Thursday, August 21, 2014
     

Friday Feature

Friday, August 15, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Restoration of the 1874 Tamaqua train station took ten years and $1.5 million.

Ten years ago, a spirited group of volunteers showed what can be done when a community decides to build rather then destroy.

The Tamaqua Save Our Station committee set their sights on the town's 1874 train station with a promise to return it to glory as hub of the community.

The never-say-die band of rail fans made sure the 1874 Philadelphia and Reading Passenger Depot would re-emerge as the shining jewel of Schuylkill County's largest borough.

Friday, August 8, 2014
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS A "chimney" is used to pre-heat the charcoal.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a summer picnic near Lehighton in conjunction with its annual Pioneer Day.

Carrying out the pioneer theme, which celebrates the move to Utah when the Mormons were persecuted in Illinois, cooking was done in Dutch ovens.

The event also celebrated the 35th anniversary of the branch (church).

Gary Schoenberger, who was taking a turn cooking the hot dogs and hamburgers over an open fire, said heat can be controlled in the Dutch ovens by how many pieces of charcoal are used both under and on top of the oven.

Friday, August 1, 2014
ROY ACKERMAN PHOTO 1954: Rush Township Police Chief William Klotz, right, demonstrates a two-way radio with Tamaqua patrolman Harry Dornblaser. The historic image was taken on Aug. 1, 1954, on West Rowe Street near the Tamaqua police station.

How does a cop arrest a culprit if there's no place to lock him up?

The answer is to find a nearby police station that has a jail.

But how does an officer do that when his access to communications is limited?

These were some of the questions facing William B. Klotz, Rush Township's first policeman and advocate for two-way police radios.

It's hard to imagine, but there was a time when police had no easy way to communicate between patrol cars and police headquarters.

Friday, July 25, 2014
ARCHIVES/DONALD R. SERFASS Sister Bernard Agnes, IHM, principal, Marian High School, is flanked by Ralph Cipko, left, and brother Daniel on June 1, 2001, on occasion of a Cipko donation, one of many.

They were rich and mysterious.

Caring and kindhearted.

And without question, eccentric.

In fact, on an eccentricity scale of one to 10, they scored a 20.

Daniel and Ralph, the brothers Cipko, were Carbon County's dynamic duo of donations.

Some believe they gave away the lion's share of $10 million, or maybe more.

In the process, the black-garbed pair became a media sensation. The men were subject to intense scrutiny, even controversy. At one point, they spawned a fan club which had its own newsletter filled with Cipko trivia.

Friday, July 18, 2014
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Carol Sue and Kerry Gougher of Palmerton sit at a table made from a willow tree trunk that was on neighbor Terry Eckhart's property. Frank Hagar wanted to make a table out of it and encouraged Kerry to do the same. Kerry made this table and benches and one other with four tree stump chairs for their backyard paradise.

When Carol Sue and Kerry Gougher sit on their backyard porch, they can view a 10-year labor of love.

What they have created is a stunningly beautiful natural oasis. It's almost like visiting a botanical garden.

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.

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
(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.