Over the course of three years, rising above the fray were special people, unusual events, unique situations or unforgettable site visits that for one reason or another stood out from the rest.  Here are a few of those stories. Enjoy!


Baker Mansion: Site Visit #292

1986 Blair Co Baker Mansion Oct 29 1986

Wednesday, October 29, 1986

We entered the Mansion’s driveway on Oct. 29, 1986 at 9:00 a.m., and the yard, trees and building exterior were dressed for Halloween. Ghosts, goblins and witches abounded; wet, fallen leaves and a darkened sky created a somber mood. We awaited the Curator’s arrival.

Baker Mansion houses the newspaper collection of the Blair County Historical Society, Altoona, PA. The impressive structure was built in 1846 by Elias Baker, and was to be a home surpassed by none. It sits atop a small hill and is truly awesome. The Curator arrived. We exchanged formalities while her husband unlocked the door for us. The windows were all barred and shuttered; the building was closed for the season.

Mrs. Emerson – exuberant, vocal and enthusiastic — quickly oriented us to the stunning interior and its magnificent treasures. We climbed the stairs to the third floor and entered the newspaper room; we knew immediately we would not be finished in the 6 hours scheduled. Papers were housed on shelves on all four walls, almost from floor to ceiling.

Since we would need the entire day to catalog their holdings, she would literally “lock us in” and return later to let us out.

As she prepared to leave the quiet, dark, heavily furnished building, Sue jokingly asked, “The house isn’t haunted, is it”? Too much Halloween, I decided. Mrs. Emerson’s answer brought us up short.

“If you hear any thing, don’t pay it no never mind”. And she left, locking the door behind her.

“She didn’t say it wasn’t haunted”! We were slightly uneasy. We began work – there was so much to do, we went quickly and could concentrate on little else.

Baker Vignette 1

Baker Vignette 2

At 6:00 p.m., Sylva Emerson returned to release us. We were almost done. Thirty more minutes. The Emersons waited patiently.

As we began packing to leave, Sylva turned to us and asked, “Did you hear anything while you were here”?

What was she getting at?

We mentioned the “knocking’ noice. “That was probably Sylvester Clemson Clinton Baker, resident ghost, walking the second floor”. She had heard him on numerous occasions before, and there was no cause for alarm. He limped and walked with a cane while he lived, so his walk is readily identifiable. And thus began the telling of haunt tales known to have occurred in one of the “Nine Most Haunted Houses in America”, so stated in Life magazine, Nov. 1980 (Cronkite).

Sylva told us of chairs that moved across the double parlor, witnessed by local police; of a wedding gown in an airtight, sealed glass case that sways and moves its sleeves and slippers, in front of witnesses; of fog-like forms seen through camera lenses but unseen to the naked eye; of “presences” and “energy sources” felt by psychics called in to investigate; of objects moving mysteriously from one place to another. And the list goes on.

“How could you leave us here all day, alone, knowing all this”? We were incredulous.

“Oh”, said Mr. Emerson, “the spirits are all friendly. No evil spirits have been felt here so you were quite safe”. As we were leaving through the front door, we declined their generous offer to stay there the night.


See Baker Mansion: Articles related to story: Baughman, Jon. “Historic Items, Supernatural Permeate Altoona Landmark.” Broad Top Bulletin 26 October 1983. Cronkite, Walter. “The Private Life of Walter Cronkite: Terrifying Tales of 9 Haunted Houses.” Life November (1980): 152. Miller, William. “The Lady in the Big House.” Blair County Shoppers Guide, Duncansville 29 April 1981: 2, 4. Mulhollem, Jeff. “Evidence Mounts, Many Agree: Something Haunts the Mansion.” Altoona Mirror 14 July 1980: 24.



Wednesday, October 29, 1986 Left Huntingdon and headed for Baker Mansion, Blair Co. home of the Blair Co. Historical Society. Arrived by 9:00 a.m. – waited for the Emerson’s to show up. Finally, 9:20 they came. Curator, Mrs. Sylva Emerson, showed us around the beautiful old mansion (built 1846). Third floor [was] where the newspaper collection was kept. Mrs. Emerson stayed w/us most of the morning. There was no heat, so after several hours our hands were almost too cold to write. Around NOON – we went for lunch and then back to the Mansion. Mr. and Mrs. Emerson were there – they were going to lock us in until we finished. Before they left I asked whether the Mansion was haunted or not (I am not sure why I asked – we’ve been in about 200+ institutions and had never asked). Anyway, Mrs. Emerson answered “if we hear anything – just no never mind”. Then they locked us in and left. Beck and I climbed the 3rd flight of stairs and wondered about her answer – could it be haunted — she didn’t say it wasn’t. Anyway – we started to work cataloging and LDRing the tons of volumes and single issues. All of a sudden we heard a noise like someone chopping something. My heart stopped. I looked at Beck and she looked at me. Beck ran to the window [to see] if she could see someone outside. I turned to look down the stairway – nothing. I told Beck to just forget it – ‘cause we would both scare ourselves silly. So we soon forgot the noise and continued our work. We worked steady and we were nowhere close to finishing. Beck decided to call the Altoona Public Library to cancel our visit. We called Mrs. Emerson a couple times throughout the day to let her know of our progress. Around 6:30pm we finished! Mr. and Mrs. Emerson had come around 6pm to answer a reference question and to see if we were alright and to see if anything had happened. Beck and I started packing our things and as we were going downstairs, Mrs. Emerson told us that the Baker Mansion was one of the nine MOST HAUNTED HOUSES in the United States! For the next hour or so Mr. and Mrs. Emerson told us of the strange happenings that have occurred. I couldn’t believe it! We had been locked in all day! Beck and I left Baker Mansion and drove to the Holiday Inn for a room and dinner.

Long day!!!

1986 Other Oct 29 1986 Blair CHS Baker Mansion
Newspapers in the attic at Blair County Historical Society.

Beck and I figured that the titles we had seen at the Blair Co. Historical Society were about all we were going to see. Seems the Rental Library in Hollidaysburg (where we are NOT going) has tons of local papers.

[But that’s another story…]

Worked in room organizing what we had cataloged and LDRed.

(Saw 79 titles at Baker Mansion)


Thank you letter from Becky to the Emersons, following our site visit…

Baker Mansion 11-13-86 letter


Bloomsburg Heading Snip Capture

Bloomsburg University was the first “large” University whose holdings we cataloged ‘in the field’.  For the Penn State Team, working in predominantly small rural communities, an institution with over 300 titles was considered significant.   Without the incredible cooperation and assistance of the Bloom University Library staff, the task would have been more difficult and taken a lot longer to complete.   East Stroudsburg University, with 765 titles, required an Extended-Stay in order to complete the work. See also EAST STROUDSBURG UNIVERSITY vignette.

This story is written backwards and begins with our second, very satisfying visit – as we watched the staff view the results of the Project’s work on the OCLC database.  Some of the challenges we faced during our earlier visit are presented below.

From the April 1986 Monthly Report 

A final trip to Bloomsburg University, scheduled for April 30 – May 2, will signify the last of the site visits needed for Northcentral Pennsylvania.  Bloomsburg University had well over 300 newspaper titles, all on microfilm, which required extensive time on-site.  While 40-45 paper titles can be cataloged and LDRed in one day by one person, only 15-20 titles can be done on microfilm in one day.

(Well, we can scratch that.  On April 30, at Bloomsburg U., Sue broke all her cataloging records and in a marathon session lasting until 8:15 p.m. she completed 40 workforms, cataloging from microfilm!  I was impressed!)

While there we met with Peggy Kelly, Serials Librarian. Peggy wanted to know when their holdings would be on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).  We explained to her that we were still working on recording her holdings except for her Columbia County titles which had already been input in August 1985.

Well, Peggy wanted to see for herself.  She went back to the OCLC terminal and to her delight found Bloomsburg’s holding for the Press-Enterprise.

She looked at the now-updated bibliographic record they had originally input and the holdings record.

She and the cataloger sitting nearby then pulled up several other titles, and they couldn’t believe all the work we were doing for them.  They thought it was great!

I think this was the first time someone outside the newspaper project recognized and appreciated the amount of work the Newspaper Project Staff was doing.

It was gratifying to be a witness to their excitement and delight.


From the June 1985 Monthly Report 

Cataloging and Related Tasks

– Cataloging and LDRs for Union County completed.

– Initial cataloging begun on Columbia County.

– Faye Liebowitz and Sue discussed and agreed upon the need for more flexibility in linking titles.

– Ruth Carter, David Hoffman and Rian Irvine-Miller met and made decisions on how to handle small repositories.  This is especially applicable to our situation.

– Work continues on the 271 titles examined at Bloomsburg University.  Many of these titles were cataloged, but a return trip will be necessary to catalog papers [found at Bloom but] published in Easton, Hazleton, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and other places not yet assigned to the project.  Papers published in major cities (Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Harrisburg) were given LDRs but not cataloged.  All Columbia County titles, our 15-county area titles and other small-community titles were cataloged.

– Cataloged Penn State’s Pattee Library holdings for Columbia County.

– Prepared county title list of Columbia County titles based on Rossell and other published histories.

–  Contacted several people, including Todd Butler, for information on filling out LDRs for microfilm.


– Columbia County was marvelous to work through.  Over 23 individuals and institutions were contacted and their cooperation and good will completely won us over.

– Ran into the usual problem of working with microfilm at Bloomsburg University (tedious; unusual filing system; titles filed under latest entry; papers filmed backwards, etc.) but the staff could not have been more helpful.

 Conflicting history notes and sources pose problems in establishing accurate title histories.

Bloomburg A
Sue in the microfilm cabinets at Bloomsburg University; we found more than 300 titles on microfilm, June 12, 1985.


Wednesday, June 12, 1985

Left for Bloomsburg University from Boalsburg at 7:30 am – forgot briefcase, turned around and back to Boalsburg – finally on our way again at 8:00 am.

Arrived at Bloomsburg University 10:00 am…  Met with Peggy Kelly who introduced us to Jo Crosby who helped her prepare sheets for us… also met others on staff… Becky took care of getting release signed and NAD record updated.

Began working on microfilm around 11:00 am…. went to lunch… back to Bloomsburg University at 2:00; worked until 7:00 pm.

Took Becky and I awhile to acquaint ourselves with their filing system.

After one day – CATALOGED 22 Columbia Co. titles (Becky helped too – cataloging).

Becky verified holdings and recorded film type for 162 title sheets returned to us by Peggy and Jo.


– eye strain from viewing microfiche

– film backwards on reel

– many time periods on one reel (see sample label – Xeroxed)

  separate sections of microfilm

1.    “Various Newspapers” filed under “V”

2.    “Harrisburg Newspapers” filed under “H”

3.    “Easton Newspapers” filed under “E”

– Also, they filed newspaper titles under latest entry.  Example:

Under Enquirer (Berwick) were reels of film Berwick Gazette which was a predecessor to the Enquirer – Bloomsburg University didn’t hold any Enquirer at all.

Bloomburg B

Bloomsburg University’s staff helped inventory the microfilm; student worker (Rose), and clerical staff (Monica) lend a hand, June 12, 1985.

Thursday, June 13, 1985

Up by 7:30 am – to breakfast – first visited the Press-Enterprise


Press-Enterprise Office, Bloomsburg, Pa., June 13, 1985.

…At 12:15 pm arrived at Bloomsburg University.  Cataloged Student Newspaper OR [paper] holdings and began cataloging the titles still needed to be done from yesterday. 

Becky and I had decided last night to prioritize the things that really needed to be done and concentrate on these – all our 15-county-area titles to be done first and whatever time was left over to catalog additional holdings.

Finished at Bloomsburg University at 5:50 pm…



Bloomsburg University was our largest “site” in Columbia County.  Other sites (and 22 Private Citizens) visited included:

  • Columbia County Historical Society – Orangeville
  • Berwick Historical Society – Berwick
  • Bloomsburg Public Library
  • Press-Enterprise – Bloomsburg
  • Berwick Public Library
  • Dean Kriner’s Funeral Home – Bloomsburg


Columbia County Statistics – 75% FOUND!

  • 76 total titles were published in Columbia County based on our research done in county histories and bibliographies published at the time.
  • Of the 76 titles known to exist, 57 titles were found (located and cataloged).
  • Of the 57 titles found, a whopping 46 were NEW titles that were not identified in any known sources.

 See the Chronicling America website for:

  •  A comprehensive list of Columbia County titles that have been located and recorded as a result of the USNP
  • Select the ‘US Newspaper Directory, 1690 – Present” tab on the right; select Pennsylvania and Columbia County

Letter from Penn State Project Director Dr. Barbara Smith to Mr. William Ryan, Bloomsburg University Library Director, thanking him for the support provided by the Library Staff.

Posted with permission from Dr. Barbara Smith October 26, 2012.

Bloomsburg 7-3-85 letter


Canvassing A Small County or Two Heading Capture

A quick review of Pike and Wayne Counties lured us into the belief that (in contrast to the many challenges we faced in a “large” County like Luzerne) – these two would be ‘a piece of cake’.  We decided to do them together!  How hard could it be?  We had been in the office for eleven whole days since visiting Luzerne – twice!  It was time to explore new territory in the far Northeastern corner of Pennsylvania.

Just to clarify, we referred to counties as “large” or “small” based, not on geographic area or population, but on the number of newspaper titles known to have been published in each county.  Numbers were based on information found in bibliographies and county histories.  Luzerne had published 253 titles; Pike and Wayne – 15 and 38, respectively.

Excerpt from the January 1987 Monthly Report

Mailed out 413 Surveys LINK TO LETTER in HOW IT WAS DONE to institutions in our 10 Northeast counties – Susquehanna, Pike, Lehigh, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Carbon, Wayne, Wyoming, and Northampton.

A Pic Beck w- tons of surveys

Mass mailings – questionnaires going to repositories in Northeast Pa., January 9, 1987.

Map Snip Capture


Ten Northeast Counties Capture



[Setting up the schedule for Pike and  Wayne Counties…]


Friday, March 13, 1987

…Beck worked on tracking down a newspaper called the Miner (Wilkes-Barre).  Well, after 4 calls to the brother of the publisher and the brother’s landlord back and forth, back and forth, Beck set a time for all 4 of us to meet at the brother’s apt. to go in and see the paper.

Actual Journal Entry for the transcribed page shown for Friday, March 13, 1987.

Beck then began to think and tentatively set up Pike and Wayne Co. for early April.

C pic Capture
Beck made a call (or two) to those of the Pike Co. Hist. Soc.  ETC., ETC.

Wednesday, March 25, 1987

… the rest of the day I worked on Luzerne Co. “Needs” and “Finds”.

Beck began and nearly completed arranging our trip to Pike and Wayne County for early April.

Good Work Beck!

Thursday, March 26, 1987

Beck got on the phone and was on all day calling and setting up site visits in Wayne and Pike County.  We will go the second week of April….

…I worked on the NON-Luzerne County titles picked up.  Cataloged and LDRed most of the stack. 

Also organized Luzerne Co. titles (159 titles) into smaller manageable stacks, i.e. Pittston titles together, White Haven, Plymouth, Times-Leader links, Standard-Speaker links together.

This way it won’t seem overwhelming when we catalog.

I did get a chance to search a few of these small packets on OCLC – so we can take some home to work on tomorrow (vacation – make-up day).

By 3:00 or so Beck finished setting up Pike and Wayne and started making calls to Luzerne Co.  Thru her calls she found the Freeland Progress in N.J….

Monday, March 30, 1987

Back to the office – 

Beck got back on the phone and made calls to Pike and Luzerne Counties.

Beck made the final contact to Pike County and confirmed the visit for next week.  She then made at least one thousand calls to Luzerne County – trying to track down more Luzerne Co. titles.

Tuesday, March 31, 1987

Last day of the month!

I began where I left off yesterday, cataloging and LDRing Luzerne Co. titles….

…Once Denise finished I searched OCLC – Pike, Wayne County titles, and Luzerne Co. stuff and at least a thousand other titles.


Excerpt from the March 1987 Monthly Report

Pike County looked so “easy” after Luzerne that we decided to do it in conjunction with Wayne County.  Site visits are now in place for those counties for April 7 – 10.



[Still getting ready for the site visits…]

 Wednesday, April 1, 1987

April Fool’s Day!

To the office – Beck and I both have so much to do (wrapping up Luzerne Co. and getting ready for, not just one county, but two, Pike and Wayne).  Site visiting scheduled for next week.

Beck was on the phone much of the day tracking down Luzerne County titles in Hazleton, Pittston and talking to people in Pike and Wayne Counties, N. Y., Florida, wherever.

Beck gets so frantic some times trying to juggle all of this at the same time.  I’m not sure how she keeps it all straight – but she does and does a damn good job of it.

Beck also, in between phone calls, wrote thank-you letters to the people of Luzerne Co.

Denise worked on searching OCLC most of her time w/us.

I worked on cataloging Luzerne County titles all day.  I now have cataloged all titles from all towns except Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre.  Breaking down the 160 titles into piles by town really allowed me to get a handle on the huge pile – this way it seems more manageable.

12:00 – 1:30 Denise, Beck and I out to lunch for Denise’s birthday.  Her birthday was last week (March 25th).

Thursday, April 2, 1987

Another day in the office!

Beck continued her calls – Luzerne Co., Wayne Co., Pike Co., Florida, Arizona, Hazleton many times, etc.

Beck was trying to track down the Valley Vigilant (Hazleton paper).  After calling Arizona and talking to the former publisher – we found out he destroyed the entire backfile because it was a scandalous paper.

Beck also arranged the pick-up of the Pittston Gazette from a private collection in Pittston on April 15th (file to be taken to Hazleton Campus). 

Since we are going to be in Hazleton area – Beck set up several site visits; i.e. Hazleton Hist. Society, etc. etc.

While Beck was on the phone – I cataloged and cataloged Luzerne Co. titles.  Finished 15 titles.  Still more to do tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

Denise worked on inputting contact people, addresses and ILL policies in the SITES disk.

Must prepare for next week’s trip to Pike and Wayne.

Friday, April 3, 1987

Beck made a few more phone calls in the morning and then called it quits!  Enough is enough!

Beck then worked on the Monthly Report.  We vowed it would be short – but before long Beck was on page 7 and that doesn’t include the “extras” we attach.

Because [her assistant] cried to Dr. Barbara Smith when we sent over “Thank you” letters to be typed, Beck decided to take the Monthly Report home this weekend and type it there.

I worked all morning on cataloging 15 titles linked to the Hazleton Standard-Speaker.  Quickly wrote out the history on paper to send to Faye when workforms go…

…By late afternoon Beck and I were both so tired and fatigued.  I don’t think we really recovered from Luzerne.

*I also input Wayne and Pike Cos. on ZAC and ran off ZAC listings to take with us.

Monday, April 6, 1987

Beck took home the Monthly Report and revised it and typed it.

Good work!

This morning we photocopied it and sent it off to [Dr. Barbara] Smith.  This report is 23 pages long.  Beck made a few calls to Joan Diana to set up her helping to load the Pittston Gazette next week…

See you in Pike and Wayne Snip Capture

E Pic Pike Co Dispatch card 1

Side one of the 4 x 6 card from Master Card File, with information about site visit and holdings of the Pike County Dispatch. Dates of all communications are recorded.

Microfilm reader note on Master Card File card Snip Capture

Side two of the Pike County Dispatch 4 x 6 card.

G Pic Pike Co Dispatch card 4

Pike County Dispatch Editor Doug Hay became very interested in the Project.
He published an article about it in his paper and mailed us a copy. Included
was his business card, wishing us “Good Luck”.

Connecting with the Pike County Historical Society was a much more involved affair, and typical of tracking down the right folks to provide access to the collections.  Many historical societies are managed primarily by volunteers.

Calls were made to Mrs. Shearer, Ms McCarty, Mr. Kleinstubar, Mr. Gatzke, and Mr. Lehde.H pic Snip Capture

When we called in January 1987, we were told they had 14 Pennsylvania titles…                                                                                                           …and “interminable” non-Pa newspaper titles

I pic Snip Capture

Side two of the card for the Pike County Historical Society:

Notes we’ll need to have laterJ pic Snip Capture

 The card often included directions and places to stay or eat…

Arrangements were still being put in place just a few days before the site visit to the Pike County Historical Society.

K pic Snip Capture

Pike Wayne Itinerary only



Tuesday, April 7, 1987

On the road again

Left Boalsburg at 7:56 am.  (Took Beck’s car) and traveled North and East to Milford, Pike County.

L Pic 1987 Pike Co Dispatch Office bldg Apr 7 1987

Pike County Dispatch Office, Milford, April 7, 1987

It was a long drive – arrived at Milford at 11:54 am.  Ate lunch at Tom Quick Inn (expensive) and arrived at the Pike County Dispatch Office by 1:00  pm.

Beck and I spent 2 ½ hours inventorying their collection in the basement. They had both volumes (bound) and loose issues folded and stored in boxes.

After we had inventoried the basement holdings – we checked out their FM [microfilm] (PHA [State Library in Harrisburg] had the same). 

We had brought a portable reader along to view the film since they didn’t have one – but we didn’t need it. 

By 3:30 pm we left.

Next stop – Pike County Public Library.  They just had current holdings of the Pike County Dispatch and a N. Y. paper.  We were finished by 4:30 pm

M Pic 1987 Pike Co Pike Co Pub Lib Apr 7 1987

Pike County Public Library, Milford, April 7, 1987.

Found a room at a Motor Lodge down the road $53.00/night!  (Milford is expensive for being a tiny dink town).  Milford is only 1hour+ away from NYC – many city people come to Milford for vacation, etc.

Back at room – cleaned up and put workforms etc. in order.  6:00 pm ate dinner at Elmer’s.  Good food.

 Good night!

Wednesday, April 8, 1987

Breakfasted (also checked out) and had time to double-check some titles at the Pike County Dispatch Office.

8:30 am went to Pike Co. Court House – after checking several places w/the janitor – they at the Court House agreed that everything was sent to the Historical Society. 

So the Court House had nothing. 

So we left.

N Pic 1987 Pike Co Court House bldg Apr 8 1987

Pike County Court House Building, Milford, April 8, 1987.

9:00  Arrived at the Pike Co. Historical Society.  Met w/genealogist Thelma McCarty.   

We talked about the project, what we were going to do – exchanged notes on Pike Co. titles, etc., etc.   

Soon Mr. Norman Lehde came and another member.   

They all showed us where newspapers were stashed here and there throughout the building.  We certainly had our work cut out for us. 

Beck and I worked steady until 12:35 – all went for lunch.  We then came back at 1:15 and worked till 3:00 pm.

They had tons of things – we found 14 titles out of 17 = 82% for Pike County.

Pike County DONE Snip Capture

Beck and I then headed down the road to Hawley, Wayne County.  We were early enough leaving Pike Co. that we stopped by the Hawley Pub. Lib. and did their holdings.  (This way we had one less thing to do tomorrow). 

The lady who met us wasn’t that friendly but she still found us titles in a file cabinet to include along w/the current stuff they had.  Beck and I had to hurry because it was closing time.  By the time we were finishing up the Library was closed.  (4:30)

Since we still had some time – we stopped by Mr. Phillip Hunt’s Print Shop to see if he found anything.  He told Beck he had a few bound volumes somewhere – and one copy of the Pike-Wayne Gazette.

Well, we stopped by – he hadn’t found the bound volumes and had even lost the P-W Gazette.  He was in such a tizz!  What a jerk!

Beck and I left and found a room at the Settler’s Inn, a bed and breakfast place.  The room was smelly and old-fashioned.  The blinds didn’t even cover the windows!

We worked in the room awhile – changed clothes and went downstairs to eat. 

Had good food!

Back to room – Good night!

Thursday, April 9, 1987

Up bright and early – up so early that the lobby was still dark.  We checked out and found a diner for breakfast.

8:15 showed up at the News Eagle Office. 

Met w/Mr. Dyson, publisher, who showed us the backfile in the attic.

O Pic 1987 Wyane Co News Eagle Office bldg Apr 9 1987

New Eagle Office Building, Hawley, April 9, 1987.

There were tons of bound newspapers in the attic!!

P Pic 1987 Wayne Co News Eagle Office attic and Beck April 9 1987

Wayne Co. News Eagle Office; Beck in Attic, April 9, 1987.

Beck got Mr. Dyson to sign the release and told him more about the project and microfilming. 

Beck and I started inventorying and cataloging and dividing out his titles.

Around 9:00 am Dr. Steers, historian and certified doctor came by to meet w/us.  He had heard that we were going to be in the area (actually Beck had been trying to get a hold of him to see if he had papers). 

Anyway, the three of us talked Wayne Co. papers – thru his efforts Bethany newspapers that he had were microfilmed.

Q Pic 1987 Wayne Co News Eagle Office attic April 9 1987

Wayne County, News Eagle Office, Attic, April 9, 1987.

Dr. Steers also had a notebook full of references of newspaper names he had picked out of old newspapers.  Dr. Steers really didn’t have anything we needed.  But it was nice to meet him.

9:45 am we went back to work in the attic.

Beck and I kept working – we found almost the whole run of the early titles that merged to form the current News Eagle.


Everything in the attic should be filmed!!!

1:30 pm we finished.

We were running late – we were scheduled to be at the Wayne Co. Hist Soc at 1:00 pm.

Beck called them to tell them we were going to be late.

1:40 – 1:45  Stopped by Phillip Hunt’s and sure enough he found the Pike-Wayne Gazette, which we listed.

We then left Hawley and beat it down the road, 26 miles away to Honesdale.  We stopped at McD’s for a quick lunch.

2:30 pm we arrived at the Wayne County Hist Soc.  Mr. and Mrs. Hymes were there w/other members including Curt Reed.

They had been getting newspapers ready for us – pulling them from wherever.

R Pic 1987 Wayne Co His Soc sign April 9 1987

Wayne County Historical Society, Honesdale, April 9, 1987.

We had only scheduled 7 hours – since they sent a Survey back w/8 titles on it and plus they said we could stay.

So, we began to work on their holdings – I worked on microfilm, while Beck worked on single titles they pulled from the vault. 

They showed Beck where the newspapers could be found ———–


The vault, the basement – in two places.

Beck knew we weren’t going to get done anytime soon.

Well, 4:30 came and they were ready to close – no way were they going to let us stay – we were so upset.  They told us that we could stay when we first talked to them.

Anyway, our saving grace was that there was going to be a meeting there later in the evening (6:00 pm) and we could come back then.

So – we all left.  We went and checked in at the Pife and Drum Motel.

6:00 pm we were back at the [Wayne Co.] Hist Soc.

Beck and I immediately went to work.  We got a lot done while the meeting was going on – that way they didn’t talk to us.

As soon as I finished the FM [microfilm], I helped Beck inventory and catalog the titles we found in the vault.

S Pic 1987 Wyane Co His Soc Single issues found April 9 1987

Wayne County Historical Society – Single Issues Found! April 9, 1987

Around 7:15 pm the meeting was over – we met the President of the Historical Society and we don’t know what was said or discussed but…

 … we were given the O.K. to stay and to turn off all the lights and lock up. 


Beck and I both worked till 10:00pm.  We finished the titles in the vault. 

We had to select titles we were going to include since they had tons of things – Phila, Boston, etc. and we didn’t have that much time.

We really didn’t like skipping titles but we had to.

T Pic 1987 Wayne Co His Soc only known copy of Pete's National Express issue

Wayne County Historical Society – only known issue of Pete’s National Express.

We worked and worked clearing out the vault, section by section looking for newspapers.

We did find some neat things

  1. Pete’s National Express
  2. Farview Echo
  3. Sunbeam
  4. Susquehanna titles, Dunmore titles, etc.

10:00 we were wiped – we looked at the basement and decided it would take 2 -3 hours to finish up.

So – we turned off all the lights and locked up.  Went to a mini-mart and got sandwiches, chips and drink and took them back to the room

We ate and relaxed and finally went to bed.

We figured that we would probably need to stay overnight (Fri.) and drive home on Saturday.  So we both called home to tell our families.

Friday, April 10, 1987

Up early – breakfasted and headed to the Wayne Independent Office.  Met w/editor Coral Ripple.  We talked w/her a while and told her more about the project.

She ran an impressive shop!

We then inventoried her microfilm holdings.  I had ÷ [divided] out the titles yesterday at the Historical Soc. so it didn’t take too long.  They also had a reel of miscellaneous Wayne Co. titles which took some time to go thru.

We finally left by 9:15 am.

Next stop – Wayne Co. Court House.  Arrived at 9:30.  The Judge’s sect. showed us the bound volumes in the old library – there were 100 years worth of newspaper backfiles there.

U Pic 1987 Wyane Co Court House April 10 1987

Wayne County Court House, Honesdale, April 10, 1987.

Anyway, we listed everything they had (titles we had already seen – nothing new).

We left at 11:30 am.  beck called Mr. Leslie from the Court House to make sure we had seen everything there – we had.

Went and had lunch at a new Chinese place and killed time until 1:00 pm when the Hist. Soc. opened.

1:00 – 4:00 pm went back to the Hist Soc. to finish inventorying newspapers in the basement.  We found the Honesdale Lantern in the basement.

We left, went back to our room and rested and cleaned up and around 5:00 pm left for St. Tikhon Seminary -Monastery – in South Canaan.

This Monastery set way out in the boonies – we traveled the old rural roads and finally came to the Seminary. 

V Pic 1987 Wyane Co St Tikhon April 10 1987

St. Tikhon Seminary, South Canaan, April 10, 1987.

We knew we were there when we saw a Monk sitting at a table outside – his robe blowing in the wind…

We went thru the archway – parked our car near a Chapel – Father Anthony met us.

He was wearing a long black robe, long grey hair and beard, black hat and walking w/a cane. 

Anyway – we three went to the Library and listed the titles – Pravda, SVIT, both in Russian.

Father Anthony had to translate for us.

We then drove Father Anthony to his apt. and office to list the Russko-Amer FM[microfilm] he had.

What an interesting experience!!

W Pic 1987 Wyane Co St Tikhon Seminary April 10 1987

St. Tikhon Seminary, South Canaan, Wayne County, April 10, 1987.

We left by 7:00 – got back to our room by 7:30pm.  Went to the restaurant by the room for dinner.

Back to the room and called it a night.

We were both tired!!!

No way could we have driven home.

Saturday, April 11, 1987

Up early – breakfasted downtown and left for home by 9:35 am.

Beck drove all the way home….  Arrived at Boalsburg 2:00pm.

Pike and Wayne Co DONE Snip Capture

Excerpt from the April 1987 Monthly Report

  1.  The Site Visits

Pike County was done in conjunction with Wayne County, and 82% and 77% of the titles published there were found.

If anyone is wondering whether four counties are too many to be done in one month, the answer is yes!!  

Pike County Stats Snip Capture

Wayne County Stats Snip Capture


Nine Missing Heading Snip Capture

I pulled out our “Help – Please Find” folder from the files and began to look through the numerous sheets of paper we had gathered over the years requesting information on various newspaper issues.  People from South Carolina to Colorado had heard about us and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project, and had contacted our office in hopes of our locating missing (presumed lost) issues of newspapers detailing the exact bit of information they needed.

One person was looking for 1849 or 1850 issues of the Democratische Berichter from Centre County in hopes that it would reveal an ancestor’s store advertisement; another person needed the September 1922 issues of the Evening Times from Sayre which would hopefully list his grandfather’s obituary revealing the exact date of death; another was looking for the missing years, 1924-1926, of the Pottsville Journal, and on and on.

Also in the “Help – Please Find” folder were pages of notes dated March, 1985 we had taken while visiting Dr. Richard Kopley, English professor at Penn State University’s DuBois Campus.  An Edgar Allen Poe scholar, Dr. Richard Kopley had used newspapers extensively in his study and research and was in need of our help to locate the nine missing issues of the Philadelphia Saturday News, And Literary Gazette, critical to his research.

Needing a change of pace from cataloging, I decided to search on OCLC for these “lost” issues listed in the folder.  For the most part, the issues “presumed lost” were still lost – no holdings were found for any of the titles.  Except one.  I could hardly believe it, but there on the screen was the Philadelphia Saturday News, And Literary Gazette, with holdings listed for July 9, 1836 – December 19, 1838, at the Library of Congress!

The nine issues Dr. Kopley needed should be in that run!!!

I called Dr. Kopley to see if he still needed to know the location of these issues; he did, and was thrilled by the discovery!  He had given up all hope of finding these nine issues.  In fact, he had even written in his soon-to-be-delivered paper (and later to-be-published book) that all issues could be accounted for except nine.  He said he would have been extremely embarrassed if someone would have later told him that the missing issues were at the Library of Congress.

Dr. Kopley excitedly took notes while I relayed the information to him.  He could hardly believe it!!  The timing was perfect.  A call was already planned to the Library of Congress by the time I hung up the receiver.

As I sat in the office, overwhelmed with satisfaction, I thought once again about the importance and value of the U. S. National Newspaper Project, and how lucky I was to be a small part of the whole.

December, 1987


Postscript:  In September 2012 Sue contacted Dr. Richard Kopley and discovered that locating the ‘nine missing issues’ impacted his scholarship resulting in several publications and lectures.  Dr. Kopley’s email response to Sue’s email of September 11, 2012 is published below with his permission.


From: “Richard Kopley” <>
To: “Sue Kellerman” <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:10:18 PM
Subject: RE: Finding the 9 msg issues of the Philadelphia Saturday News, and Literary Gazette

Hi Sue.

Yes, your finding those missing issues of the Saturday News was a great contribution to my work, and the consequence has been evident in two publications and one talk (perhaps to be a third publication).  My 1991 booklet, Edgar Allan Poe and The Philadelphia Saturday News (Baltimore: Enoch Pratt Free Library and Poe Society, 1991) is the first of these two.   I later included a revised version of the essay in a book, Edgar Allan Poe and the Dupin Mysteries (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008; reprinted in paperback in 2011).  This revised version is Chapter II, “’The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ and The Philadelphia Saturday News,” 27-44.  I have also mentioned your contribution in a lecture I’ve given abroad, which I hope to have published as “Adventures with Poe and Hawthorne” in The Edgar Allan Poe Review next year.

 So, there you are.  I hope this is helpful.  I am unendingly grateful to you.

Good luck with your work!

Warm wishes,



From: Sue Kellerman []
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:37 AM
Cc: Sue Office
Subject: Finding the 9 msg issues of the Philadelphia Saturday News, and Literary Gazette

Hi Richard!

Hope your fall semester got off smoothly and you’re doing well.

I’m currently on a 6 month sabbatical.  I was awarded a sabbatical to document the PA Newspaper Project, 1985 – 1988 for NEH.   I’m thrilled to finally have the time to focus on my work from 25+ years ago!

Richard, of all the many accomplishments of the PA Newspaper Project one of the most important was to advance scholarship.   As I think about this achievement I think about you.

As you may remember in 1988 I was able to locate 9 missing issues of the Philadelphia Saturday News and Literary Gazette, July 1836 to December 1838 for you.   I remember too how thrilled you were to finally have these papers within reach as you were soon to deliver a paper on Poe.

Richard, did you use the Philadelphia Saturday News and Literary Gazette as a cited reference source in your 2008 Edgar Allen Poe and the Dupin Mysteries or any of your other published works?

Ultimately I’d like to use this “discovery” of the 9 issues in my research.
Best wishes,



For more information on The Philadelphia Saturday News, and Literary Gazette, see: Chronicling America (Accessed January 14, 2013)


Capture East Stroudsburg heading pic

 East Stroudsburg University (ESU) was one of two sites with significant holdings that had to be inventoried, cataloged and LDRed in the field.  Bloomsburg University was the other.  It was decided that ESU would be tackled during an “extended stay” in the field.  ESU generously agreed to host us and through their courtesy and support services, we literally camped out in one of the dorms for almost two weeks.  Another two-week stint followed in Bath!

Capture ESU logo pic

We would visit several other sites during this stay as we canvassed Monroe and Northampton Counties. 

From the July 1-21, 1987 Monthly Report

Initial “holdings data” reports we had received from upcoming counties did not truly reflect what the institutions held.  Follow-up phone calls revealed one library with 630+ titles [ESU], three libraries with 200 or more each, and two with 100+ each.  We also located many more places we need to visit, which had not responded to our original surveys at all.  None of this is new, but until we actually get into it, it is hard to predict what we will find.

On the plus side, most of the titles that we know about were searched and found on OCLC, so that will speed up work in the field. 

As can be expected a tremendous amount of preparation has been involved in getting ready for this [site visit], and special thanks go to Denise Conklin, our Assistant, for painstakingly searching all 600+ titles of East Stroudsburg University on OCLC.  Good work, Denise! 

Several days were spent confirming the appointments that were tentatively in place in June.  Some arrangements were reworked as various summer-scheduling problems arose: staff and contact people were away on vacation; collections being moved or shifted; shortened summer hours; broken air-conditioners (bring fans…), etc.

Sue searched OCLC for all institutions based on any lists they had sent us; input all Monroe and Northampton County titles on ZAC so we can have “HELP!” lists before we go ([to distribute at]our slide presentation) and updated Rossell printouts; she also created holdings folders for each large institution we need to visit. 

It’s finally beginning to look as if we are ready!

As noted in the Introduction, East Stroudsburg University had offered to let us stay in the dorm for two weeks.  From the Journal Entries below, it is quite apparent that Sue and I hadn’t lived in a dorm for quite some time…

B Pic 1987 Other Jul 27-29 1987 East Sroudsburg U Lib

East Stroudsburg University Library, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, July 27-29, 1987.


Monday, July 27, 1987

We’re here, in Linden Hall, East Stroudsburg University!!

Arrived at 4:30 pm yesterday (Sun. 7/26).  (Was a real chore unloading the car, walking 3 flights of stairs to our room, which was hot!!!).

East Stroudsburg University, Linden Hall, Dorm Room - "Our HOME" , July 26 - August 9, 1987.

East Stroudsburg University, Linden Hall, Dorm Room – “Our HOME” , July 26 – August 9, 1987.

 Anyway, after about 3 trips, with rest periods in between we had everything unloaded and the fan turned on full tilt.  (Sunday it was at least 90º – but cooler than previous days). 

Around 7 pm found a Chinese restaurant and back to room for the night.

Ran fan all night long!  Noises all night, at least until 3 am when all was quiet.  There are campers everywhere – Diving kids, wrestling kids, etc., etc.

Up by 6:30 am – dressed and to the cafeteria for breakfast.  $1.75 all you can eat.  Tons of little kids eating or should I say wasting food.

8:15 am arrived at Kemp Library.  Met w/Paul Beaty.  He showed us where the Readex Collection was located and the microfilm collections.

Met Dr. Summers, Library Director, who signed release.

9:00 am  Started to work.  Decided to work w/Readex Collection.  Organized the OCLC printouts by [microfilm] Box order and went to work.

Worked until 12:30 pm.  Went to lunch…

1:40 pm back to work.  Continued where we left off.  Worked until 5:45 pm.  Some jerk sat and stared at us working…

[after supper]… we reviewed slide show script and handouts – readied ourselves for tomorrow’s slide show.  89º but cooler… 

Tuesday, July 28, 1985

Up early – ate cheese and bread and fruit in room for breakfast. 

Left room at 8:30 am… hit the road south to the Northampton Co. Area Community College near Bethlehem.  

Arrived at 9:35 am (show time 10:30 am).  Met w/Dennis Phillips who had arrived early too, and the Librarian and Dean of the Library from Northampton Co. Area Comm. College.  Dennis had rec’d replies from 20+ people coming to the show, and the room they had us set up was too small.  So they, Librarian and Dennis searched for another room.

10:35 most of the people were present so we started the show.

We did our usual talk and intro – many people asked questions throughout the intro and slide show.  Good questions too! 

Dr. Summers asked many questions and led the applause at the end of the slide show. 

Beck and I told anecdotes and stories throughout slides – people seemed interested and enjoying it.   

By 11:45 am we were finished after answering a few remaining questions. 

We packed up and left w/Dennis.  Met the Director of the Palmerton Library – his wife knew of a Windish (like Slovak) newspaper from Bethlehem.  She is going to track it down for us.


Drove back to East Stroudsburg – went to room, changed clothes…

Went to East Stroudsburg University – arrived at 3:30 pm.  Just as we got inside the library door – Denise Conklin [Project Assistant at Penn State] was on the phone for us! 

While Beck talked to Denise – I went upstairs to work on the Readex Collection… 

Beck and I then worked on the Readex Collection until 5:50pm when we finished.


I’m not sure how many titles we did but it was surely a lot.  I know I had 81 [workforms] left for today – and completed all 81 PLUS some of Beck’s titles in 2 hrs.!! 

5:55 – 7:45 pm  Beck talked to Pat Jersey about ILL policies, searched OCLC (Paul had given us new titles they have rec’d from Readex) and I worked on checking and LDRing the current newspapers. 

7:45 pm we left – went for [supper] … back to room by 9:30 pm – we were both tired and drained! 

Wednesday, July 29, 1987 

Another day in East Stroudsburg.  Up early … 

Arrived at ESU at 8:15 am.  We worked on the microfilm collection.  Generally the microfilm inventorying went fast and very smoothly.  We had pulled off all OCLC records that were needed to inventory ESU’s collection – resulting in us now zipping thru the stuff. 

We worked independently of each other checking holdings in whole cabinets at a time. 

I worked on all the Monroe Co. titles – 16 in all on film, plus tons more of other titles.  The only cabinet which slowed us down was the collections in Cabinet 5 – Civil War Newspaper and the Labor Newspapers. 

(ESU had some of their newspapers in collections, Civil War, Labor, Monroe Co., Early American Newspapers, etc.)

When Beck decided to search titles on OCLC – I took over her work in Cabinet 5.  (I had completed all other newspaper titles in all other drawers). 

We worked until 6:40 pm then called it a night… 

Thursday, July 30, 1987

Up early … breakfasted… arrived at Kemp Library at 8:45 am. 

Have only the Early American Newspaper Collection (Readex FM), some OCLC searching and the problem titles (3 – 4). 

Around 11:20 am – we left to [run errands] and had lunch. 

Back to work at 1:45 pm.  Beck and I continued our work with the Readex FM [microfilm] collection.  There were about 80 -90 titles which we checked against the bib records we pulled.  We had missed pulling some records – but really not a problem – just made an LDR – will check it later on OCLC. 

AROUND 2:30 pm this fantastic storm whipped up.  The sky got as black as your hat and then the lightening came plus thunder and soon the rain began to pour.  The rain came in sheets, I’ve never seen it rain so hard and the lightening was severe; also hailed dime-sized pellets.  All of a sudden lighting struck and then lights went out!!

Rained so hard and the wind was so strong – I’ve never seen it come down so hard and in such fury!!! 

Beck and I continued our work in the dark.  By 3:30 pm we finished the Readex Collection. 

3:30 – 4:30 worked on loose ends.  Since the electricity was still off – couldn’t use OCLC, or catalog the 3 – 4 miscellaneous titles on FM (viewer wouldn’t work) we decided to go home – back to the dorm.  We got to our dorm room – we saw no water running out from under our door – but wondered what the storm and rain had done.  (We had left our windows open). 

Anyway – we opened the door and found a small stream of water on the floor and our window screen blown out. 

Well, we went down to the 2nd floor where some young boy was mopping the hallway.  We asked to borrow his mop and bucket and climbed back upstairs and mopped our room. 

Around 5 pm the electricity came back on. 

Decided to go to Strouds Mall for dinner and shopping… Beck bought a few things, I bought fewer.  We closed the Mall at 9:30 pm – drove back to the dorm and went to sleep.

Capture Bloomsburg Note on Storm heading

Was called one of the worst storms in this area of Pa.  Trees were up-rooted by the strong winds and other trees were down because of the lightening. 

The side road outside of the Library was standing full [of water] – so were many fields around campus. 

Friday, July 31, 1987

Up and breakfasted at Cafeteria.  Went to PO to mail letters…  Arrived at ESU at 8:35 am. 

Beck made phone calls to Denise and other sites while I went downstairs to work on OCLC.  Pulled up bib records which we had seen FM holdings for.  Checked the 362 and 500 fields to make sure what we had seen matched the record on OCLC. 

When Beck finished her calls – she came and relieved me on OCLC.  I then went back upstairs to take care of the 3 – 4 miscellaneous titles which weren’t on OCLC and needed to be [originally] cataloged.

Beck then came upstairs and helped me catalog. 

By 11:30 am we were finished! 

All of ESU’s holdings had been recorded!!!  2 ½ days ahead of schedule.

Thanks, Denise for searching all those titles!!! 

…Decided to eat lunch and do the Monroe Co. Public Library before going home [for the weekend].  …drove home to Boalsburg – arrived at 6:20 pm.

467 miles!

Monday, August 3, 1987 

…back to East Stroudsburg … to our home sweet home (Linden Hall). 

Tuesday, August 4, 1987 

Up early… before we left, made calls to Denise at home – she had found a private collector with hundreds of papers.  Made other calls to line up the day’s activities – decided to do the [Monroe County] Court House and start on the Historical Society to free up Thursday afternoon to visit [the collector] with the 100s of papers… 

Got mail and paid the room bill in Public Affairs Office.  After breakfast began our rituals of work.

… [went to] the Court House… climbed stairs to attic where we found numerous vols of Monroe Co. titles 1890s – 1966.  Beck had to use flashlight to see holdings – shelved in dusty unlit area – plenty warm!


For the remainder of the week we visited and inventoried the collections of the:

  • Monroe County Historical Society (two visits)
  • Monroe County Museum
  • Pocono Record
  • Monroe County Court House 
  • Pocono Today
  • Senior Living News
  • Monroe County Public Library
  • Dutot Museum (Del. Water Gap)
  • Canal Museum (Easton)
D Pic Northampton Co Canal Museum Aug 7 1987

Canal Museum, Easton, Pa. where we found the Valley View, August 7, 1987.   Note the ubiquitous Tape Measure around Becky’s neck!

E Pic Monroe Co His Soc bldg Aug 5 1987

The Monroe County Historical Society, August 5, 1987.

On Sunday, August 9, 1987 we packed up all our belongings and drove to Bath, Pa. for the second half of the “extended site visit” trip. 

Between August 10 – August 21, 1987, we visited and inventoried the collections at:

  • Moravian College & Theological Seminary
  • Easton Area Public Library
  • Lehigh University – Linderman Library
  • Northampton County Court House
  • Northampton County Historical Society
  • Memorial Library of Nazareth
  • US Newspaper
  • Nazareth Key
  • Jacobsburg Historical Society
  • Northampton Area Junior High School
  • Northampton Area Senior High School
  • Northampton Area Public Library
  • Mary Immaculate Seminary
  • Town Topics (Pen Argyl)
  • The Daily News (Bangor)
  • Bangor Public Library
  • Home News (Bath)
  • Lafayette College – twice
  • 2 Private Citizens (One in Old Bridge, NJ)
  • Express (Easton)
  • Moravian Archives
  • Globe-Times (Bethlehem)
  • Annie S. Kemerer Museum
  • Bethlehem Area Public Library
  • Bulletin (Bethlehem)
  • Moravian Archives
G Pic Monroe Co Moravian Coll & Theological Sem Aug 9 1987

Moravian College & Theological Seminary, Stroudsburg, August 9, 1987.


Thursday, August 13, 1987

Up early, had breakfast – on the road to Northampton County Court House. 

8:45 am arrived at Court House (Easton).  Met w/Register of Wills, Mr. Dimmick. 

Mr. Dimmick showed us the bound volumes that were stored in the Archives.  Had some really interesting titles, titles we hadn’t seen before – 1) Hellertown Recorder; 2) Bangor Observer; 3) Portland Enterprise.    Great Stuff!

H Pic 1987 Other Aug 11-12 1987 Lehigh Linderman Lib

Lehigh University – Linderman Library, August 11-12, 1987.

By 10:00 we had finished, met w/County Executive [Mr. Eugene Hartzell], who signed the Release and gave Beck and me a copy of the Northampton County History.  Nice! 

            Left by 10:50 am. 

Next appt. – Northampton County Hist. Society.  Met w/Mrs. ____ (who was a real witch).  We went there not really knowing what they had.  Beck couldn’t get anything out of her.  Mrs. ___ showed us the card file they had on each title – but we really needed to see the original copy. 

She hesitated, but then took us to the room where the single issues were boxed. 

Beck and I then went to work.  We LDRed and cataloged as fast as we could.  We decided not to list Philadelphia or N.Y. stuff but to concentrate on Northampton Co. and Lehigh Co. titles.

I Pic Northampton Co Court House Beck and Mr. Dimmick Aug 13 1987

Beck and Mr. Dimmick at Northampton County Court House, August 13, 1987.

Worked fast and furious!  By 1:15 we finished.  They had mostly single issues of many Northampton Co. titles which we had seen on film at Easton Public Library. 

We left, grabbed lunch at a Roy Rodgers and drove to Nazareth to the Memorial Library of Nazareth. 

Arrived at 1:50pm.  Met w/Librarian, who had attended our slide show.  Barbara had been ready for us and had everything ready.  While Beck worked on the current ORs [paper copy], I cataloged the FM [microfilm] titles. 

(I was so tired – I guess I had seen so much FM at Lehigh – eyes were tired – and we worked late for the past couple of nights).  So fatigued. 

Anyway – I didn’t work at normal speed. 

By 3:15pm we finished and headed to our next appt at the US Office in Nazareth.

J Pic Northampton Co Lafayette Co Easton Sue moving vols Aug 16-17 1987

Sue moving volumes at Lafayette College, Easton. Moments of levity kept things in perspective …. August 16-17, 1987.

Arrived at 3:30pm.  This was just a quick stop since they only had the backfile from 1984 to current.  So in no time we finished.  Left at 3:35pm. 

Next stop – Nazareth Key Office.  Arrived at 3:45pm. 

(The publisher of the Key was going to be difficult – he really didn’t want us to come).  [He had told us] files [were] stored in attic in bundles… 

Anyway, we arrived and we weren’t sure if he was going to show us his files or not, frankly I really didn’t care one way or the other.  

I don’t know what made him change his mind, but he finally agreed for us to see them. 

[Beck wrote in the margin:  We showed him our schedule – that changed his mind PDQ!  He stopped mumbling about “coming back another time”]. 

He pulled down the attic steps and Beck climbed up.  Since all newspapers were in bundles and marked by year, Beck just shouted down years to me.  

[Beck writes in the margin:  It was 120º in the Attic.  I was ready to faint – I was dripping.  Came out for air every so often]. 

When we found 1949 – 1954 we pulled it down to get a closer look and catalog it. 

We must be living right, for in that bundle was the title change which we cataloged. 

Since the publisher himself hadn’t seen his files for a long time – 20 – 30 years, he came over for a look, he even called his son over for a look-see. 

Anyway, needless to say, the publisher became more friendly and agreeable to the visit. 

By [the time of] our leaving he revealed his hesitation in our coming.  Seems someone is suing him because that person fell because of the newspaper.  Suing him for $ XXX.  

Strange times we live in!  Left by 4:45pm. 

Having realized that we were running out of releases and ILL policy forms, we went back to the Nazareth Library and made photocopies.  Left Nazareth at 5:00pm. 

Back to room [in Bath] to wash-up, change clothes.  Went to Pizza Hut in Nazareth and on to the Palmer Mall in Easton for a night out.  Back to room by 9:00pm…

Friday, August 14, 1987 

Up early – breakfast… headed down the road to Northampton, Pa. 

8:05am arrived at the Northampton Area Jr. High School.  Met w/Principal.  Beck insisted that we see the microfilm in the Library.  The Principal wasn’t sure if he could find it.  We assured him that we could find it.

Well, he agreed to take us to the Library.  After checking a few cabinets, we found the film of the Cement News from Seigfried, Pa – now Northampton.

We cataloged it quickly and then left by 8:45am. 

Next stop at the Public Library.  The Northampton Area Public Library was in front of the Jr. High School.  Arrived at 8:50am. 

Met w/new librarian Mrs. Beller.  She was very friendly and most helpful.

Her library had the same film as the Jr. High School. It didn’t take us long to LDR the film.  I talked to Mrs. Beller about the Project and other Northampton, Pa titles.  She photocopied the Rossell listing for Northampton Co. 

Beck used Mrs. Beller’s phone while I did the work.  Beck called Denise and told her our revised plans and Denise relayed messages to us. [I must have sat in ink at the library – had it all over my pants when we left].  Left the Library at 9:45am. 

Drove to the Mary Immaculate Seminary.  Arrived at 10:15am.  Met with librarian, Kate.  A very friendly and nice person. (Very strong, confident woman). 

The Seminary had only several (4) Catholic newspapers (non-Northampton Co.) titles.  Beck did some while I did others.  By 10:45 we left.

K Pic Northampton Co Town Topics Office Aug 14 1987

Town Topics Office, Pen Argyl, Northampton County, August 14, 1987.

Drove North to Pen Argyl, Pa.  Arrived at 11:45am at the Town Topics (weekly newspaper) Office.  

Met with ex-publisher, Mr. Parsons.  Nice gentleman who gladly gave us all the info we needed.  

We both enjoyed talking to him.  Mr. Parsons just recently sold his business to Debbie ?? 

Anyway, we inventoried his file (began in 1975 and is a monthly).  It didn’t take us long.

Left at 12:00pm 

Next stop, drove South to Bangor.  

Arrived at the Daily News Office.  Publisher was too busy to see us – so we went to lunch. 

Around 1:00pm we went back to the Office and met w/the publisher.  He showed us the backfile of his paper.  He had only 1970 à current.  The early files (1894 – 1914) were destroyed in a fire.  The Bangor Pub. Lib. had 1915 – current on film. 

Also inventoried the US newspaper.  They only had current issues.  Obviously no one is keeping the backfile of this newspaper.

Left the Daily News Office at 1:25pm. 

            Next stop – across the street to the Bangor Pub. Library. 

1:30 – 2:45 met w/librarian Mrs. _____ (not too friendly).  She wasn’t going to allow us to see the film of the Daily News because the kiddie movies were being shown. 

We asked to bring the film out of the room – so she allowed us to remove several boxes at a time. 

Examination of the film revealed the early title – Bangor Daily News.  Now we had to track down the title change and get the holdings. 

Since only 6 – 8 kids were there to watch the films – Mrs. _____ allowed us to go in.  we recorded the holdings and then tried to track down the title change. 

While I watched “Charlotte’s Web” film and another on insects – Beck found the title change.  

            Left by 2:45pm.  

The Publisher (Larry Corey) at the Daily News told us his barber (Dale’s Barber Shop) had v.1, no. 1 of the Daily News (1894). 

Beck called the barber and finally he agreed to show it to us. 

We walked over to his barber shop and soon his wife dropped off the framed newspaper.

We cataloged it and got the release signed as he was giving “LeRoy” his haircut.  Had a fun time talking to Dale about the Project.

Left at 3:45pm.  Headed for the Home News Office in Bath, Pa. 

4:30 pm arrived at the Home News Office.  Met w/the publisher and his family who helped him in the office.  They had pulled all the files from the attic and had them ready for us to catalog and inventory. 

            What a nice surprise to have the paper all laid out for us.

They had all the issues from 1942 à current.  Enjoyed talking to the entire family.  Good way to end the day!  On a positive note! 

Left at 5:05pm.

Back to the room – on the way picked up chicken for supper.    …gathered our laundry and went back into town to do our laundry.

Capture ESU Laundromat poster


L Pic 1987 Other Aug 21 1987 Bethlehem Bulletin Office and Beck smiling

Bethlehem Bulletin Office, and Beck is still smiling! August 21, 1987.

 [Although the trip did go smoothly, it was not without its moments.  “A Less-Than Perfect Week…” culminated on August 18th with this account]

From the July 22 – August 31, 1987 Monthly Report

It doesn’t seem possible, but our month long site visit is over; all the planning, worrying, organizing, calling, packing and preparation which preceded our visit proved worthwhile.  The trip covered two counties: Monroe and Northampton, both having institutions with major holdings (38 sites in all were scheduled in advance), and a slide show planned early in the tour to familiarize contacts from four counties with the Project and our upcoming visit.

The entire trip went smoothly; we finished several sites ahead of schedule and filled in the time with new contacts which Project Assistant Denise [Conklin] relayed to us [in the field] on a regular basis.

Apparently all the newspapers ran our articles and several people called in with papers.  (One fellow in Hellertown, near Bethlehem, called Denise at our Penn State Office at 9 a.m.; we were at his house in Hellertown by 11 a.m.  He was suitably impressed with the turn-around time).

Taking along all potentially useful data and supplies proved beneficial; we were able to maintain our correspondence and do other “office work” from East Stroudsburg University (ESU).

One “surprise” we received occurred at Lehigh University when someone casually mentioned whether we knew about their Readex Collection of titles on micro-card.  We didn’t.  But fortunately we had seen the whole set [on microfilm] at ESU and by using those records, we were able to list Lehigh’s holdings of 100+ titles in just a few hours.

The one omission in this carefully constructed plan which should have been built in was: time to regroup and reorganize in the field.  After each day’s activities, certain lists and records have to be maintained to keep all the files in order for the next day.  Failure to build in that time resulted in accrual of lots of overtime

  1. Monroe County  (July 26 – August 9, 1987)

a) East Stroudsburg University graciously hosted us during our stay in Monroe County.  (Our home was a dorm room in Linden Hall).  The Public Affairs Office and the Kemp Library both acted as contact centers for us to receive mail and messages.  Staff members were extremely courteous and helpful, making every effort to assist us throughout our stay.  The Library also provided us with access to an OCLC terminal, a telephone and a typewriter.

We visited eleven sites in Monroe County, but the bulk of the time was spent at ESU, which had 765 newspaper titles on file.

b) In the midst of cataloging at ESU, we paused one morning to present our slide show (fondly referred to by Dick Fitzsimmons as our “Dog- and- Pony Show”) to 20 attendees at the beautiful Library of the Northampton County Area Community College.  Thanks to Dennis Phillips of the Allentown Campus, his decision to hold the presentation there ensured a good turnout.  That was a much more centrally located area for the people who were invited*.  Many of our contacts attended the show, and we were as usual very well-received when we visited their institutions later on.

[*Dennis’s timing on sending out the invitations was perfect – people were opening their invitations as I was making calls from the PSU office, prior to the slide show presentation, to schedule appointments with them July1-21 Monthly Report

2.  Northampton County (August 9 – 22, 1987)

“Home base” was an efficiency in Bath, PA, for this half of the tour.  Bath was ideally situated in relation to all the sties we visited in Northampton County – Bethlehem, Easton, Bangor, Northampton, Nazareth and Bath.

As in Monroe Co., we were well-received in the major institutions and given much assistance.  Lehigh University was particularly sensitive to our needs and eager to help.  We met with the Head of Serials who asked several appropriate questions regarding how the changes we were making on OCLC would affect their archival tapes and the appearance and entry of their holdings (LDRs) on the OCLC database.

Easton Area Public Library, another major holder, was equally accommodating.  We spent a rushed but very productive day inventorying 111 titles!

In our absence Project Assistant Denise Conklin fielded all messages to us, answered mail and call-ins as necessary, and sent out correspondence.   One of the call-ins had heard an announcement about the Project on an Allentown Radio Station; another had seen our show on Public TV.

3.  A Few Numbers…

Many of the sites visited on this tour were large academic institutions holding non-local newspaper titles which required only an LDR or OCLC record update.  Others had fewer but more “interesting” titles, requiring original cataloging.

A rough count produced the following:

Capture ESU Few Numbers

A Title was counted each time it was seen (on film, paper or micro-card), since a separate LDR had to be made for each format. 

On this trip: 

  • 26 days in the field
  • 38 sites visited
  • 1,680 miles logged
  • 1,813 titles recorded/cataloged
N Pic Northampton Co DONE  an 29 COUTNIES DONE Aug 21 1987

Sue and Beck a their Bath, Pa. motel room, August 21, 1987.

Northampton County DONE!

29 Counties DONE!


Letter from Becky and Sue to East Stroudsburg’s Office of Public Affairs, thanking them for their hospitality.

ESU Off Pub Aff ltr Oct 8 1987

Letter from Becky and Sue to Paul Beaty and Pat Jersey, thanking them for their assistance.

ESU Paul Beaty Ltr Oct 8 1987

Letter from Becky and Sue to Dr. George Summers, thanking him for support services.

ESU Geo Summers Ltr Oct 8 1987

ESU Itinerary p1ESU Itineary p2ESU Itineary p3ESU Itinerary p4ESU Itineary p5ESU Enough Already


Capture Edward Gildea heading pic

From the July 1 – 21, 1987 Monthly Report 

We had a marvelous visit to Carbon County, July 1 – 3, 1987.  We thoroughly enjoyed the historic, attractive town of Jim Thorpe – receiving from [Joe Boyle] the originator a history of the reasons why Mauch Chunk, East Mauch Chunk, and Upper Mauch Chunk “merged in 1954 to become Jim Thorpe”.   Sounds like a newspaper title…

Most of the Carbon County titles were already filmed, an unusual but welcome occurrence in our area.  We still made two important discoveries here – one of them quite by accident.

We were visiting the basement of Mr. Edward “Ed” Gildea, a small-town newspaper publisher, and found among his own backfiles a 20+ year run of the Coaldale Observer from Coaldale, Schuylkill County!  It seems that the publisher of the Observer, Mr. James J. Gildea, went out of business and gave his backfile to our Mr. Ed Gildea because he liked his name!  They are not related.  Local residents seem to think it is the only existing long run of that paper.  What a nice surprise!

Ed publishes The Valley Gazette in Lansford, Pa.  He interviewed us and took pictures, says he will write an article about the Project.  He is extremely interested in what the Project is doing and made notes on all the titles we had found.


Journal Entry for Friday, July 3, 1987 – Partial Entry

[During our visit to Carbon County, day 3]

Friday, July 3, 1987

Up early – checked out of room.  To 433 for breakfast.

Headed to Palmerton.  Arrived at Palmerton Library 8:45 am.  Even though the Library doesn’t open until 9 am – Beck went and tried the doors – they were open to us…

…By 10:00 am we finished! 

… Next stop in Lansford at the Midweeker Office.  Arrived at 10:45 am.  Met w/editor who gave us the whole history of his paper and its growth potential.  Since the paper began in 1983 they didn’t have much of a backfile.  Took Beck and I minutes to list their holdings.  Left by 11:15 am.

Drove to visit Mr. Gildea who publishes the Valley Gazette

Met w/Mr. Gildea – very friendly laid-back type.  He took us to his basement, oh what a full basement, to inventory his files.

Beck helped Ed locate his papers – found 4 different titles he published:  1) Weekly Gazette  2) Gazette  3) Good News Gazette along with the current Valley Gazette.

Also among the piles of everything, tucked under a table was a Coaldale paper, the Coaldale Observer.  Seems the publisher gave it to Ed just because they had the same last name of Gildea.

Anyway, Beck crawled under the table and called out holdings to me. 

Ed briefly interviewed Becky and I and even took a picture of us – probably for the next issue of the Valley Gazette. 

Left Ed’s by 1:00 pm.

Grabbed a sandwich at a local Mini Market and headed to Jim Thorpe to visit Joe Boyle, our last appt. in Carbon County.

Arrived at 1:45 pm.  Joe, we had heard, had tons of stuff.  As it turned out, he didn’t have anything that we hadn’t already seen.  Joe, ex-newspaper-man took a picture of both Beck and I – will write an article in next Tuesday’s edition of the Times News.

Joe told us about how the towns of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk merged in 1954 and renamed to Jim ThorpeJoe was directly responsible for this change.

Joe gave us the names of a few private collectors who might have papers – will call from the office next week… 

…Anyway – had a very pleasant visit w/Joe and his wife.

3:00 pm Left Jim Thorpe and headed for Boalsburg.  Arrived 6:00 pm

365 miles

       Good Trip!!!       



Ed Gildea DID write an excellent article explaining the purpose of the Project in The Valley Gazette. It was very explicit – so at this point, we’re much more careful what we say to people…] 182nd Issue, August 1987, Valley Views Section, pp. 3-7.
                                           –July 22-Aug 31, 1987 Monthly Report

Gildea Ltr Jul 9 1987 p1



Front Page Snip Capture

Excerpt from the February 1986 Monthly Report

A Pic 1986 Other Feb 12 1986 Juniata Co Court House

Juniata County Court House, February 12, 1986.

The visit to Juniata County was a true challenge.  One intriguing event early in the day resulted in our having to contact a Judge for a court order to visit a vault in the [Juniata] County Court House where the newspapers were stored.  We finally did gain access to the vault and were able to catalog its newspapers, working atop the containers where the Election Ballots were stored.  Supervision was provided by Mr. David Shellenberger (Curator at the Juniata County Historical Society) who, despite a recent bout with hypothermia, nevertheless spent much time with us in the chilly vault.

Also, on the first day of this visit, we were gratified to find in the home of a private collector the entire backfile of the defunct Juniata Globe¹ from Thompson-town (77 years worth)!  It is listed in Rossell with no holding institutions.

But then!  A snag in our carefully arranged schedule arose later that day.  Our contact for the next day’s visit called us at 8:30 p.m. that night to say she was ill and unable to provide entry to the Tuscarora Academy in Academia, where the bulk of the county’s papers were kept…

Here’s how it all played out…

Letter from Becky to Judge Quigley, thanking him for his assistance with a Court Order… since the newspapers were in a vault with the Election Ballots, we needed the Court Order to access them.

Juniata Co Quigley Ltr Feb 19 1986


Court House Snip Capture


Wednesday, February 12, 1986

On the road again – left Huntingdon at 8:00 am.  Headed to Mifflintown, Juniata County.

Arrived at downtown Mifflintown at 9:00 am.  Took 5 min. for coffee at the local coffee shop.

9:30 am  Went to the Court House and met Mr. David Shellenberger. 

B Pic 1986 Other Feb 12 1986 Beck & David

David Shellenberger, Curator, Juniata County Historical Society, shows Beck his index to the newspaper collections, February 12, 1986.

After he rested we then climbed the stairs to the Juniata County Historical Society.  The only thing we could learn from Mr. Shellenberger was an index which he showed us. 

Had OR [paper] copy as well as microfilm (positive and negative copies) [of newspapers].

Beck and I looked in another room and decided to go through the papers – mostly later copies of the Port Royal Times and the Juniata Sentinel.

We did find some other earlier papers.

After we finished we then went downstairs to meet David and were taken to the basement to where the vault was located [with Court Order in hand]. 

C Pic 1986 Other Feb 12 1986 Junita Co permission from Judge
Downstairs in the VAULT. We had to get permission from the County Judge before we were allowed access, February 12, 1986.

Mr. Shellenberger stayed with us while Beck and I went to work. 

There were several (3 – 4) 20-volume- deep piles of various titles. 

We worked around and on top of the specially sacred Voting Boxes

We had to move a few but Mr. Shellenberger was there to supervise. 

We worked straight thru till 2:00 pm.

D Pic 1986 Other Feb 12 1986 David

David Shellenberger supervised us while in the Vault, Juniata Co. Court House, February 12, 1986.

[David was a real trouper; he was recovering from a recent bout with hypothermia and yet stayed with us in that damp, chilly basement so we could get our work done…]

All in all cataloged 7 titles and LDRed 4 others.  Then went to Zimmie’s for lunch.




E Pic 1986 Other Feb 12 1986 Juniata Co Court House vault

Inside the Vault, Juniata County Court House, February 12, 1986.


Juniata Globe Snip Capture

Wednesday, February 12, 1986  (Cont’d)

At 2:00 pm drove to Thompsontown to visit w/Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Leiter.  Mrs. Leiter’s first husband published the Juniata Globe (it ceased publication in 1970).

Beck and I went thru the backfile, Beck standing on a ladder looked thru each bundle while I recorded the holdings. 

F Pic 1986 Other Feb 12 1986 Juniata GLOBE

77 Years of the backfile of the Juniata Globe at the ex-publisher’s house. Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Leiter, Thompsontown, Pa, February 12, 1986.

Mr. and Mrs. Leiter looked on as we worked – after much digging we came upon volume 1, no. 1, 1873.  Mrs. Leiter had never seen it before. [We found 77 years of the paper in their attic – the entire backfile!]¹


Mr. and Mrs. Leiter then showed us around the Press Room area and their living quarters – even showed us his radio set-up.  Left the Leiters’ house at 4:30 pm.

Headed back to the motel!  Went out for supper. 

Back at the motel around 8:30pm got a call from Ruth Waters.  Ruth said that Miss Banks would not be able to meet us tomorrow – she was sick w/the flu.  Mrs. Waters said she would not take us either because she had been sick – so…  Who could take us??

Beck suggested David Shellenberger.

Beck called David and he finally agreed to take us – he would meet us at STOP 35.

Boy – Beck and I almost didn’t get into the Academy; it came so close to not happening.  

[But how close was “so close”?  Well, the story continues…]


¹ The paper file of the Juniata Globe (Thompsontown) is now listed on the Chronicling America website; the file is available at the State Library in Harrisburg.   Previous to the work on the Project, its location was unknown. 


Snip Tuscarora Academy Capture

From the February 1986 Monthly Report

[As previously mentioned…]

A snag in our carefully arranged schedule arose later in the day [on Feb. 12, 1986].  Our contact for the next day’s visit called us at 8:30 p.m. that night to say she was ill and unable to provide entry to the Tuscarora Academy in Academia, where the bulk of the county’s papers were kept.

Could anyone else let us in?

No, she didn’t think so.

Almost a whole day was scheduled to be there; we needed to get in.

Too many problems, she said.

  • There was no heat
  • No facilities
  • A path had to be shoveled through the snow just to get to the door
  • She didn’t have the key, etc., etc.

(Yes, this was a planned, pre-arranged visit)!

We called David Shellenberger [Curator, Juniata County Historical Society] and explained the problems.  His reluctance to help was acute.

  •  He was just recovering from hypothermia
  • His wife had just had a serious operation
  • He had spent one whole day with us already
  • He had a funeral in two days and hadn’t started to dig the grave yet [he is manager of a cemetery]
  • There was no time

We begged, pleaded, nagged.

To sum up:  David did take us.

G Pic 1986 Other Feb 13 1986 Path shoveled! Tus Acad

Path is shoveled! February 13, 1986.

H Pic 1986 Other Feb 13 1986 Sue shoveled path Tuscarora Acad

Sue shoveled a path to the door of the Tuscarora Academy, February 13, 1986.


I Pic 1986 Other Feb 13 1986 Inside looking for key Tus Acad
Inside the Tuscarora Academy, we had to look for the keys on the door ledges, February 13, 1986

…there was no heat

…there were no facilities

…the 3 rooms we needed to be in were locked

…and David had to drive back to Mifflintown to get his keys

…he locked us in the Academy and left.

We then carried all the newspapers downstairs to the staff room and worked by a window  where the sun was shining in and psychologically  providing us with  some warmth.

J Pic 1986 Other Feb 13 1986 Tus Acad COLD

Carrying the newspapers back upstairs (we cataloged downstairs because it was


K Pic 1986 Other Feb 13 1986 COLD Tus Acad

We did catalog some newspapers upstairs in the COLD (we were here in the COLD for 6 hrs.).

David called hourly to check on us and to see if we had frozen to death, and finally returned at 4:30 p.m. to let us out and lock up.  (He had managed to reschedule his funeral by one day so he could assist us).

David then led us to his home for hot chocolate and Danish, where we told him more about the project and thawed out.  We thanked him profusely for all he had done.  [Here’s the original account…]


Thursday, February 13, 1986

After breakfast at Zimmie’s – off to the Juniata Sentinel Office [Mifflintown, Pa].

Arrived at 8:45 am – Beck and I went thru their backfile.  About 1½ hrs. later we were finished.  Cataloged only 2 titles and LDRed two.

Beck and I then went to STOP 35 and waited for David Shellenberger.  Around 11:10 he came – he had breakfast while we waited – then went back to his house.  David made a few phone calls (he was to dig a grave today but his changed plans, and then we got ready to go to the Academy. 

We got ready to go – grabbed a broom and shovel.  Drove to the Academy – some 10 – 15 miles away at Academia, Pa. 

12:30  We got to the Academy.  Beck and David went to pick up the key while I shoveled a path to the door.  David unlocked the door – we all went in – went upstairs and found the two rooms we needed to get into … locked!

David made a call to Ruth Waters – she had no idea where the keys were.  David hung up the phone – he had personal keys at home that he would go home and get.

Beck and I waited there – we sat in the sun to keep warm.  [There was no heat; no facilities].

About ½ hour later, David came back and unlocked the doors to the important rooms where the papers were located.

David then left and let us get to work.  Beck and I decided to bring the papers downstairs to work in the sun.

We worked till 2:00 pm then decided to stop to eat lunch.  (We had picked up sandwiches while at STOP 35).  Beck and I sat up on the window ledge in the sun and had lunch.  We were both so cold.

We then went back to work – we quickly finished up all the titles we brought downstairs and then went upstairs to work.  We were so cold!

We jumped up and down to warm up!

We went thru the remaining titles and then began going thru the microfilm.  We didn’t need to use the reader.  Everything we saw on paper was also on FM [microfilm].

Every hour or so David called to see if we were frozen or not and whether we were finished yet.

At 5:00 pm we were finished.  David came and locked up the rooms and the Academy.  All in all cataloged 12 new titles.

We then went to David’s house for a hot drink and Danish.  We stayed till 6:45 then left.

Beck and I then went to the Juniata County Library.  We arrived at 7:00.  We quickly LDRed their two titles.

Finally finished for the day!!!

Went to Zimmie’s for supper – we were so tiredthat we couldn’t even finish our supper.

 David S Snip Capture



Letter from Becky to David Shellenberger, thanking him saving the day (twice)…

Juniata Co Shellenberger Ltr Feb 19 1986

Letter from Becky to Mr. and Mrs Leiter, following our site visit to see the Juniata Globe

Juniata Co Leiter Ltr Feb 19 1986


Handwritten note from Becky to David Shellenberger, accompanying the pictures we sent him, shown above….

Capture Juniata Co Shellenberger Mar 11 1986

Post Script Capture


Capture Lehighton Evening Leader heading pic

From the July 1-21, 1987 Monthly Report

We had a marvelous visit to Carbon County, July 1 – 3, 1987.  We thoroughly enjoyed the historic, attractive town of Jim Thorpe – receiving from [Joe Boyle] the originator a history of the reasons why Mauch Chunk, East Mauch Chunk, and Upper Mauch Chunk “merged in 1954 to become Jim Thorpe”.   Sounds like a newspaper title…

We made two important discoveries here – one quite by accident.

We were visiting the basement of Mr. Edward “Ed” Gildea, a small-town newspaper publisher, and found among his own backfiles a 20+ year run of the Coaldale Observer from Coaldale, Schuylkill County!  It seems that the publisher of the Observer, Mr. James J. Gildea, went out of business and gave his backfile to our Mr. Ed Gildea because he liked his name!  They are not related.  Local residents seem to think it is the only existing long run of that paper.  What a nice surprise!

Ed publishes The Valley Gazette in Lansford, Pa.  He interviewed us and took pictures, says he will write an article about the Project.  He is extremely interested in what the Project is doing and made notes on all the titles we had found.

The other important find was: the 100 year run of the Evening Leader from Lehighton.  It belongs to a private collector who had it stored behind a wall in a deserted building which he owns.  As we stood in the damp, musty room he ripped away sections of brightly painted paneled walls to reveal volume after volume of the Evening Leader

He plans to sell the issues to recoup some of his losses on the building.  We explained about the Project – asking him to reconsider his decision to sell it piecemeal, and trying to convey some sense of its historical worth.  He agreed to think about it.

[We were delighted to see him at our slide show [later] in July, 1987 expressing interest in our “Needs” and “Finds” lists.  Perhaps he has reconsidered…?]  

 July 22-Aug 31, 1987 Monthly Report

[Post-Script:  The entire run of The Evening Leader (1921-1970) and its predecessor, the Lehighton Evening Leader (1902-1921) has been microfilmed and is available at the State Library in Harrisburg, PA.  See Chronicling America (]    — October 17, 2012.


 JOURNAL ENTRY FOR JULY 2, 1987 – Partial entry

Thursday, July 2, 1987 

By 4:30pm we were finished [at the Dimmick Memorial Library in Jim Thorpe]. 

[Even though we had put in a good full day of work – [having started at 9am] we still weren’t finished. 

Drove to Lehighton to visit with Mr. Gene Durigan.

Mr. Durigan had the entire backfile of the Lehighton Evening Leader.  He also had 1870 – 1890s of the Carbon Advocate. 

The funny thing about Mr. Durigan and his newspapers was that he had them hidden behind paneling.  We walked into the small room where Mr. Durigan said they were – he began to rip down the paneling and there to our surprise were at least 100 years worth of newspapers! 

Well, Beck and I went to work and cataloged the title changes. 

By 6pm we finished.  Went back to our room – changed clothes then drove to Jim Thorpe for dinner at the River’s Edge.


 Letter from Becky to Gene Durigan, following our site visit…

Lehighton Durigan Ltr Jul 9 1987

 Letter to Mrs. Grace Rhoads, following our site visit to her…

Lehighton Rhoads Ltr Jul 9 1987

Memo Gene Durigan, updating him on our findings…

Lehighton Durigan Ltr Aug 5 1987

Memo to Gene Durigan, with our final “needs” and “ finds” list for other counties…

Lehighton Durigan Memo Sep 9 1987


Capture Luzerne heading pic



Capture Geeza heading pic

From the May 1987 Monthly Report

Two people reneged on their site visit and canceled with us at the last minute, both deciding that they preferred not to participate (for a variety of reasons).  One person is an ex-publisher who has the backfile of his paper (1938 – 1945) “rotting in his attic and wishes to leave it so”.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow.  Finding these caches is difficult enough; locating them and being refused access is really hard to accept!

Partial Journal Entries

[During our visit to Lackawanna County]

Wednesday, May 20, 1987

Beck and I then drove to Carbondale where we planned to spend the rest of the day.  First stop – Carbondale News Office.  Arrived at 9:45 am and by 10:30 we were finished.  While there, Robert Powell, Historical Society member and the person who was going to help us while there, showed up.  Robert had brought along some of his own – which we inventoried and cataloged.

While working on Robert’s papers, Hank [Loftus], another Historical Society person, showed.

The four of us then walked over to the Carbondale Public Library where the Carbondale Historical Society’s bound newspaper collection was stored…  by 5:45pm we came to our last volume.

Headed back to our room at the Best Western.

Back at the room, Beck called Mr. Vladimir Geeza in Peckville to confirm our visit for tomorrow. 

Mr. Geeza said he thought about it and decided not to participate in the Project.  True he had the 6 or 7 years of the Mid-Valley Journal in his attic, but just the thought of his publishing days brought back bad feelings and emotions.  Beck urged him to reconsider but he said that he just wanted it to die in his attic – that it wasn’t really worth saving.  Mr. Geeza was very emotional about it, so Beck just let it go at that.

Can a publisher make those kinds of decisions not to preserve a community’s news/history???

Certainly an interesting turn of events!!!


[Back in the Office…]

Friday, May 29, 1987

            Last work day in May!  Where does the time go?

Beck spent the entire day writing thank- you letters to the people of Lackawanna County.  There were so many letters to out.  Beck even wrote to those people whom we didn’t visit – like Mr. Geeza – who had papers but refused our visit.  Beck wrote to him almost begging for him to change his mind…


From the June 1987 Monthly Report

On the bright side:

We mentioned in our last Monthly Report [May 1987] that two contacts had reneged on us.  In a last attempt to see their collections, we wrote them an explanatory letter when we got back to the office [See letters below]. One responded, and I am happy to report that the file of the Mid-Valley Journal from Olyphant, 1938 – 1944, is now safely housed in the Carbondale Historical Society in Lackawanna County!  A better fate than rotting in an attic in Peckville…

[Read on to see how it all fell into place…]

Letter to Mr. Vladimir Geeza from Becky Wilson asking him to reconsider his decision….

Geeza LtrJun 2 1987

Letter to Hank Loftus from Becky Wilson after site-visit, and w/reference to V. Geeza:

Geeza Hank Loftus Ltr Jun 3 1987

Letter to Becky Wilson from Vladimir Geeza, who has reconsidered… notice in particular his ultimate realization – many years later – that his newspaper, was, in the end, worthwhile! 

Geeza Dear Ms Wilson Ltr Jun 10 1987 p1

Geeza Dear Ms Wislon Ltr Jun 10 1987 p2

Partial Journal Entries

[Back in the Office…]

Monday, June 22, 1987

Spent most of the morning going through the stack of mail.  Received a letter from Mr. Geeza, publisher of the now defunct Mid-Valley Journal (Olyphant).  He will now allow us to see his backfile!  GREAT!  Seems he want to get rid of it.  What a nice surprise – Beck and I thought Mr. Geeza was going to stand firm and not let us see it.

Will contact him to make arrangements for its transfer, etc. …


 Handwritten notes from Becky Wilson to self…

Notes from telephone conversation Becky had with Hank Loftus, Carbondale Historical Society:        717-876-2612    Work


I told Hank:

I called Vladimir Geeza.  He is willing to give or lend his papers to the Carbondale Historical Society.  Hank will call him to arrange a pick-up.  Hank wants to film them right away.

I then called Bill Hamill – Micor [Micrographics] can film the papers and have Hank pay for it.  Hank would hand-deliver it.  Bill will call me with a cost (we guesstimate $332.00 for 3 copies).

Let Hank know what it will be.  Micrographics International from Hazleton did Hank’s filming (badly!) and they may do this again.


 7/6/87     I called Bill Hamill.

Bill said:  $500.00 w/copies.  Wow!

No pick-up / delivery


Tuesday, July 7, 1987

…Hank Loftus called – he gave us cataloging information on the Mid-Valley Journal.  He and Robert Powell went to Mr. Geeza’s house and picked them up.  Thanks Hank!


Letter to V. Geeza from Becky, thanking him for his participation…

Geeza Ltr Jul 7 1997

 Letter to Becky from V. Geeza, returning release form…

Geeza Dear Mrs Wilson Ltr Jul 14 1987


Letter from Hank Loftus, Second Vice-President, Carbondale Historical Society, to Sue and Becky December 12, 1987.  Reprinted with permission received from Mr. Loftus on October 12, 2012.

ADD December 12 1987 letter (2-pages) from Hank Loftus!!




 [Post Script:  October 15, 2012]

Mr. Vladimir Geeza’s paper backfile of the Mid-Valley Journal (Olyphant 1938 – 1944) housed at the Carbondale Historical Society was not microfilmed by the United States Newspaper Project (USNP).  The original bound volumes are in archival storage in Room 303 of Carbondale City Hall, Carbondale, PA.

For holdings information, please visit “Chronicling America US Newspaper Online Directory” for Mid-Valley Journal:


Capture Maldyn Jones heading pic

From the May 1987 Monthly Report

Reference Questions… continue to flow into W308!  It is very tempting for our contacts to seek help on various questions, since they assume that we have all of the resources of the Pennsylvania State University at our disposal.

Interestingly enough, many of the questions have nothing whatsoever to do with newspapers. Our most recent request was for a copy of the Hail Mary in French… (the prayer, not the movie).

I wish we had kept a log of all the questions we’ve been asked.  It’s the only thing we didn’t document.

Our most distant query, geographically speaking, came from Professor Maldwyn Jones of University College, London, England.  His research on a prominent Member of Parliament, Mr. John Henry Puleston, led him to the United States, more specifically, Pittston, Pa.

Professor Jones discovered in Winifred Gregory’s Union List of American Newspapers that an 1858 issue of the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal was extant at the Northumberland County Historical Society LINK to the VAULT.  He wrote the Society asking about the issue.

The NCHS had meanwhile sent their collection to [Penn State] for permanent storage, so the letter was forwarded to us.

Professor Jones said the Mr. John Henry Puleston, MP, had come to Pittston in 1857 and edited the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal until spring of 1860.  Could a copy of the only existing issue be sent to him?

It could; and we did.  For weeks we didn’t hear whether it had been received by Professor Jones (it traveled by boat!).  Finally he called to say he had received it and was very pleased.  (The University had made an excellent copy of it).

While all this was going on, we had since removed another file of the Pittston Gazette, the entire back file, to the PSU Hazleton Campus, and had found a special Jubilee Edition which talked about past editors of the paper, and illustrated the article with photographs.  We had sent a copy of that article to Professor Jones as well.

When we mentioned this to the Professor on the phone, his delight was effusive – a photo of Puleston had actually been found! It seems information on Mr. Puleston is hard to come by.

Even in that article, written in 1900, the editor of the Pittston Gazette Jubilee Edition was having a hard time tracking down the file of the paper edited by Puleston and said then that no issues for the period 1857-1860 could be located.

Anyway, Professor Jones wanted to know when we would be inventorying the U.S. Collection at the British Museum. Said he:  “It’s quite extensive, you know”.

–From the May 1987 Monthly Report

A Pic Maldwyn Jones

Maldwyn Allen Jones (1922 – 2007)

Born: Greenfield, Flintshire 18, Northeast Wales

Historian and Professor, University College, London


Dates of correspondence between Dr. Maldwyn Jones and the Penn State Project Librarians.  Journal Entries and Letters follow:

February 17, 1987-  Dr. Jones’ letter to the Northumberland Co. Historical Society

March 7, 1987 – Jack Hetrick’s letter to us, forwarding Dr. Jones’ request

March 11, 1987 – Our letter to Dr. Jones

March 26, 1987 – Our note to Dr. Jones accompanying the article he wanted

May 1, 1987 – His letter to us

May 8, 1987 –  Our note to Dr. Jones saying we had not heard from him

May 14, 1987 –  Our letter to Professor Jones



Wednesday, March 11, 1987

…Beck worked on writing letters.  Wrote a long lengthy letter to the person in London requesting a newspaper belonging to Northumberland County Historical Society.  She also then wrote Jack Hetrick to tell him what she had done…

Wednesday, March 25, 1987

Beck and I went to Pattee Library – got the key to Stow-Away from Jim Petro and went to find the one copy of the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal for someone in England.

Well we got to the storage area and looked at all those volumes, boxes, etc.   Where in the hell to begin?       

B Pic Moving Papers

After about the 7th box we found it!  I was about ready to give up.

Back to the office to get it copied. 

Denise thought that we could get the newspaper copied at Engineering Copy Center – so she walked it down – cost $10.00.

Tomorrow will send it to London…   [Remember:  “scanning” not yet available]

Thursday, March 26, 1987

…Oh; we got the Pittston Gazette in the mail to London (England).  Sent the roll w/the newspaper copy separate from the letter.  Hope he appreciates all the work we (Denise too) did in getting it to him.

Thursday, May 14, 1987

…Received a phone call from Dr. Jones, London, England.  He wanted to know if we got his check.  Told him we found additional information on Puleston in an August 2, 1900 Jubilee Edition of the Pittston Gazette.   He was so pleased to get more information…

Beck and I photocopied the appropriate article from the Jubilee Edition on Puleston and sent it to Jones.  

Talking to Dr. Jones gave us back our enthusiasm again – like a refreshing breath…

Letter from Professor Jones to Jack Hetrick of the Northumberland County Historical Society:

Jones Ltr Feb 17 1987

Letter from Jack Hetrick to Becky, asking for assistance with Professor Jones’ request:

Jones Ltr Mar 7 1987

Handwritten notes on the office copy of this letter:  March 11, 1987.  Sent Jack copy of the letter to Dr. Jones; sent Luzerne Co. history on this title [the Pittston Gazette]:

Jones Ltr Mar 11 1987


Handwritten note on office copy of this memo:  March 25, 1987.  Charged to our budget #; Cash check & reimburse fund.

Jones Ltr Mar 26 1987

Capture Jones May 8 1987 hand written note

Capture Jones NOTE about the Professor


Letter from Prof. Jones to Becky, thanking us for the Pittston Gazette:

Jones Ltr May 1 1987

Handwritten note on office copy of this letter:  Sent Xerox of article August 2, 1900 Centennial Edition:

Jones Ltr May 14 1987

D Pic Receipt for photocopy

Receipt for photocopy of article for Professor Jones.


Rebecca Gross Heading Snip Capture

According to Ms. Sandra Hill, “Rebecca Gross of Lock Haven is a pioneer”¹.  Long before women were prominent in the newspaper/reporting business, Rebecca worked for and subsequently ran a newspaper office.  “The 80-year old Gross was one of the state’s first female newspaper editors, a role she played for almost 50 years at the Lock Haven Express from the time she was 26 years old in 1931 until her 1970 retirement2 .”  Her newspaper career started as a senior in high school, working at the Clinton County Times for $5 a week.  During her college years she worked at the Lock Haven Express in the summer and on holiday breaks.

Among her numerous “firsts” and accomplishments, Hill notes that Ms. Gross helped found the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association, received a prestigious Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and was President of the PA Society of Newspaper Editors.  During World War II she was a Lieutenant Senior Grade in the U.S. Navy.  A car accident in 1954 resulted in the loss of both legs, but Rebecca continued to distinguish herself in significant ways despite her handicap.

When the Project Team met Ms. Gross in 1985, we were impressed with her vast knowledge of local newspapers and their history.  She was a gentle, unassuming lady; one sensed her greatness, as it were, but it was many years later that we discovered her significant and cutting edge accomplishments.  And although she walked with a cane, we never suspected then that her legs had been lost in a car accident – so elegant was her bearing.

Much has been written about Rebecca Gross and the important role she played in the world of newspapers.  For additional information and the recognition she has received, particularly from Lock Haven University, Editor Lou Bernard and others, visit the web sites below.

¹Hill, Sandra.  “Gutsy’ Newspaperwoman blazed new trails,” Centre Daily Times, Special to the Times, Sunday, October 20, 1985, pp.  B-1, B-2.

2Bernard, Lou.  “Rebecca Gross, A lady of honor and bravery,” The Express, September 24, 2011,  (Accessed January 8, 2013).

Contacts with Rebecca Gross as documented on our Master Card File:

5/24/85 – I [Becky] called Rebecca.  She has lots of papers.  Will call me with a list.  She did a history of Clinton County titles for the Lock Haven Express, March 1, 1982?  100th Anniversary Edition.  Try to find.

I sent her our Clinton County “Needs” list.

6/6/85 – I called Rebecca.  She found some of what we needed.              Quid Nunc

Mill Hall Times

6/7/85 – Site visit.  Left at 9:15 am; arrived 10:30am; lunch 12:30-1:30 pm; left Gross at 1:40 pm; got back at 2:40 pm.  [Directions are on verso of card]
6/12/85 – Letter to Rebecca Gross from Becky Wilson following site visit
6/17/85 – We returned her paper (there’s a note written on the letter)]
12/12/85 – Sent Christmas card


Partial Journal Entries 

Friday, May 24, 1985

 … Called Rebecca Gross (Lock Haven)…

 …Sent Rebecca Gross Clinton County “Needs” list. 

Thursday June 6, 1985
…Becky also called Miss R. Gross in Lock Haven who had just written us telling of the 3 Lock Haven newspapers she had which were listed on our Clinton Co. “Needs” list!!  


Becky made appt. to go to Lock Haven tomorrow (10:30am) to see her papers.
Friday, June 7, 1985

…9:15am left office for Lock Haven to visit Miss Rebecca Gross –  first stopped by [Library] Receiving to pick up letter from her – Miss Gross had several Clinton Co. “Needs”.    
Arrived at Miss Gross’s at 10:33am – got crossed-up and lost several times.  Older lady, 70s, handicapped.  Newspapers were located in her basement.

A Pic Rebecca Gross basement  1985 Jun 7

Rebecca Gross showing us her newspaper collection in her basement, June 7, 1985.

She had many Clinton Co. titles which we had already cataloged from, so for these we just completed LDRs.

Found 5 titles which we had not seen before.

Listed in Rossell, but NOT ID’d – Daily Quid Nunc

NOT IN ROSSELL – Logansville Democrat and Clinton County   Advertiser (German)

Listed but not ID’d – Mill Hall Times

Listed but we hadn’t seen before – Clinton Dispatch

NOT IN ROSSELL – Valley Chief (Loganton, Pa.)


Went out to eat at Second Cup – Miss Gross very interesting person to talk to – was editor of Lock Haven Express, began working for them in 1921.


B Pic Rebecca Gross RARE TITLE

Rare title found! The Logansville Democrat and Clinton Caunty Adverteiser was published weekly in both English and German. Only one issue survived – the September 22, 1854 issue found at Rebecca Gross’s home.

C Pic 1985 Slide # 55 Rebecca Gross & Beck Jun 7 1985

Rebecca signs her Accessibility Agreement while Becky looks on June 7, 1985.

The other rare title found at Rebecca’s basement was the Valley Chief from Loganton, Clinton County, Pa.    Rebecca held the only surviving issue dating June 8, 1894.  

The Valley Chief was published weekly by D. Scott Currin.

Source:  Chronicling America


Letter to Rebecca Gross from Becky following our Site Visit in June…

Gross Ltr Jun 2 1985

We continue to feel privileged that we met this great lady and were able to enjoy her company for a brief time.

D Pic Rebecca Gross card cover

December 1985 Christmas Card from Rebecca Gross.

E Pic Rebecca Gross note to Project Team

“Thanks for your card.  I’m glad the work goes on and wish you all kinds of luck with that – and everything else- on through this New Year and beyond.”   –Becky Gross

Other Sources on or about Rebecca Gross:

Google Search:  Rebecca Gross Newspaper

Google search:  Rebecca Gross Lock Haven:

Story about Rebecca

Campus building named for Rebecca Gross and Lydia Gross

Student receiving Rebecca Gross Award

Rebecca Gross gets PA award from NNA


The-Less-Than-Perfect Week …

Throughout the Journals and the Monthly Reports, we represent ourselves as true stoics. It’s a factual account that does not always reflect (except occasionally in the margins of the Journals) what we truly experienced physically in terms of hunger, thirst, extreme cold, extreme heat, utter exhaustion, and real frustration. But we did have our moments. We sometimes disagreed; we argued – euphemistically referred to in the Journals as “We had words”. And there were some difficult site visits where we worked in appalling conditions. Sue was highly allergic to dust, mold and mildew and on more than one occasion was forced to run quickly out of a building, gasping for air, itching, and scratching. This was one reason Beck often dealt with the printed volumes while Sue’s eyes glazed over after hours of reading microfilm. Also, Sue’s eyesight was a lot better than Beck’s!

Beck, being more slightly built, often worked in the crawl spaces, attics and ladders while Sue, a superb documentarian, recorded details called out to her.

A Pic Other Mar 20 1986 Sayre Times Office
Beck crawling under the shelving to reach the volumes of Sayre Times March 20, 1986.

Then there were the site visit schedules! Ok, so what if we were going to visit 7 places in four towns in one day. Beck hated to waste a moment or to backtrack while traveling, so despite nearly-impossible schedules, Sue rarely complained. We both worked under steady pressure while doing field work. Guesstimating the amount of time needed at any one site was ‘hit or miss’ – definitely not a science.

B Pic 1986 Mifflin Co Sentinel Office Lewistown HAND HELD VIEWER Jan 16 1986
Sue using a hand-held viewer to inventory the titles held on microfilm at the Lewistown Sentinel Office January 16, 1986.

And food! Beck had this awful habit of needing to eat fairly regularly while Sue could easily work eight hours, non-stop, with no food or drink. These situations could produce occasional arguments, especially when time (and sustenance) was critical.

Such incidents are minimized in the daily accounts. And then, there were the funny moments – many of them. Humor was often what got us through the day.

<span style="color:


Capture One that Got Away heading pic

Throughout the entire three-year term of the NEH funded USNP project in Central Pennsylvania, we enjoyed astonishingly good cooperation, luck and success.  Almost everyone we met was courteous, helpful, and for the most part very interested in the work we were doing.  Many fully appreciated its historical importance and the need to locate and preserve local newspapers.

But, there were some exceptions.  A few folks with collections eluded us despite our best efforts.  We didn’t take rejection with as much grace as we should have.

Here are their stories…

1.  Our first story takes place in Montour County.  The trip was fairly uneventful except for the one episode described below.

Source:  April 1986 Monthly Report             

In the course of planning our visit to Montour County we ran across a private collector in Danville who was somewhat reluctant to participate in the project.  Not to be deterred, we called a second time and explained the project carefully and enthusiastically, and finally, Mrs. Dyer agreed to let us schedule a visit.  We felt pleased with our efforts.

We arrived promptly at 2 p.m., as arranged, and found the general location of the Red Lane Antiques shop which she owned.  There was no sign, so we stopped to ask an elderly gentleman for specific directions.

Excuse me, sir, can you direct us to Red Lane Antiques?

This here is Red Lane, he said.

We’re looking for Mrs. Dyer.

Well, I’m Mr. Dyer.  He continued raking leaves.

We got out of the car and introduced ourselves, explaining we were the newspaper people from Penn State.

Well, now, Mr. Dyer began, you aren’t gonna believe this!  Today is Wednesday and on Monday, just two days ago, danged if we didn’t go and sell all our newspapers to some guy in Williamsport.

He was right.  We didn’t believe him.

Beck:  Did you really!?  Was it Tim Hughes?  He’s a well-known dealer in the Williamsport area.

Read more on Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers

Mr. Dyer:  Don’t know.  It was two fellas in a beat-up ole truck.  Didn’t even ask their names.  They just handed me cold cash.  We had a water pipe break in the yard the other day and I used the money from the sale to hire someone to come and replace the pipe.  He pointed to a mound of freshly dug earth.

Beck:  You must have had quite a collection.  Newspapers don’t usually sell for that much.

Mr. Dyer:  Well, the wife and I just decided to get rid of the whole mess.  Besides, if everybody knows we got ‘em, sure enough they’d get stolen.  In fact, that happened to a friend of mine who collected Montour County whiskey bottles.  The local paper did a story on him and next thing you know, all his bottles were stolen.

We chatted for a few more minutes, lamenting the fact that we were two days too late, then turned to leave Mr. Dyer, knowing full well that his papers were in his tomb-like home which we could see in the distance.  From where we had been standing, we had noticed the locked doors, closed windows, pulled shades and sealed garage.

It seemed as though his fear of strangers would not permit him to let two unknown people in to see his wares.

We drove away, disappointed.

Wonder what titles he had?  We’ll never know.


2.  Our second story happened in Salemville, Bedford County.  On our way to Blair County, we took a detour to inventory the holdings of Mr. King, a private citizen.


Tuesday, Nov. 19, 1986  

Left Huntingdon at 7:50 am for Martinsburg, Blair County.   Our last trip, finishing our 21st county.

Arrived at the Morrisons Cove Herald Office at 8:45am.  Went thru backfile and found 4 title changes.  By 11:00 am we finished and since we were early decided to travel to Salemville to visit Mr. King.

Arrived at Mr. King’s home at 11:35 am.  He said he had the backfile or several issues of the Advocate and Herald (Bedford Co. title).

For some strange reason, he wanted to take us to Bedford Village to see the old press the paper was printed on.

Well, I wasn’t about to travel ½ hour out of our way —  so Beck talked and talked, actually, Mr. King talked and talked.  He didn’t hear a thing Beck or I were saying to him.

So frustrating!!!  Beck was getting very pissed off!

Well – Mr. King really had zero intentions of showing us his papers – so by 12:45 we left.

What a jerk!!!

Beck was still frustrated, so we talked about how we could have handled it better as we drove to the Martinsburg Community Library…


 3.  Our third story is set in Blair County and concerns a Rental Library…..

Source:  October 1986 Monthly Report

Just when we had begun to think we’d seen it all, we ran into a unique situation.  There is a rental library in Hollidaysburg, Blair County that charges patrons an hourly rate to use its collections.  It’s called the Hoenstine Rental Library, and we were unable to gain access to it because we are not in a position to pay for such access.

Even after explaining what the project was attempting to do, we were denied admission.

“I run a business here.  Do you intend to pay me to use the Library”?

Having no such intention we had to relinquish all hope of cataloging this Library’s treasures.


Capture Vault heading pic



Tioga Heading Snip Capture

B Pic Bradford Co Tioga Point Museum Mar 19 1986 Summon From - Copy

Tioga Point Museum, Athens, Bradford County, Pa.
Museum was located on the 2nd floor of Spalding Memorial Library

From the September 1985 Monthly Report 

In Athens, at the Tioga Point Museum, we were shown an exquisite collection of rare books, illuminated manuscripts, velvet and leather bindings, gilt-edged books with gold clasps, and hand-painted Mother-of Pearl miniatures inlaid in book covers and end papers – it was magnificent!


Wednesday, September 25, 1985

Up by 6:00 am.  Ate breakfast Towanda Motel.  Headed north to Athens [Pa.] to visit the Spalding Memorial Library.

C Pic 1985 Other Sep 25 1985 Spalding Mem Lib Bradford

Spalding Memorial Library, Athens, Pa., September 25, 1985.

Arrived at the Library at 8:22 am.  Mrs. Tidlow, Librarian, came early to let us in – thank goodness she did – there was so much to do!

Cataloged 17 different Bradford Co. titles, LDRed one and cataloged 9 other titles.  Most of their holdings consisted of the Athens Gleaner.  

D Pic 1985 Other Sep 25 1985 Sue cataloging Spalding Mem Lib

Sue cataloging newspapers found at the Spalding Memorial Library, September 25, 1985.

We had to take the old, ratty bound volumes and single issues off old wooden shelves and walk thru to another room where we could spread out on a table.  We certainly got our exercise!

Left by 12:30pm and went t Pumpernickels for lunch.  Then headed to the Tioga Point Museum.   

The Museum was on the 2nd floor of Spalding Memorial Library.

We had to wait till 2 pm to get in – Mrs. Jackson wouldn’t be there till then. 

2 pm arrived – met Mrs. Jackson and set out to catalog the Museum’s holdings.   

There were many, many locked drawers of newspapers and about 6 sections under display cases full of papers.

It turned out to be more than we ever thought.  PLUS the amount of time we allowed was too short.

An assistant to Mrs. Jackson, Cindy, helped to locate newspapers – she was conferring with a listing compiled in 1936.  With her help we found many titles (Bradford Co. and others).

Worked quickly to record as many as we could – we knew our time was limited.  Worked until 5:30 pm and still had about 1 hr. worth of work to go. 

Talked Mrs. Jackson into meeting us at 7:00 to finish up.

Beck and I decided when we would come back to photocopy the holdings lists of each envelope since these remaining titles were New England and N.Y. titles.

Left Museum at 5:30 pm – decided to travel to Sayre to quickly record the Library’s holdings.  Arrived at Sayre Public Library at 5:40 pm – 20 mins till closing. 

Quickly recorded holdings – didn’t have much (bound vols. only).  Left by 6:00 pm. 

Went and had dinner and then headed back to Tioga Point Museum by 7:00 pm.

Beck had noticed she was running out of LDRs – so decided to photocopy some while photocopying the New England and N.Y. holdings lists.

E Pic Mrs. JacksonTiogaPtMusuem

Viewing the treasures of the Tioga Point Museum with Mrs. Jackson, September 25, 1985.

Finished by 7:30 pm.  Mrs. Jackson wanted to show us around the Museum.  Showed us the RARE BOOKS they had.  You wouldn’t believe what they had!!! 

Beautifully bound volumes!!  Also had autographs and other treasures.

[It seems a local collector wanted to have these treasures locally available for students in the area to see them, thinking many would never get to a large city or museum.  Inside the locked cases were beautifully preserved gilt-edged volumes with illuminated manuscripts.  Precious miniatures inlaid in the book covers, hand-painted on Mother-of-Pearl.  Many of the volumes were closed with gold clasps.  Mrs. Jackson proudly showed us the amazing collection].

I wondered how many people know these are here??

We left Tioga Point at 8:30 pm.  Dead tired!! 



F Pic Illuminated Manuscript chemise

Example of an Illuminated Manuscript.

G Pic art-jewelry-hand-painted-pendant-and-brooch-mother-of-pearl-gold-18kt-portrait-of-a-lady-evelina-pastilati

Example of a Hand-Painted Miniature Portrait.

Letter to Mrs. Jackson from Becky, following site visit:

 T H E   P E N N S Y L V A N I A     S T A T E      U N I V E R S I T Y



October 8, 1985

Mrs. Louisa Jackson
Tioga Point Museum
Box 143
Athens, Pa. 18810
Dear Mrs. Jackson:

Sue and I would like to thank you for all your help during our recent visit to catalog your newspapers.  We had a tremendously successful tour of Bradford County and found 81 or the 109 newspapers known to have been published there.  During our five-day stay we visited 20 different institutions and private collectors in 12 towns across the county.

It was so kind of you to assist us at a time when I now things are very difficult for you.  We especially appreciated your returning that evening to let us finish our work.

Needless to say, the highlight of our entire trip was the time we spent looking over the exquisite illustrated manuscripts and other beautifully bound rare books in the Museum.  To say they are magnificent is an understatement.  It was thoughtful of you to show them to us.

As promised, enclosed is our list of titles we found in Bradford County, as well as those we still need to find.

Please extend to Cindy our warmest thanks for all the help she provided in locating the various newspaper collections.

We have certainly had many productive trips on our site visits to the counties covered so far, thanks to the cooperation and good will of people like yourself.  When all the data is finally collected and entered into the database, it will be possible for researchers, scholars and others to identify and locate any existing newspaper published in the United States from its earliest beginnings.  We appreciate your being a part of the National Newspaper Project.

It was a pleasure meeting you.  Again, thank you for your help.

Rebecca A. Wilson
PSU Project Librarian





From the February 1987 Monthly Report      

The huge station wagon skidded and slipped.  After 200 feet it would advance no more.

Becky:  Sue, we’re going backwards.

Sue: Yes, Beck, I know!

Becky:  Are you in reverse?

Sue:  No, we’re in drive.

Becky: We’re not going to get up this hill.  Put it in reverse and let’s back down the hill.

We slid backward into a snow bank.  Forward, turn, reverse.  Eventually we were clear and slipped down the hill over the sheet of ice covering the steep mountain road.

Sue parked the car by the side of the road, then took a deep breath.  We sat for a few minutes, trying to decide what our next move should be.

Not wanting to come this way again, we knew we had to do this, now.

We buttoned up, tied boots; selectively grabbed our cataloging gear and trudged the half-mile or so to the top of the icy hill.

It was bitter cold; a strong wind was blowing snow off the trees.

A Pic Wyoming Co Tuscarora Twp H S  Feb 10 1987

Climbing up the icy road to reach the Tuscarora Township Historical Society, Laceyville, Wyoming County. The car wouldn’t go up the road so we had to walk, February 10, 1987

Although the sky was clear and bright, we nevertheless concluded that February was not the ideal month to be in Laceyville searching for the Tuscarora Township Historical Society.

So began our tour of Wyoming County and the Endless Mountains.  Little did we know that this minor setback was to be the least of our trials on this first visit to the Northeast…



Tuesday, February 10, 1987

Up and ready to travel to Wyoming County.  Left the house at 7:55 am in my car.  Well, we got as far as Hill’s Plaza and my car temp gauge was reading 260º.

Decided not to take car – drove to Fleet Services – luckily was able to get a PSU car.  Drove to Joel Confer and left my car.

8:40 am headed for Laceyville, Wyoming County… (You can’t get there from here).  Stopped at New Albany, Bradford Co. to see Doris Hugo and ask about directions.  [Roads clear – sky clear]

Ate lunch 11:35 – 12:10 at Wyalusing Hotel and then drove to Laceyville.

Drove to Mrs. Linda English’s house so she could take us to the Tuscarora Township Historical Society.  The Society sets on top of a mountain and the road up the mountain was solid ice.

Well, as it turned out Mrs. English wasn’t there when we got there – so we waited.  When she finally arrived, she had no intentions of taking us up.  She had been up yesterday and had trouble going up and coming down was a fright!

Beck and I didn’t know what to do – I said “What the heck, I’ll try to go up in the PSU car”.  Mrs. English gave us directions and we left.

Beck and I drove up the road and saw the steep mountain road to the Society.  The road was solid ice, steep and impossible to drive up. 

Anyway, we gave it a try and only got up a few hundred feet.  While in DRIVE I started to slip backward.  I said to Beck, “no way can we make it up”.

 The climb! It was so cold and windy! February 10, 1987

Beck suggested we back down, park the car along the road and walk up.  So we did!

[Getting down was tricky too!]. 

We took only what we needed – knowing it was a half-mile walk up the steep icy grade.

Pacing ourselves and resting every-so-often, we finally came to the top.  What a view!

C Pic Wyoming Co Tus Twp H S We reached the top!  Feb 10 1987

We finally reached the top! February 10, 1987

It was bitter cold, the wind was blowing snow off the trees but the sky was blue and clear.

We headed past the Society to Mrs. Hedy Chaffee’s house. 

We thought Mrs. Chaffee would take us to the Society to show us the newspaper collection. 

Well, we walked all around the house and knocked but no one came.

We then went to the Society and cataloged the few newspapers we saw laying around.  Beck had heard from Mrs. Chaffee and they were to have more papers somewhere – but damn if we could find them. 

The Society was icebox cold – we worked fast to finish and to get out of there.

We had started our climb at 1:20 pm, reached the Society by 1:40 – 2:00 pm.  By 2:30 pm we had reached our car again.

D Pic Beck and icy road
The warm car waiting for us, February 10, 1987.

We were glad to see our car in sight as we climbed down and even more glad as we drove away. 

We had to stop at Mrs. English’s house for her to sign the release.

Finally we left and headed to our next stop.

So began our site visiting in the NORTHEAST.

Talk about mountains – I can see why they call this the “Endless Mountains Region”.


Titles found at the Tuscarora Township Historical Society:

Cataloged:                                                            LDRed

  1.  Laceyville Messenger                             Braintrim Messenger
  2. Bradco Advertiser (Bradford)                   Wyalusing Rocket
  3. Our Paper (Bradford)                               Wyalusing Hustler
  4. Wyalusing Hustler (Bradford)


Capture Viola heading pic

In constructing this website, the two authors (Becky and Sue) disagreed on whether to include commentary along the way.  The goal, after all, was to provide a true account of events as they unfolded from 1985 to 1988, based on the plethora of reports, journals and other documents written at the time and saved for posterity.  So the decision was made to exclude commentary.  Comments added in hindsight could result in a nuanced version of the text.

Viola … was an exception.  Being such an exceptional individual, it is impossible to write dispassionately about her. Viola touched our hearts in a special way.  She stayed with us throughout the life of the Project and the last three years of her own.

When all is said and done, this then becomes a story about PEOPLE – as much as it is about newspapers. Not much has been written about the people in the background and the connections forged as Project staff scoured the countryside in search of historical newspapers.

This story is a tribute toViola and the people behind the scenes…

People who had the foresight to recognize the contribution that newspapers made in recording the history of small-town America

  • Curators who – because they knew the importance of our rich newspaper heritage – saved their newspapers for posterity
  • Librarians who preserved these papers, perhaps knowing that someday a Project like this one would come along
  • Historians who tracked newspaper-title history and readily shared their knowledge
  • Private Collectors who cherished newspapers as artifacts as well as historical documents
  • Newspaper publishers who were awaiting a day when their papers would be microfilmed

Then along came these two green outsiders from Penn State, bringing with them a passion and concern as great as their own – for locating and preserving these files.  Folks knew, in that instant, that others cared as much as they did about the welfare of the deteriorating collections.  They opened their doors, their libraries, their societies, their homes and their hearts to us.

We took their passion for saving newspapers to state and national levels.  This Project is a tribute to those people who knew its significance before it even happened.

NEH funding and local individuals ultimately made it all possible.  Project staff were to be the instruments.

And Viola was so very special.  We contacted her in early February 1985 after her name had been given to us by a Galeton Library staff member.  We were told that Viola had extensive knowledge of newspapers and their history.  And indeed she did.

A pioneer in the field and an ex-newspaper woman, Viola worked for several newspapers in Potter County as early as 1936.  She worked as a news reporter and as a circulation manager for the Potter Enterprise.  Along the way, she acquired facts and information about newspaper titles which she graciously shared with us.  Her knowledge helped significantly in creating our title histories for Potter County publications. Viola also held various positions in the Borough of Galeton where she lived.

We began receiving letters from Viola as early as February 1985.  She was an 89-year-old resident of Galeton, Potter County.  Thus began an abiding friendship and exchange of information that would last for the next three years.  The only contact who stayed the entire course, Viola maintained her ties with us until the very end.

Regretfully, we only managed to visit her once as the second planned visit was aborted by a car too sick to travel.  Looking back I sorely wish we had made some other arrangement – knowing now how much she looked forward to our visits.

Her letters below leave no doubt that she wished to remain connected to the work she cherished, that gave meaning to her life.  Many of her letters included news articles about the birth and demise of various Potter County newspapers – she followed them all and diligently kept us apprised of this valuable information.

With Viola, it became Up Close and Personal.  She created memories that we will cherish forever.


Note:  Viola’s letters are included with the approval of her granddaughter, with whom we spoke in September, 2012.


Journal Entries – Partial only… —  Interspersed with Correspondence

Monday, March 4, 1985

Received 2 letters today – one was from Mrs. Viola Pletcher, Galeton, Pa., 89 years old.  This is our third letter from her.

We thought it was time to finally acknowledge her letters.  Becky wrote letter to her, and I wrote to her too….

Letter to Viola Pletcher from Sue, thanking her for her letter and the history notes she sent us (page 1 of 3).  March 5, 1985:

B Pic Viola March 5, 1985 p1

Letter to Viola Pletcher from Sue (Continued – page 2 of 3):

C Pic Viola March 5, 1985 p2

Letter to Viola Pletcher from Sue (Continued – page 3 of 3):

D Pic Viola March 5, 1985 p3

Letter to Viola from Becky, responding to her letter about the Project, March 6, 1985.  In her letters, Viola often apologized for her handwriting – which was quite remarkable, all the more so as she was 89 years old at the time.

E Pic Viola March 6, 1985

Thursday, March 21, 1985

Received 1 letter from Viola Pletcher – 7 pages of history notes…


Letter to Viola from Sue, thanking her for the history notes, May 6, 1985 (page 1 of 2):

F Pic Viola May 6, 1985 p1

Letter to Viola from Sue (Continued – page 2 of 2):

G Pic Viola May 6, 1985 p2

Tuesday, July 9, 1985

Tons of things to do – I began cataloging Columbia Co. – finished 20.  Becky and I decided to spend time now searching for titles in Potter County– and visiting Viola so, Becky called Potter Co. and set up sites to visit – July 19 and 20th – will drive up Thursday afternoon.

 Monday, July 15, 1985

Becky worked on writing Thank you letters to 28 people (had done some at home over the weekend).  She also worked on and finished the Monthly Report for June.

I finished gathering stats on brief workforms to be included in the Monthly Report. 

Pulled Potter Co. titles from brief workform box, gathered more info on Potter Co. newspapers – searched stacks.  All ready to go to Potter Co. on Thursday.

Received another letter from Viola – will see her on Saturday, 7/20.

Thursday, July 18, 1985

…Left for Potter Co. at 10:30 – took us 2 hours to get to Wellsboro (Tioga Co.)… ate lunch at Penn Wells in Wellsboro.

Back on the road headed to Galeton.  What a small town Galeton is – about 6 buildings make up the town.

Dropped in at Galeton Public Library – picked up 4 titles – then went on to Community Center down the road where Library had additional newspapers stored.

Visited with a nice older lady at Library who knew Viola Pletcher – I guess Viola had talked to her about us.

Will visit w/Viola on Saturday – this older lady said Viola had lots of stuff – “One could spend half a day or longer at her place”…

Saturday, July 20, 1985

Up by 7:00am, ate breakfast at Laurelwood – off to Potter County Historical Society.

Arrived at 8:45 worked till 9:45 on microfilm collection – Completed and verified holdings on microfilm for 9 Potter Co. titles.

This finished inventorying and cataloging Potter Co. Hist. Society holdings.


Left for Coudersport Public Library – we were there 10:15 – 10:35.  Verified microfilm holdings for 7 Potter Co. titles.

Had time for some shopping in Coudersport and lunch at Hilda’s and Jim’s then drove to Galeton to visit Galeton Public Library to pick up ending date of Leader-Dispatch (Galeton) and to visit w/librarian Jane Churchill. 

Had nice visit w/her then headed down the road to visit w/Viola Pletcher.

Arrived at Viola’s house at 1:30, we stayed until 4:00pm.  LDRed one title she had, looked at several histories she had, looked through old photo album w/early Galeton pictures, and toured around her house – she showed us everything.

H Pic 1985 Viola and Beck

Viola Pletcher signing her Release Form July 20, 1985.

Viola had given us drink and cakes the minute we got there – she had been waiting all day for us to arrive – was slightly shook-up – glad to see us, when we arrived – didn’t know what to do first.

Also – Viola took time to play 12-15 hymns on the piano for us – she played beautifully.

All in all had great visit – will keep in touch.

Gave Viola a gift before we left – stationary.

 4:00pm headed for home – arrived in Boalsburg 6:45pm…

I Pic 1985 Viola and Sue

Viola signs her Accessibility Agreement while Sue looks on July 20, 1985.

J Pic Viola and Becky in Viola's Kitchen Jul 21 1985

Viola reviews Potter County title changes with Becky, July 20, 1985.

Letter to Viola from Becky, thanking her for the lovely visit we had with her on Saturday, July 20, 1985. (page 1 of 2):

K Pic Viola July 25, 1985 p1

Letter to Viola from Becky, thanking her for the lovely visit we had with her on Saturday, July 20, 1985.  (Continued page 2 of 2):

L Pic Viola July 25, 1985 p2

Tuesday, August 27, 1985

…Becky wrote letter to Viola to thank her for magazine subscription [Possibilities] …

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, asking about the photos we took when we visited… [She is now 90 years old; note the remarkable handwriting]:

M Pic Viola November 29, 1985

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, thanking us for the pictures we sent her. (page 1 of 2):

N Pic Viola Tuesday Dec 17 1985 p1 SYYPE

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, December 17, 1985. (Continued page 2 of 2):

O Pic Viola Tuesday Dec 17 1985 p2 SKYPE

Five months later…

Monday, January 27, 1986

…Well – here I am in W308.  Beck somehow, some way got a severe stiff neck Sunday morning and decided not to come to work today…

…I decided to work on ZAC…

…Today also:

-Sent Beck’s thank you letters out

-Sent Birthday card to Viola

-Order flowers to be sent to Viola for her 90th BD on Wednesday…

Monday, February 17, 1986

Beck called Viola – she is fine!  She was waiting to get pictures from her 90th birthday before she wrote to us. 

Thursday, February 20, 1986

… got a letter from Viola – she also sent pictures for Beck and I…

P Pic Viola's 90th BD 1986

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, giving an account of her 90th birthday!

Q Pic Viola Wednesday March 5 1986 p1 SKYPE

R Pic Viola Wed March 5 1986 p2 SKYPE

See the article Viola sent us announcing a new Potter County title below.

S Pic Potter County Leader article

Thanks to Viola Pletcher we were able to include this NEW Potter County title in our PA Newspaper Project inventory. 

However, as happens to many newspapers, by September 2, 1987 The Potter County Leader ceased publication when it merged with the Potter Enterprise to become The Potter Leader-Enterprise.

The Potter Leader-Enterprise continues today, and is available online at;

Viola’s 90th birthday made the news in this Potter County newspaper…

T Pic Viola knows her news

Article about Viola in the Potter County Leader, Coudersport, April 23, 1986.

Letter to Viola from Denise Conklin, Project Assistant, to accompany the copy of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project Reporter that we sent her.  Viola was very interested in the Project. May 16, 1985:

U Pic Viola May 16, 1985

Thursday, May 29, 1986

…Received letter and clippings from dear Viola.  Guess we’ll need to make a visit to see her soon…

Wednesday, June 11, 1986

…Called Viola and told her we’d be coming on Saturday.  She was very happy to hear from us and is looking forward to our visit!

Friday, June 13, 1986

Oh — because of [my car] having problems — we decided not to go to Potter Co. to see Viola or to stop by the Potter County Leader.

Beck made all the necessary phone calls to Viola, etc.  Cataloged paper on the phone; got ILL info, etc. …

Letter to Viola from Denise, to accompany our “finds” and “needs” lists, October 1, 1986:

V Pic Viola October 1, 1986

Letter from Viola to Becky, Sue and Denise, thanking us for the lists we sent, October 10, 1986:

W Pic Viola Friday Oct 10, 1986

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue thanking us for Christmas package, December 17, 1986. (Page 1 of 2):

X Pic Viola Wednesday Dec 17 1986 p1 SKYPE

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, December 17, 1986. (Continued page 2 of 2):

Y Pic Viola Wed Dec 17 1986 p2 SKYPE

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, sending us some photographs February 18, 1986. (Page 1 of 4):

Z Pic Viola Tuesday Feb 18, 1986 p1

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, February 18, 1986. (Continued page 2 of 4):

ZA Pic Viola Tuesday Feb 18 p 2

Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, February 18, 1986. (Continued page 3 of 4):

ZB Pic Viola Tuesday Feb 18, 1986 p3

Extra! Letter from Viola to Becky and Sue, February 18, 1986. (Continued page 4of 4):

ZC Pic Viola Tuesday Feb 18, 1986 p4

In retrospect, we realize the importance of our contact with Viola over the life of the Project.  

Although we gave what time we could, I wish we had done…so much more. 

How do you measure the impact of your actions on someone’s life?


Tuesday, January 27, 1987

Sent Birthday card to Viola – 91 years old!

Note from Viola, informing us that she had been ill… August 31, 1987.

ZD Pic Viola August 31, 1987

Monday, January 25, 1988

Received letter from Viola’s granddaughter.  Viola died 1/15/88.  I wrote a letter back to the granddaughter.  I also called Beck and told her the news.

Viola was a good person and very knowledgeable about newspapers in Potter County.


Letter from Viola’s granddaughter Annie, received January 25, 1988.  Viola was born January 29, 1896, and died 14 days before her 92nd birthday on January 15, 1988.

ZE Pic Viola January 25, 1988 letter 1

Letter from Sue to Annie, Viola’s granddaughter January 25, 1988 [Becky was working at Susquehanna University by this time, and wrote separately upon hearing the news].

ZF Pic Viola January 25, 1988 letter 2 SKYPE

From the January 1988 Monthly Report (Sue wrote):

C.  News Items

– On a happy note:  I was offered (and have accepted) a full-time position at PSU as Serials Receipt Librarian, effective March 1, 1988.

– On a much sadder note, long-time friend of the Project and ex-newspaperwoman Viola Pletcher, age 92, of Galeton, Potter County, died on January 15, 1988.  Viola followed the project initially through newspaper articles, then via correspondence with us on a regular basis.  She faithfully sent us news clippings of the demise, birth, and merging of Potter County newspapers from 1985-1987, to ensure that the correct changes were recorded “in our project.”  She will be missed by many.



Viola Alta Pletcher, 91, of 52 East Main St., Galeton, died Friday, Jan. 15, at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro. Born Jan. 29, 1896 in Elk County, she was the daughter of William and Catherine Huffsmith.

She was a member of the First Methodist Church of Gaines. Surviving are a son, Frank Pletcher of Galeton; a daughter-in-law, Evelyn Pletcher of Wellsboro; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and a devoted friend, Mrs. Gladys Post of Galeton. Funeral services were conducted at the Brown Funeral Home in Galeton, Sunday, the Rev. Kent Lattimer officiated.

Source (Accessed December 20, 2012).

ZH Pic 1985 Slide # 159 Viola at piano Jul 20 1985



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