Lehighton Evening Leader, Lehighton, 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…
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 (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/] — 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…
Memo to Gene Durigan, with our final “needs” and “ finds” list for other counties…