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Friday Feature

Friday, January 18, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Harry Miller, president, Summit Hill Historical Society, points out a framed image in the town's borough building that depicts extensive workings geared toward extinguishing an underground fire at what was called the "$3,000,000 Burning Mine."

Archival files at the No. 9 Mine and Museum in Lansford contain an 1884 newspaper story about a deep mine fire in Lansford that might have implications for the Burning Mine in Summit Hill.

The story, discovered by Dave Kuchta, president, Panther Creek Valley Foundation, casts light on what was an extensive 1850s mine fire in Lansford. After reading about it, Kuchta, feels certain that it continued to smolder and was the beginning of the "Infamous Summit Hill Burning Mine Fire" of 1859.

Friday, January 11, 2013
History enthusiast Dale Freudenberger, Tamaqua, sorts through his private collection of posters from Lakeside Park in preparation for a potential museum display in tribute to the legendary Barnesville site.

From ice-skating in the winter to picnicking in summer, Lakeside Park was a year-round get-away to forget your troubles.

It was the workingman's park, attracting coal miners and their families from places like Lansford, Tamaqua, Shenandoah, Coaldale and Mahanoy City.

And although it was later eclipsed by the larger, star-studded Lakewood Park a mile away, Lakeside never gave up its hold as an entertainment venue. But its complete history was never fully documented.

Friday, January 4, 2013
Linda Yulanavage of the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce discusses the photography of Owl Creek's Joe Matukonis, whose creative work is part of a business incubator pilot program.

The Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce is embarking on a new journey to provide a boost for a segment of the economy often overlooked.

Using available space inside its 114 West Broad Street headquarters, the Chamber will launch in January, 2013, a business incubator opportunity. The incubator is touted as a place for budding entrepreneurs who dabble in original products and other goods on a small scale or perhaps some existing businesses with a desire to venture into new products or enterprises.

Friday, December 28, 2012
Paul Scepansky chops peppers for a delicious Ataulfo, Mango Salsa.

The Christmas feasting is now over. You ate the last cookie. Turkey sandwiches slathered in mayonnaise are gastric memories.

You're wearing baggy sweat pants because they're the most comfortable and roomy things you own.

You swear you're never going to eat again.

You make the New Year's resolution to eat only nutritious and healthy foods in 2013.

But how do you start?

What do you need to know?

Bill Scepansky of Smart Partner Solutions sums it up by telling us to "Eat the Rainbow."

Friday, December 21, 2012
PICTURE # 1 Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel (George Moretz) to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. A virgin (Brooke Scheckler) pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. " "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

A friend of Renee Keiper of Kunkletown told her about how their church presented the Christmas story.

She excitedly told members of the CIA (Christians In Action) group at St. Matthew's UCC in Kunkletown last year of what she envisioned. The creative juices began to flow and the seeds for a "Journey to Bethlehem" began to grow.

Renee's original vision was to get the community involved so it would be a Kunkletown community event, not just a St. Matthew's Church event.

Friday, December 14, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS From left: Grant Betz, Tamaqua; Chris Bartush, Orwigsburg and Dave Carl, Jim Thorpe, check cables and straps as the 101-year-old First National Bank clock is prepared for hoisting.

Lois Breiner had a secret. Nobody else knew it.

But it was only a matter of time.

What Lois knew for 48 years was that a fancy stained glass clock that helped to define Tamaqua's downtown since 1911 was stashed away inside a Cherry Street garage at the rear of her parents' Hunter Street home.

"It was carefully chained there," she recalls.

Her father, Henry, had salvaged the timepiece in 1960 when a name change at the Tamaqua First National Bank made the old clock obsolete.

Friday, December 7, 2012
John Dallas, Tamaqua

He wasn't a politician, entertainer, or public figure. He wasn't a member of clubs or organizations.

Yet John Dallas was known by just about everybody in town.

The colorful Tamaqua man passed away earlier this year at age 100. He carried the torch of an earlier era and it was a role he relished.

Folks say he marched to the beat of a different drummer. With trimmed moustache and a gleam in his eye, there was something special about the theatrical Italian man born on Halloween a century ago.

Friday, November 30, 2012
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/DONALD R. SERFASS  A group of Tamaqua men apparently organized Hibernian Hook & Ladder Co. in the 1870s.

It was a group civic-minded men.

They lived in the 1870s and most or all were likely Irish Catholic. They were either immigrants or sons of immigrants.

They likely worked in the mines or performed manual labor.

They joined together and called themselves Hibernian Hook & Ladder Co. of Tamaqua. And they blazed a trail.

But they also left a trail of questions.

Three early units

To understand Hibernian H&L, one must first look at the earliest days of firefighting in Tamaqua.

Friday, November 23, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS After completing months of planning, volunteers of the Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival grabbed a holiday wreath and, in a moment of fun, framed their hardworking chairwoman, Jean Ann Towle, center. Others, clockwise from bottom left: Leona Rega, George Taylor, Kathy Schock, Linda Heigele, Judy Hoppes, Linda Yulanavage, Gary Wayne Price, Karen Davison and Jason Boris.

The17th Annual Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival will kick off next Friday, launching three days of attractions and events geared to all ages. The event sends a message that the special magic of the holidays is part of all of us, and it's right here at home, according to organizers.

A showcase of community spirit, the annual Tamaqua holiday festival brings together clubs, churches and organizations to stage one of the largest holiday festivals in Schuylkill County.

Friday, November 16, 2012
Dorothy Baclawski discussed details about some of the Gilbert Cemetery burials.

The October tour at the Gilbert cemetery sponsored by the Chestnuthill Township Historical Society was a tremendous success with 175 people attending. It was organized by Nancy Christman.

The tour began at the Conrad Kresge monument and ended at the Kresge Mausoleum with 25 stops in between including the story told by a woman whose home is next to the cemetery.

It began in the old section and continued in the cemetery's new section, ending at a table offering refreshments.