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Friday, August 31, 2012

Johnstown - Pre 1889

Downtown Johnstown - Pre 1889 Flood

Johnstown Police Department - 1904

Nice look at those that Protect and Serve - Johnstown Police Department - 1904. Sent in by reader Cindy M.

Prospect Playground - 1912

The caption on the back of the photo reads: Prospect Folk Dancing at the playground - 1912.

Mine 37 - Windber

Mine 37 - Windber 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

VOMA - Cambria City Ethnic Fest

VOMA - Cambria City Ethnic Fest - Third Avenue Stage - August 31, September 1 and 2. I'll be floating all around Cambria City this weekend - so you can expect some pictures in the next couple of days.

Johnson Steel - Welding Car

This a  Johnson Steel (later Lorain then U.S. Steel) welding car for working on the street car line.

Zimmermans Drug Store - Downtown Johnstown

This is Zimmermans Drug Store  - along Main Street in downtown Johnstown just before the 1889 Flood. It was completely destroyed. 

JHS - Trojan Football Champs - 1941

Johnstown High School - WPIAL Champs - 1941. Looking at this - I wonder just how many of these guys lived to see the end of war.

High Above the Johnstown - 1915

Nice look at Johnstown - 1915

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cambria Wheel Plant

Cambria Wheel Plant around 1910

Grime Free Neighborhoods - 1930's

Summer Repeat - three street cleaners sitting in front of Cochran Junior High School on Central Avenue in the 1930's. They look just like tanks to me. But considering there were still quite a few horse drawn wagons parading around, I guess you would want to be in something like this.
I thought our street cleaner was old - it just goes to show - not much has really changed when it comes to keeping all of us safe from grime. 

Gloor Butcher Shop - Nanty Glo - abt 1915

My cousin Butch Gloor and his butcher shop around 1915 in Nanty Glo, Cambria County.

VADS - Morrellville - 1917

VADS - Voluntary Aid Dispensers - during World War I there was very great need for nurses and nurses aides on the homefront and in the war zones overseas. The one on the right is my grandfathers sister - Margaret (Lenz) Gloor. I don't know the name of the girl on the left - but would think she is from Johnstown since this picture was taken along side the family home on Virginia Avenue in Morrellville in 1917.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Franklin Street - Early 1900's

Summer Repeat - Interesting look at Franklin Street towards the bridge. The area on the left is where Santiary Dairy would later set up shop. I'm not sure which church that is in the distance. All I know is that it was torn down a long time ago.

John Dibert & Co.

John Dibert Banking House - Downtown Johnstown

Make it a Million

Summer Repeat - This features two billboards. One for Fort Pitt Beer and the other Make it a Million - Cambria County War Memorial. I'm not sure which street in downtown Johnstown this was. 

Johnstown Fire Department

Interesting look at the Johnstown Fire Department from around 1920 - give or take.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Early picture postcard of Elton 

McCrorey's - Downtown Johnstown

J.G. McCrorey Store located along Main Street in Downtown Johnstown.
John G. McCrorey was the founder of the McCrory Five and Ten Cent store chain. Born in East Wheatfield Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania in 1860, he moved with his family to Cumberland County while still a boy. He returned to Johnstown, Pennsylvania at age 18 and began working in retail stores. Four years later, at age 22, he opened at Scottsdale, Indiana County, Pennsylvania the first of what would become hundreds of McCrory chain stores - he later dropped the "e" in his name because it was cheaper to have signs printed up that way. His stores would come to be considered the second of the great five-and-dime chain stores founded at the end of the nineteenth century, following F.W. Woolworth (1879) and preceded those of S.S. Kresge (1899). The latter chain was later renamed K-Mart. He is interred in the family mausoleum at Grandview Cemetery, above whose entrance is inscribed "McCrorey," the original spelling of the family name.

Cambria City Boys - Sandlot Ball - 1912

Summer Repeat - This group of unknown boys from Cambria City around 1912 may have been dirt poor, but you have to admire the determination on their faces and the smiles all around. Immigrant children had no choice but to work. Families needed help to survive. Most young boys worked either in the mill or coal mines.
When I look at pictures like this, I wonder if I ever had the chance to know any of these boys when they grew up and I was younger.

H.E. Wagner Motor Sales

Summer Repeat - Another night shot of H.E. Wagner Motor Sales last seen HERE. I have to say - I just love these rare night shots - there is something about them that just draws you in. I just can't get enough...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Main Street - Downtown Johnstown

From 'Souvenir of Johnstown' - Main Street at the intersection of Clinton and Bedford. The Senior Center now occupies the spot on the left.

JHS - 1921

Johnstown High School - 1921 Football Team

Cypress Victory Garden - 1918

Summer Repeat - The back of this photo only says Cypress Victory Garden 1918. So I'm not exactly sure which street this is off of - except to say Cypress. What impresses me most about some of these photos - are just how rural parts of Johnstown still were - heading into the 1920's.

Goenner & Co. - Main View - Cambria City

Summer Repeat - Goenner & Co. - City Brewery - Main View - Cambria City

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Flood Free Johnstown

Need I say more......

Pickin Chicken - Menoher

Summer Repeat - How many of you remember this is how Pickin Chicken used to look? This longtime landmark is still there, but some of the names on the signs like Mishler and Sulphur Springs have since been renamed.

Mine 37

Mine 37

Lincoln Building - Downtown Johnstown

More from the 'Souvenir's of Johnstown' book. Today it's the Lincoln Building.

Friday, August 24, 2012

St. Francis Church - Morrellville

Summer Repeat because I can't stop thinking about St. Francis today. The following is a brief history of the Church taken from the 1973 Dedication Book for the new Church at the corner of Barron Avenue and D Street.
Before and after World War I, a large number of Slovak families settled in Morrellville and Oakhurst. Due to the walking distance to St. Stephen's Church in Cambria City which most Slovaks in the West End belonged to - a meeting was held in August 1920 and approximately one hundred families agreed to establish a building fund and pledged substantial amounts of money. They bought the old Church of the Brethen Building (currently the site of the church parking lot).
By 1922 - they were putting the finishing touches to the refurbished church building. The first pastor of St. Francis, Rev. Father A.P. Sabados was assigned to the newly formed parish December 22, 1922 and they celebrated their first mass on Christmas Eve 1922.
In 1940, the Vincentian Sisters of Charity sent three nuns: Sister M. Raymond, Sister M. Emanuel, and Sister M. Carmela who was later replace by Sister M. Casimer. All three were ancient and still there when I made my communion in 1970. And yes, they were MEAN and scared the crap out of kids of all ages! And they were probably buried with rulers and clickers in their hands.

After Father Sabados retired in 1968, Rev. Father David Koshko took over until his sudden death in 1969. Rev. Father Stephen Gergel took over and in his time serving the faithful at St. Francis - made great strides in constructing a new Church and Parish Hall.

I know up until the 1970's - there was still a Mass said in Slovak.

Downtown Johnstown

This is downtown Johnstown looking up towards the Incline Plane.

World War One - Johnstown Doughboys

Summer Repeat - This photo is from reader Harry A. Dishong: U.S. Army Inductees, taken April 2, 1917 on Fairfield Avenue in the Morrellville section of Johnstown. His father, Herbert E. Dishong is fifth from the right in the front row.  He served in the 80th Division in France in 1917 and 1918 and was wounded.

Hastings Church

Methodist Church - Hastings 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Downtown Johnstown

Downtown Johnstown - 1930's 

Johnson Steel Company - 1894

Johnson Steel eventually became U.S. Steel. This shows the plant and some of neighboring Moxham during the spring of 1894.

Delaware Avenue Underpass - 1915

These pictures are dated November 14, 1915 as construction on the Delaware Avenue Underpass was wrapping up. The photographer is standing on Delaware Avenue. Straight ahead you can just barely see underneath to Broad Street.
Far too many people were being hit by trains - since the line to Morrellville was street level. So it was decided to construct a series of underpasses to help keep accidents down by elevating the tracks. There were two major problems - first off, the trolleys couldn't go up Fairfield Avenue before this and secondly - people were gettting hit by passing trains since they had to cross the train tracks to take another trolley to the rest of Morrellville.
Wish I knew who that kid was on the right hand side. Mostly likely someone from either Pennsyvania or Virginia Avenue.

Lower Works - 1908

This is a panoramic of the Lower Works. The railroad tracks on top of the Stone Bridge is on the right hand side. The bridge in the middle was for coal and the bridge to the far right is the old walking bridge. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Connelly Avenue - Minersville - 1915

This is another picture that was used in 'Infant Mortality - Emma Duke for the Children's Bureau - 1915'. For more on the results on a field study in Johnstown, Pennsylvania based on the births of one calender year CLICK HERE.
In 1911 the Federal Government commissioned a study on Infant Mortality Rates and Johnstown was the city they decided to study.
They picked this  area in part because the city had the right amount of immigrant vs native populations to go along with the mix of skilled and unskilled laborers of foreign birth scattered throughout the many ethnic neighborhoods that make up the Friendly City.
The 1910 U.S. Census lists that on average 9.9 people per dwelling, that total included family members and boarders which paid a couple of dollars per month for a room and meals. Most families would have had a very hard time making ends meet with this extra source of income.
But all that extra work fell to the woman of the house. She had it even harder in a way than her husband. Between the children, housework and meals. It was a non-stop day from the moment she got up in the morning.

On page 32 of the report is this typical entry: "at 5 o'clock in the monday evening she went to her sister's to return a washboard, having just finished the days washing. Baby born while there, sister too young to assist in any way, woman not used to a mid-wife anyway. So she cut the cord herself, washed baby at sister's home before walking back to her own home. She then cooked supper for boarders and was in bed by 8".
Times were tough. Even though Johnstown had recently installed more sewer lines to help cut diseases. Most folks simply did not have the money to pay for the hookups. Which meant most household waste including the privy (outhouse) simply drained from the home along the road into nearby creeks before heading to the river.
And for folks who lived in Morrellville. They not only had to deal with raw sewage, but acid mine drainage and the bloody waste from the numerous slaughterhouses located throughout Morrellville. Infant Mortality Rates for Morrellville alone hovered at 82.5 percent.

Parts of the city looked as bad as they smelled. Makes you think....doesn't it....

1889 Flood Memorial - Grandview Cemetery

Spending the evening walking around Grandview Cemetery taking pictures. I saw something on the 1889 Flood Memorial I never noticed before - you can just barely see them on the bottom and middle of the statue - little rocks honoring the graves. Double click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Someone even took the time to mark all the unknown graves.
I just think that this is so cool that someone took the time and effort to honor the Unknown Plot.