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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Machine Shop Team - 1925

Machine Shop team of the Cambria League of Bethlehem Steel.
First Row - left to right: Charles Wisor, Frank Patch, James Boyle, Vince McConaughy and Lewis Beltz.
Second Row: Richard Clark, unknown, Charles Buser, Edward Boyle, Walley Seight, Chick Mullen and Steve Fezkas.

Engine Company

VJ Repeat - Engine Company Number 1 - where the Public Safety building is now. Penn Traffic on the left with their old Crystal Cafe that was later torn down.

Unknown Plot

1889 Unknown Plot

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Capital Hotel

VJ - Repeat - The Cambria Club House was erected at the intersection of Main and Walnut Streets by the old Cambria Iron Company for the use by its high ranking officials. It was the scene of many fine events: banquets, dances and meetings. The clubhouse was in existence as far back as 1881. The outgrowth of this building is what was known as the Capital Hotel.

 Col. Jacob Higgins of the 22nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry came to Johnstown in 1881 to take charge of the Cambria Club House as its manager for the Cambria Iron Company. 
Col. Higgins had an outstanding Civil War record and had also served in the Mexican War. A native of Blair County, he was in the hotel business in Hollidaysburg and Henrietta before coming to Johnstown.

In 1891, Jacob Higgins bought the clubhouse and continued as the manager. He later sold the Cambria Club House to P.L. Carpenter who took charge December 2, 1892 and renamed it the Capital Hotel.

During the first year, the hotel averaged only one guest per day. By 1900, the average was 100 guests daily. The hotel was developed into 100 rooms during Carpenter's ownership. Added were 12 private rooms and baths for female employees.

During one of his visits to Johnstown, Gov. Hastings was forced to sleep in the hotel parlor because of the crowded conditions. Billy Sunday, the noted evangelist was another well-known guest at the hotel. 

Old YMCA Building

This is the YMCA as it looked around the turn of the century. The building was then on Main Street, located where Grants was on Main Street. The Y's history in Johnstown goes back 150 years.
Records indicate the first YMCA here was established in the 1860's, but closed down October 17, 1875. 
The old YMCA that used to be at the corner of Market and Vine Streets is a direct outgrowth of the reorganization of the YMCA in the spring of 1885. In June of that year, a room was rented in Alma Hall. Rooms were also rented in the old B & O buildings in January 1886. 
The four story building in the above picture was first used March 20, 1893. Among the various rooms, it contained an auditorium with seating for 490, a banquet hall on the third floor and storerooms on the first floor. Liggett's Drug Store occupied part of the building until the 1930's.

Little Ones

Inside Mercy Hospital.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cambria G.O.

The old Cambria Iron Company was chartered in 1852 to operate four old-fashioned charcoal furnances in and about Johnstown, which was then a village of 1,300.
The original plant was built in 1853. 
The above building is the old Cambria General Office Building - one of the few buildings to survive the 1889 Flood.

Riverside School

Riverside School

Ebensburg Inn

The old Ebensburg Inn.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

L.A. Surplus

L.A. Surplus Ad - Market Street - downtown Johnstown


Let's Make It Beer - Inco Drive-in

Moxham - 1894

Moxham as was - 1894. The mills in the foreground are those of the Johnson Company once a giant in the iron and steel business. U.S. Steel - Lorain Division later occupied the spot. The Johnson firm located in Johnstown in 1883, moving from Louisville, Ky. It was smaller than its rival - Cambria Iron down river. 
Johnson specialized in all materials used in the tracks of the then modern street railway systems - whether cable, electric, motor or horse and had clients all over the world. 
To the left are most of the houses that were in Moxham before the turn of the century. They are located mainly between Ohio and Bond Streets. The residential section to the left of Ohio Street was to be built in later years. 
In the picture, shot in 1894, the Park Avenue School can be seen on the extreme right (sort of where the crease is in the picture). 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Take Me to Dreamland...

VJ Repeat and one of my top ten favorites of all time - Dreamland Theatre in Cresson! That is because of my love of silent film. CLICK HERE to read more about the Eassanay - Bronco Billy film from 1913. Also, note Lubin on the posters - the Lubin Film Company was out of Philadelphia. The East Coast was at one time the film capitol - around Philly, New York and especially Fort Lee, New Jersey. 
By the middle of 1914 - Lubin was out of business when all their film stock went up in flames including their newest releases. Up until basically the 1950's - most film stock was made out of nitrate - very flammable and still is to this day even as it decays into powder form with a strong odor of vinegar to boot. Nitrate caused many a deadly fire at theaters all across the U.S. and Europe. 
Contrary to popular belief - Edison was not the inventor of the motion picture. The French and British were on the cutting edge and well ahead of the United States - nor was Edison the only U.S. inventor working on a process. The wonderful French director Alice Guy Blache (one of my favorites) out of Gaumont even made the first talkies in the 1890's. What Edison did was undermine and lock up all the copyrights - which was the main reason U.S. filmmakers set up shop in California. They figured it would be harder for the lawyers to track them down on the West Coast. 
The closest I can come to having any connection to the early film industry is through E.K. Lincoln whose real name was Edward Klink and he was born in Johnstown. They had a general store and his father was Police Chief - CLICK HERE to learn a bit more and CLICK HERE for more from My grandfather would have known him well because though not directly related - we were related to the same group of people and E.K. was very well-known all about town. He is one of those people if I had the time and money - I'd love to write a book about.
My dream job would be to be a film restorer - working back through the past - frame by frame...


The old Foster Department Store - then the Hub Store - then Glessner's before it was torn down for the Senior Center which now occupies the spot.

Trolley Time

Ferndale Avenue

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Laying the Track

Work crew from Johnstown Passenger Railway laying track in a section of Johnstown.

High Above

Gautier on the right hand side - looking towards the Conemaugh Gap.

HB Bread

Harris-Boyer Bakery - Fairfield Avenue

Friday, August 18, 2017


Here's a rare view of Kernville before Sanitary Dairy was built on the left hand side of the picture.

Another View

Old picture postcard - Central Park

Mercy Hospital

Mercy Hospital

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Looking Down the Street

Franklin Street looking down towards the old Kernville Bridge. Street cleaner is on the left hand side - spraying water - note the calling cards left on the road from all the horses. Central Park is on the right hand.


Looking down at the intersection of Main and Franklin.

Ebensburg - 1894

Ebensburg - Main Street - 1894

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mercy Hospital

Mercy Hospital - 1930's.

Louis Fur

Inside Louis Fur.

Odds & Ends

Rose & Sons, Hotel Milligan, Baker Carriages, Burggraf Watchmaker. Caples & Moore, Hoffman Transfer, William Smith Contractors

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Opera House - 1894

The old Johnstown Opera House - 1894. The entrance to the opera house (later Glossers was built on the site) was on the Locust Street side, although there was also a smaller entrance on Franklin Street. Besides small stores along the Franklin Street side - at one time the Post Office was also located in the building for a time. 

Trolley Time

Closing Out Sale

Rothstein Jewelry and Economy Market - Main Street - Downtown Johnstown

Monday, August 14, 2017

JHS 1922-23

The Johnstown High basketball team shown above was the one that kicked off a long string of great sports teams during the 1920's. 
Left to right - front row: L. Davis, Perry Katzenstein, John Johnson, Joseph O'Connor, Walt "Eggie" Shaffer, N. Kline.
Second Row: Albert Siehl, Vincent Kinney, Benny Kline, Robert Burkhard, Peter Dailey, Paul Beeler (coach).



Trolley Time

Main Street

Friday, August 11, 2017

Island Park - 1906

Island Park was located near Benscreek in the area near the present St. Andrew's Church. It featured quite a large picnic ground. The area was served by street car from the city. The Windber-Johnstown line also went near the place. Besides being an overnight stay for people coming to Johnstown via the Somerset Pike or the Davidsville Road, the hotel was well known for its famous Sunday dinners. During the winter season people would drive by sleigh from the city to the hotel for an evening meal. In the summer, a large swimming pool made the park a popular spot for young and old alike hoping to escape the heat. 

Trolley Time

Central Avenue