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Monday, December 31, 2012

Market Street - Downtown Johnstown

Thought I'd wrap the year up with this little gem - Market Street - Downtown Johnstown.
This is one of those rare glimpses into some of the Mom and Pop stores that used line the streets of America - before the big box stores knocked them all out of business.
Tried to get a better look at things - the ad painted on the side of the building says Kennedy's Groceries and I really wanted to see what was in the windows - but this is the best I can do.

It's been a busy year for Vintage Johnstown as the website continues to grow - thanks to you the readers - what makes me happy is that besides myself - folks really are interested in keeping these memories alive. What makes me the happiest is the amount of young people on the site. Sometimes I forget that if you are younger than say 40 or so - those readers sometimes have no idea where or what I am talking about - it's then that I feel really...really!

Let's go to Carl Faber's Place

Nice inside shot of beautiful Carl Faber's Rathskeller Bar - 520 Washington Street - Downtown Johnstown.

Franklin Street Church - 1909

Interior of the Franklin Street - Methodist Episcopal Church - Downtown Johnstown

Old Glosser Ad - 1925

Glosser Ad - 1925

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Terra Cotta Time

The much maligned terra cotta pipe work - for those of us living here -  you will understand why this picture pisses me off so much - it will cost homeowners a lot of money to replace all of this crap - thru no fault of our own. Before anybody gets on a rant - replacing terra cotta drains is a state mandate - not the fault of city officials. So I don't want to hear any complaints in regards to Johnstown officials - warning - I will delete them.
On a more positive note - nice shot of some of the downtown stores along Main Street...Elites, Apryle Jewelers, Nemo and Richman's way down the other end.

Old Capitol Hotel

Old Capitol Hotel - Downtown Johnstown

Lower Works - Cambria Steel

Old picture postcard of the Lower Works - Cambria Steel. The photographer was standing on Brownstown Hill looking downs towards what is now Roosevelt Blvd.

Bucky's Roof - Morrellville

This is my Aunt Dorothy (Hanzel) Kinnel sitting on the roof of Bucky's Bar at the corner of Fairfield Avenue and D Street in Morrellville. Dorothy was one of my grandmother's sisters and one of the kindest people I ever knew - always a smile and a laugh...
This was taken in the late 1940's when my mother and her family lived in one of the upstairs apartments - that was always full of bugs - they'd turn the lights on and all the little creatures would go running for cover.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Orchids and Ermine - 1927

Love this shot of the Cambria Theatre on Main Street. You can see that 'Orchids and Ermine' is playing - starring Miss Colleen Moore - she is not really one of my favorites - the films I have seen her in - she just doesn't have any charisma to me - but then again - with so few surviving films - I could be misjudging her and TCM doesn't play her much anyway. For you trivia buffs out there - this picture was the film debut of Mickey Rooney and for a Blair County connection - Hedda Hopper is also in the film - she grew up in Hollidaysburg and is buried in Altoona.
Now back to the photograph on hand - the movie was released nationwide in March of 1927. But judging from the picture and the leaves on the trees and knowing about the State Censorship Board (Pennsylvania was very strict and would have had to make cuts) - I'd say this was late April or sometime in May. Oh and one more thing - this picture was snapped at 9:40 am.

Morrellville Fire

I have no idea why my grandfather kept this clipping except maybe these people were friends of his or because the fire was near his house on Chandler:
A city fireman steps from the gutted first floor of a gutted Morrellville home Friday to get a breath of fresh air and is confronted with piles of rubble----once the furniture and other belongs of Mr. and Mrs. Herman E. Escherich, 186 Blaine Street. Firemen from Companies 2 and 5 and the high pressure unit battled the blaze for nearly an hour before bringing it under control.

Central Park - 1970's

Central Park - 1970's

Route 22 - Cambria County

Bulldozer working on a section of the newly constructed Route 22 in Cambria County

1946 - Johnstown High Football Team - WPIAL Drive

The 1946 Johnstown High School Football Team - WPIAL Drive. Lots of names - double click to enlarge.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Nathan's Department Store (Jupiter's) - Main Street - Downtown Johnstown 

Emeigh - Cambria County

Picture postcard that shows the village of Emeigh, Cambria County.

Main Street

Main Street - Downtown Johnstown

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Roxbury Band Shell

Roxbury Band Shell

Main Street - Downtown Johnstown

Paving Main Street with brick. Wish this picture was in better shape - but judging from the looks of it - child labor and a lot of it must have been involved in these paving projects....

Trolley Time

 Intersection of Main and Market - with Tops Diner in the distance....just beautiful...

Buettner's - Cambria City

Peter Buettner - Baker, Confectioner and Ice Cream Manufacturer - 321 Broad Street - Telephone 746-B

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ice Skating at Luna Park

I spent a lot time the last couple of days - looking for the perfect picture to post this morning. With everybody else doing so much Christmas - I wanted something just a little bit different and unique - a sort of one of a kind shot - so here it is - Ice Skating at Luna Park (Roxbury). I just love this shot - it makes me want to grab a pair of skates and join them out there - just skating around and having a ball - listening to all the fun and laughter - soaking it all in. These were folks - young and old - that believed in Johnstown and what could be accomplished by hard days work.
I hold no illusions about the past - even though I dearly love history and talk about it constantly -  "The past is a foreign country - They do things differently there". If you had a sheet of paper and drew a line down the middle - you could list what is wrong with Johnstown - but on the other side you could also list what is right with Johnstown.
These folks all had very hard lives - but they all had one thing in common - whether rich or poor - they had enough "spirit" within themselves - that unknown and unseen force that kept them going and helped keep this city alive for decades.
I believe that "spirit" still lives in a few of us that believe in Johnstown and love the city we call home. You can give me a thousand reasons why Johnstown is in the shape that it is in - I'm not stupid and not blind to the facts.
But you have to admit that there is indeed something special about our area - that folks miss when they leave - something you can't put into words and more than just looking at old pictures of home on Vintage Johnstown - every once in a while - I post one of these rare glimpses into the human spirit that I see in this simple picture of people enjoying an afternoon of ice skating....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Glosser's Tree - 1930's

Vintage Repeat - another nice shot of the lighted tree at Glossers taken from Central Park. This picture of mine has been passed around to just about every site out there. But still - one of my favorites.

Glosser Tree - 1960's

Vintage Repeat - A nice shot of the old Glosser's Lighted Tree from the 1960's in color.

A White Christmas

For those of you living out of town - in warmer parts of the country. Johnstown is having a white Christmas as you can see from this shot of my back yard. 

A Little Christmas Cheer

I thought on this Christmas Eve - I'd take time to show something that hasn't been done in years. Some very talented school children from Westside Elementary School in Lower Yoder painted holiday scenes on the windows of the old Glosser's building.
 Also headed over to Central Park to take a couple of shots.