Tuesday, June 2, 2015
     

Early Times Capsule

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weather experts are calling this the deadliest tornado season in half a century. The storm earlier this week which spawned two low-level tornadoes in this area was a scary reminder of the whopper systems rolling through the nation's midsection.

A century ago, another intense storm system created havoc throughout the Northeast.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

By JIM ZBICK

JZBICK@TNONLINE.COM

IN 1911 ALVA ERSKINE BELMONT, A PROMINENT MULTI-MILLIONAIRE AMERICAN SOCIALITE AND A MAJOR FIGURE IN WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENTS, HAD A VISION TO CREATE A FARM WHERE GIRLS COULD LIVE AND WORK HARD, EARNING WAGES WHILE LEARNING HOW TO DO MAN'S WORK.

THE INTENT WAS TO GET GIRLS OUT OF THE CITY AND BACK TO A WHOLESOME ENVIRONMENT. WHEN ALVA MADE HER 200-ACRE MANSION AND GROUNDS ON LONG ISLAND AVAILABLE, OVER 200 YOUNG WOMEN IMMEDIATELY APPLIED.

THE "WOMEN FARMERS" DID GARDENING, TOOK CARE OF LAWNS, RAISED VEGETABLES AND GREW FRUITS.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

By JIM ZBICK

jzbicktnonline.com

It's not clear how local promoters were able to swing it, but on May 13, 1911, the Lansford Opera House landed Mary Mannering, one of the biggest stars of the stage world, for a one-night showing.

When it came to the big stage, there was no bigger name during the first decade of the 20th century than Mannering. The British-born round-faced, dark-haired performer appeared to be at the top of her acting career in 1911.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

By jim zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com

Local residents had their thirst for news well satisfied during the spring of 1911.

A variety of stories – ranging from the action-packed to the humorous to the scandalous – made front-page news in the Tamaqua Courier.

The scandalous and tragic life of Rev. J. A. Bennett, a former Lansford pastor, had area residents buzzing that spring. For those who were familiar with the pastor's wandering and lustful lifestyle, news of his sudden demise on the West Coast was not all that shocking.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

By jim zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com

@$:A highlight of the 1911 spring season for farmers from throughout the region was The Great Industrial Exposition which was sponsored by one of Tamaqua's leading merchants located on Broad Street.

"Seligman & Company will hold a miniature world's fair," a headline in the Tamaqua Courier announced in mid-April. The company's various promotions for the exhibition, which the Courier called the largest of its kind in the state, would impress even today's media-savvy public relations firms.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

With no electronic media like television, the Internet, or radio, Tamaqua merchants used their storefronts and the newspaper to attract pre-Easter business a century ago.

"Tamaqua merchants this year are exerting their best efforts to make attractive displays and some of the windows are real models of art," one Tamaqua Courier reporter observed in early April of 1911. "The interiors are also very attractive and it behooves the good housewife of Tamaqua to visit the downtown stores and see for herself just how up-to-date Tamaqua merchants can really be."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

By JIM ZBICK

jzbick@tnonline.com

Yesterday, the city of Douglas, Ariz., marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Agua Prieta, Mexico, the first battle of the Mexican Revolution.

In some ways the revolution resembled the current unrest we see sweeping through the Arab countries in the Middle East. By the spring of 1911, a number of factions and shifting alliances threatened the long tenure of President Porfirio Díaz, who had ruled Mexico like a king since 1876.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

By jim zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com

@$: An interesting article titled "Girls Won't Be Kissed on Lips" appeared in the April 1, 1911, edition of the Tamaqua Courier, but the story was no April Fool's joke.

The writer stated that a number of female students at Bloomsburg State Normal School had joined a group called the World's Health Organization and agreed "not to be kissed or kiss."

Since the Columbia County college attracted a number of students form the Tamaqua area, the writer felt it was important.

The pledge of the ladies stated:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

By JIM ZBICK

jzbicktnonline.com

One of the more depressing chapters of American health care was the treatment of the mentally ill leading into the 20th century. Because they were totally misunderstood and society did not know how to deal with them, many who entered an institution were often confined there for life.

Dorothy Dix, who crusaded for reforms of prisons and asylums during the 1800s, was once told that those being institutionalized "don't need any heat – they have no feeling."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

By JIM ZBICK

jzbick@tnonline.com

On March 30, 1911, Joseph Christock became the 657th person executed in the state of Pennsylvania when he was hung at the prison in Pottsville.

Four months earlier, Christock had been sentenced for the murder of two women – the shotgun slaying of Mrs. Mary Ann Richards and the rape and murder of Elizabeth Faulds, whose husband Peter owned the farm Christock was working on as a hired hand in South Manheim Township, near Auburn. Christ Becker of Tamaqua was one of the jury members during the emotional trial in November 1910.