2004 History Corner Articles

Sawmill

(Courtesy of Gwen Wagner)

This photo appeared in a nationally distributed magazine, Country Living. It was submitted by Frank Ritchey of Leesburg, Florida, and it shows his great grandfather Zacharia Garner (sitting with legs crossed), and his great uncle Sam (holding the 2-man crosscut saw). They were sawing lumber to build a farmstead near Beavertown.

(Where was the sawmill that supplied the lumber for the old silk mill in Beavertown? Answer next month.)

Answer to Last Month

In 1940, Beavertown had a Weis Pure Food store, Ira Lepley’s general store, Walker Brothers general store, Fitzgerald’s store and restaurant, Charles Bobb’s store and ice cream parlor, Middleswarth’s Cloverdale Sodas, Kauffman’s store and meat market, and their store on wheels. We also had Troutman’s Meat Market and Rathfon’s bread truck home deliveries, along with Bailey’s Dairy, A&P Teas, “FISH-O”, Fuller Brushes and others.

Matterns Store

(Courtesy of Helen Mattern)

Shown here is a photo of the Charles I. Mattern and Son General store, dealers in dry goods, notions, groceries, grain, coal and etc. taken in the early 1900s. Charles is on the left pole, Reed is on the right pole and Mark Musser is on the extreme right.

(How many stores did Beavertown have in 1940? Answer next month.)

Answer to Last Month

Jim “Puss” Umholtz was a top mechanic for the Kearns Auto and Truck industry in Beavertown. He was also a manager of the business for a while, and even became the corporate secretary. After the Kearns Company went bankrupt, Jim ran his own garage in Beavertown. He was a whiz, especially with Ford brand automobiles. The old-timers said he could fix them using only wire and a screwdriver! He was good indeed!

Beavertown Bullet

(Courtesy of Rosey Kahley)

Shown above is a snapshot (a bit on the dark side) of a 1916 Model T that Bill Shirk (shown driving with Philip Spaid alongside) bought from Billy Hartley for $7.00. Even though it sat for years, it started with one crank. It was taken to my grandfather’s coal shed on Cherry Alley and painted with black and white squares, yellow doors with red lettering. Then it made one trip and rounding the corner at Sassafras and Walnut, it upset and was taken to Skip Amig’s who bought it for junk. Of necessity, this is a small part of the story!

(Who was said could fix old Fords up with nothing more than bailing wire and a screwdriver? Answer next month.)

Answer to Last Month

The land of the old Spaid Mill was sold to the fire company by Roy Zechman. How he acquired the land is unknown to me. The bulk of the land to the south of the old railroad right of way had been part of the Squire Wetzel farm which had been farmed by Jake Hackenberg in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Albert (Bert) Bowersox then farmed it for a few years. Guy Narehood bought the farm in 1946 to obtain the southernmost field in order to extend his airport. The remainder of the farm was divided into three parcels -- the house, barn and outbuildings plush the meadow to the west of the buildings were bought by Bob Edmiston and the land to the east and west of the Edmiston parcel was bought by Carl and Kathryn Herbster. They added the land to the family farm and farmed it for years. The parcel across the road from John Cam, Roy Thoman, the little house and Al Camp was sold at a nominal price to the fire company by Mr. and Mrs. Herbster with the proviso that if the fire company ever became defunct, the land would revert to the borough for public use. There was a small tract behind the Zechman (Engle) parcel that was owned by Rudy Coleman which he donated to the fire company after they had obtained the parcels from Roy and the Herbsters. This is the land that is now the carnival grounds. (Thanks Don Herbster and Trent Erb.)

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