Monday, January 26, 2015
     

Features

Friday, May 10, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS A $4.75-million investment by the John E. Morgan Foundation was parlayed into a $10-million campus that has turned Tamaqua into a college town.

Twelve years after his death and the closing of his namesake mills, John E. Morgan has a growing influence in his Tamaqua hometown and the region.

The industrialist's philanthropy supports medicine, arts, education, sports and science.

Friday, May 3, 2013
The John E. Morgan Memorial Fountain was unveiled at Tamaqua's Depot Square Park, August, 2002, one year after the industrialist's passing.

It was ten years ago when a town of 7,174 lost several hundred jobs. The end of an era.

The announcement came on November 12, 2002, crashing down on the community like a tidal wave of shock and disappointment.

After 57 years, J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills would fade away and lock the doors, with the loss of 460 livelihoods.

"We're phasing out the textile operations in Tamaqua," said Christopher Romano, then vice president, manufacturing.

The longtime reign of Schuylkill County's largest employer had ended. And everyone felt the hit.

Friday, April 26, 2013
J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills employed 1,500 workers at its peak. The company's flagship plant, shown here, was in Hometown, just 3 miles of where the company began.

J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills was the economic backbone of the area for decades, its name synonymous with Tamaqua. The firm also was the innovator and world leader in thermal underwear.

But that proud status belied the humble origins of an anthracite coal-region business that began on a shoestring by an enigmatic Tamaquan.

John E. Morgan was born in Tamaqua, the son of Danus and Lottie Morgan. He was a simple, private gentleman with conservative values and he founded a company in a modest way.

Saturday, April 20, 2013
Jim Thorpe's twin brother, Charlie, died when they were eight. Jim felt that he inherited his strength from his brother; that Charlie, was with him all the time.

"... and by a sleep, to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished."

William Shakespeare

It sometimes seems that Jim Thorpe is remembered more for what has happened since he died, than for the amazing accomplishments of his life.

Friday, April 19, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS An infusion of $500,000 into the former First National Bank building, Tamaqua, will reinvigorate the Tamaqua Historical Society Museum, which is set to house two permanent collections of national importance, along with other local memorabilia.

A 1/2-million-dollar project spanning two years is expected to result in a new tourist attraction in the center of Tamaqua, giving the downtown business district a substantial shot in the arm.

Plans are under way for major renovations at the 1905 First National Bank building. When completed, the structure will become a center for tours and the anchor for a 'Visit Tamaqua' entertainment venue that will allow guests to stroll through the museum and then walk to nearby restaurants, art galleries and historic sites, such as the nearby 1894 train station.

Saturday, April 13, 2013
D&L Trail Tender Steve Krentler demonstrates how to lay a stone wall as he repairs a damaged section of the Lehigh Canal in Freemansburg.

Along with building the 165-mile Delaware & Lehigh Trail, the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor's Trail Tenders have been working to preserve the historical places along the canal corridor.

In the Freemansburg borough, along the Lehigh River just east of Bethlehem, is the heritage site of Canal Lock 44 - consisting of a canal and canal lock, a locktender's house, a mule barn, and a mill raceway.

Friday, April 12, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Donna Kaminitsky, left, and Amy Hayes, grandmother and mother, respectively, are heartbroken over the unexpected loss of 14-year-old HaiLee.

HaiLee Hayes was a healthy, happy teenage girl.

The Tamaqua student had many interests - from cooking to NASCAR and her favorite driver Jimmie Johnson.

Everyone agrees she was a sensitive and sensible young girl who cared deeply about others and had lots of love to give.

"She was everybody's little mentor," says Donna Kaminitsky, Summit Hill, HaiLee's "Nana."

That's how HaiLee was, friends say. She was nurturing and always thought of others, not herself. And she was never one to complain.

But she did speak up a few weeks ago when she sensed something bad.

Saturday, April 6, 2013
For the 50th anniversary of the 1963 graduating class of Jim Thorpe High School, Jeanne Sterling Radley donated three scrapbooks of the events of her 1962-1963 senior year. Her brother, Jack Sterling, suggested donating them to the Dimmick Memorial Library where his wife, Susan Stirling, is the librarian.

Fifty years ago, sports were all the rage, and at Jim Thorpe High School, basketball was king. In 1962, the Olympians won their league's state championship, and in 1963, came within two points of bringing home a second state title.

As Jeanne Sterling, now Jeanne Sterling Radley, was entering her September 1962 - June 1963 senior year at Jim Thorpe High School, she felt this year would be special, and so she began a scrapbook that by the end of the school year grew to three volumes.

Friday, April 5, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Historical Society volunteers Dale Freudenberger, left, Bill Harleman and Julian Huegel, kneeling, display what is titled '1858 Official Plan Map of Tamaqua,' by Civil Engineer D.H. Goodwin.

According to early maps, there was once an island in the middle of Tamaqua.

The presence of the island corresponds to early written accounts about moving the river.

An 1858 map of Tamaqua clearly illustrates that the Little Schuylkill River - then called the Tamaqua River - split in the center of town and created an island. But town fathers didn't like the topography and did something about it.

As the town grew, a new river channel was excavated and the river diverted.

Saturday, March 30, 2013
A Republic of Ireland highway sign gives directions in the country's two languages: English and Irish (Irish Gaelic).

In the wake of St. Patrick's Day, a Lehighton woman couldn't keep herself from sharing an old family fable. Connie Cunningham tells the story of her great-grandfather, Joseph Michael Cunningham, and how he taught Gaelic to the Irish.

Joseph Michael Cunningham grew up on a farm west of the midlands of Ireland, just outside the town of County Galway, Ireland. The town's name, Tuaim, is derived from the Latin "tumulus"which means "burial mound".