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Mary Kocher's art show to be displayed at bank

Published November 01. 2012 05:02PM

A Palmerton bank will be the next venue to view the impressive masterpieces sketched by a renowned local artist.

The Mary Kocher Art Show & Book Signing will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the lobby of the First Northern Bank & Trust, Fourth & Lafayette Avenue, Palmerton.

There is no admission charge, and refreshments will be served. Call (610) 826-7285 for information.

Kocher's paintings can be found in many local homes and collections, with various paintings on display at the First Northern Bank in Palmerton and the Mauch Chunk Trust in Jim Thorpe.

In honor of the 2012 centennial of the founding of Palmerton, Kocher painted a montage of buildings and landmarks in Palmerton.

One of those is the Horsehead Inn, which had previously been located at the current site of the First Northern Bank.

Designed by William E. Stone, of NY, the Horsehead Inn opened in 1900 as a hotel for visiting executives of the New Jersey Zinc Company.

It had accommodations for about 30 people, with all the conveniences of a city hotel. Located at the corner of Fourth Street and Lafayette Avenue, it faced Fourth Street and the Borough Park. During the construction and early operation of the West Plant, NJZ executives from NY visited Palmerton frequently. The Palmerton Area Heritage Center has an early guest register which includes the signature of Stephen S. Palmer.

The Inn also hosted other community activities, including Episcopal Church services until St. John's Episcopal Church was built in 1907.

A squash court was built south of the Inn, later used for many years as the home of the Palmerton Band. To the east of that building, along Franklin Avenue, were clay tennis courts. Behind the Inn, along Lafayette Avenue, were structures first used as stables, later as garages, and eventually converted into apartments.

In later years, the Inn became a boarding house for newly-hired unmarried NJZ salaried employees.

When Gulf+Western took over the Zinc Company, they sold the property to the (then) First National Bank. The bank razed the Inn and adjacent structures and erected their building in 1970.

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