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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Johnstown Passenger Railway

Reader Gary Calhoun sent the following:
In 1882 the Johnstown Passenger Railway Company was founded.  The system used horse-drawn trolley cars, which operated twenty minutes apart, and passengers were charged a fare of five cents.  The offices and barns were originally located in Woodvale, however, they were destroyed in the Flood of 1889.  Tom Johnson acquired the company after the flood, and began electrifying the system.  In 1890 new car barns and an office were built on Central Avenue in Moxham (the current location of the Johnstown Corporation offices).  However, the complex burned in 1893 and was rebuilt at its present location at the corner of Central Avenue and Bond Street.  In 1907 the system had 31 miles of track and 110 cars.  The company began converting to “trackless trolleys” in 1951, which was completed by 1960.  Declining ridership and high costs placed the system in poor financial condition in 1977.  The system was purchased by Cambria County and reorganized into the Cambria County Transit Authority.  In addition to operating the Johnstown bus system, the authority operates the Inclined Plane and the Johnstown and Stony Creek Railroad.

There are five remaining car barns.  The two barns on the northeast corner of Central and Bond by a continuous brick facade as have the two barns on the southeast corner.  The fifth barn is located to the south along the alley.  The structures are all two-stories high and have a yellow-brick exterior.  (However, the walls on the alley side of each of the barns are constructed with red brick.  This may be because red brick was a less expensive material, therefore it was used where it was not seen.)  The roof structure is probably steel frame although the ceiling have been dropped and the framing is not visible.  The foundation are stone block-in-course.  All of the building have arched windows which have received a variety of treatments; some have been entirely bricked over; some have been filled with glass block; and others have been replaced with modern windows.  The trolley tracks are still visible on the floors of the structures.  The buildings are currently used as the main offices of the Transit Authority and for storage and maintenance of the system’s buses.
Source: Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service

Happy Birthday

I would like to take time out and wish the funniest Aunt I know....Mimi (Mary Jane Cacicia) Adams a very happy ummm ummm birthday! To this day...she is still trying not to fall in the creek. I believe this shot was used in 'Lumberjack News' as the centerfold...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Unknown Child - Johnstown

Old Cabinet Card of unknown Johnstown child taken by Caddy from around 1890 or so.

Vieva Wonder Scrapbook - 1931

Another page from the Vieva Wonder Scrapbook from 1930 last seen HERE. Todays slice of her life is Dale Play Night - 1931. Plenty of names.

Glosser Ad

Old Glosser Ad - You can always save more.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Elks Lodge - Downtown

Elks Lodge - Downtown Johnstown

Joe Hanzel Family - 1950's - Morrellville

This is my cousin Dolores (Hanzel) Fatula - closest to the camera with her sister Jeannie and brother Jimmie along with their dad Joseph - most likely leaving my g-greatmother's Mary Hanzel's house on Stackhouse Street in Morrellville in the late 1950's.  Dolores is one of the kindest people I know. And gives freely of her time to help others. They always say, if you want something done and done right, give it to a busy person and that is true in her case. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Let's Do Lunch - Tops Diner

My treat - meet me at Tops downtown - just hop on a street car - you can spot me - I'll be the only one there not using a cell phone.

WJAC Control Room - 1960's

Nice look at what once was a room chalked full of equipment to get on the air at WJAC TV - that is now taken over by just a few computers. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A & P - Morrellville

In a perfect trifecta of grocery stores - this is the old A & P at the corner of Fairfield Avenue and Broad Street in Morrellville. It is now home to THE DIRTY BIRD - A Giant Eagle in such sorry shape - that even the lights fixtures in this picture from the 1950's are the same. All be it - always wet from most of the ceiling leaking. It's a nice touch to the shopping experience to see big garbage cans perched on top of shelves - looking like they are going to tip over at any moment - underneath a ceiling covered with plastic and a string hanging down into the can to direct the runoff.
Otherwise very nice look at the billboards and prices in the windows - beside the fact that the photographer forgot to take his tripod out of the shot. But don't forget your Plaid Stamps on the way out. I drank alot of RC growing up - especially at my grandmother's house on Chandler Avenue besides the fact that she always used an empty RC bottle filled with water to iron with. And by the way - I just love this photograph!

Unknown Bridge Project

When you work as many years as I have overnight - sometimes the brain just doesn't work. A reader sent this picture in a while back and I forgot to mark who it is from and also the main sticking point - as to which bridge this actually is. Looks like the Hickory Street Bridge to me - but I could be wrong. 

Trolley Time

Trolley Time - Bedford Street - Moose Lodge and Kelly Tires in the background.

Pnykala Family - Conemaugh

My cousins - Butch, Tommy and Mary Ann Pynkala at their home in Conemaugh.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cambria Steel

Cambria Steel Works - sent in by reader Rick M.

Niobe - Majestic Theatre - Downtown Johnstown

Niobe - America's Aquatic Model - heading to the Majestic Theatre downtown Johnstown. Try as I may - I could not find out anything more about her - I even tried my Vaudeville books. But came up empty. I would bet though - she was an Annette Kellerman type performer. Interesting - that they would set up a swimming pool inside the theatre. I know I for one, would have enjoyed Vaudeville alot. I have a bunch of early film shorts of some the performers whose names are now lost to history.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Johnstown Passenger Railway - Baumer Street

Reader Gary Calhoun sent this in: JOHNSTOWN PASSENGER RAILWAY COMPANY,
 This structure, completed in 1900, was the second powerhouse constructed by
the Johnstown
Company The first was located immediately behind it against the hillside
from which coal was mined.
Some of the foundation of the original powerhouse appears to be intact, at
the base of the Route 56
bypass on-ramp at Bedford Street.

The Flood of 1889 devastated the Johnstown Passenger Railway Company by
sweeping all of its
tracks away and damaging much of the rolling stock. Subsequently. Tom
Johnson of the
Johnson Steel Street Rail Company purchased the city's street-car property
and began
electrifying the system. In 1890 Johnson constructed a powerhouse on Baumer
Street to provide
steam generated electricity for the street car line. A coal mine located
behind the power house
provided the coal for the boilers. (The original coal tipple still exists.)
By 1911 the turbines
had a 1,000 horsepower capacity. In 1945 the company began purchasing
electricity from
Penelec and the powerhouse was converted to a substation. It was shutdown m
the early 1960s,
when the Johnstown transit system converted to buses.

Prior to its demolition in 1988, the tall one-story powerhouse measured 105'
x 100'; the engine
room was taller than the adjacent transformer room. The powerhouse contained
brick pilasters,
steel roof trusses, and a stone foundation. Its walls were composed of
stretcher bond red brick.
The powerhouse featured circular brick arches spanning the multiple,
double-hung sash
Source: Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Magic Seal Liniment - Johnstown, Pa.

Very nice vintage bottle label sent in by reader Chuck Wago. Magic Seal Liniment and I imagine since it's 65% alcohol - after a couple of doses of this stuff - I would think it would probably knock you on your ass...much like a sledgehammer to the head. And you got to love the main selling point "This preparation does not leave the bowels weak and confined, but acts as a warm stimulant or tonic"...
Made by Harry E. Wertz - Druggist - Cor main and Clinton Sts - Johnstown, Pa.

Quiz Kids - 1941

For some of you younger readers. Quiz Kids was a quiz show on WJAC Radio until sometime in the 1950's. This was sent in by reader Harold Kinback. This book belongs to his sister Betty and he says the inside cover is dated December 1941. They lived in Morrellville at the time.

Hi! over Johnstown, Pa

Hi! over Johnstown Pa.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

St.Therese Church - Morrellville

Nice vintage picture of St. Therese Church on Decker Avenue - Morrellville. This was sent in by reader Harold K. He also sent in - CLICK HERE TO SEE - the Grotto that is still there. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

High above Johnstown - 1950's

This picture was taken by my Uncle Jim Kinnel from on top of one of those large holding tanks that Bethlehem used to have scattered all along the river.  His work gang were the ones who painted them and some of the bridges around the city. You know the ugly shade of green. And to this day - you can still tell who used to work at the mill by the color of their houses at times. There are still quite a few of the old cans of mill green around - still being used to this day. This view is circa 1950's.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trabold Car Manufacturing

Trabold Car Manufacturing - Johnstown. Sent in by reader Harry M.

Flood Memorial

Picture postcard of the Flood Memorial sent in by reader Kathy Poole.

The Painter in the Family - 1940's

My grandfather John Cacicia working on one of his many paintings in the backyard of our K Street home in Morrellville around 1945. In this distance on the porch is Ann Yanoshack's mother who was ancient even then. Her mother (I have no idea what her name was) used to scare the crap out of me. Growing up in the 60's - the old lady just sat on the back porch - huddled in a chair....never speaking a word...only staring...she was like death looking you in the eye.

On the plus side - the grapevine on the picture is still alive and well. Though it has had touches of blight from time to time. But otherwise is still going strong. We also have a lot of the tools laying on the ground...from the rake to shovels.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pvt. Charles E. Miller - Ferndale - Cambria County

More on the life and times of Buzz Wagner as told by Pvt. Charles E. Miller of Ferndale. Clipping from January 9, 1943. Double click to enlarge picture. 

WAC Sergeant

Huldah (Conrad) Kavanaugh from Nanty Glo, Cambria County - WAC Sergeant. She joined the Women's Army Crops in May 1943. This clipping is from March 9, 1944.

Pvt. Robert Nimmo - Nanty Glo

Pvt. Robert Nimmo from Nanty Glo, Cambria County. Newspaper clipping from November 12, 1943.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cresson Springs Brewery

Vintage postcard of the old Cresson Springs Brewery - The Purest and Best Beer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trolley Time

Ship Hotel - 1950's

My father and his family at the old Ship Hotel.

Johnstown, Pa

Nice old vintage postcard - Johnstown, Pa.

Stone Bridge - 1907

Famous Stone Bridge - March 14, 1907

Cernak Family - 1920 - Benshoff Hill

Reader Joann (Golian) Freeman sent this picture in. This is her mother's family taken in 1920. Two years before her mother Ann was born in 1922 and who is still going strong - just about to turn 90. This is the Cernak Family from Benshoff Hill. Parents - Stephen and Theresa with their seven children: Stephen Jr.,William, Joseph, Louis, Marie, Gizzella and Theresee.

Joann says that the family owned property just below the church at the top of the hill. Her cousin still lives in their grandparents home. The family used to farm all the way down the backside of the hill and sell their fruits and vegetables downtown. The Cernak's were also members of St. Stephen's Church in Cambria City.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cambria City - 1936

Picture postcard of mill damage in Cambria City during the 1936 Flood.

High Tech - 1964 - Video Recorder

You are looking at the latest in video recorders and playback machines - circa 1964. This is the 2" TR-22 in the control room at WJAC-TV. This recorded programs using a very large spool of 2" tape. The spool was about as big as a large pizza and it was heavy. This was sent in by reader Lanny Vrooman. Now a days - anything coming into the station is recorded either in a server or to DVC Pro Tape (which is the size of an old audio cassette).

Even up to 15 years ago - alot of commericals used to come in on 1" tape reels - which was smaller and more compact. 

Grapevine Time - Morrellville

This is the way I grew up spending summer in Morrellville. We are porch and grapevine people. I now have a pavilion in my yard - so I have to add that to. During these hot these months, I am hardly ever in the house. I grew up this way. Playing and staying outside until dark. And if it got too hot - there was always the crick to cool off in.
In this picture: Mary Jane (Mimi Cacicia) Adams, Lucy (Cacicia) Wiley, the three women in the middle - I don't know. It's then my grandmother Carmela (Vaccaro) Cacicia and my father Robert.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Horseshoe Curve - Blair County

Horseshoe Curve - Blair County

Trolley Time

There is a warmth to this picture that I find so inviting. 

Unknown Couple - Johnstown

Cabinet card of an Unknown Couple from Johnstown by G.M. Greene, Photographer.