Saturday, July 30, 2016


Friday, July 11, 2014
Coal cars, left, wait to be hoisted from the foot of the Mahanoy Plane in this 1890s image.

In 1868, the most powerful engines in the world were located 16 miles west of Tamaqua.

The power was necessary to hoist coal up a mountainside, coal that helped to build the country.

The engines were part of an amazing coal-car inclined railroad known as the Mahanoy Plane, an engineering marvel that boosted coal cars from the valley town of Mahanoy Plane, part of Gilberton, up a mountainside some 2,460 feet to Frackville.

The inclined plane railroad spanned two points separated by a rise of 524 feet.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Here are a couple clues that this is not your typical summer day camp experience: the Med-Evac helicopter landed, firefighters cut a crash victim out of a vehicle, and a narcotics dog found some pot in the garage.

On the last day of camp, a "body" was found on the floor inside, along with a couple of bloody footprints, fingerprints on the cash register and bullet holes through the walls. A possible "witness" to the crime, Bubba Ray, was a tough interview, since he was more concerned about his lost dog.

Friday, June 27, 2014
Tamaqua's Amos Moser Whetstone, who died 120 years ago, is remembered as a civilian accidentally shot on the Fourth of July during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Tamaqua's Amos Moser Whetstone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because of it, earned a place in American history.

It was the summer of 1863, and Whetstone was standing on a second-floor porch in Gettysburg when he called out to a neighbor to be careful crossing the street.

The Battle of Gettysburg was underway and bullets were flying everywhere.

The woman crossed safely, but then, in an instant, it was Whetstone who took a hit.

He survived, but the wound may have haunted him for the rest of his life and possibly contributed to his death.

Friday, June 20, 2014
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS The Merwinsburg Hotel is along Merwinsburg Road in Chestnuthill Township.

Brush was growing up and reclaiming the land around the Merwinsburg Hotel.

Water ran in at several places and rotted the wood.

But then Chestnuthill Township recognized the historic value of the hotel and bought it.

It is a treasure rediscovered.

A swale was dug around the building to stop most of the water. The Chestnuthill Township Historical Society helped with clearing the grounds. Everyone was anxious to get inside and see what was left. But first the mold had to be abated.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Laura Kennedy, director for the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, looks over the hundreds of bicycles packed into passenger car for Scenic Bike Rides, which were held on Saturday and Sunday. Kennedy said the event was such a success that there's a good possibility it will be held again in the fall.

It was a first in Jim Thorpe.

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway partnered with Pocono Biking of Jim Thorpe for what it called "Scenic Bike Rides" last weekend.

Laura Kennedy, director for the railway, termed the event the first of its kind "a huge success."

A total of four trips left from Jim Thorpe to White Haven, with seven passenger cars on each train. Every trip was sold out.

An estimated 1,400 people participated, ranging from small children to senior citizens.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
(ACME) COURTESY TAMAQUA HISTORICAL SOCIETY Bullet holes and broken glass in the Amber Lantern's side door attest to the violence on Flag Day 1938.

The first clues were the bodies themselves.

Police reports noted all three victims were of Italian descent and exceptionally well dressed.

Deputy Coroner Mary Jones released the bodies to Tamaqua undertaker E. Franklin Griffiths and autopsies were performed by Dr. A.B. Fleming.

The story became clearer.

Pugliese apparently was shot four times as he ran, twice in the neck, once in the right shoulder and once on left side of his mouth, which knocked out and broke off a number of teeth.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
The Amber Lantern was a hotel, bar and house of ill repute located on old Route 29, now Lincoln Drive, Hometown.

The death count, four.

The violence, unprecedented.

The murderers and motive, unknown.

The Amber Lantern Massacre is an unsolved case loaded with information but devoid of answers. It remains a true-life, soap-opera mystery that unfolded long before the days of television.

It was a day of mob warfare, bullets, gun smoke, blood and screams.

The tragedy shocked the picturesque mountaintop community three miles north of Tamaqua and made headlines across the country.

Friday, May 23, 2014
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Model horse judge Nina Henne, listens as shower Taylor Hayes, 10, of Nescopeck explains the position of her horse showing in the movie performance class at the Plastic Pony Parade in the Poconos Model Horse event.

"And in this ring, showing in the novice halter class is Emily Andruczyk with her horse ..."

No, it's not the World Championship Horse Show in Kentucky. It is the Plastic Pony Parade in Brodheadsville. And there was a lot of make-believe cantering, trotting and high-stepping showing going on.

A few weeks ago, 23 model horse collectors gathered at Chestnuthill Township Park for a model horse show. It was the dream-child of a 15-year-old model horse collector, LeeAnn Bachman of Kunkletown.

Bachman has been collecting horse models ever since she can remember,

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Gene Salvatore's plane is a home built RANS S-7.

The Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 855, is headquartered at the Slatington Airport, 1000 Airport Lane. It fosters camaraderie among pilots and supports people who build their own kit airplanes.

But a more important purpose, according to President Gene Salvatore, is to introduce youth to its Young Eagles program that started in 1992 with free flights.

A rally will be held at the Slatington Airport from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 14.

Friday, May 16, 2014
This undated photos shows J.G. Scott painting in his office at Coaldale State General Hospital, where he served as superintendent from 1939 to 1956. COURTESY ROBERT STAUFFER

Nobody painted pictures of rosy-cheeked, cherub children quite like John G. Scott.

The Tamaqua commercial artist's talent was so well received during America's Golden Age of Illustration (1880s-1920s) that the Cream of Wheat Corporation selected four of his renderings for their advertising.

At the time, it was a very big deal.

The Cream of Wheat company was a pioneer in using warm, four-color illustrations to promote their product.

They carefully selected the nation's top illustrators to propel their wholesome image.