Museum gets two "special" gifts in memory of historian Lee Mantz
KATIE WARGO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Local bottle collector Bob Perrin (center with tall hat) displays a unique turtle ink bottle from TW Renshaw and a photograph of Arner's Store, two rare items he and local photo collector Joe Slakoper (missing from photo) donated on Sunday afternoon in memory of local historian Lee Mantz. Surrounding Perrin (left to right) are Summit Hill Historical Society Treasurer Louis Vermillion, President Harry Miller, Mary Ann Mantz (back to camera), Lyle Mantz, Bob Crampsie, Nicole Giantesano, Renee Mantz and Kassandra Mantz.
Local collectors Bob Perrin and Joe Slakoper wanted to do something special in memory of their friend and colleague Lee Mantz who died in a tragic accident last Sunday so they contacted the family and Summit Hill Historical Society President Harry Miller and asked if they could make a special donation to the museum in his memory on Sunday during the Hootenanny.
"Lee was always interested in what we were doing and loved bottles and photographs," said Perrin on Sunday morning. "Joe and I wanted to give something special to the museum in his memory. He was working with us to print some negatives I had but we did not get very far." Perrin said Mantz' brother Lyle already volunteered to help with that project when he was ready.
Perrin said the bottle which he was donating was extremely rare due to its condition. "You hardly ever find one with the original label still intact." The bottle was a turtle bottle from the late 1800s that was used to store ink. "It's an eight sided bottle that has a label for TW Renshaw, Summit Hill on it. Renshaw was known in Tamaqua but this is the first labeled bottle that has his name with Summit Hill on it."
Slakoper was not able to make the presentation but he sent a photograph of Arner's Store that was located on West Ludlow Street and was a rare photo of the establishment. It was a photograph the museum to Perrin's knowledge did not have.
Perrin presented the items to the Miller and the Mantz family outside the museum on Sunday afternoon during the Hootenanny and said he was sorry for their loss and both he and Slakoper wanted to remember him in this special way by donating this pair of items In Lee's memory.
Miller gratefully accepted the items and promised to prominently display them in the museum. He said Mantz worked tirelessly to preserve the history of the town and it was an honor to have these items donated in his memory.
Many members of the Mantz family were available for the presentation including Mantz' widow Renee, his mother Mary Ann, his brother Lyle and wife Andrea and daughter Kassandra along with his nieces.