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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

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Lemon Drops Sponsor Punxsutawney Area Military Heroes Banner Project By Gloria Kerr for Hometown magazine

espite all the bad and sad news of the world, small towns like Punxsutawney, with its adjacent communities like Anita, Adrian, Rossiter, Frostburg, Covode, and Big Run, and all those included in the Punxsutawney Area School District, have uplifting stories to tell as well. One of those is the American Heroes Banner Project currently underway. A little-known group of women, calling themselves the “Lemon Drops,” is working to hang banners featuring pictures of military veterans from any era throughout the town. Having seen and admired similar banner projects in nearby communities, the Lemon Drops decided Punxsutawney should be honoring its military heroes as well. Primarily a social group at first, the fourteen or so women in the group get together at least once a month and sometimes more often for casual breakfasts or other get-togethers. Over the past fifteen years, they’ve also traveled extensively together. With all their children grown, they’ve become a close-knit, mutually supportive bunch of women who are always welcome to drop in at one another’s homes for whatever reason. Gradually the Lemon Drops began contributing to various worthy projects,

D On the cover: The Lemon Drops are sponsoring a Hometown Military Heroes Banner project. Applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce, borough office in the Civic Complex, Punxsutawney Memorial Library, and S & T Bank. Pictured (l. to r.) with their first printed banner featuring Cpl. Leif Allen Perry are some of the Lemon Drops: Joan Beck, Sharon Reesman, Wendy Perry, representing the Rotary Club, Ann McIntyre, Bonnie Morrow, Mary Ann Smith, Debbi Meneely, Suzanne Shumaker.

‘Punxsutawney Hometown’ magazine © Copyright 2019 — All Rights Reserved. Schedule your advertising in our next edition! We reach 100% of the local and area homes and businesses! - Concentrated Circulation 8,100+ copies of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine are direct-mailed to homes in Punxsutawney and surrounding towns and areas, giving our advertisers nearly 100% coverage . . . we deliver to every home and business! (As always — our circulation is verified — mailing and printing statements available.)

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adding fundraising to their activities, donating baskets to worthy causes, and helping out where they saw a need. The group has no officers nor a treasury. A different person is typically in charge of various projects; usually it’s whoever has come up with the idea. Over the years they’ve donated to a wide variety of local efforts, including the town clock restoration, an animal shelter, both men’s and women’s shelters, Booster’s First and Ten Club, Punxsutawney Women’s Clinic, Punxsutawney Garden Club, SPLASH, Punx- The Punxsutanwey Heroes Banner Project is underway and applicasutawney Memorial Li- tions are being accepted. Leif Perry, a local hero who served in the Marine Corps for four years, proudly displays his banner in the brary, and the U.S. presence of his wife Kara and daughter Grace. Challenger League for special needs children that gives them an ber of Commerce’s support to begin. opportunity to play ball. Next, they contacted Standard Pennant The American Heroes Banner Project Company in Big Run to make the banbegan about a year ago. First, the Lemon ners, and they shopped for appropriate Drops had to get the Punxsutawney Borbanner designs. Members have met with ough Council’s approval and the Cham- Continued on next page

Punxsutawney Proud — Boosting our Hometown!


Publisher Mary L. Roberts


Advertising Mary L. Roberts Tracey Young Hometown Staff Writers Jennifer Skarbek, Editor S. Thomas Curry Shirley Sharp Gloria Kerr Marty Armstrong



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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229 – 3

Lemon Drops Debbi Whitesell Meneely and Pam Meanor Boyer load up a raffle gift basket with lemon-themed dinnerware and other goodies. Donating quality raffle baskets to worthy causes is one of the group’s favorite ways to serve the community.

Lemon Drops Sponsor

businesses and clubs are also encouraged to sponsor banners at a cost of $200 each. Continued from previous page For an extra charge of $15.00 each, small, garden-size duplicate banners are Penelec representative Chuck Emhoff to available with the order. determine which poles throughout town Information on each banner includes a can be used to mount the banners. picture of the hero, his or her name and They’ve considered poles along streets rank as it is to appear on from Elk Run to the the banner, and the war Country Club and from or effort in which the the Margiotti Bridge on hero was involved. The route 436 to the Alcategories to choose liance Church. from on the application Since the Lemon include these: Global Drops have no treasurer, War on Terror, Persian Punxsutawney Rotary Gulf, Cold War, VietClub president Jodi nam Era, Korean ConPresloid volunteered flict, World War I, and Rotary’s assistance to World War II. The apserve as treasurer and plication lists these milmoney manager for the itary branch categories: project; Rotary treasUS Army, US Marine urer Brian Smith is the signature raffle basket the Corps, US Navy, US contact person. Mean- Another Lemon Drops donated. Air Force/Air Corps, while, the group has US Coast Guard, and National or Penncreated a Facebook page for the Punxsylvania Guard. sutawney American Heroes Project to The photo submitted with the order can spread the word and to help raise awarebe a military dress photo but need not be. ness to support it. Search for PunxThe clarity and quality of the photo are sutawney Area “American Hero most important. Really old or newspaper Banners” on Facebook. Another group of photos, neither of which reproduce well, Lemon Drops considered the best design will be accepted, but there could be up to for the Punxsutawney hero banners and an additional $125.00 charge for enchose the best bracket to use to mount hancement. The photo itself has to be them. scanned and sent to Standard Pennant Each banner will measure 30 inches by Company via an email address listed on 60 inches, which is the same size as the the application. Those who don’t have the Chamber of Commerce’s Groundhog ability or the technology to perform this banners now hanging in downtown Punxstep can take their photo to the Chamber sutawney; the banners are meant to comof Commerce office at 102 West Mahonplement each other. The application for a ing Street, located next to Fairlady and hero banner can be requested and purchased by the hero’s family or friends; - Continued on page 10

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Selected items representing the borough of Clayville and the consolidation in 1907 are displayed in the Bennis House of PAHGS on West Mahoning Street. Among them is the official document signed by Pennsylvania Governor Edwin S. Stuart. (photo by S. Thomas Curry) Prior to 1907, when the consolidation of Punxsutawney and Clayville was approved by voters, Clayville was a separate incorporated borough with its own government ordinances, post office and fire company. Settled in 1814, it became Punxsutawney’s West End section. (Photo and Clayville booklet courtesy of Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society)

two boroughs, it was estimated the “greater Punxsutawney area” had a population that exceeded 20,000 residents.

Punxsutawney Events Among “Firsts” in Area History

The First Annual Banquet of the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce Prior to the time of Punxsutawney and Clayville’s becoming one borough, a Board of Trade existed in each town to induce development in business and industry. Consolidated as one town, the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce was organized to present to “manufacturers” the advantages that the area offered for them to locate here. The “First Annual Banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Punxsutawney” was held March 14, 1907, shortly after the election when voters in both communities approved the merger.

By S. Thomas Curry of Hometown magazine

hile the “firsts” in Punxsutawney area history might not be considered major contributions to progress on the state, national or world scene, they do have significance in the story about Punxsutawney’s development from a small village in western Pennsylvania to a “progressive community” when the 19th century ended and the hopes of the 20th century were to be faced. An important “first” in the early 1900s was a banquet to celebrate the beginning of the history of the Greater Punxsutawney area that emerged after the consolidation of the borough of Clayville with Punxsutawney Borough, an effort that took more than a decade to complete. It all began in June 1893 after the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation that provided a plan for “compact and contiguous territories” to be combined into one incorporated borough. Clayville gave up its nearly 90-year identity as a village and borough to become the West End section of the greater Punxsutawney that occurred when the populations of the two boroughs were combined. During the discussions along the way to a final agreement of the two boroughs, the name “Punxsyville” was suggested as a new name for the town. Obviously, that suggestion was not accepted. Punxsutawney retained its place in history identified in name by its Native-American heritage. In the census of 1890, Punxsutawney had 2,760 residents and Clayville had 1,407, for a combined population of 4,167. By 1900, the combined population of the two neighboring boroughs was nearly 7,000 residents. Punxsutawney had an earlier expansion of its borough limits in 1889 when populated areas of the Graffius addition of the Elk Run section, the developed area of East End - following the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad in that section and the land south of the Mahoning


Creek were annexed. After the consolidation of the two incorporated boroughs became official in March 1907, the population for the new Punxsutawney Borough was over 9,000 people, to become the largest town in Jefferson County. The Punxsutawney Spirit declared, “Punxsutawney is the real metropolis of the coal fields of this section of the State.” Considering the other little villages and mining towns surrounding the

Punxsutawney voters approved the consolidation by a fourteen to one majority; whereas, in Clayville, the vote was two to one in favor of consolidation. The menu for that gathering of nearly 200 people indicated the optimism of the group of “professional men, captains of industry and congenial spirits from neighboring towns.” Among the menu selections to gain the attention of the guests were, “Furnace Soup, Coke Oven Fish with a Bituminous Sauce, Potatoes a la Lindsey, Greater Punxsutawney Punch, Chamber of Commerce Salad and Consolidation Coffee.” [Note: Lindsey was the name used for the post office, while Clayville was the official borough name.] The evening banquet began at 8:30 p.m. sharp with music provided by - Continued on next page


PISARCIK Jefferson County Commissioner Paid for by the candidate.

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229 – 5

After the consolidation of Punxsutawney and Clayville, the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce was organized to replace a Board of Trade formerly in each borough. The first banquet of the new Chamber of Commerce was held in the Washington Hotel on the corner of North Jefferson Street and East Mahoning Street. Two photos above, in 1890 and 1910, respectively, identify the Washington Hotel located at the corner. Another photo shows the corner as seen in 2019. (c.1890 photo and 1910 post card courtesy PAHGS; 2019 photo by S. Thomas Curry)

Punxsutawney Events Continued from previous page Nell’s Orchestra to greet guests as they arrived. The large gathering was held in the banquet room of the Washington Hotel, on the corner of North Jefferson Street and East Mahoning Street, facing the park. The hotel’s dining room waitresses were assisted by waitresses from the various other hotels in town. With a background mural that depicted a figure representative of Punxsutawney clasping hands with a Clayville figure, the speeches began at 11:30 p. m. A twoand-one-half-hour talkfest of five-minute speeches followed the opening remarks by the designated toastmaster. His brief remarks reviewed the path each borough had taken before the agreement to merge as one borough, saying, “Punxsutawney and Lindsey both pros-

pered, grew rich, and, for many long years, while friendly, showed an air of independence. An occasional smile or courtesy was passed from one to the other, but was usually followed by a frown, sometimes a quarrel. Time wrought a change, however. Nature’s kindness was being overworked and it was up to them to do something for themselves. A change of heart took place, love developed and a marriage was consummated. With this marriage and birth renewed energy has developed, which shows itself here tonight. We are now ready to hear you talk on such subjects as will demonstrate what we need to make us a more prosperous people.” The topics and subjects presented by the many speakers included “Old Clayville,” “Benefits of Consolidation,” “Town Development,” “Mercantile Interests,” “Our Industries,” and many others that in-


Amanda Green-Hawkins Daniel D. McCaffery Jeff Pisarcik, Commissioner Kelly Harriger, Commissioner

cluded education, churches and the purpose of the Chamber of Commerce. “The occasion of the ‘First Annual Banquet’ of the newly organized Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce, with its inspired speeches, was to celebrate the beginning of a new and bigger Punxsutawney into the twentieth century. Predicted for the years ahead was a future to be ‘greater than its name.’” (March 1, 1907, Punxsutawney Spirit) A hundred years later and rooted in the 21st century, the years ahead for the Punxsutawney area depend on those active, dedicated citizens who willingly share a vision for its future. The First Official Duty of Troop D in Punxsutawney From the late 1890s into the early 1900s, the Punxsutawney area had grown in size. The consolidation of Clayville

into Punxsutawney further established Punxsutawney and the surrounding area as a major commercial and industrial area. Many buildings in downtown Punxsutawney and the magnificent mansions in neighborhoods are evidence of that prosperous time in history. Those years are also known for the many episodes of labor violence and other problems commonplace in the small towns and villages that developed through the “cultural clash” of new immigrant workers in mining towns that sprang up nearby. The many challenges to peace and order were a call for the state to organize a statewide police force, and on May 2, 1905, Governor Samuel Pennypacker signed into law the act to organize the Pennsylvania State Police. It was a moment in state history. Pennsylvania’s po- Continued on page 8

• Allow small children to draw the face of the pumpkin and have an adult carve it out • Jack-o-lanterns with candles should be kept out of the way of trick-or-treaters so their costumes won’t accidentally catch on fire • Remind kids not to get into cars or talk to strangers, look both ways before crossing streets and follow traffic lights that tell you when to cross • Make sure an adult accompanies your young children • If your older kids are responsible enough to go out without an adult, plan a safe route and set a time for them to be home • Explain the difference between tricks and vandalism to your children • Remind your children to stay in groups and well lit, populated areas • Do not let your kids eat any treats until they are examined by you at home • Have your child carry a flashlight, glow stick or reflective gear so they are more visible for cars

Jean Shaw, County Auditor And don’t forget Democrats on the ballot for municipal and township offices and school boards. (Paid for by the Jefferson County Democratic Committee) 6 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

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Hometown Community Happenings By the staff of Hometown magazine rom the staff of Hometown magazine and the Community Calendar at, here is a list of events coming up in our area: n Leaf collection by Punxsutawney Borough Public Works should start around the end of October or the beginning of November. Leaves will need to be raked to the curb. n Oct. 31: 2019 Senior Expo, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Punxsutawney First Church of God, presented by Rep. Cris Dush. n Oct. 31: Cathedral by Candlelight, 7 to 9 p.m., at Cook Forest State Park. n Oct. 31: Halloween Parade on E. Union St. at 6 p.m., ends at Barclay Square. Trick or treating from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Punxsutawney Borough. n Nov. 1-2: Bazaar for all Seasons at Woodland Ave. United Methodist Church, Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch both days. Crafts, baked goods, soup by the quart. n Nov. 1-3: Smicksburg Old-Fashioned Country Christmas Open House. Various locations around Smicksburg. Visit for locations & times. n Nov. 2: Bazaar, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Grange Church of God. n Nov. 2: Brownies Wonder of Water Journey Badge, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Weather Discovery Center. Pre-register by Oct. 28 at 814-938-1000 or n Nov. 2: Beef Noodle Dinner, 4:30 p.m., Pisgah Presbyterian Church, Corsica. $8 for those over age 10. n Nov. 3: Daylight Savings Time ends. Turn your clocks back an hour. n Nov. 5: Election Day. Get out & vote! n Nov. 5: First Tuesday Community Meal, 5 p.m., at Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church. Free & open to the public. n Nov. 8-10: Smicksburg Old-Fashioned Country Christmas Open House. Various locations around Smicksburg. Visit for locations & times. Nov. 8: Free Community Meal, 5 p.m., at First United Methodist Church. Free & open to the public. n Nov. 9: The Winter Market, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Mapleview Schoolhouse Market & Event Center. n Nov. 9: Kally’s Kourt Steak Dinner & Auction fundraiser at Walston Club. Contact one of the organizers for more information. n Nov. 9: Boy Scout Electricity Merit Badge, 9 a.m. to noon, at Weather Discovery Center. $10 per scout. Pre-register by Nov. 4 at 814-938-1000 or n Nov. 11: Veterans Day. Honor those who served. n Nov. 16: Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week 5k Run/Walk, 2 p.m., at the Jefferson County Housing Authority Social Hall in Punxsutawney. n Nov. 17: Coping with Loss Support Group, 7 p.m., at First Church of God. n Nov. 19: Blood Drive, 2 to 6:30 p.m., at the Reynoldsville Eagles. Benefits American Red Cross. n Nov. 21-24: “The Harmony Baptist Church Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Jubilee,” presented by Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild, 7:30 p.m., at PAHS auditorium. Sunday show at 2 p.m.


n Nov. 23: Reload Men’s Conference, 9 a.m., at One Life Church, Punxsutawney. Go to for details. n Nov. 23: Christmas Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at SSCD Wienker Hall & Gym. n Nov. 23: Make a Mess Day, 10 a.m. to noon, at Weather Discovery Center. Best for kids in kindergarten through 6th grade. Call 814-938-1000 for information. n Nov. 23: Community Thanksgiving Dinner, 3 to 5 p.m., at The Salvation Army. Take-outs available 4:30 to 5 p.m. Free & open to the public. n Nov. 26: Flower & Book Sale, 10

6 p.m., at Punxsutawney Memorial Library. Features Penna Flower Co. n Nov. 26: Blood Drive, 1 to 5:30 p.m., at Big Run War Memorial. Benefits American Red Cross. n Nov. 28: Thanksgiving! n Nov. 29, 30 & Dec. 1: Small Business Weekend. Shop local small businesses & support your community! n Nov. 30: Home for the Holidays Parade, 6 p.m., Mahoning St., sponsored by Punxsutawney Eagles and Chamber of Commerce. Circle of Trees & Christmas Tree Lighting after the parade, sponsored by Punxsutawney Rotary Club. n Nov. 30: Deer season starts. Get your hunting supplies at one of Hometown’s advertisers! n Dec. 1: Winter Bazaar, open at 10 a.m., at Kovalchick Center, Indiana. If you’d like to volunteer at the Jackson

Theater, call the Punxsutawney Area Community Center at 814-938-1008. n The First Church of God offers a Celebrate Recovery program. Contact the church or visit its Facebook page for more information. n Jeff Tech offers several Adult Education classes. Visit for information on what courses are available and starting dates. n The First United Methodist Church holds a prayer service at 7 p.m. Thursdays. The Punxsutawney Memorial Library offers several programs, including computer classes, Teen Club, ‘Tween Group, Book Club for adults, adult coloring and activities for children. n The Punxsutawney Area Community Center offers several programs. Check the website or call 814-938-1008 for program availability. •••

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229 – 7

Punxsutawney’s Troop D officially went on active duty in early March 1906. Among the 47 men assigned to the troop were Pvt. John Henry, left, and Pvt. Francis Zehringer. Each was involved in Troop D “firsts” when on duty. They are best remembered in local and state history as the first state troopers to lose their lives while on active duty - in the “Battle of Florence” in September 1906. (Portraits Hometown file photos; Roadside Marker sign by S. Thomas Curry)

Punxsutawney Events

signed to Punxsutawney to serve the northwest region of the state. Other Continued from page 6 troops were sent to Greensburg, Wilkeslice force was the first uniformed state Barre and the Reading area. The organipolice agency of its kind in the United zation of this uniformed state police force is a moment in Punxsutawney history. Another instance in Punxsutawney area history, and State Police history, is the “Bloody Battle at Florence,” when two troopers, Pvt. John F. Henry, age 26, and Pvt. Francis A. Zehringer, age 35, were killed in a confrontation against elements of the “Black Hand SoThe Pennsylvania State Constabulary was organized in 1905. Troop ciety.” It occurred on D was assigned to Punxsutawney, one of four mounted troops es- September 2, 1906, just tablished as the first uniformed state police agency in the United nine months after States. The “constabulary” is now named the Pennsylvania State PoTroop D of the Pennlice. (photo from post card courtesy PAHGS) sylvania State ConstabStates. ulary began its active service in the The new state police force was divided Punxsutawney district. into four troops, with one of the four asThe two fallen troopers from Punx-

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formed by members of Troop D stationed in Punxsutawney. In reporting the action of the troopers, the Punxsutawney Spirit stated, “The prompt and thorough manner in which every man connected with the Sunday night’s tragedy was rounded up is evidence that the men under Captain Robinson have been thoroughly trained and are fearless in the performance of their duties.” Among those men responding was Pvt. John F. Henry who was killed six months later at the Battle at Florence. First Arrest Under Pennsylvania Game Laws Before the Pennsylvania Game Commission was founded in 1895, there were no hunting seasons or bag limits. Folk at that time depended on hunting wildlife for food on the table or for earning an income. When the game commission and new laws were created, it was too late for many species of animals and birds. (The passenger pigeon had become extinct; the elk had, too.) Wildlife was sold in mar- Continued on page 10

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sutawney’s Troop D are listed in history as the first two members of the Pennsylvania State Police to be killed in the line of duty, When the two young men were called to duty at Florence, it was not the first official duty performed by any member of Troop D to “protect life and property.” Prior to that tragic event at Florence mines in September of 1906, a shooting occurred at Walston. At midnight of March 14, 1906, a group of Italians from Walston arrived in Punxsutawney to report a riot that was in progress in the mining town. The matter was turned over to the newly organized and trained Troop D of the Pennsylvania Constabulary. A detail of three sergeants, six privates and four additional men mounted their horses and left the barracks in a heavy snow storm on roads that were almost impassible. The half-dozen men involved in the shooting of a boarder at one of the homes in Walston were arrested and found to be heavily armed. The incident was recorded as the first official duty per-

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Clarion River 2019 River of the Year

An autumn view of the Clarion River. Photos by Clarion University.

By Clarion University for Hometown magazine larion River was voted 2019 River of the Year, an about face from 20 years ago when it was one of the state’s most polluted rivers. Many hands have worked together to improve the river, including faculty, students and alumni of Clarion University.


Acid mine drainage As early as the 1880s, coal mines were developed using gravity drainage to prevent excessive water accumulation in the mines. As a result, acid mine drainage – water polluted by acid, iron, sulfur and aluminum – drained away from the mines and into streams. AMD is formed when pyrite, an iron sulfide, is exposed and reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. Some or all of this iron can precipitate to

In her position as an erosion and sedimentation specialist, Clarion University alumna Alicia Ramsey guides intern Jonathon Best of Rimersburg. As a student, Ramsey worked on acid mine drainage remediation.

form the red, orange or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams containing AMD. The results are devastating to aquatic plants and animals. The sediments coat not just the stream bed, but also the leaves and plant debris in the stream bed. The coating prevents them from biodegrading, a process that provides food and habitat for aquatic insects and animals. Dr. Andy Turner, biology professor, said mining practices have changed, and coal companies not only take precautions to prevent AMD from occurring in new mines, but they also help to correct and prevent damage from AMD that still flows from old mines. Drainage can continue for 100 years or more after mining activity ceases. United States Environmental Protection Agency said AMD is one of the most serious

water pollution problems for Region 3, which includes Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Among the 37 Pennsylvania counties negatively affected by acid mine drainage, Clarion County is number one for the number of miles of waterways negatively affected. Jefferson County ranks fourth.

Mill Creek Coalition In 1990, Clarion professors Dr. Terry Morrow and Dr. Pete Dalby organized a conference that drew in people from the community and surrounding areas. It included the National Guard’s Punxsutawney unit, the Army Corps of Engineers and area conservation districts. - Continued on page 11

Please Vote for our Candidates


COUNTY COMMISSIONER John Jack Matson Herbert L. Bullers, Jr. COUNTY AUDITOR Douglas Edward Kougher Edward J. Mcginnis, Jr.



Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229 – 9

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Continued from page 3 Company near McDonald’s, where staff will do this step for them, or take them directly to the Standard Pennant Company in Big Run. Applications to order the hero banners are available at the borough office in the Civic Center, the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, S & T Bank, and the Chamber of Commerce office. One is also included with this article. The Lemon Drops plan to do a couple of rounds of banner orders. The deadline for the first set of orders is January 10, 2020. Make $200. checks payable to Punxsutawney Rotary and mail them, along with the application, to Punxsutawney Rotary, 501 Woodland Avenue, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. No photographs are to be sent to the Rotary address. Scanned photos are to be sent to the Standard Pennant Company where the banners will be created. A copy of the application AND the scanned hero photo must be emailed to in Big Run. Again, staff at the Chamber of Commerce office at 102 West Mahoning Street can help with this task. When the first batch of hero banners is printed and ready for hanging, the group hopes to hold a dedication event for all to preview the first batch before they are hung.

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Continued from page 8


kets and served in restaurants as well. Many song birds were shot for spaghetti sauce. The Game Commission pressed for restrictive hunting laws designed to safeguard what wildlife was left and to provide a better opportunity to recover. Until the Pennsylvania State Constabulary (State Police) was organized in 1905, the few game laws were supposed to be enforced by township constables. The game laws were difficult to enforce when hunters resisted an effort to limit their right to use their guns. In August 1906, two members of Punxsutawney’s Troop D were involved in the “first arrest of anyone caught violating the game laws.” The game law violation and arrest on Friday, August 24, appeared in a story in The Punxsutawney Spirit on August 29, 1906. With a subtitle of: “Woodpecker Soup and Catbird Squabs Come High in Punx’y,” the adventure into history by Privates Zehringer and Wilson was described. The two were riding along on their horses on a road near Florence. They heard shots fired in the nearby woods, tied up their horses and dismounted to investigate. They observed a hunter “juking behind the trees.” The hunter fired a shot, bringing down a woodpecker, which was placed in his hunting bag. The two officers made their presence known. The hunter “took to his heels and made for the tall and uncut,” stated The Spirit in the story. Private Zehringer pursued the hunter on foot toward Florence



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10 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

These groundhog pop-up bottles proved to be a popular souvenir for 2019 Groundhog Day revelers as the Lemon Drops sold 148 of them.

The final step will be to recruit volunteers to install the banner brackets and hang the banners. The Lemon Drops know they’ll need bucket trucks and able bodies to get that job done. Anyone willing to lend a hand with equipment, bracket installation, and banner hanging can contact them on Facebook or call Joan Beck at 724-388-8023. •••

while Private Wilson followed with the horses. The fleeing hunter took refuge in the first building he came to, an outhouse. Zehringer kicked in the door to arrest the hunter. The hunter, a “foreigner,” as identified by The Spirit, turned over his hunting bag that contained a robin, two orioles, a woodpecker and a catbird. The hunter had thrown away his gun. It was recovered by Officer Wilson. The captured hunter was taken to Punxsutawney for a hearing when he was fined $50 for shooting five insectivorous and song birds; $25 for hunting without a license and $18.50 for costs. His confiscated gun was valued at $6.50. The officers received a $10 reward, half paid by the state and half by Jefferson County. Regarding the total cost of $100, a Spirit writer stated, “Rather an expensive luxury when compared with macaroni soup. Citizens, as well as foreigners, will do well to remember that hunting out of season or killing song birds at any time is liable to be an expensive form of pastime in these parts.” Two weeks later, Pvt. Francis A. Zehringer lost his life in the “Battle at Florence,” where he and Pvt. John Henry became the first troopers of the Pennsylvania State Police to lose their lives while on duty. In September 2006, on the 100th anniversary of the Florence shooting, a 10-foot marble monument was dedicated at the Troop C Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Punxsutawney as a memorial to the two troopers. In 2016, a Pennsylvania Historic Roadside Marker was placed along PA Route 310 at Anita, near where the mining town of Florence had existed and the tragic event had occurred. •••

– the problem. An abandoned coal mine can continue to seep AMD for 100 years or more. “At that time, there was a lot of inertia institutionally that said you can’t (treat the AMD-impacted streams) passively – you have to use chemicals,” McCleary said. The problem with chemicals is that they require 24-hour-a-day monitoring and produce waste product – not so with passive systems. Both systems typically cost the same to implement, but a passive system is much less expensive to maintain.

Howe Bridge

Clarion University biology professor Dr. Andy Turner talks to students about acid mine drainage and its treatment.

Clarion River Continued from page 9 “It was investigative,” Morrow said. “Could we actually do anything with (acid mine drainage)? Where’s the research at this point? What is our knowledge? Is anyone interested in being involved?” From that gathering, Mill Creek Coalition was formed. “Today, we take grassroots watershed groups for granted. In 1990, there really weren’t any,” Dalby said. “With regard to extensive mine drainage, people just wrote those streams off. The formation of MCC was an effort to bring back the dead stream.” Field trips to AMD-affected waterways were a regular occurrence for students in Morrow’s, Dalby’s, and (later) Turner’s classes and in the BIOS Club they advised. Then, passive treatment systems relied on vegetation – cattails, namely – to absorb the iron. “On the simplest ones – if there was not too

much iron and was enough alkalinity – it worked,” Morrow said. In some areas, however, the problem was far from simple. “Really, it was two students, Doug (Kepler) and Eric (McCleary), who went from a different direction.”

River of little fish The name Damariscotta is Native American, meaning “river of little fish.” When Eric McCleary (’84) and Doug Kepler (’85) decided to start a company that would restore streams by improving water quality, the name perfectly described the work they intended to do and the result they sought. “Clarion River has been a part of my life since I was a little guy. I grew up on the river,” McCleary said. “The lower Clarion River didn’t have much life in it. Now, it’s one of the best kept secrets for fisheries.” As biology students at Clarion University, McCleary and Kepler had studied the orange-stained tributaries in the Clarion River Watershed. They knew acid mine drainage was what had caused – and was still causing


Saturday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. DEADLINE TO ENTER YOUR FLOAT IS NOV. 11 Mail, Fax or Drop off Your Unit Description Form to: Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce 102 West Mahoning St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767 • FAX: 814-938-4303

For Questions call the Chamber at 814-938-7700 X2

Howe Bridge. “Doug and Eric came up with the idea for the Howe Bridge design,” Morrow said. “It was a grassroots event with volunteers, very little money and a lot of pro bono work on the part of contractors.” The National Guard’s Punxsutawney Unit was an engineering unit that had old bulldozers and equipment, and they basically built the system for free as part of their training. When the National Guard’s equipment got stuck and they couldn’t proceed, Simpson Excavating in Corsica donated machinery to use. “We buried a lot of limestone and put in set-

Together, McCleary and Kepler developed a large-scale passive treatment system that was first implemented at Howe Bridge, which spans Mill Creek in Jefferson County. The system, now used worldwide to restore waterways, was a game changer in AMD remediation. It was MCC’s first project. Simplified, their system uses a series of limestone drains and settling ponds between the source of the AMD and the waterway into which it flows. The limestone raises the pH of the AMD-tainted water, which Dr. Terry Morrow, retired Clarion University professor and a of Mill Creek Coalition, works with then-student Alicia causes the iron to precipi- founder Ramsey at an acid mine drainage treatment site. tate. The iron remains in the settling ponds, and the water that flows into tling ponds to collect the iron,” Dalby said. the waterway has a pH conducive to sustain“When we saw that it was successful, we ing aquatic life. were on top of the world. A lot of people “We didn’t go into (forming Mill Creek started studying it, from the Bureau of Mines Coalition) with any idea of how to identify in Pittsburgh to people in Germany. It bewhich stream to address first,” Dalby said. came famous.” They chose the most adversely affected site The system requires very little monitoring in the county: a portion of Mill Creek at - Continued on page 22







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16 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

Mining Creates Climate for Industrial Development By Coal Memorial Committee for Hometown magazine he Punxsutawney area was in the midst of the Coal Boom when the first inkling that a new industry might be coming to the area appeared in the Reynoldsville Star on December 15, 1897. The item stated, “The prospects of a new railroad and a silk mill for Reynoldsville should be a little encouragement for the disconsolate individuals of the town.” The Punxsutawney Spirit, on the same date, in a column entitled “The Reynoldsville Letter,” carried the following item: “Prof. W.H. Stamey has been actively engaged in agitating the question of a silk mill at this place (Reynoldsville) for the past couple of weeks. While Kentucky ‘jeans’ is good enough for me personally, silk is a good thing and we all hope the industry will materialize.” These items were followed by an article on industrial migration, reprinted, from the Philadelphia Times, in the February 23, 1898 issue of The Punxsutawney Spirit which stated, “One of the noticeable features of this industrial migration is the establishing of silk mills in the inland towns of Pennsylvania. Allentown has erected its seventh mill. Scranton is just boosting a new silk mill and new ones are in course of


erection or in prospect in Pittston, York, Reynoldsville, Columbia, Carlisle, Fleetwood and elsewhere, showing a steady migration of silk-producing industry from the vicinity of New York, where it made its first American lodgment, to the west of the Delaware river.” The railroads, availability of land, cheap fuel and ready labor supply were the attractive characteristics of these inland towns. These qualities and advantages were made possible by the development of the industrial coal mines in the area. The railroads were necessary to get the coal to market. The land above the mines had been cleared by the mining companies and was ready for development. An abundant supply of low cost coal was available for heating and generating electricity. And, the families of coal miners, in particular the daughters and young sons, were an extensive pool of readily available, educated labor. The development of the silk mills required local investment. By March 1898, Reynoldsville had raised $50,000 through the issuance of preferred stock, to bring the silk mill to their community. They established the Reynoldsville Land Improvement Company to manage the property. As interest in the project grew, new stores were opening in the town in anticipation of the

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The Punxsutawney Silk Mill began operating in 1911, as a throwing mill that turned raw silk into threads which were then used to weave silk fabrics and ribbons. The mill provided employment for 200 workers, mostly women, until the mid-1930s. During WW II, the Jefferson Textile Company used the building to sew heavy canvas for military use. Later, PRAMCO, Inc., a shirtwaist manufacturer, leased the building where they employed 125 people, mostly women, who made shirtwaists. Today the building is used as a flea market and antique mall. Photo courtesy of PAHGS.

opening of the silk mill. A local contractor, J.V. Young, was engaged to construct the building. Everything moved along nicely except the arrangements for the railroad to add a switch, put in a railroad siding and to build a bridge across Sandy Lick so that coal could be furnished to the new silk mill. These took extra time and negotiations. W.H. Stamey, the silk mill developer, moved to Reynoldsville to manage the setup project for the America Silk Co. of Reynoldsville. In September 1898, recruitment of workers began. The main qualification was having keen eyesight. The Reynoldsville Silk Mill was officially


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dedicated on October 19, 1898. Buttons with a picture of the silk mill on them were given as mementos at the opening. W.H. Stamey, Esq., who developed the silk mill in Reynoldsville, summed up the effort in a speech at the opening: “Less than eight months ago I tendered a proposition to the citizens of Reynoldsville and they accepted it, and as a result of good faith on both sides, a complete 200-loom silk mill is now in operation here. A mill that can, and will, run both day and night, employing from 350 to 400 hands, and with the earnest support of the citizens in the future as in the past, I as-

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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229 – 17

18 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

Printed 10-19

AGING AGING SERVICES SERVICES,, INC. INC. (S) Sgt. Brady Skarbek (left) weapons crew member in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Seymour Johnson Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina, proudly stands with his grandfather Edward Skarbek, 3rd class petty officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves

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FREE MONTHLY SCREENINGS Tues., Nov. 5th – Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar Testing by Punxsutawney Home Health at 11 am Wed., Nov. 6th – Blood Pressures by Anew Home Health at 11 am Tues., Nov. 19th – Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar Testing by Punxsutawney Home Health at 11 am

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Lee Jay Rossey Marines 1st year, 2018 Punxsutawney graduate

Cpl. Leif Allen Perry United States Marine Corps 2003 - 2007

Sgt. Christopher Perry Reesman United States Army 2008 - 2015

Sgt. Ernest L. Huey U.S. Army Vietnam 1970-71

Sean Newara Specialist United States Army Punxsutawney, Pa

Capt. Cory Cook United States Air Force 2007 to Present

Erin Young Airforce 2004- 2007 Airman

Derik Young Army 2001 - 2009 UH-60 Helicopter Crew Chief

Brothers Fred Roberts, U.S. Air Force, and Bill Roberts, U.S. Army, Augusburg Germany WWII

Mon., Nov. 4th – Chris from Senior Life will present a Proper Hand Washing demonstration at 10:30 am Thurs., Nov. 14th – Morgan from Punxsutawney Hospital will discuss “Diabetes” at 11 am! Wednesdays at 11 am – Technology Class meets to find answers to Computers, tablets, smart phones and more.

CRAFTS Tues., Nov 12 – Join us & help make Ornaments for the Harrisburg Christmas Tree at 10:30 am! Tues., Nov. 26 – Holiday Crafts with Gail, 10:30 am

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Tues., Nov. 5th – Election Day Bake Sale Wed., Nov. 6th – November Birthdays celebrated Thurs., Nov 7th – Veterans Day will be remembered Wed., Nov. 20th – A special Thanksgiving Party & Special Menu Reservations required!

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20 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

The Reynoldsville Silk Mill, opened in 1899, was among the early, large manufacturing industries which were located in mining towns in rural Pennsylvania. Transportation via railroads, availability of land, cheap fuel, and an abundance of educated, ready labor, made it profitable for industries that depended on women workers to locate in coal mining areas. The Reynoldsville Silk Mill was a silk weaving plant with 200-looms, which could be run day and night and it employed up to 400 workers in ten-hour shifts. Photo courtesy of PAHGS.

Mining Creates Continued from page 17 sure them that the mill will grow to greater dimensions with large pay roll and increased number of employees. With the success of the mill, so is the success of our city, for each is dependent upon the other. Fuel is cheap and intelligent labor can be had, as has already been demonstrated, for we have now almost 150 people employed.” By 1909, the Punxsutawney area was beginning to experience industrial out-migration. The Berwind-White Coal Mining Company was divesting their interests in the area and the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal and Iron Company was migrating south into Indiana County. The Chamber of Commerce, upon learning that the United Textile Corporation was in the market for a suitable location for a new silk mill, went into action. A committee was appointed in March 1909, to research the company and make a recommendation on approaching the corporation. The committee consisted of E.C. McKibbin, of the Punxsutawney Iron Works, J.A. Weber, clothing retailer, and Jeff. G. Wingert, attorney. The committee visited Allentown where they learned that United Textile Corporation was a substantial operation with five silk mills in operation. The United Textile Corporation proposed a “throwing” mill for Punxsutawney. In a throwing mill, the raw silk would be prepared for use by the weavers at the silk mill to make ribbons and fabrics. This type of silk mill would have the capacity of 250 to 400 employees and a payroll of about $30,000 per year. Local cit-

izens would need to invest $35,000 in stock. The company would hold the remaining $15,000. The committee’s report was accepted and the chamber undertook the project of securing investors for a silk mill for Punxsutawney. By August 1909, the Chamber of Commerce had raised the necessary local money, purchased lots near the Greek Catholic Church, and secured plans for a two-story, fire-proof building with a tall air shaft in the form of a cupola at the entrance. The facility would need additional buildings, including a power house with a smoke stack about 125 feet tall and a large fire-proof vault. The contractor for the project was J.K. Long, a local builder. Eighteen employees were at work in the Punxsutawney Silk Mill when it opened in January 1911. It was anticipated that 100 to 150 persons, young women age 16 and up, would be hired to work on the day shift in the silk mill and young men would work the night shift. These workers would take raw silk, shipped from Japan in skeins, soak them in large tubs built for that purpose and then place them in a drying machine. While the silk was still damp, it was taken to the winders where it was wound on a spool. From there it was taken to the first time spinners and twisted, about sixteen twists to the inch. It was then placed on a doubling machine and doubled. Then it went to the second time spinners, where the doubled thread was made into one by a second twisting process. Power reels were used to convert the silk thread into skeins for shipping to the weaving silk mills where it was made into ribbons or fabric. The workers who par- Continued on page 22

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(‘From Our Past,’ researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers.)

wild geese are flying southward earlier than usual this year, and this, they add, is a sign of a hard winter. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer)

October 3, 1894 — One cannot look at the long lines of coke ovens at Walston and Adrian all belching forth tongues of red flame, without a feeling of regret that so much energy is being wasted in the form of gas. If some genius could invent a system whereby the gas from this coal could be saved, he would be doing a great thing for humanity. It is probable that enough gas goes to waste here to light the entire city of New York. (Punxsutawney Spirit)

November 11, 1885 — The corn husks are very thick this year, and from this sign a hard winter is predicted by the “oldest inhabitants.”(Valley News) [Note: In June 1887, Valley News changed its name to Punxsutawney News.]

October 19, 1940 — Meet, eat and dance at the unique Paradise Tea Room at Markton, on Route 36. Your choice of roast stuffed duckling, steak a la Paradise, chicken and waffles-Southern style. Full course dinner $1.00 and $1.25. Free card for tea leaf or crystal readings by Madame Thelma, well known psychist, who will be at the Tea Room October 19, 20 and 21. We cater to parties. Mrs. Martha A. Osterling, proprietress. (Punxsutawney Spirit)

November 1, 1899 — Last Sunday’s Pittsburg Press contained a joke on Punxsutawney which was dignified by an illustration representing a school teacher and a small boy. “For what is Punxsutawney distinguished?” asks the teacher. “For its name,” replies the smart boy. (Punxsutawney Spirit) [Note: Pittsburgh was not always spelled “Pittsburgh.” In 1891, the official name was changed to “Pittsburg” to standardize the spelling of cities and towns that were pronounced as “bergs.” The spelling was restored to Pittsburgh in 1911, after years of public outcry to the change.]

October 22, 1868 — The first snow of the season fell on Friday 17th inst. to the depth of half an inch, which gave to everything a wintry appearance. On Saturday last we noticed a large flock of a species of the “feathered tribe” pass over our town, we presume, in search of a warmer climate. This accounts for the “wild goose storm” that raged so heavily during the forenoon of Friday. Weather prophets tell us that flocks of

November 2, 1887 — Could our Public Square possibly be put to better use than to build a fine public school building right in the center of it? The building might be made large enough for a City Hall, too. The grounds around it would answer the double purpose of a park and a campus for the children. There is no place on earth too fine or too sacred for a public school house. (Punxsutawney News) •••


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Continued from page 20 ticipated in this process had job titles of spinner, twister, winder, doubler, etc. Both the raw and thrown silk was kept in the fire-proof vault constructed in the building, which held thousands of pounds of silk. The Punxsutawney Silk Mill processed three thousand pounds of silk a week at full operation level. The Punxsutawney Silk Mill workers, many of whom were children and grandchildren of coal miners, continued to throw silk and make the threads used to weave ribbon and fabrics until it closed operations in the mid-1930s. Through the Punxsutawney Industrial Fund, which operated during World War II, the silk mill building was used by the Jefferson Textile Company to process and sew heavy canvas for military purposes. After the war. PRAMCO, Inc., a shirtwaist manufacturer, leased the silk mill building and employed 125 workers, mostly women, who continued to contribute to the local economy. The Punxsutawney Silk Mill building continues to contribute to the local economy as a privately owned and operated flea market and antique mall. As you visit the facility, imagine what it must have been like when the silk mill workers were there. This article has been prepared by the Coal Memorial Committee of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. Comments on this article may be directed to PAHGS, P.O. Box 286, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Individuals desiring to honor a coal or coal related industry worker in 2020 are encouraged to purchase their tile by June 30, 2020. A Coal Memorial tile may honor persons who worked in any aspect of the coal industry including railroads and ancillary services. Additional information and forms may be found online at or may be picked up at the Lattimer House, 400 West Mahoning Street, Punxsutawney. Forms may also be requested by e-mailing:, or calling 814-938-2555. •••

Clarion River Continued from page 11

and lasts about 15 years before needing to be replaced. Since it was organized, MCC has raised and spent about $30 million to restore water quality in the area. More AMD remediation is yet to be done. Current faculty and students remain active in the group.

A natural laboratory “We are, of course, very active in working in the watershed,” Turner said. “Combining



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22 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

student education with community service, all in a field setting, is really what sets our program apart.” Turner said he and fellow biology professors Dr. Steve Harris and Dr. Kurt Regester have applied research programs based in the watershed and maintain strong connections with the state agencies responsible for managing fisheries and water quality. “Our graduates populate those agencies,” Turner said. “We contribute directly to protection and restoration by being the boots on the ground and indirectly by training the professionals who now manage the river.” That includes Alicia Ramsey (’17), a student who worked on AMD remediation with Turner, Morrow and Dalby. In June, Ramsey was talking with her 8year-old son Trey about what he had done that day in science camp. One of the activities was showing that a sponge placed in water will absorb what’s in the water, including pollutants, just as fish absorb what’s in the waterways where they live. The lesson Trey learned that day is the basis for the work that Ramsey does every day as an erosion and sedimentation/dirt, gravel and low volume roads technician for Clarion Conservation District. In her role, she addresses the runoff of sediment into streams. The materials generally come from two sources: dirt and gravel roads, which are common in rural areas and waste sites from construction, such as the dirt removed to widen the roadway at the Interstate 80 interchange in Monroe Township. According to Clarion Conservation District, Pennsylvania has more than 17,000 miles of dirt and gravel roads, which must be maintained to protect nearby streams from runoff and sediment from unpaved roads. By raising road elevations, reshaping banks, installing drainage pipes and planting natural buffers, Pennsylvania waterways and their inhabitants are shielded from the damaging effects of that pollution. The issue began to get attention nearly 30 years ago, when a group of anglers had to cut short their day of fishing after a thunderstorm came through. The water had become too muddy. After some sleuthing, the group determined that road sediment had washed into the stream during the storm. That began conversations about prevention. “Sediment is pollution,” Ramsey said. “The goal is to keep clean water clean.” Erosion and sedimentation controls are used where soil is disturbed by development, timber harvesting or highway development, according to CCD. Control plans include measures that promote the maintenance and protection of existing water quality and its uses. “Any sort of improvement will improve each individual stream or water body. Those streams all run somewhere, and much of Clarion County is in the Clarion River Watershed. Any improvements we make to the streams will impact the river.” •••

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2. Guess the winning team and the total number of points you think will be scored in the Steelers vs. Browns Game and enter the guesses in the spaces provided on the coupon. 3. Enter one of the participating advertisers on this page in the space provided to redeem your coupon should you be the contest winner. 4. Clip and forward the coupon to:‘Steelers Football Contest,’ c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. PLEASE MARK YOUR TEAM PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE. 5. All entries must be received by 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 12. 6. No purchase necessary to participate. All entries must be original magazine coupon (no photocopies).

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7. In the event two or more contestants correctly pick the winning team and total number of points, one winner will be randomly selected and awarded the winning prize. In event two or more contestants tie for closest to the total score, one winner will be randomly selected to win the $20 certificate. Each issue we will give one $20 certificate. 8. Hometown magazine retains the right to make any final decisions regarding the contest, and by submitting an entry, contestants agree to abide by the rules of the contest.

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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229 – 23


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24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2019 - Issue #229

Profile for Punxsutawney Hometown Magazine

#229 November 2019  

Local “Lemon Drops” Bringing Military Heroes Banners to Town Significant Firsts in Punxsutawney History Many Hands Help Clarion River Earn...

#229 November 2019  

Local “Lemon Drops” Bringing Military Heroes Banners to Town Significant Firsts in Punxsutawney History Many Hands Help Clarion River Earn...