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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

Sam Cleveland: Air Force Veteran and Woodworker Makes Punxsutawney Home By Gloria Kerr for Hometown magazine etired from the United States Air Force (USAF) in 2010, MSgt Sam Cleveland has made Punxsutawney his home, while the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Post 2076 on Maple Avenue, Punxsutawney, has become his home away from home. Cleveland moved to Punxsutawney in 2013 with his wife Rebecca, or Becky, also a USAF retired Master Sergeant.

soon as possible in order to begin her treatments. The surgeon removed Becky’s tumor in the spring of 2010 at Walter Reed. Following the surgery, she was paralyzed on her left side at first, but she regained much, but not all, of the use of her left arm and leg; however, the impairment still hampered her until her death. Tragically, in 2016 at a routine follow-up appointment at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Becky learned that the tumor had returned; the tumor was declared then to be inoperable and all other treatments (chemotherapy, radiation) had been used to the maximum and deemed to be ineffective at this point. Becky soon entered hospice care at home. Becky came back home to Punxsutawney where her decline continued. Supported by her family, including a sister and brothers, she had a granddaughter she dearly loved and a son Justin who lives out of state. She passed away in September 2017, about three years ago. Cleveland The last official squadron photos of was devastated by nursing his MSgt Roger Cleveland and MSgt Rebecca Cleveland. beloved wife through her last years and days. Jim Dunlap was PunxThe couple chose to move to Punxsutawney’s Veterans of Foreign Wars sutawney mostly because nearby Big Run, (VFW) Post 2076 Commander when the PA, is Becky’s childhood home. Born in couple had moved here in 2013. The Cleve1960 to parents Ted and Darlene Depp, lands first met Dunlap, a fellow veteran Becky was diagnosed with a brain tumor who knew of their situation, when he while she was serving on Temporary Duty (TDY) in Afghanistan in 2010, and husband Sam Cleveland was serving on TDY in Iraq after things had settled down there. Since she was diagnosed while she was serving in Afghanistan, assigned there in 2009, the military classified the tumor as “combat related,” and she was medically discharged two years later in 2012. Returning to the United States in the summer of 2010, Sam and Becky first settled in West Virginia where her mother Darlene, no longer married to Ted Depp, was living; her mother has since moved back to this area. Then, in 2013, they chose to move back to Punxsutawney to be near to her dad Ted and stepmom Pam in Big Run. Moreover, this location positioned them between two reputable veterans’ hospitals, one in Altoona and another in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cleveland says he and his wife had “a wonderful experience with the VA [Veterans Administration].” At one of their earliest visits to the Altoona hospital, staff there “loaded her [car] up with every bit of useful equipment” they had to give. After her initial diagnosis while serving in Afghanistan, Becky was flown from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, to the regional Army medical hospital at Landstuhl, Germany, where her condition was evaluated. She spent three days in Germany where her husband was able to join her. Both were then flown to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where a very skilled Army surgeon told the pair that the tumor must be removed, but she could choose to wait a few months first before scheduling the surgery, if she wanted to. Becky told the surgeon she did not want to wait; she wanted the tumor removed as

R On the cover: Sam Cleveland, Air Force veteran and woodworker, with the VFW Maltese insignia he helped restore and a table he built for Punxsutawney VFW Post 2076. Photo by Gloria Kerr.

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Below a large, wooden VFW Maltese emblem in Post 2076’s social hall sits a table with an empty place setting, a symbolic reminder of all VFWs who were POWs or MIA, Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

stopped by their home on Graffius Avenue to welcome the two veterans to town and to give them a check from VFW Post 2076 “for whatever they needed.” Dunlap stopped by again a while after Becky’s death, but Sam was still grieving and not ready to engage socially. Then about a year and a half later, the Punxsutawney Post Commander came by again - Continued on page 6

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 3


Honoring All Heroes this Veterans Day

eterans Day, which is celebrated annually on November 11, commemorates the hardworking men and women who sacrifice their time and put themselves in harm’s way to defend the country’s core values of freedom and opportunity. While Veterans Day certainly is a chance to honor those who have donned the uniform during wars and military installments, it also can be a chance to recognize the unsung heroes of wartime — those who step into roles so that soldiers and strategists can focus their attention elsewhere. Take for example Naomi Parker Fraley. In 1942, Fraley was a machine shop worker at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, Calif. She was one of scores women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, helping to produce munitions and war supplies. Parker was 20 years old in 1942 and served as the inspiration for what would become one of the most indelible images of the era, known as “Rosie the Riveter.” Parker unknowingly inspired the iconic image after she was photographed at work bent over an industrial machine in a jumpsuit with her hair tied back in a polkadot bandana. In 2018, Naomi Parker Fraley died at the age of 96, not nearly the household name she perhaps should have been. Rosie the Riveter helped to tout the contributions of female war employees who were defending America by working on the homefront. Rosie was a successful moralebooster, and some may be surprised to learn that Rosie has various incarnations. Norman Rockwell’s depiction of a female riveter, which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 29, 1943, became an iconic staple of that time. Muscular, with a rivet gun on her lap, a sandwich in hand and a boot stomping on a copy of “Mein Kampf” — and timed perfectly to coincide with the release of a song called “Rosie the Riveter” by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb — Rosie became a household name. But another Rosie image actually predates Rockwell’s Post cover. Naomi Parker Fraley was reportedly the inspiration for an ad created by a lesser known artist named J. Howard Miller. Miller produced a “We Can Do It!” poster for Westinghouse Electric in 1942 aimed at boosting spirits among the company’s workers. The poster helped to recruit new female personnel, according to scholar

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James J. Kimble. This Rosie was portrayed in a red bandana with her bent arm flexed, rolling up her shirtsleeve. Both Miller’s and Rockwell’s depictions of female war workers became ingrained in popular culture. Rockwell’s cover art was eventually loaned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for use in war bond drives for the duration of the war. Miller’s version has been emulated for generations and still epitomizes a strong female presence in the workforce. This Veterans Day is a prime time to delve into American wartime history, with interesting stories like the origins of Rosie the Riveter, and pay homage to all of the heroes that help ensure America’s reputation as a great nation. •••

How Memorial Day and Veterans Day differ from each other

   Memorial Day and Veterans Day each honor the military, though the two holidays are not the same. Memorial Day, which is celebrated annually on the last Monday in May, honors the brave men and women who lost their lives while serving in the American military. Many communities host memorial ceremonies honoring their fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, ensuring such soldiers’ bravery and sacrifices are never forgotten. While many people now view Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, the weekend should not be celebrated without also pausing to reflect on and recognize the military personnel who lost their lives in defense of freedom and the American way of life.  Veterans Day is celebrated annually on November 11 and recognizes all men and women who have served in the military. Veterans Day coincides with Remembrance Day, which is a celebrated by the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of 53 member states with connections to the British Empire. Though Veterans Day and Remembrance Day are each celebrated on November 11, the latter recognizes armed forces members who died in the line of duty, making it more similar to Memorial Day than Veterans Day. It’s not uncommon for people to recognize fallen soldiers on Veterans Day, but many use the holiday to express their appreciation to existing veterans. •••


country club Join now for 2021 at 2020 rates and play the remainder of 2020! The renovations and improvements to the VFW Rich Kuntz Field are a part the recent history of the VFW Teener League which had its beginning in 1951. The organization of a baseball league for boys in the 13 to 15-year age bracket followed the first year of Little League in Punxsutawney in 1950. (Photo by S. Thomas Curry)

Punxsutawney Little League Established; VFW Teener League Begins T

By S. Thomas Curry of Hometown magazine

he summer of 1950 was historic in Punxsutawney as the first season of organized youth baseball under the Little League program of Little League baseball. With its All-Star team undefeated in a series of play-off games, the season also became historic when the local Punxsutawney team defeated Hazleton to become Pennsylvania Little League State Champions. During its successful season, large crowds of local fans followed the team through exciting games with wins and no losses, except for one, the loss to Hagerstown in the 1950 Little League World Series in Williamsport, the place where Little League began. For weeks, no one in town was talking about anything else. Other than the attention given them in late August by the community celebration, the young ball players were too young to know the reaction of fans and supporters of the first year of Little League in the Punxsutawney area. For the adults, the baseball skills exhibited during those playoff games by 10 to 12-year-old boys were awesome and impressive. And stressful, too, some of the adults had expressed Unknowing to them, some adults were discussing plans to create an “intermediate league” to extend organized Little League play to boys from 13 to 16 years of age, with a specific baseball field with dimensions for youth of that age. However, in early September 1950, though Punxsutawney’s Little League champions had received praise and recognition, the baseball community learned that Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Little League organization “went into the red long before the first trophy was handed over to the All-Stars.” (August

30, 1950, The Punxsutawney Spirit) Operating expenses were higher than expected for the first-year venture into Little League Baseball. Understandably, the reason was the district and region playoff expenses and all the expenses related to trips to Williamsport to compete in the state and LL World Series playoffs. A Little League Baseball Fund was established to receive contributions to meet remaining expenses “to get the Pennsylvania state champions out of the red.” A plea was announced for ardent Little League fans and other community organizations to make donations. To benefit the Little League treasury, a community Tag Day was held, with the Girl Scouts volunteering their services to canvas the town. The goal for any contributions was a minimum of $200. To help with the fund-raising effort, a testimonial dinner was held at the Pantall Hotel to honor and heap on more praises for Punxsutawney’s Little League AllStars. At that special dinner, each player was presented a maroon jacket lettered with the words “State Champs” in white. In addition, inscribed medals were presented. Also announced was the date for the showing of the movie “The Jackie Robinson Story” and the presentation of baseballs autographed by Jackie Robinson. When January 1951 arrived in a new year, the local Little League organization had its first meeting to outline a program for four teams in its second year. A major discussion was focused on important changes adopted for 1951 by Little League Baseball out of its Williamsport headquarters. Among the changes was increasing the distance from the pitcher’s mound to


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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 5

30TH ANNUAL PARADE Saturday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

DEADLINE TO ENTER YOUR FLOAT IS NOV. 16 Mail, fax or drop off your registration 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

Cleveland next to one of the VFW social hall tables he rebuilt that’s part of a display of official Post 2076 documents, including charter member signatures and the post’s metal collection box. Photo by Gloria Kerr.

Sam Cleveland

Continued from page 3 and told Sam, “It’s time you get off your butt” and some more of the kind of “talking to” that one military veteran has the right to give another. As a result, Cleveland stopped by the VFW Post on Maple Avenue around the time that post members, with Punxsutawney Lions’ help, were laying the sidewalks around their newly constructed building. Then Post Commander Bob Lott was mowing grass. Sam Cleveland told Lott he could help do that, and he’s been mowing the grass ever since—and a lot more. With all that Lott has done and continues to do for the local veterans’ organization, Cleveland asserts, “Bob’s the heart and soul of the Punxsutawney Post.”

• 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

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6 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

Both the men and women of Post 2076 love the large and sturdy oak, tri-level table Cleveland built for the kitchen that provides both work and storage space. Photo by Gloria Kerr.

Cleveland joined Punxsutawney’s VFW organization on October 28, 2018. Since that time, former Commander Jim Dunlap has nominated him to be a trustee for the post, one of three. The two-year member has a key to the door, and his responsibilities include helping to supervise some bookkeeping. Jim Pallone is the current Post Commander, Bob Lott is Senior Vice Commander, Duane Miller is Junior Vice Commander, and Jim Davis is Quartermaster. Cleveland affirms that the VFW involvement was “just what I needed at the time. It got me out and active again.” One of the things he likes about this VFW is that “we don’t have a bar, not that I don’t drink or don’t want others to drink.” It’s a wholesome atmosphere. Without a bar, this VFW Post “is about getting together and doing things for the community. We are like a family. It’s great.” Fellow VFW member Duane Miller took Cleveland out to local lakes and fishing

Colored service seals are mounted above the post’s entry doors recognizing the five branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. Cleveland did the detailed painting on all of them.

grounds and showed him his favorite fishing spots. As a result, he has started fishing again this year. As a young man in South Carolina, he had only fished in lakes and the Savannah River. Member Chuck Pifer, having shown Cleveland his detecting finds, took him metal detecting, so Sam has bought his own metal detector. Because of Miller’s and Pifer’s influence, Cleveland bought an eleven-foot fishing kayak, “very stable,” he claims, and he’s fishing in local creeks and fishing holes. Meanwhile, Quartermaster Jim Davis is like “a big brother” to him, and Commander Pallone takes him to district meetings. With his VFW buddies, he’s had great conversations with members like John Becker and Paul McMillen, who also lost his wife recently. The VFW Auxiliary women and members’ wives, Dunlap’s wife Barb, Lott’s wife Ann, Davis’ wife Nancy, and Dena Taylor are all part of that welcoming and social VFW family. Evidence of Sam Cleveland’s considerable woodworking, artistic, and organizational talents are everywhere inside the VFW Hall on Maple Avenue. Coming in the front door, visitors are greeted by five intricately detailed and colored military service seals above the doors: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. Cleveland did the detailed painting on all of them. Painting since he was a kid, he started with airplane models; then, right after he joined the Air Force, he began drawing and shading airplane pictures and trying his hand at woodburning. A military airplane enthusiast, he can tell you about all kinds of military planes. Throughout the interior of the VFW hall are countless examples of Cleveland’s skillful and meticulous woodwork. He’s finished a tabletop that bears the VFW’s official metal donation box and is part of a display featuring the document bearing the names of all this VFW post’s charter members. With the post’s social activities in mind, he’s crafted a wooden key box and napkin holders. The post’s members are particularly grateful for, and proud of, the - Continued on page 8


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(814) 277-7007 In early April of 1951, 150 boys in the 13-15 age bracket turned out at tryouts for the four teams in a new Teener Baseball League to be sanctioned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Boys signed up for field positions and practiced at a new Pop Harl Field in Elk Run. Many of the boys played Little League baseball in 1950 as 12-year-olds. (photo copy from The Punxsutawney Spirit, April 7, 1951)

Punxsy Little League Continued from page 5

home plate. With the short distance to the plate, young hitters didn’t have time to take a good swing at the ball. The pitcher had a distinct advantage over the batter, with the present distance of 40 feet 4 inches. From reviews of the 1950 season there were more no-hit games pitched than in previous years. The distance was changed to 44 feet. Another change discussed for the 9 -12 age bracket of Little League baseball was the requirement of a birth certificate with all applications to play. Instead of baptismal papers and other documents, only a birth certificate would be accepted to determine a player’s eligibility. A third change was in prohibiting a base runner from advancing to another base. Only permitted was a situation when a play was made on the runner or on a batted ball. Plans for a Baseball League for Young Teens During early January 1951 meetings for Little League, plans were announced for the formation of a “Junior League” to handle players in the 13-14-15 age brackets. It was felt that something was needed to fill in the years between Little League and other leagues where older young men played summer baseball. Among those leagues were the JC League comprised of 10 community teams in Jefferson and Clearfield counties and the Mountain League with teams representing nine towns in Jefferson County. In the summer of 1950, bulldozer work was active in Elk Run to prepare a new baseball field to replace the baseball “diamond” on the Elk Run Playground. Often called the “B&O Playground,” across the Mahoning Creek from the B&O Railroad YMCA on Ridge Avenue, the baseball field and playground on the site gave way to the flood control project in Punxsutawney from 1947 to 1949. The new field was being prepared on 6 1/2 acres of property donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Harl. It was Frank “Pop” Harl who was elected the first president of Punxsutawney Little League in early 1950. On the top of the hill of that land

between Scotland and Graffius avenues, a baseball field was drawn up and volunteer labor was requested and urged to provide help to create a finished product. The land was donated to the Elk Run Fire Company by the Harls, to form a board of directors to govern the new Elk Run ball field and hopefully a playground. While no name was given in

A baseball legend for thirty years in Punxsutawney, in 1950 Frank (Pop) Harl was the first president of Punxsutawney’s Little League. In the summer of 1950, Mr. and Mrs. Harl donated nearly 10 acres of land between Scotland and Graffius avenues in Elk Run for a playground and baseball field. The opening games of Punxsutawney’s VFW Teener League in 1951 were at Pop Harl Field.

1950 for the site, it was officially named “Pop Harl Athletic Field” in March 1951. The Elk Run Athletic Association was formed by the fire company to administer the new land and prepare for a ball field in the Elk Run area. A Booster’s Club was also organized to raise funds and provide the needed help from any area sports fans interested in forming a new Junior Baseball League for the 1315 age bracket. With a budget of $1,600 for the first season, the Elk Run Athletic Association had already spent $800 to develop the new field. While originally called the Junior Baseball League, it was - Continued on page 9

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 7

MSgt Roger Cleveland at Balad AB, Iraq, 40 miles north Baghdad.

MSgt Rebecca Cleveland suiting up for an incentive flight at Sheppard AFB, Texas.

Sam Cleveland Continued from page 6

large oak, tri-level table he’s built for the kitchen that provides both work and storage space. Glass-fronted showcases in the VFW’s social hall are filled with displays of military equipment, uniforms, photos, and artifacts, all donated. Labeled are World War I and II mess kits, various branches of the military hats, a picture of the F-4 Phantom jet Colonel Paul McMillen piloted in Southeast Asia in the 1980s, and other memorabilia including World War I helmets and personal items. Many of them have wooden stands or description card holders Cleveland has crafted. He asserts that “everything in here has a story.” But the most remarkable, eye-catching piece of woodwork in the building is a large, wooden Maltese cross that Cleveland restored with assistance from Bob Lott and Jim Davis in November and December 2019. The huge wooden cross was handmade by someone who belonged to a VFW post north of Punxsutawney perhaps sixty to seventy years ago. When that post became defunct due to lack of members, it donated the dirty, moldy artifact with faded paint to the Punxsutawney post. The three fellows worked for two months cleaning it up; then Cleveland refurbished the wood and did very detailed painting to re-apply the military symbols and lettering that reads “Veterans of Foreign Wars of U. S.” (See cover photo). It hangs directly across from the building’s entry where it inevitably grabs a visitor’s eye first. The Rest of Sam and Becky’s Story After three years of healing from the loss of his wife Becky, Cleveland has been willing to share some of the rest of the story about the couple’s life together. First, “Sam” is not Cleveland’s real first name; it’s Roger, Roger Cleveland. Sam was the nickname his family gave him two weeks

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Sam and Becky, a happy military couple in dress uniform.

after he was born in 1963 for reasons he doesn’t know, and it’s stuck. He is originally from Anderson, South Carolina, but he hasn’t lived there since 1989. His father was a career USAF military man who earned the rank of Tech Sergeant (TSgt), so he grew up moving around as military families do until he was in fifth grade and living in South Carolina. In high school, Cleveland started working part time as a bag boy in a local grocery store that was part of the Ingles Market chain that operates stores in southeastern United States. By the age of twenty-five, still working in the same store, he had worked his way up to assistant store manager. One winter day, a rare snowstorm in his southern town shut down some roads and prevented most employees from getting to the store. Cleveland was a little overwhelmed doing several people’s jobs in the store at once and dealing with a delivery truck out back when a woman in high heels insisted he carry her groceries to her car. That was the day he decided he needed a career change, and he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the United States Air Force. The year was 1989, right before the military offensives called Desert Shield and Desert Storm, part of the Gulf War in 1990-1991. Cleveland’s dad did not want his son to enlist; he was bitter that he had only made it to the rank of Tech Sergeant (TSgt) during his entire USAF career due to frozen rank rules that have since been abolished. But Cleveland enlisted anyway. When he eventually made Master Sergeant, he gave his stripes to his dad who feigned not to be impressed. Cleveland’s mother told him later that his dad kept those stripes on his dresser till the day he died. Yes, he did care about his son’s military accomplishments. After completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in San Antonio, Texas, Cleveland was stationed at these locations throughout his career: Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina; Sembach Air Base (AB), Germany; Charleston AFB, THE PLACE WHERE GREAT MEALS BEGIN


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The couple ziplining in Alaska.

South Carolina; McGuire AFB, New Jersey; Sheppard AFB, Texas; Kunsan AB, Korea; and finally, RAF Mildenhall, England. Cleveland met his wife-to-be Becky Depp at McGuire AFB in New Jersey in 2000. She had joined the Air Force right after graduating from Punxsutawney Area High School in 1987. She worked in Medical Supply, while Cleveland was a “military personnelist” doing administrative work, primarily “certifying people in the Air Force for nuclear duty,” he says. Asked what attracted them to each other, Cleveland replies, “Becky was beautiful, but I have no idea why she was attracted to me!” Everyone would always ask the couple who outranked whom, since both were Master Sergeants, and Sam would laughingly answer, “Becky is higher in rank because she made MSgt before I did.” They married in late August 2001; the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on Washington, D.C., and New York took place just three weeks after their honeymoon. As a result, life on McGuire AFB changed because of the increased security measures taken to secure the base; unfamiliar and time consuming at first, they soon became the norm for the rest of Cleveland’s career. The career military couple had a wonderful life together. Both loved traveling; they took three different cruises and signed on for all kinds of tours in Europe and Korea to visit cultural, historic, and scenic locations. They didn’t always serve on the same military bases together, but both were sent to Korea at the same time, Sam to Kunsan Air Base and Becky to Osan Air Base. Together they loved Korean food, Bavarian culture, and the German Alps. The couple ziplined in Alaska, braved the cable cars to the heights of the Isle of Capri in Italy, and visited sites nearby the U.S. military community in Kaiserslautern in southwest Germany. As career enlisted Airmen, they especially appreciated the sacredness of Omaha Beach, the World War II site in Normandy,

Becky standing on Omaha Beach, Normandy in France.

France. In England, Sam was awed to walk into officer clubs that Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jimmy Doolittle once visited. The Clevelands’ lives were full and good, and these wonderful memories of their travels and time together sustain Sam now. Six-feet tall, with the friendly, easy-going manner of one of the good guys in a 1950s Roy Rogers television episode, Cleveland has made friends all over town. He’s on speaking terms with the owners of dogs Wilson, Rosie, and their other dog friends as they’ve passed one another often on the local Rail Trail behind Joe’s Drive-In. Cleveland walks there two miles daily with Bo, his twelve- year-old Labrador Retriever, a rescue dog that’s a retirement present he gave himself. High school principal Jeff Long, one of his Graffius Avenue neighbors, attests to the wonderful man and neighbor Cleveland is: “His late wife Becky was a beautiful person as well. I believe that she was my dog’s favorite person in the world until her passing. I can also attest to Sam’s woodworking skills. I most often see him working away in his workshop across the alley from me, and I have a really nice wooden pen holder he made for me on my desk right now. Sam would offer a neighbor anything they needed and has done so many times since I moved to the neighborhood.” The neighborhood where Cleveland grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, was a small town when he left it, but it has exploded into an urban area today. He really likes living in Punxsutawney with its small-town feel and Becky’s family nearby. He does wonder why thousands of people come here around Groundhog Day when there’s really not much to do. Perhaps some of them are looking for what Sam Cleveland has found here—a simpler life, wholesome fun, friendly people, and an opportunity to embrace good, old-fashioned values. •••

Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. During the remainder of 2020, the Coal Memorial Committee and the Society will be exploring ways to use modern technology to provide information on local history for the public. Please note the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society Facilities are closed to the public until further notice. Gift Shop items may be purchased online and Genealogy searches may be requested by e-mail.

Find us at: www.punxsyhistory.org Email: punxsyhistory@outlook.com

400 & 401 W. Mahoning St.


Before Punxsutawney’s flood control project began in 1945, a baseball field and the Elk Run Playground were located on a site across the Mahoning Creek opposite Ridge Ave., the present day location of Elk Run Car Wash. Many baseball games were played on the field in the 1930s and early 1940s, before the site gave way to the flood control project. (photos collection of S. Thomas Curry)

Punxsy Little League Continued from page 7

also referred to as the Teen-er Baseball League until a decision was made by the Elk Run Athletic Association. In a meeting on April 5, 1951, it was decided to associate the local program with the statewide VFW Teener Baseball League program. With work nearly completed on the former blueberry hill, now Pop Harl’s Field, managers were named for the four teams, tryouts were held and players were selected. Opening day for the “Teen-er Loop,” as frequently named by The Punxsutawney Spirit sports writer, was announced to be June 5. Clarence “Perk” Binney, PHS basket-

ball coach, was named the first commissioner of Punxsutawney’s new VFW Teener League. Managers for the four teams - the Tigers, Sox, Yanks and Nats - were named as Clair Lyle (Tigers), Sam Curry (Sox), Duane Collins (Yanks) and Charles Bailey (Nats). Applications for interested youth were available at the downtown YMCA or Harl’s Shoe Store. A concern was expressed that former 1950 Little League and its Pony League 12-year-olds would be among the applicants for the new league. Nearly 150 boys turned out for the tryouts on April 25, at the Harl Field in Elk Run. After receiving numbers, the players signed up for various positions of their preference and as a group pitched in to “rake the big playing field” to help the site be “one of the finest for

any Teen-er League in the state.” (The Punxsutawney Spirit, April 7, 1951) In early May the Teener League player auction was held and managers announced their selections for positions on their teams. Similar to the Little League, teams in a Teener Minor League was also planned. In the announcement parents were assured that all players would be covered by insurance during the playing season. The player rosters were set, the baseball field in Elk Run completed with parking, bleachers and refreshment stand, and, after numerous practices and exhibition games, the first season of Punxsutawney’s VFW Teener League began on June 5, 1951. Before the 5:30 evening starting time of the season opener, a parade of all teams

and league officials was led by Elk Run‘s Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. The parade participants marched from the F.S. Jackson School building on North Jefferson Street up to Elk Run and to Scotland Avenue. A turn to the right at High Street led to the top of the hill and the Pop Harl Field, an out-ofthe-way spot from any distractions, except for baseball. Appropriate pre-game ceremonies were held for the initial year for the Teener League in Punxsutawney. An estimated 500 fans were in attendance for the twin-bill featuring a larger field, with teams playing seven innings as compared to Little League’s six-inning games. During the doubleheader, the Punxsutawney High School band, under - Continued on next page

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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 9

Among 13 – 15-year-old boys selected for the Yanks in 1951 are identified as follows: (Front Row-left to right) Eugene Smith, Jim Jose, Gus Hutmire, Jerry Sepe and Dave Bell. (Back Row-left to right) Manager Duane Collins, Jim Hardy, Bob Ishman, Don Brosky, Bill Zito, Skeeter Oliver and Stan Machesky.

Members for the 1951 Teener Sox team are (Kneeling in front row-left to right) Dick Stiteler, Jack Meenan, Vinnie Villella, Tony Bodenhorn, Jim Bowser, Tom Curry and Jim Richards. (Back Row-left row) Sam Curry, Dennis Bowser, Ed McLaughlin, Bill Haire, Jim Caldwell, Bill Taylor, Jim Curry, Chas. Boddorf and Asst. Manager George Ishman.

The Teener League Tigers team are (Front, left to right) Pete Pascuzzo, Randy “Butch” Lyle, Tony Villella, Calvin Lyle, Lou Tronzo, Bernie Johnson and Dick Whitesell. (Back Row-left to right) Manager Clair Lyle, Loyle Kerr, Gene Heitzenrater, John Rasavage, Joe Duke, Ron Lellock, Bill Beers, Ralph Brash and Bob Amundson.

Punxsy Little League

Continued from previous page the direction of Donald Roderick, furnished music. No admission was charged for this historic moment in Punxsutawney baseball history.

The Nats was the fourth team in the first season of Punxsutawney’s VFW Teener League. Seen on the team are (Front row-left to right) John Pluchinski, Andy Meterko, Paul Hardick, Jim Ecelberger, Jack Long and Paul Baranich. (Back row-left to right) Manager Charles Bailey, Rich Meterko, Joe Rich, Jim Costanzo, Jim Atcheson, Dean Diehl, Tom Shiock and Tim McCullough.

In that first season, there were many exciting game experiences to remember and talk about by the young players, their families and adult baseball fans in later years. One of them might have been the eight-inning no-hitter game played in early June between the Teener

League Tigers and Red Sox. The Sox were league leaders, and the Tigers occupied the bottom of the league standing. Tigers’ left-handed pitcher Quay Shaffer struck out 18 Sox players in the regular seven innings, before darkness stopped the game with the score 0-0. The game was continued a week later to

complete the 0-0 tie game, with the Tigers winning. Overlooked was the pitching of the Sox’s young pitcher Dennis Bowser who stuck out 15 players, giving up two hits before the game was halted by darkness. As a result of that game, local Teener League officials announced a change in the starting time for the usual doubleheader evenings of youth baseball. Instead of a 5:30 starting time, games started at 5 p.m. to provide an extra half hour to complete two regular seven-inning games. For the three teams in Area 6 of Teener baseball, playoffs began on July 30. Punxsutawney VFW Teener All-Stars played Brookville in a 3-game series, sweeping the series to play against a strong DuBois team. The local Teener All-Stars lost to DuBois in a 3-game series. In 1950, a DuBois team was area champions, going on to state eliminations in Harrisburg. For young teens, the 1951 initial Punxsutawney Teener League season ended in early August. Left for the future were memories and records and photos that complete the VFW Teener League history. With the recent completion of the $250,000 improvements of the VFW Teener League’s Rich Kuntz Memorial Field, there is a deep history to be compared to the first years in the 1950s and the Elk Run Pop Harl Field that hosted the first games. Collecting those records and memories will be necessary to complete the history of organized baseball for young teenage youth, boys and girls. •••

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10 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241


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The Homecoming Queen's Court (l. to r.) Murphy White, Ryley Casaday, Izabella Martino, Elizabeth Sikora, Madison Barr, and Elliott Ferrent. Picture taken at Cloe Lake before the crowning in Barclay Square. (photo submitted by Madison Barr)

Powderpuff King's Court pose for a picture with Phantastic Phil statue. (l. to r., back) Quenton Strong, Aiden McLaughlin, Jessie Blair, Alec Depp,(front) Mason Johnston, Garrett Eddy, and Jacob Ebel. (missing from photo Clayton Wardell) (photo by Louise Bennett)

Punxsutawney Area High School News T

By Louise Bennett for Hometown magazine

he high school has been back in session for over a month, and many things have gone on during that time. From an assembly to Powderpuff, the school is navigating through the pandemic the best it can. On September 22, select juniors and seniors participated in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

(ASVAB) exam, and they received their scores back on October 5. Three days later, Student Council held the Homecoming Queen’s Court Assembly within the 250-person restriction guideline. The next day, a junior/senior outdoor dance took place at Gobbler’s Knob. The Homecoming Queen and Princess were crowned in Barclay Square prior to the dance; Elizabeth Sikora was crowned Queen and

Madison Barr was crowned Princess. It is already almost Winter Sports Season, so those sports met on October 13 throughout the building to discuss their seasons and tryouts. The PSATs are scheduled for October 14 for select juniors who signed up to take the exam. Looking ahead, Powderpuff is scheduled for November 12 at Jack LaMarca stadium. There will be no spectators, but friends, family and community

members are encouraged to watch the game live on the Punxsutawney Area School District YouTube channel. The Powderpuff King’s Court was announced on October 13 and is made up of Jessie Blair, Alec Depp, Jacob Ebel, Garrett Eddy, Mason Johnston, Aiden McLaughlin, Quenton Strong and Clayton Wardell. •••

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 11

The Phoenix Part III: The Pride of Punxsutawney These picture postcards provide a visual history of the changes in Hotel Pantall Block from about 1900 to 1950. Note the Penthouses on the rooftop.

This photograph, taken in the early 1900s, shows that the traffic on Mahoning Street was horse drawn vehicles and the Punxsutawney Trolley Lines in the middle of the street.

The Block during the time Clover and Edlblute operated the hotel facility. This was the era when the automobile, the newest mode transportation, which was used primarily during warm weather. Most of the town’s shoppers came by trolley or walked to the stores along Mahoning Street.

As this photograph shows, by the 1930s, the automobile was becoming the primary mode of local transportation. The streets of the town were busy. The trolley had become obsolete and the trolley tracks were gone. A traffic light had been placed at intersections to assist in controlling the increased traffic in town.

Taken about 1950 this photograph shows how the Hotel Pantall Block continued to be the place where business was transacted in the community in the shops and along Mahoning Street.

Through the decades represented by these postcards, the hotel and shops provided many of the goods and services for the population. The changes inside the Pantall Hotel Block during this time were more dramatic. The Hotel Pantall and the adjacent public park continued as the gathering places for the community. Photos courtesy of PAHGS.

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12 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241


By Coal Memorial Committee for Hometown magazine

s Punxsutawney moved toward the 20th Century, the Hotel Pantall Block became the anchor building for the town and gained fame as the largest and most accommodating hotel, outside of cities, in Pennsylvania. Businesses opening along Mahoning Street found it helpful to use the Hotel Pantall as a reference point when directing customers to their facilities. The Punxsutawney 5 & 10 cent variety store moved into the space formerly occupied by the Punxsutawney Hardware Company and advertised its store room was now opposite the Hotel Pantall. Miss Poe advertised first class goods from Pittsburg and directed customers to find her millinery store in the Zeitler building across the street from the Hotel Pantall. Through the ensuing years, many businesses included their proximity to the Hotel Pantall in order to direct customers’ businesses. Theo Pantall had adopted a facility management plan in which the Hotel Pantall Block, the building, was operated and managed separately from the accommodations and services provided by the businesses located in the facility. The proprietors of the Hotel Pantall and the businesses in the store rooms of the building leased space from Theo Pantall and later from the Hotel Pantall Company. This system enabled the hotel proprietors and retailers to focus on the businesses of serving the public. Each of the hotel proprietors regularly applied for and received an annual license to operate an establishment which offered spirits, with the exception of those during the period 19181933, when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Volstead Act were enforced. During those years they applied for mercantile licenses only. All roads in the southern part of Jefferson County led to Punxsutawney. And, those roads were so rough that drummers (travelling salesman) joked about having to spend several days resting at Punxsutawney before they were well enough to move on. This changed when the railroads reached Punxsutawney. The town was no longer an isolated community. It was easily accessible

and attracted recreational travelers as well as those traveling for business reasons. Sleigh riding parties from surrounding communities came to the Hotel Pantall Dining Room to refresh before returning to their homes. A group of bicyclists from DuBois cycled over to spend a weekend at the Hotel Pantall. In 1889, Alexander B. Barr and his son-inlaw John B. Cromer, as the first proprietors, set the standard for providing quality service. The Cromers created history when Jennie Barr Cromer gave birth to the first child born in the new hotel, a boy, whom they named John B. Cromer. In July, 1889, Professor Stookey, an aerialist, registered as a guest at the Hotel Pantall. On Saturday, July 20, he gave two exhibitions of tight rope walking on a cable stretched between the roofs of the Zeitler Building and the Hotel Pantall. Large crowds watched each of his performances which included trapeze maneuvers. The highlight of the show was the ending when he performed a head first grand slide down the rope to the ground. He took up a collection before each performance as his remuneration. Guests from big cities, like Tyrone, were surprised to find that Punxsutawney was such a large and well developed town. They had thought it was a back woods place. John S. Barr, a former Jefferson County Sheriff, became the next proprietor of the Hotel Pantall. He assumed responsibility for the facility in April 1890. The Hotel Pantall became the home away from home for many of the speculators and developers of the coal industry in the Punxsutawney area. During the first month of this proprietorship, The Honorable Horatio Gates Fisher, former State Senator and member of the Forty-seventh Congress of the United States, died in the Hotel Pantall. Fisher, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, was the President of the Punxsutawney Coal and Coke Company and a director of the BerwindWhite Coal Mining Company, which was opening the Horatio mine near Punxsutawney. He arrived in Punxsutawney on the morning of May 5, and went out that afternoon to observe the progress of engineering corps, which was conducting - Continued on page 17


Veterans Day Facts and Figures

eterans Day, once known as Armistice Day, was first celebrated on November 11, 1919, the anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1928, the United States Congress passed a resolution for Armistice Day to be an annual observation, and by 1938, the day became a national holiday. Differing from Memorial Day in May, Armistice Day, which would be renamed Veterans Day in 1954 under President Dwight Eisenhower, pays tribute to veterans who survived various wars. Memorial Day commemorates those

veterans who lost their lives. Americans celebrate Veterans Day, while residents of Great Britain, Canada and Australia celebrate Remembrance Day. Those who want to learn more about Veterans Day can consider the following facts. • According to the American Community Survey, there were 19.3 million military veterans in the United States in 2014. Of those, 1.6 million were female. • California, Texas and Florida comprise the states with the largest number of veterans, equalling one million or

more. • Veterans consist of people who served in the military. This includes the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Veterans serve in times of war and peace. • The word “veteran” comes from the Old English language and means “old, experienced soldier.” The first use of the word was documented in 1789. • Although many veterans are working, and the average annual income of male veterans is $37,000, some veterans continue to be unemployed. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall unemployment rate for veterans rose to 7.6 percent in January 2013. The unemployment rate of post9/11 veterans or those who participated in the Gulf War reached 6.2 percent. • Upon retiring or being discharged, veterans may need help acclimating to life outside the military. The Department of Veterans Affairs says about 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. • Between 1971 and 1977, Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October. It was changed back to its original date, November 11, in 1975 when President Gerald Ford signed bill S.331 into law. The change went into effect beginning in 1978. • An American soldier was buried at the national cemetery in Arlington on November 11, 1921. His identity was unknown, and the gravesite is known as the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” A guard from the Society of the Honor Guard stands watch over the grave each year on Veterans Day, and the president

or another high-ranking member of the government places a wreath on the grave. Veterans Day occurs each year on November 11, marking the end of World War I. The day has evolved into a celebration and remembrance of the heroism of America’s brave soldiers. •••

Three Unique Ways to Give Back to Service Members 1. Serve as a driver for veterans. Such a gesture ensures they won’t miss any appointments with doctors or physical therapists. 2. Donate your airline miles. Donating airline miles to military families can ensure injured servicemen and -women can still see their families during difficult times. 3. Sponsor a service dog. A significant percentage of veterans return home with PTSD. Sponsoring a service dog through an organization can provide an invaluable service to men and women fighting to regain their quality of life. •••

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Edwin Allen Shaffer of McKees Rocks, formerly of Punxsutawney May 15, 1960 - September 22, 2020 Son of the late Samuel Maxwell Shaffer and Teresa Edna (Gordon) Shaffer, his mother died when he was an infant, and he was lovingly raised by his father and Anita Marie (Haag) Shaffer. Edwin was a 1978 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School and joined the United States Air Force as a Medical Service Craftsman, earning the status of Master Sergeant prior to his retirement in 1998. In 1995, he participated in Operation Provide Promise in Camp Pleso, Croatia. He earned the Air Force Achievement medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, National Defense Service Medal, Professional Military Education Ribbon, NATO Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal and United Nations Medal. He worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities at Citizen Care. He is survived by one brother, Steven (Cindy) Taylor, and two sisters, Mindy (Danny) Mitchell and Maribeth (Robert) Evans and several nieces and nephews. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Michael P. Meko of Punxsutawney October 28, 1930 - September 23, 2020. He was born to Michael and Catherine (Sivanich) Meko, in Sherrytown.  Married 64 years to the love of his life, Helen Shenosky, they welcomed seven children: Mike Meko; Julie Brocious; Doug Meko; Bill Meko; Sue Raybuck; Paul Meko; and Steven Meko. Mike leaves a force of his own with 10 grandchildren (Mike and Matthew Meko, Brittany and Jade Brocious, Deja and Zed Meko, Lakin Hunter, Maci Raybuck, Kasey Wimbish and Allie Meko) and four great-grandchildren (Charlee, Alex and Rowan Meko and Kylee Raybuck) Mike spent his life in service—of his country (as an Airman First Class, United States Air Force), his family and God. After his years in the Air Force, Mike worked at Ward Trucking until retiring, when he spent more time hunting, being outdoors and becoming more active in the church. He was a member of the GCU Lodge 62, B.P.O. Elks, Eagles, Walston Club and Men’s Fraternity at Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church.  As the person in the center of any dance floor, Mike’s family will celebrate his life privately with wine, whiskey, polka and his old friends Johnny Cash and John Denver. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Nellie “Louise” Koch of Punxsutawney May 29, 1925 - September 27, 2020 She was born in Perry Township to the late Edward Allen Kennedy and Bertha

May (Blose) Kennedy. Louise worked for Rockland County in Blauvelt, NY, for many years, and she was a member of the Eastern Star in Pearl River, NY.   Louis was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Henry Koch, who she met while he was working for the Army Corps of Engineers when the Mahoning Dam was being built. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by son, Ralph Edward Koch, five sisters, Rachel Elkin, Annabelle Grove, Alice Bullers, Eleanore Miller, Twila Laford and one brother, Samuel Kennedy. She is survived by a daughter-in-law, Ellen Salemo Koch and two grandchildren, Anthony and Nicole, a sister, Jean Barnett, Stanton, a brother, Lyle (Frances) Kennedy and numerous nieces and nephews. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Caroline Mary Martino of Walston July 15, 1936 - September 24, 2020  Caroline was a member of St Anthony Catholic Church in Walston. She loved children and especially adored her nieces and nephew and great-nieces and nephews. She enjoyed walking; she was a familiar face on the sidewalks of Punxsutawney.  She is survived by one sister, Mary Jane Juliette, one sister-in-law, Irene Martino and numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved very much.  In addition to her parents, Joseph and Josephine (Farbo) Martino, she was preceded in death by four sisters, infant Rachel Martino, Anna Martino, Mary Martino and Anna (Martino) Miller and five brothers, Anthony Martino, Ross Martino, James Martino, Fred Martino and John Martino. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Debra Lynn (Anderson) Young of Punxsutawney October 11, 1963 - September 24, 2020  She was to married Ernest Wade Young who survives and resides in Punxsutawney.  Debbie worked in housekeeping at the Country Villa, the Truck stop in Brookville, Pa, and Defelices; she also worked as a cashier at Unimart, along with being a manager at County Line store in Punxsutawney.  Debbie lived her life for her family and granddaughter. She also dearly loved her cats, Katie, Kelly and Tiger Lilly.  She enjoyed family cook outs, outings and visits, cooking and playing BINGO.  In addition to her mother, Sally Louise (Whitesell) Anderson, and her husband, Ernest “Ernie” Wade Young, she is survived by two sons, Darren Young and Devin Young, one granddaughter, Sophia Rose Young, one sister, Diana Richards, mother-in-law Elsie Young and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.  She was preceded in death by her father Marlean Elmer “Swede” Anderson, maternal grandparents, William and Sally Whitesell and paternal grandparents, George and Zelma Anderson.

14 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Roger Lee Baird of Punxsutawney June 19, 1952 - September 26, 2020 He was born in Bolivar, on June 19, 1952, a son of the late Robert P. Baird, Sr. and Beatrice (Gibson) Baird. Mr. Baird served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Era. Roger worked as an over-the-road trucker for thirty years; he also worked for Betts Trucking, Perfetti Trucking and at Universal Well Service. He will be remembered as stubborn, awesome and a caring, good dad who enjoyed watching Western shows and the Steelers. He previously enjoyed hunting and fishing. He is survived by his companion, Christina Catherine Ballinger ,daughter, Jessica Baird, three sons, Roger (Charly) Baird, Jason Roselli and Joshua Burdick, six grandchildren, Adam, Andrew and Alyssa Jones, Malachi, Ezra and Edyn Baird, four brothers, Robert (Norma) P. Baird, Jr., Randy Baird, Rodney Baird and Clark Baird and one sister, Belinda Betts. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Joann Baird, daughter, Julie Jones and two brothers, Richard and Keith Baird. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Maxine Lucille Himes of Punxsutawney August 29, 1932 - September 27, 2020  On September 11, 1954, she married James D. Himes. He preceded her in death on November 24, 2011.  Mrs. Himes worked at Rola Jensen for thirteen years. She enjoyed spending time with her family, walking, gardening and enjoying nature. She loved her dog Lucy, playing cards and BINGO.  She is survived by one daughter, Lorita (Richard) Mae Snyder, two grandchildren, Heather (Dan) Havrilla and Scott Guidash and Bryan and two sisters, Doris Good and Norma Hider.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Preston Charles Minnick and Annie Mae (Kunselman) Minnick, husband, one son, Brian James Himes, one brother, Harold “Butch” Minnick and one sister, Janet Minnick. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Dawn Yvonne (Thomas) Moore of Punxsutawney February 25, 1964 - September 28, 2020  Dawn was a 1982 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School. She married David Alan Moore who preceded her in death on April 28, 2015. Dawn was blessed to spend the last few years with loving companion Delmas Burkett.  Dawn worked at the Jefferson County Courthouse for ten years and at Jefferson County District Court Magistrates office in Punxsutawney for over ten years.   She is survived by her mother, Joan Marie (Binner) Thomas, two daughters, Samantha (Nate) Coon and Aimee (Justin) Delay, four grandchildren, Ruby and Penny

Coon and Jaiden and Nicholas Delay, two sisters, Kelly (Eddie) Phillips and Jessie (Eric) Bowser and several nephews and nieces.  She was preceded in death by her father, Larry Charles Thomas and her husband, David Moore. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Clyde V. Bracken of Punxsutawney June 19, 1941 - September 30, 2020  He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde M. and Mary J. (Snyder) Bracken and wife, Mildred Bracken (Zahursky) Bracken.  He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving with the United States Army. He attended the Church of God and was a 50year member to the General Labor Union # 1058, Pittsburgh. He worked for HRI Construction for 30 years and enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing corn hole and spending time with his family.  He is survived by two daughters, Kimberly Bracken and Melinda (Shawn) Frye and a sister, Alma Little. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Sara J “Sally” (Weaver) Collins formerly of Punxsutawney October 27, 1937 - October 2, 2020 She was a graduate of Punxsutawney High School and the Shadyside School of Nursing.  On May 14, 1960, she was married to W. Barry Collins of Brackenridge, PA.  She worked as a Registered Nurse but found her true calling working with the elderly as Director of Nursing in several nursing homes over the past 40 years.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Sara J. (Pearce) Weaver and Silas A. Weaver, her grandson Zane A. Collins, her sister Anna Mae Hiles and her brothers Rob and Ted Weaver.  She is survived by her husband of over 60 years, W Barry Collins. her sons Gregg W. Collins and Gary T. Collins, four grandchildren, Ian, Jarred, Nicholas and Samantha and brother David Weaver, as well as countless friends and family. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Arnold “Arnie” Gene Harkins of Punxsutawney August 15, 1933 - October 2, 2020  Arnold was a graduate of Cherry Tree High School and served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict.  Mr. Harkins worked as an Engineer for Lockheed Martin. He was proud of working on the NASA projects that led to the moon landing.  He was an active member of the Punxsutawney Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and enjoyed his family, watching sports, woodworking, hunting and fishing.  In addition to his wife, Michelle Fernandez, he is survived by two children, Janine - Continued on next page

- Continued from previous page

(Rick) Closius and Derek (Kathryn) Harkins and four grandchildren, Kathryn and Samantha Closius and Kelsey and Brandon Harkins.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Glen John Harkins and Hilda Clare (Rummell) Harkins, five brothers, William, Hobert, Edward, Richard and Rodgers Harkins and two sisters, Martha Morey and Agnes Lydic. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u George D. Bishop of Johnsonburg, formerly of Punxsutawney May 20, 1936 - October 11, 2020  He worked at Washabaugh Dairy Farm where he learned to operate equipment. He then joined the Operating Engineers Local 66, where he operated heavy equipment for 32 years. He was a member of the Rossiter Sportsmen’s Club and the NRA.  George was an avid hunter and enjoyed reloading his own ammunition. He also liked to take his grandchildren fishing, gardening and canning venison, jams and jellies, along with his famous holiday fruitcake.  He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Alta “Margie” (Lunger) Bishop, three daughters, Christine (Ken) Englert, Anita Bishop and Terri Plyler and Fiancée Bob Kennedy, four Grandchildren, Ryan Plyler, Natisha (Plyler) George, Keith (Taylor) Englert and Kyle Englert, step-granddaughter, Cassidy Rainville and great-grandson, Kent Englert, two sisters, Alice Sipes and Ann Hawkins and two brothers, Larry Bishop and Jim (Sara) Bishop.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Blanche (Souders) Bishop and a brother Raymond Bishop. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Joseph Edward Krucelyak of Murrells Inlet, SC formerly of Punxsutawney January 23, 1938 - October 15, 2020  Joe was born in Punxsutawney to the late Ann and Steve Krucelyak. He was preceded in death by his brothers William E. and Bob and sisters Dorothy and Betty M. Brown. Surviving is his wife Jo, daughter Kim Krucelyak and son Andy (Leah) and one special granddaughter he called “little girl” Catherine. He leaves behind one brother, Steve Krucelyak of Punxsutawney and many nieces and nephews.  Joe was a die-hard fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates; every year he would go to Bradenton, FL, to enjoy watching Spring Training. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc. www.shumakerfh.com u Frank T. Harl, Jr. of Punxsutawney June 17, 1927 - October 15, 2020 He was born in Punxsutawney, a son of the late Frank T. Harl, Sr. and Leila J. (Grinder) Harl.

 Frank married Norma Jane (Means), who survives, on November 10, 1946.  Frank was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of Punxsutawney where he enjoyed singing in the choir and cantatas, and where he faithfully taught Sunday school.  Frank served in the U.S. Navy during the WWII era and was honorably discharged with commendations. He graduated from Punxsutawney Area High School in 1945 and from the University of Pittsburgh with a business degree in 1951. He owned Harl’s Shoe Store in downtown Punxsutawney from the 60s to 1989.  Frank was a storyteller, singer, kazoo player, trapper, hunter and fisherman and loved watching the Steelers, Pitt football and the Pirates. He loved baseball and played all his life. He was a youth baseball coach and, over the years, was an active member of the Lion’s Club, the American Red Cross and served on the board of The Salvation Army. In 2009-2010 he was Lion of the Year.  He is survived by his wife, his children Sandra (Gary) Winger, Linda (Bob-deceased) Billings, Barbara (Jim-deceased) Dunlap, Flo (Ralph) Bunnell, Frank (Kathy) T. Harl, III, and Kathy (Jake) Barnett.  He was preceded in death by daughter Mary Bea Harl, his siblings, Edwin Harl, Florence Harl Heasley and Velma (Babe) Harl Keller. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Audrey Marie Craig of Punxsutawney March 7, 1947 - October 15, 2020  Audrey was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Audrey loved raising her family, from cooking, gardening, to fixing the car, Audrey could do everything and anything.  She is survived by three daughters, Deabra D. “Dee Dee” Colbert, and husband Eddie, Saratoga Springs, UT, Lorry M. Smith, and husband Mark, Punxsutawney, Heather Hays and husband Mark, Marion Center, 10 grandchildren, Joshua, Tyler, Courtney (Hayden), Justina, Stephanie, Zoie, Stone, Riley, Joseph, Jason. 4 great grandchildren, Ryker, Xander, Cameron, Rhett. A sister Cathy Miller, a brother John Hodson, both of Meadville.  She was preceded in death by her parents John and Esther (Howell) Hodson and her husband Larry D. Craig and two brothers, Theodore and James Hodson. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Please visit the website of the funeral homes listed to view complete obituary, sign their guestbook and offer your condolences. uuu


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16 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

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surveys for the new mine. Fisher planned to camp a few days and to enjoy trout fishing. He became ill and when his symptoms became serious Dr. Beyer was called to give medical aid. The doctor recommended that Fisher be removed to the Hotel Pantall where he could receive appropriate medical attention. At the hotel his symptoms grew worse and he died about 9:00 a.m. on May 8. Fisher’s body was taken by railroad to Huntingdon for burial. Although this was a sad situation, it reflected positively on the ability of Punxsutawney to provide quality service for visitors in need of specialized care. Col. C.W. Whistler, a Civil War veteran from Mercer County, became the next proprietor of the Hotel Pantall in 1891. He was a most colorful character. He was well traveled, having earned his way around the country as a compositor (newspaper typesetter). He had learned the trade in his hometown, Mercer, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed spending time with guests and visitors to the dining room and bar. He told about working on many newspapers, including the San Francisco Alta, where he became acquainted with Samuel Clemens before Clemens became known as Mark Twain, humorist and writer. He worked on a weekly newspaper at South Charlestown, Ohio, with Charles Brown. Together they produced a weekly newspaper with Whistler pulling the leaver of the old Ramage press, and Brown inking the forms. Brown later added an “e” to his last name and became Charles Browne, editor of the Cleveland Plaindealer, who wrote under the nom de plume, Artemus Ward, also a wellknown humorist during the mid 19th Century. Whistler maintained his connection with Punxsutawney after returning to Mercer. In 1906, when Elbert G. Hubbard, the noted philosopher, was invited to the annual Groundhog Hunt and Roast, Whistler, who was keen on attending the festivities, missed his train. Members of the Punxsutawney and Pittsburg Groundhog Club razzed him through articles in the newspapers. He was on-hand in Punxsutawney for the annual Groundhog Hunt and Roast in 1907 and 1908. Broad exposure through the regional press enhanced the image of Punxsutawney. Frank A. McConnell, of Reynoldsville, purchased the good will and interest of Col. Whistler, to become the next proprietor of the Hotel Pantall on May 3, 1892. Frank had operated the Hotel McConnell in Reynoldsville prior to his moving to Punxsutawney. McConnell took on a partner, in June of that year, by the name of James E. Russell. The popularity of the hotel continued to grow. Mc Connell and his partner provided attention getting activities which kept the hotel in the public eye. In July 1892, the window of the hotel bar room displayed a huge rattle snake captured in the wilds of Clearfield County, which attracted a great deal of attention. For some it was repulsive, for others fascinating. Two thicknesses of glass protected the public. When J.E. Russell became ill and left the partnership, McConnell took on a new partner, Richard “Dick” Clover of Brookville. Clover’s father had clerked at the William Campbell store in Punxsutawney for a number of years prior to moving to Brookville. Clover, who had worked in the lumber in-

dustry in Brookville and Big Run, was married to Anne Edelblute, daughter of N.G. Edelblute who had worked in the Company Store at Horatio Mines. The proprietorship of McConnell and Clover continued for five years at which time McConnell sold his share of the partnership to Nathan G. Edelblute. The Clover and Edelblute partnership lasted twenty-one years and provided the steady leadership and reflected the aspiration of Theophilus Pantall for a first class hotel in the heart of Punxsutawney. The hotel’s reputation was enhanced by a variety of advertisements in out-of-town newspapers and the distribution picture postcards popular in that era. The hotel served as the gathering place for business leaders and industrial developers, whose work in the mining and related industries brought them to the Punxsutawney Area. These leaders significantly influenced the development of the community. They influenced the transition of the public square into a Public Park which enhanced the Hotel Pantall’s neighborhood. They established recreational facilities including the YMCA and the Punxsutawney Golf Course and Country Club. They made it profitable for other businesses and industries to locate to the community. Each new development was promoted on postcards which were sent to friends and families across the country. In 1898, the United States Post Office leased space in the Hotel Pantall Block from Theophilus Pantall. This ensured a steady stream of visitors to the facility. The partnership of Clover and Edelblute as proprietors of the Hotel Pantall would last until 1918 when the proprietorship of the hotel was transferred to William J. Pappas. Pappas and his partner Mr. Gionopilous operated the Hotel Pantall for four years. He completed extensive renovations including redesigning the sleeping rooms. Prior to the Pappas’ renovations, a “room with a bath” included a tub and commode in a corner of the room with a curtain to close it off. After Pappas, these bath facilities were enclosed by a ceiling high partition installed in the room. Telephones and wall switches, for lighting fixtures, were added in addition to fresh wallpaper and paint on the walls and new carpeting. Pappas, challenged by the enforcement of the 18th Amendment, expanded the food service by creating a Patisserie (European style bakery) and installing a café with a lunch counter in addition to the dining room. These facilities, which were open day and night and served regular and short order meals, became the main income source for Pappas. In 1922, Pappas leased the hotel part of the business to Charles Snyder of Punxsutawney and retained the food service portion of the business for himself. In 1924, Pappas disposed of his Patisserie to Anthony and Peter Barletta who came to Punxsutawney from Italy. The Barletta brothers operated the bakery as the Bonbonnaire until 1928 when they purchased the Palace of Sweets on East Mahoning Street. Snyder operated the hotel until 1932. During Snyder’s tenure as proprietor, when young people were engaging in marathon dance crazes, Susie Hetlock of Covode brought attention to the Hotel Pantall. She declared that she could wash dishes for 24 hours. The bet was on, wagers were made, and Susie, armed with soap, water and plenty of china, washed dishes for 31 hours,

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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 17


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18 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

Circle Hill, A Punxsutawney Cemetery

The flags wave over the graves of veterans in the American Legion Memorial Plot located adjacent to the Circle Hill Cemetery. The plot was purchased from the Circle Hill Cemetery and is maintained by the John Jacob Fisher Post 62 of Punxsutawney. Photo by S.J. Sharp

By Shirley Sharp for Hometown magazine ircle Hill is a quiet, airy place on a hill top east of Punxsutawney and is maintained by the Circle Hill Cemetery Association. The development of the cemetery began when the public cemetery in the Borough of Punxsutawney, currently known as the Findley Street Cemetery, was reaching the maximum capacity for accepting further burials. The ladies of the town, who had valiantly waged campaigns to raise money for the maintenance of the public cemetery on North Findley Street, were greatly concerned about this situation. The land on which the cemetery was situated had been donated to the community by Dr. John W. Jenks and had no room to expand. There was a need to find a way to have a new burial place. The Punxsutawney Spirit December 4, 1889 issue noted that at a meeting of the Ladies’ Cemetery Society an older member rose and addressed the group saying: “I think we ought to abandon the old graveyard altogether. If I live ‘till I die, and


I hope to goodness I shall, I want to be buried up there on Corey’s round top. It is sich a healthy place.” The same issue of The Punxsutawney Spirit carried the following item: “A NEW CEMETERY The Odd Fellows have purchased twentyfive acres of land in the suburbs from William Clawson for a cemetery. The ground is beautifully situated for that purpose, and as we are very much in need of something a little more attractive in that line than the old cemetery, this new city of the dead will no doubt meet with unanimous approval.” Providing a place to bury the dead has customarily been the responsibility of the family. Burials were made in private family burial plots, in church cemeteries and public cemeteries. By the late 1880s the social customs relating to caring for the dead and maintaining cemeteries were changing. At that time the Punxsutawney area was experiencing a rapid growth in population. Many of the new residents were immigrants, who brought with them their customs and tradi-

tions. Burial of individuals, who died with- make of it. Mr. Knarr expects to begin work out family or affiliation with a church, be- on the plan as soon as the weather permits, came the responsibility of the “overseer of laying it out in small plots, walks, drives, the poor” in the townships and towns. Dur- etc. This is an improvement badly needed ing this time fraternities and sororities de- here. Mr. Knarr has made inquiry in regard veloped. These organizations, through dues to the cemetery proposed by the Odd Feland fund raising, provided, as part of their lows of this place but could learn nothing humanitarian mission, a place for burying definite as to what was done in the matter the dead. The Internaexcept that he undertional Order of Odd stands that the project Fellows and their fehad not made much male equivalent, The headway, and therefore Daughters of Rebekah, he expects to go ahead established cemeteries and mature his plans as to accommodate this above stated.” need in communities Knarr visit several throughout the area. well-planned cemeteries The churches, fraternibefore having his ground ties, sororities and the surveyed and a design community continued created for the new to maintain burying cemetery which ingrounds. cluded drives, walkIn 1890, a privately ways, space for family owned and operated or fraternal lots and sincemetery was develgle graves, and with oped in which individshade and ornamental uals or families could trees. He had the ground purchase burial lots, tested to assure it was and for an annual fee, easy to dig down six feet ensure the burial and was dry. He invited ground would be main- The Victorian granite monument above the public to review the tained. James Adam was erected at Circle Hill Cemetery on plan for the cemetery Knarr, a man with sev- September 27, 1893, by Thomas J. which he had placed at Richards in memory of his wife Mary eral businesses includ- Richards. Richards was a superintendent Robinson & Brothers’ ing a hardware and in the Berwind-White Coal Mines at Hora- Marble Works for their cider mill, became tio. Photo by S.J. Sharp convenience. And. he Punxsutawney’s first encouraged those that provider of this type of cemetery. The Punx- did not own a burying-ground to leave their sutawney News announced on January 8, names and give their opinion of the plan. 1890, that “J. A. Knarr has purchased a plot The first interment in the new cemetery of ground, sixteen and a half acres, which was that of John Bower Cromer, the elevenhe will put in proper shape for a new ceme- month-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John B. tery. It is within sight of town and is a very Cromer. The child died of cholera infantum desirable location for what he proposes to - Continued on page 21 NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

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The old cemetery water tower and the Weber Obelist overlook the section of Circle Hill known as the Memorial Garden. In this section there are no monuments. Graves have a flat marker which accommodates a flower vase. Photo by S.J. Sharp.

Ray Hanley (L) and Brian Kimmerle (R), members of the Circle Hill Cemetery Association, restore one of the memorials at Circle Hill Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Darlene Hanley.

Circle Hill Continued from page 19 on Tuesday, July 22, 1890, and was interred the same day. On July 30 it was officially announced in the Punxsutawney News that burial lots in the Circle Hill Cemetery were ready for sale. Virginia Torrence, who died in January 1890, and William Altman, who died in March of 1890, and had expressed a desire to have their remains interred in the new cemetery, were temporarily buried elsewhere and removed to Circle Hill when it was opened. In response to requests from families, J.A. Knarr announced the offering of special prices on burial lots for fraternal lodges or individuals who had family members or friends buried in the old cemetery and wished to have them removed to the new one. This offer was repeated annually for

several years. By 1898, the remains of 35 individuals had been moved from the Findley Street Cemetery to the Circle Hill Cemetery. This offer was also extended to families desiring the removal of bodies to Circle Hill when the St. Peter Evangelical and United Brethren Church in Elk Run decommissioned their cemetery. Visitors walking through Circle Hill Cemetery will find graves of residents who died long before the cemetery was established. Maintenance and improvement have been a priority at Circle Hill Cemetery. In 1932 when the Nation was in the midst of the Great Depression, the John Jacob Fisher Post, No. 62 of the American Legion launched a plan to create work for the unemployed. One of the projects identified was improving the road leading from the borough limits to Circle Hill Cemetery. The community pulled together to achieve this


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project. Churches helped raise money to Fairview Avenue. pay the workers, companies donated mateThe Circle Hill Cemetery Association, as a rials, water boilers were recycled into cross non-profit organization, is governed by a sewers for under the roadway and workers board of nine volunteer directors, which from the county relief rolls were assigned oversees the operation and maintains the to improve the road. Many needy families cemetery. The cemetery office is open durbenefited from this project and the commu- ing regular Tuesday and Thursday hours nity benefited during the summer. from the imVolunteers are proved roadavailable, by apway. pointment, to assist The Knarr with information family manabout the cemetery. aged and mainThe cemetery is tained Circle open from dawn to Hill Cemetery dusk daily, walkers until the Circle are welcome, howHill Cemetery ever, pets must be A s s o c i a t i o n The Rinn Mausoleum at Circle Hill Cemetery was on leash with necin 2019 by board member John Maloney. The essary was organized cleaned clean-up structure was pretreated and then power washed to reand purchased move stains from acid rain. Photo by S.J. Sharp taken care of by the cemetery in their owners. 1965. Since that time, through a merger The Circle Hill Cemetery currently mainagreement, Greenwood Burial Estates, lo- tains 35 acres as the cemetery, the remaincated along the east side Fairview Avenue, ing land area is held in reserve for future came under the management of the Circle needs. The monuments at Circle Hill CemeHill Cemetery Association, and the John tery provide a history of the community as Jacob Fisher Post 62 purchased land from the names engraved on them evoke memothe Association for the American Legion ries of past residents. Among the oldest Memorial Plot along the west side of - Continued on page 24

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24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

The Phoenix Part III

Circle Hill

Continued from page 17

Continued from page 21

setting a record for herself and creating publicity for the Hotel Pantall. Mr. Snyder retired from the hotel business in 1932. In his retirement announcement he introduced Thomas H. Junkin as the new proprietor. No record of Mr. Junkin’s service was found, however, in 1932, William F. Neeley, who had operated Neeley Hotel in Clymer, arrived in Punxsutawney to manage the Hotel Pantall. He was an experienced hotel operator. He continued at the Hotel Pantall until he became ill in October 1939. The next proprietor of the Hotel Pantall was Walter Sink, a Punxsutawney native who managed the Pantall Hotel through the WWII Years. In March 1945, Sink served as one of eight members of the Midnight Curfew Committee. He represented hotels and restaurants. Their responsibility was to assure the compliance with the Midnight Curfew to guarantee that only food was served after midnight in those facilities with a liquor license. Other members on the committee represented the licensed clubs and recreational facilities that might be open at late hours. During the 55 plus years between 1889 and 1945, the Hotel Pantall Block was managed first by Theophilus Pantall, who kept the store rooms in the Block occupied as business changed. New businesses accommodated included the United States Post Office, the new Citizens’ Bank and the Farmers and Miners Trust: each occupying a store room for a time before they had their own buildings in the town. Realizing life is not forever, Pantall created the Hotel Pantall Company in 1905 as a corporation for the purpose of holding, leasing and selling real estate and for the establishment of a hotel and boarding house. The principles of this corporation included as partners, E.B. Henderson, B. Schneider, and T.M. Kurtz and T. Pantall, each controlling one fourth interest. The value of the property at that time was $95,000. Upon the death of Theophilus Pantall, an application was made to dissolve the corporation. In 1910, Bernard Schneider obtained E.B. Henderson’s interest giving him the controlling interest in the Hotel Pantall Block. With the passing of Theophilus Pantall in 1908, Bernard Schneider in 1923 and T.M. Kurtz in 1945, their heirs were in a position to dispose of their holdings in the Hotel Pantall Company. To be continued next month. This article has been prepared by the Coal Memorial Committee of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. Resources used in preparing this article are from PAHGS, The Punxsutawney Spirit, and Newspapers.com. Comments may be directed to PAHGS, P.O. Box 186, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Individuals desiring to honor a coal or coal industry related worker are encouraged to purchase their tile by June 30, 2021. A Coal Memorial tile may honor persons who worked in any aspect of the coal industry including railroads and ancillary services. Additional information and from may be found online at www.punxsyhistory.org , or may be requested by email to: punxsyhistory@outlook.com, or calling 814-938-2555 and leaving a message. •••

burials are children who died of illnesses that today have been conquered by improved sanitation and development of vaccines. From Memorial Day through Veterans Day, flags fly over the graves of those who served the United States in the military from the Civil War to the current wars in the Middle East. In this cemetery you will find a wide spectrum of life experiences: Merl Ryman, who came to Punxsutawney in the 1880s to make his career in the livery business, only to be overtaken by the advent of the automobile. Look up at the sky near William D. Smith’s memorial and imagine you see the mono-planes from Youngstown, Ohio, circling overhead dropping flowers at his interment, as the American Legion Post fired a Military Salute. Smith was Punxsutawney’s first commercial pilot and had served in the military in WWI. Feel the anxiety of Frank Birtsas, an immigrant from Greece who established Hat Cleaning and Shoe Shining Parlor in Punxsutawney, and at age 32 became ill. Upon being admitted to the Adrian Hospital in 1929, he sent a letter to The Punxsutawney Spirit to be opened if he died. He did. In the envelope was a brief autobiography which the Spirit published in lieu of an obituary. Birtsas served in the U.S. Army and was wounded in France. His funeral was held at the Sprankle-Morrison Chapel by the Greek Catholic Priest, and the American Legion provided a military burial in the Legion’s Memorial Plot adjacent to Circle Hill. There are thousands of stories that can be told of those whose final resting place is at Circle Hill Cemetery. The Circle Hill Cemetery Association Board is a working board. Some members work to maintain the grounds. Regular effort is required to keep the grounds and the monuments in good repair. The normal seasonal changes which cause the shifting of the monuments is one of the greatest challenges to the association. Monuments, which have tilted or sunk into the ground, need to be reset on new footers. This careful maintenance effort by the association assures that visitors to the cemetery will seldom notice the shifting and sunken monuments often seen in older, unattended cemeteries. During the summer of 2020, Circle Hill Cemetery Association board members spent many hours outdoors in the sunshine working to replace footers and resetting monuments in the cemetery. Volunteers also cleaned monuments to mitigate the damage done by acid rain. Other members of the Association have spent uncounted hours entering over 100 years of paper cemetery records into a computerized file which enables them to quickly find information about each of the over 9,000 burials. It is through the efforts of the members of the Circle Hill Cemetery Association that visitors seeking information are quickly and efficiently provided with the information they require. Circle Hill Cemetery Association has achieved and continues to provide a welldesigned and maintained resting place amid the forest on the hill which would certainly meet the expectation of the members of the Ladies’ Cemetery Society, although it is not exactly located at Corey’s Roundtop. •••

Hometown Community Happenings


By the staff of Hometown magazine

rom the staff of Hometown magazine and the Community Calendar at Punxsutawney.com, here is a list of events coming up in our area:   At press time, some events were being cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus restrictions. Please check with the host organization, website, or Facebook page for up-to-date information. n October Hometown Steeler Football Contest winner. The final score of the Pittsburgh Steelers verses the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, October 11 was 38 to 29.  Jackie Clark guessed a total score of 53 being the closest entry to the 67 total point win.  Jackie wishes to redeem her gift card at Pizza Town. Congratulations, Jackie!  You need to enter to win. Please remember to put your total points on the outside of your envelope. Only one entry per envelope, please. n The Punxsutawney Memorial Library is open limited hours & offering some of its services. Check its website or Facebook page or call the library for more information. Check out the fall programs for youngsters. n The Salvation Army is taking applications for its Treasures for Children Christmas program until Oct. 30. Apply through the link on The Salvation Army Punxsutawney’s Facebook page or call 814-938-5530. n The A.J. Parise Youth Football & Cheerleading Association is holding a gun raffle with a drawing on Nov. 14. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page. n Oct. 30: Family Fall Fun Night, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., includes games, snacks, crafts and family-friendly Halloween movie at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Punxsy Perk Café & The Salvation Army. Will be held at either Barclay Square or The Salvation Army & Punxsy Perk parking lots. Check their Facebook pages for location information. n Oct. 31: Hogtoberfest Craft Beer & Home Brew Competition, 3 to 8 p.m. at Gobbler’s Knob, sponsored by Groundhog Club. Visit the club’s website for more information. n Oct. 31: Phil’s Trick or Trot 5K Run/Walk, 10 a.m. at Gobbler’s Knob. Registration at 9 a.m. $25 registration fee. Go to www.groundhog.org for more information. n Oct. 31: Halloween in Punxsutawney. Parade at 6 p.m., line up at IUP Arcade building, 5:30 p.m. Town-wide trick or treating, 6:30 to 8 p.m. n Nov. 1: Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Turn your clocks back an hour. n Nov. 3: Election Day. If you haven’t already, go & vote! n Nov. 6, 7 & 8: Smicksburg OldFashioned Country Christmas Open House. Various locations around Smicksburg area. n Nov. 7: Bazaar, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grange Church of God. Soups, baked

goods, crafts & vendors. n Nov. 7: Brownies Wonders of Water Journey, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Weather Discovery Center. Pre-register by Oct. 30 at 814-938-1000 or email info@weatherdiscovery.org. n Nov. 11: Veterans Day. Remember and honor those who have served America in the military. n Nov. 11: Girl Scouts Cadette Breathe Journey Day, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Weather Discovery Center. Pre-register by Nov. 7 at 814-938-1000 or email info@weatherdiscovery.org. Masks required. n Nov. 11: “Healthy Pregnancy” class, 7 to 9 p.m. at Punxsutawney Area Hospital. For women and significant others in first four weeks of pregnancy. Pre-register with Central Scheduling at the hospital. Call 814-938-1800. n Nov. 12: PAHS Powder Puff Football Game, 6 p.m. at PAHS Stadium. n Nov. 13: Take-Out Community Dinner, 5 to 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. Reserve your dinner by 4 p.m. Nov. 11, at 814-938-7500. Dinners must be pre-ordered with a limit of 1 dinner per person. There will not be any indoor dining. n Nov. 13, 14 & 15: Smicksburg OldFashioned Country Christmas Open House. Various locations around Smicksburg. n Nov. 17: Blood Drive, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Ringgold Area Vol. Fire Company. Benefits American Red Cross. n Nov. 17: Blood Drive, 2 to 6:30 p.m. at Reynoldsville Vol. Fire Dept. Benefits American Red Cross. n Nov. 19: Great American Smoke Out Day, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. n Nov. 20: Blood Drive, 12:30 to 6 p.m. at Cobblestone Hotel & Suites. Benefits American Red Cross. n Nov. 21: Boy Scouts Electricity Merit Badge program, 9 a.m. to noon. Pre-register by Nov. 13 at 814-938-1000 or email info@weatherdiscovery.org. There are pre-requisites. n Nov. 21: Take-Out Thanksgiving Meal, 4 to 6 p.m. at The Salvation Army. Free, no dining in, no delivery. n Nov. 21: Fall Gun Raffle by the Big Run Area Vol. Fire Co., 5 p.m. at the Big Run Event Center. n Nov. 24: Blood Drive, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Sykesville. Benefits American Red Cross. n Nov. 26: Thanksgiving! Remember all for which you have to be thankful. n Nov. 27, 28 & 29: Smicksburg Small Business Weekend. Various locations around Smicksburg. n “Home for the Holidays” 30th Annual Parade. You are invited to participate again this year! There is no specific theme for this year’s parade. The Parade will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., the Saturday following Thanksgiving. To pre-register, call the Punx-


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Get your FREE copy today! To advertise in the magazine or on our full color placemats email hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com text or call Mary Roberts at 814-952-3668 or call Tracey Young at 814-938-9084. Monthly issues of locally owned Hometown Magazine celebrate the best of our town with feature articles, history, and around town calendars.

- Continued on next page

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241 – 25

Unique ways to support small businesses during the pandemic S

mall businesses have faced unprecedented challenges in 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic wore on throughout the year, small businesses continued to confront the economic fallout wrought by the virus. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of active business owners in the United States plummeted by 22 percent in the early stages of the pandemic. Though many businesses managed to hang on as the pandemic continued through spring, summer and fall, such businesses need their communities to continue to help them stay afloat. Consumers have not been immune to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment figures skyrocketed across the globe, and in April retail sales dropped by 14.3 percent from the previous month according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Deloitte Insights. But consumer spending gradually increased in various industries over the summer of 2020. As consumers loosen their purse strings and begin spending more, they can embrace some unique ways to help small businesses in their community. • Support struggling industries. Consumers may not typically give much thought to whether an industry is struggling before spending their money, but doing so can help small businesses that have had an especially difficult time during the pandemic. Data from the USCB and Deloitte Services indicates that retail sales in certain industries continued to lag even as other industries recovered

over the summer months. Sales in the clothing and accessory and food services and drinking places industries were still down nearly 20 percent in July 2020. Supporting locally owned businesses in these industries can infuse some muchneeded cash into their operations. • Think twice before buying from big box online retailers. Amazon has become such a go-to consumer resource that many shoppers forget they can comparison shop right on Amazon.com. And some consumers may be unaware that they can support small business when shopping via Amazon. Data from the Association of American Publishers indicates that print revenues have grown by more than 1 percent in 2020 as many people in quarantine are choosing to spend that time with a good book. When shopping for books via a site like Amazon, purchase books from independent sellers, who are often small book stores in local communities across the country. •Purchase gift cards. Pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted in many places, but that doesn’t necessarily mean consumers are confident enough to visit their favorite stores and restaurants in person. Gift cards can be a great way to support local businesses even if you’re still hesitant to patronize them in person. Small businesses continue to face an uphill battle as they confront the economic fallout of the pandemic. Consumers can show their support for locally owned businesses in their communities in various ways. (Statepoint) •••

26 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2020 - Issue #241

(“From Our Past,” researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers.) October 14, 1909 — A movement, headed by Father Deville, of Walston, and Dr. P.G. Spinelli, of this place, who had charge of the recent Columbus Day celebration here, is now on foot to secure funds for the erection of a statue of Christopher Columbus in this place.  Those who have the project in charge expect to raise sufficient funds among the Christopher Columbus societies through this section and have the statue ready for unveiling on next Columbus Day, which has been made an official holiday.  The public park is an especially appropriate place for such a statue. The project is a worthy one and will depend on the amount of money raised. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) [Note: The project for a statue for Columbus was not completed.] October 22, 1868 — SNOW. - The first snow of the season fell on the 17th inst. to the depth of half an inch, which gave to everything a wintry appearance. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer) October 26, 1904 — When this year’s building season is completed Punxsutawney will have had more substantial improvements in the way of fine residences than it ever before experienced in a single year. T.M. Kurtz, D.W. Goheen and Dr. Grube are all building in a row, and each one appears to be trying to outdo the other in the manner of a beautiful home. (Punxsutawney News) [Note: Each of the residences “in a row” are located on West Mahoning St. The T.M. Kurtz house is owned by Dr. Mike Vancheri, the Goheen house is owned by Jesse DeChurch and the Dr. Grube house was recently purchased by Adlai Pennington, restored and opened as the “Mansion on Mahoning Bed & Breakfast.”] October 28, 1885 — Coon hunting is the popular sport now. The most approved method of capturing coons seems to be to pour whisky on their tails. At least the hunters all take a plentiful supply of that beverage along, and we presume that is what they use it for. (The Punxsutawney Spirit)  November 1, 1899 — The prettiest thing in the whole animal kingdom is a deer at this season of the year, when its coat is as glossy as the finest silk, and its horns are like velvet. The proportions of a deer are perfect. Its limbs are the picture of grace and strength and agility. Its large, liquid eyes and innocent face portray its timid and harmless nature.  W.M. Fairman, Esq., of this place, has seven fine specimens, five of which were born in his park. Since he began raising them, four young ones have died by some

accident. These deer are as thoroughly gentle and fearless as a Jersey cow. (The Punxsutawney Spirit)  [Note: This area was referred to as Fairman’s Deer Park. In 1940, through the area behind the Jenks Hill School, a new street was opened to be named Fairman Lane.]town. (Punxsutawney News)  • • •

Hometown Community Happenings Continued from previous page sutawney Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc. at 814-938-7700x2, or email the Chamber at chamber@punxsutawney.com as soon as possible. The deadline to enter is November 16, 2020.  n Grange’s Helping Hands, free clothing at Grange Church of God. Check its Facebook page or call the church for dates. Limited to 15 people at a time. Must wear a mask. If unable to wear a mask, call the church at 938-2050 for an appointment. n The Salvation Army’s Treasures for Children Christmas wish list tags will be available during November. Call 938-5530 for more information. n Punxsutawney Borough usually offers fall tree limb chipping and leaf collection. Check local media for dates. n Hunting seasons are starting. Please check the PA Game Commission website for license requirements and opening dates. n The Jefferson County History Center plans to be open and offering the Bowdish model train displays this fall. Check its Facebook page or contact the museum for more information. n Punxsy Pizza’s annual fundraiser for the Punxsutawney Fire Department, Pizza & Prevention, is changing this year, due to the Coronavirus restrictions. During the month of October, people can purchase coupon cards for Big Chief pepperoni pizzas in several ways:  • Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Fire Dept.  • Mondays through Thursdays, 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Lindsey Fire Dept.  • Thursdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Elk Run’s Flashover Club.  • Call an order in & leave a message at 814-938-7901. • From a local firefighter.  Forms of payment include cash, check and most major credit cards. USPS is an option for pre-paid coupons.  Coupon cards will not be sold at Punxsy Pizza due to the COVID-19 restaurant restrictions. n Email your hometown community happenings items to hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com. •••

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Profile for Punxsutawney Hometown Magazine

#241 NOV 2020  

Air Force Veteran Sam Cleveland makes Punxsutawney Home Part III of the Phoenix The Pantall Hotel Honoring Area Veterans The Story Behind th...

#241 NOV 2020  

Air Force Veteran Sam Cleveland makes Punxsutawney Home Part III of the Phoenix The Pantall Hotel Honoring Area Veterans The Story Behind th...