Edward “Ed” Gildea

Publisher, The Valley Gazette, Lansford, Pa

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 Thorpe. Joe 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




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