to the unmarried Ward brothers of upstate New York, subject of the document “Brother’s Keeper.”  Delbert Ward was charged in the smothering, some say mercy killing of his older brother William.)

The Van Horns held constant struggles in their bellies and upon their backs, and were known to be reclusive, even by Pine Swamp standards.  Roger Meckes would help them with odd jobs when he could.  But Meckes was gone, his farm sold at sheriff sale to Robert Getz.  

One of Robert's sons, Lawrence Getz, took pity on the Van Horns.  At some point after offering them some free lumber, Getz asked for some back.  Harrison became unhinged and threatened Lawrence with an axe.
Lawrence Getz with his four sons and a tagged bear
 in the 1980s.  Getz was 28 when Van Horn was killed
by state police in 1952.

A pauper's grave - The Van Horn family eked a rough
and tumble existence in the Pine Swamp.

With the state police on approach to the Van Horn cabin, Harrison went “berserk” and shot.  He was forty-nine.    

Charles and Liza Van Horn died in the mid-1930s with little more than with which they were born.  Their graves in the Old Albrightsville Cemetery are marked still by the temporary markers placed there over eighty years ago.


"Tweety's" Place Today - Just below the Old Albrightsville Cemetery along Mud Run.

I have a strong nostalgia for this place.  

I started fishing there when I was 7, sleeping overnight in the bed of my brother in law’s pickup.  We’d always pass “Mrs. Tweetie’s” place, the small plank home just below the Old Albrightsville Cemetery on the edge of Mud Run, and we’d see her either drawing water from the creek or even washing her clothes.

Looking back on those memories now some 35 years later makes me wonder how people thrived and succumbed to the withering and bleak winters of this final frontier of our county.

"Mrs. Tweetie" would spend her time alone mostly.  Sometimes her out of state sons would pay a visit for a time.  When the creek froze in the winter she would grudgingly accept the hospitality of the Getzs, but only until the cold snap broke and the water flowed again.

Then one day, in the late 1970s she was no longer there, the last of her kind, gone but not forgotten.

Afterword and Sidenotes:
Curious Connector:
~Hannah “Almite” Christman was perhaps born of the wrong age.  For by the age of twenty-nine had produced two sons, Aquila Henning (by John) in 1893 and Harley Getz (by Ira in 1899) and one daughter Jesse R. Hawk Serfass in 1888.  Quilly of course was killed by Robert Wilkinson in 1932 and Harley worked for Roger Meckes in his Christmas tree wholesaling. 

Hannah “Almite” Christman was living with William and Ira Getz in 1900, when son Harley Getz was just a newborn.  Robert Getz was Ira’s brother.  Hannah’s sister was Arsula Christman Getz who married Freeman Getz.  Oddly, in the 1910 Census Ira was living with his brother Robert and so was Hannah (as a “servant”) and son Harley was listed as a “cousin” to Robert.

In 1910, Ira is head of the house with his father William still living with him.  Also there, is Hannah Christman with both Aquila Henning and Harley Getz.  Ira still lists Harley as his “cousin.”  Aquila had a son he seems to have named after his half-brother Harley.  

Hannah’s daughter Jesse married Rodger Green who also worked for Robert Getz, he was killed by a fall on the head in 1919.  Quilly Henning’s father John Henning also worked for Robert Getz.

It was Harley who saw his mother through her old age in East Greenville in 1950.  She hemorrhaged from her lungs from tuberculosis in 1950.  She’s buried beside her parents in Albrightsville, retaining her God-given name, as if to erase her marriage to Henning and living as a wife to Getz.

Albert Henning, the old postmaster at Albrightsville for over 40 years, was the step-father of Claude Kibler.  His step-daughter married Harley Getz, who as of Albert’s 1961 death, was still living in Greenville, Montgomery County.  His sister was married to James Getz of White Haven.

~Harry C. Wilkinson spent his later years in Franklin Township’s Big Creek area with his second wife, Gladys Markley, one of the teachers he supervised in Franklin schools. 

His first wife, “Bessie” (Elizabeth) Hibbler Wilkinson raised their two children, Elizabeth (“Betty”) and Harry Junior, in Mahoning Township.  She supported herself in a dress factory.  They lived by Hammel's Gas Station near Pleasant Corners.

Harry died due to a failed surgery to fix the diverticulitis in his intestines.  His obituary failed to mention his children.  He was survived by three brothers and two sisters, including the one who fired the fatal shot on Henning, Robert.

~Annie Henning lived a long and austere life, spending her final years in the Packerton Dam area.  She would return to the swamp from time to time, no doubt visiting Quily’s grave.  Her former neighbors, always delighted to see her, would take her in for lunch and coffee. 

Known for her quiet piety, it’s been said that she made lengthy prayers before eating, some up to five to ten minutes long.  She died in 1980, a forty-eight year widow.

The “Kings” of Meckesville:
Robert Getz, the “Potato King,” harvested over 300 acres of potatoes on farms in Monroe and Carbon Counties.  Getz’s father was Wilheim/William Getz (1824-1910), a founding father of Albrightsville. 

According to Norman Eckley, Roger Meckes was also known as the “Potato King.”   Francis ‘Franz’ Wernett, father of Charles Sr. and the Wernett who started the hotel who was mentioned above was known as the “Huckleberry King” of the Pine Swamp in the 1870s.

Getz’s two sons, Luther and Lawrence took over the substantial land holdings of their father, making their own mark in real estate and other businesses that their descendents successfully run today.

Roger Meckes died alone and poor.  His 76-acre “Fairview Farm” was sold from under him at Sheriff Sale and purchased by Robert Getz.  Marie died in 1954.

Roger's seventy-six-acre “Fairview Farm” and homestead, at the western edge of “Meckesville,” was purchased by Robert Getz and later became part of the Mt. Pocahontas development, the clubhouse today being his former home.
Roger spent his final years in an Odd Fellows nursing home near Harrisburg.  He is buried next to his first wife Mellie at the Gilbert Cemetery in Monroe County.  He died in 1958. 

Many in the area owed their employment to Roger Meckes and Robert Getz.

The Meckes’ share the same graveyard with Sebastian Kresge, founder of the 600-store chain Kmart, which began as the “S.S. Kresge Company” five & dime stores. 

~The economy of this wilderness was much different than today.  Roger “the Christmas Tree King” Meckes found it profitable to harvest in the wild, his cost to cut and transport smaller trees was around 15 to 25 cents.  These trees were resold in the towns of Carbon County for 50 cents to one dollar.  This of course was before the plantation style tree farming common in Carbon County today. 
Christmas trees being sorted for freight delivery from the Pittsburgh Daily
Post - December 1902.  Men like Roger Meckes ensured trees came to
Carbon from the wild woods of Maine and Canada long before the current
plantation-style of farming existed.

Interesting to note that Carbon County has supplied the White House tree on five occasions in recent years, four times by Chris Botek’s Crystal Spring Farms and once by Bustard Farms. Botek has provided the state tree in Harrisburg nineteen times in the last twenty years. Perhaps these men owe a tip of the hat to Meckes.

~It is unclear, but Jacob Hait looks to have left a wife and at least one daughter when he passed.  The 1900 Census shows his mother Sally “Heydt” living out her widowed days in Lehighton with Jacob’s sister Eliza Everett, wife of Nathan. 

~Captain E. H. Rauch published his still renowned “Rauch’s Pennsylvania Dutch Handbook” with translation from Dutch and from English the same year as the Brown vs. Serfass trial.  
Edward H. Rauch was a long-time
newspaperman, starting papers
all over the Lehigh Valley.  He was
also a highly regarded expert
in putting the Pennsylvania Dutch
dialect down in written form.  He was
also instrumental in fulfilling the
promise of construction of
the inter-urban trolley line from
Flagstaff over the mountain
to Lehighton.  

If not the penultimate in Pa Dutch writing works, no legitimate discussion of the written Dutch word can occur without citing Rauch.  Published in 1879 it is still in print by Penn State University Press and required book for Pennsylvania Studies.
~The Hawk Run and Hawk Falls derives their names from the Jacob S. Hawk family farm, which is along Rt 534 just before entering Hickory Run State Park.  The Hawk farm was mainly across the street from the 25-foot natural falls parking lot.  A must see spot of beauty in Carbon County (From Rt 903, you will see parking on both sides of the road just be the Turnpike overpass.  Hawk Run empties into Mud Run.  The Turnpike Mud Run Gorge Bridge is said to be the highest on the pike.)

Jacob Hawk's grave at the Old Albrightsville Cemetery.

Civil War Veteran, Commissioner, Lumberman, and Hotelier Jacob S. Hawk of Albrightsville lived to be a seventy-six year-old widower with senility.  

On August 27, 1916, he wandered into the path of a car and was killed.
Rauch is either the man seated at the terminus of the rail or the one standing with his cane on it.  Rauch "Schweffelbenner" was said to have driven the connecting "Golden Spike" on the trolley line connecting
Lehighton to Mauch Chunk's Flagstaff. 


January 1879 – Trial of Caroline Brown versus Reuben Serfass.  Same year “Pit Schweffelbenner,” E. H. Rauch, of Mauch Chunk publishes his definitive Pennsylvania Dutch handbook.
19 August 1892 – H. C. Melber gets swindled.
19 September 1912 – “Big John” Woblan kills Maggie Kresge for refusing to marry him and in turn kills himself.
29 November 1912 – Irwin Hawk duplicates the Kresge murder by killing his fiancĂ© Mary Gibson in Mauch Chunk.
23 May 1919 – Frederick and Charles Wernett Jr rob the Edward and Joseph Lewis of White Haven.
1 December 1920 – Jacob Hait killed by blackbear.
28 October 1922 – Arlington Hay dies of “severe indigestion.”
19 April 1927 – Mellie (Eschbach) Meckes kills herself.
1 May 1927 – Ellamanda (Meckes) Altemose kills herself.
24 November 1932 – Aquila Henning Sr shot by Robert Wilkinson; ruled justifiable homicide.
14 August 1952 – Harrison Van Horn killed by state police; ruled justifiable homicide.
This 1958 Pocono Record news account describes the successful
hunt of one of its native sons.  Albert was the son of Howard and
Martha "Toots" (Dotter) Henning.  Albert was in the Air Force, married
Pearl Smith of Branson Missouri and eventually retired back to Albrightsville.

One group of hearty Pine Swamp lumbermen were the
Boatmen of the Lehigh Canal took to the woods for seasonal work.
Allentown Leader - 26 November 1904 - Nothstein and
Freyman were cousins.  Nothstein was an attorney in
Mauch Chunk (a cousin of mine) who died an
untimely death due to tonsillectomy complications
in 1912, aged 44.

Kim, Jon, Solly, and me - Hawk Falls - May 2015