Tamaqua residents and visitors will be looking skyward during the next month for the newest twist to the popular I Spy events conducted by the Tamaqua Historical Society and the Tamaqua Art Center. No, historical photos won't be found in the heavens above. Instead, participants will be using a bird's eye view to identify architectural details found on the upper floors of buildings in the downtown area.
Well known Tamaqua photographer Joseph Matukonis, known locally as Owl Creek Joe, spent a few weeks walking around Tamaqua, looking upward and snapping shots of the beautiful architectural details. Photographs from his "sightseeing adventure" are the basis for a new I Spy Contest, which is sponsored by the historical society and art center. Matukonis' pictures are on display in the window of the Gallery at the Tamaqua Art Center, located within the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce office at 114 W. Broad St. A catalog of the images is also available on the Historic Preservation page of the chamber's website at www.tamaqua.net  or on the Tamaqua Chamber's facebook page. Black and white photocopies are also available at the chamber office.
"The Historical Society has held several I Spy events in the past and they are very popular. We've invited the public to help us idetify people, places and events from the past, through our vast photographic collections," said Dale Freudenberger, President of the Tamaqua Historical Society. "these events have been very well attended and the photos brought back many memories for those who participated."
"Joe Matukonis has held several successful exhibits here in the Gallery," offered Linda Yulanavage, Chamber Executive Director. "His appreciation and love of nature and the beauty of his surroundings is reflected in his work. "The architectural details he's captured in these photos are things you don't usually notice when you look at our buildings. Thanks to his work, we are able to bring attention to that beauty. This scavenger hunt is a good reason to get outdoors and take a walk downtown," she explained.
Prizes will be awarded to the person who correctly identifies the most locations. In the event of a tie, a random drawing will be held to determine the winner. Entries must include a name, address and phone number. Winners will be announced on or after May 23. There is no entry fee.
The rules are simple. Participants need to identify the exact location of the architectural details by writing down the physical address or the name of the business in each photo. Entries may be submitted at the chamber office, or by mailing them to I Spy in the Sky," c/o 114 W. Broad St., Tamaqua, PA 18252. Enties may also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Entry deadline will be 5 p.m. on May 18.
All of the photos are also for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Tamaqua Historical Society and the Tamaqua Art Center.