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Features

Friday, July 23, 2010
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS On the left, the Osprey House is connected to the new building. It awaits restoration, but served as office, storage and library for many years.

A reception was held with tables of food and beverages outside on the porch of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on July 16 for the grand opening of its visitor-education building. Chairs were filled in the "great room." The walls were lined with people and the hallway was crowded.

Bob Hoopes, as master of ceremonies and a board member, gave an overview of the center. Members of the board were recognized: Michal Kubik, Ronald Kline, Kathy Romano, George Beam, Fritz Brock, Anita Collins, Jeff Frantz, Geryl Gritz, Diane Husic, Bill Mineo, Grant White and director Dan Kunkle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Carole Walbert and Eddie Lukasevich release butterflies at the Denise O'Donnell memorial service on a rainy Saturday morning at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Jim Thorpe. "She didn't dream her life. She lived her dreams," Lukasevich said.

More than 80 friends bade farewell to Denise O'Donnell on a rainy Saturday, July 10 morning at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Jim Thorpe. The Buddhist ceremony overseen by a saffron and maroon-robed monk prayed to set her spirit on the path to rebirth on a higher plane of existence.

Carole Walbert, executor of the Denise O'Donnell estate, read "An Irish Funeral Prayer" that began, "Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room."

Friday, July 16, 2010
Nancy Thatcher of the Lehigh Township Historical Society accepts a book, "The One-room Schoolhouse," from Lenny Szy of the Lower Saucon Historical Society.

A simple, one-roomschool was built in connection with St. Paul's Indianland Union Church in 1865.

One hundred and forty-five years later, it's back in the business of education.

After years spent renovating the schoolhouse, the Lehigh Township Historical Society reopened it as a teaching tool.

The school was in use until 1951. It is still owned by the church, now a United Church of Christ church, and is leased by the society.

Friday, July 9, 2010
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Citizen volunteers scrutinize anonymous early photos of the Tamaqua area, hoping to find clues to help identify either time or place.

Any detective knows that one of the best ways to obtain information is to enlist the help of the general public.

Many sets of eyes can see what one pair cannot.

That's the idea behind the successful 'I Spy' program of the Tamaqua Historical Society.

Several times a year, the society sets up tables inside Downtown Tamaqua headquarters and scatters hundreds of anonymous photos on the table tops.

The public is invited to stop in and examine the pictures to see what they can identify.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Among the holdings of the the Tamaqua Historical Society are property and records that chronicle the history of the town, founded 1799. These include:

1848 Thomas Hegary Blacksmith Shop, donated in 1973

1801 Burkhardt Moser Log Home

1942 New Haven Caboose, donated by Conrail

1951 Mack Fire Truck, donated by Atlas Powder Co.

1905 Miners National Bank Building and Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce office, donated by Miners National Bank.

Records of the Tamaqua Chapter of the United Spanish American War Veterans

Records of the Tamaqua Women's Club

Friday, July 2, 2010
Members of the Effort United Methodist Church's Prayer Shawl Ministry displays some of the prayer shawls they have made, stitched and crocheted with prayers of comfort and solace. They are, left to right: Mert Wolfe, Ruth Ann Allen, Joyce Aylsworth, Lorraine Altemose.

Life has many ups and downs. Some are easier to cope with than others. Often people find themselves in need of comfort. Maybe that comfort comes in the form of support from family and friends. Perhaps it comes in the form of a visit, a phone call or a card which can lift the spirit.

Comfort can also come in the form of a soft handmade warm shawl to be wrapped around you like a hug-a hug that has been prayed over. These are called Prayer Shawls.

Friday, June 25, 2010
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS A cannon ball was found by privy diggers.

Maxine Vermillion, curator of the Summit Hill Museum, was waiting at the door to greet visitors from the Palmerton Area Historical Society which was on its annual mystery trip planned by Betsy Burnhauser.

On this day, the Palmerton Historical Society paid a visit to the Summit Hill Historical Society.

Vermillion said the building had an earlier life as a drug store. The shelving is original and some of the other furnishings are reproductions.

Friday, June 18, 2010
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Using the Magna Carta as a resource, genealogist Bob Kunkel has traced his family lineage back to 1379.

When it comes to the family tree, nobody can climb branches better than Bob Kunkel.

Kunkel, 48, a Tamaqua native, has spent the last 26 years not only searching his family tree, but developing his own special method of archiving relatives.

He's assisted other genealogists and has provided assistance to the popular online database Ancestry.com.

His method, the Kunk system, keeps track of ancestors and allows for "new finds" along the way. It also provides a way to add births that occur in the family as time goes on.

Saturday, June 12, 2010
PRESS PHOTO BY ARA BARLIEB Wally Ely with his book, "Images of Rail Auto-Train."

When it comes to the subject of trains, Wally Ely has few equals.

Since his father worked on trains, he had the train bug early in life.

Ely retired from the banking industry and is now a volunteer and past president of WK&S Railroad, Kempton, Berks County, which offers seasonal weekend excursions on what is known as its Hawk Mountain Line.

"Officially, Amtrak claims the train is three-quarter-mile long, made up of 18 passenger cars and 33 auto carriers, plus two engines," Wally Ely says of the Auto Train, the subject of his book, Images of Rail Auto-Train.

Friday, June 11, 2010
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Emel Rasim of Palmerton was one of 25 chosen out of a 1,000 young people who auditioned at the The Talent event in Philadlephia to continue the next phase in Florida. Here she is showing off her official The ID as she prepares for the competition held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando.

Emel Rasim has stars in her eyes.

Someday, she hopes to see her name in lights.

It is a dream this Palmerton 12-year-old has had for as long as she can remember.

"When I was very young, I would dance a lot and hum. I like to sing so much," says Emel, who likes to be called Emy.

Her mother, Gulnar Rasim, says that ever since Emy got a karaoke machine a few years ago, it seems the microphone is always in her hand. To her and her husband, Reggie, owners of Palmerton Pizza, Emy, is already a star in their eyes.