A taste of the past
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The gentlemen and ladies attired in their finest Victorian Era apparel who promenaded up and down the sidewalks of Broadway in Jim Thorpe last Saturday evening are seen entering the Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center on West Broadway where they attended the second annual "Victorian Ball" which helped raise funds for the extensive restoration project underway at the Kemmerer Carriage House in Jim
Anyone in downtown Jim Thorpe last Saturday evening could be forgiven for thinking that they time-warped back to the 1800s.
What they witnessed was the sight of gentlemen and ladies attired in their finest Victorian era apparel, as they promenaded up and down the sidewalks of Broadway.
The historically-clad strollers where simply preparing to attend the second annual Victorian Ball in the ballroom of the Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center on West Broadway.
The special evening also included an extravagant buffet provided by some local restaurants, including: Café Origins; 14 Acre Farm; Through the Looking Glass; Macaluso's Restaurant; Moya; General Albright Mansion; Flow; and Johnnies II.
Those in attendance enjoyed and participated in a presentation of song and dance from "The Merry Widow" Operetta.
They also enjoyed a historical insight by Jack Sterling about Betsy Miller, an African-American woman who came to Mauch Chunk in 1842 from Wilmington, Del., and eventually became a very important figure in the town.
Adding to this segment of the evening's entertainment was Helen Torok who sang a lively vocal for the audience while playing the part of Betsy Miller.
Much more dancing and song filled the rest of the evening, including a chance for everyone to dance in the ballroom after dinner.
The ball is part of the volunteer effort to help raise funds for the extensive restoration project under way to bring the Kemmerer Carriage House in Jim Thorpe back to a semblance of its former grandeur.
All monies raised through the Victorian Ball benefit the renovation project, which is a cooperative effort of the Mauch Chunk Museum, the Mauch Chunk Historical Society and the Borough of Jim Thorpe.
In addition to what is raised through the ball, funding for the restoration work also comes from Jay and Peter Kemmerer and the Kemmerer Family Foundation, as well as from the Lisenring family.
Not only did everyone enjoy a wonderful evening of music, dancing, fine dining, and just plain good "old fashioned" fun, they helped to save and preserve one of the few original historic buildings remaining on the "Front Hill" section of Old Mauch Chunk.