Memorial Day 90 years ago
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Lenny McGavin of High Street, Jim Thorpe, holds program from 1922 Memorial Day Services in what was then called Mauch Chunk. He found the program behind some attic boards at his parents' house.
Back in 1922, Memorial Day services in Mauch Chunk - now Jim Thorpe - were as impressive as they are today.
Residents were advised:
"The church bells will be rung from 12 o'clock noon, until 12:05, and the Comrades and the general public will stand with uncovered heads during the ringing of the bells."
The services were held at various locations throughout the day. Graves of veterans were decorated by school children with flowers.
Details of these Memorial Day services, which included participation by drum corps and Camp Fire Girls, are spelled out in a Memorial Day program booklet from 90 years ago that a Jim Thorpe man found inside a house.
Lenny McGavin of High Street said the program was recovered about 30 years ago under boards inside his parents' house at 510 Center St. in Jim Thorpe. His late father, Thomas McGavin, was tearing out boards in the attic while doing electric work. Lenny spotted the program and kept it.
"I went there after he was done working and I found it," Lenny said.
Although McGavin didn't serve in the military, he said the program is special because his father was a World War II veteran. Since World War I was still fresh on many people's minds - the war ending four years earlier - the 1922 program carries a very patriotic theme.
Lenny's father died June 1, 2010.
The Memorial Day program tells of services at the various cemeteries.
In the morning, the services were held in Nesquehoning at St. Mary's Cemetery, Sacred Heart Cemetery, and the Protestant Cemetery. At each of these locations, there was a firing squad salute, prayer, and the playing of "Taps."
There were also morning services in East Mauch Chunk at Evergreen Cemetery, St. Joseph's Cemetery, and Immaculate Conception Cemetery. At these cemeteries, there was a "Reception of Column" by school children, readings of General Logan's orders, decorating of graves, orations by the Sons of Veterans members, and he reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
The church bells rang at noon and at 1 p.m., marchers assembled at Market Square. It formed to the right, resting at Yeager's Corner.
In the line of march were Upper Mauch Chunk Drum Corps, Camp Fire Girls, Colors, Boy Scouts, military veterans, and the Mauch Chunk Band.
As the parade proceeded to the Mauch Chunk Cemetery, a contingent joined near the Immaculate Conception Church.
The Ladies of the Women's Relief Corps and the Women of the G.A.R., wearing badges had gathered ahead of time at the cemetery, which had been decorated with flowers by "school children, comrades and sons."
After The Mauch Chunk Band offered a musical selection, Rev. W. H. Schlappich made the introductions and Thomas Sweeney read "Logan's Orders."
This was followed by music from the St. John's Lutheran Church Choir.
Franklin Kissner did a reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which was followed by the oration by the Rev. Dudley S. Stark.
The Upper Mauch Chunk Drum Corps did "Dirge;" Sons of Veterans saluted the dead, and the Mauch Chunk Band played the "Star Spangled Banner."
The. Rev. Schlapp gave the benediction and Henry Busacker played Taps.
When the services ended, the parade reformed and proceeded to Northern Liberties, where the Memorial Tablet was unveiled.