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Women return for Slatington visit after 60 years

  • ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Shirley "Wolfe" Kresge and Anna "Wolfe" Filandino returned to visit the town where their father had started a cement block business. They stand in the approximate location of the block business.
    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Shirley "Wolfe" Kresge and Anna "Wolfe" Filandino returned to visit the town where their father had started a cement block business. They stand in the approximate location of the block business.
Published June 14. 2013 05:04PM

It's been sixty years since Shirley "Wolfe" Kresge and Anna "Wolfe" Filandino moved from Slatington.

They now live in Conshohocken.

They recently returned to Slatington, where Bill and Maria Leickel hosted a luncheon at the Slatington Inn.

The women's parents were Daisy Evelyn Kunkle Wolfe and Charles Theodore Wolfe.

Their father worked in several positions including Bethlehem Steel at which time they lived in Northampton. From there they moved to Slatington, then Lehighton, and back to Slatington. It was here their father set up a cement block business near the location of the covered bridge.

While in Lehighton Wolfe had operated the Mahoning Race Track.

Leickel said there are pipes and other minor pieces of equipment at the location of the block business, but now they are lost in the undergrowth.

Our father was always starting something new. He was an "entrepreneur," said Anna.

Shirley remembers there was an antenna placed on top of a hill when they lived at the block plant, but neither could determine exactly which hill. They agreed the television reception was poor, but at the time it was all that was available.

A well was dug for water.

A married sister and her husband lived in a room at the side of the house which was attached to the plant.

"We all slept in one room," said Shirley. That included six children and their parents. The ceiling wasn't finished and they could see the stars from their bed.

At the block business, the cinder blocks dried outside, not in a kiln. There was a huge cement mixer. From there the mix was placed in molds. The company just made one size.

If someone came and said he wanted to build a garage, their father was able, without paper or pencil, to tell him how many blocks and how much wood he would need for the project.

"You need 400 of these and so many corner blocks. Then you need so much wood," he would say.

Their father was invited to move to Plymouth Meeting by GWH Corson, where he made several inventions, but never patented anything. One of the inventions took lime dust out of the air. His inventions were patented in the name of the company.

Shirley presently works with Fortniters, a group that works with the mentally ill.

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