It’s the repository, stupid :)

Well, I’ve just gotten back from Pottsville. The Red Cross trip was quite a bust–closest item they had was some material from 1917-1918 about the Shenandoah chapter, nothing from that time about Shamokin. I did find some names in their scrapbook of more recent officers who may know something, but other than that, not much. Fortunately, however, I had a Plan B for the expedition. And, this Plan B was an excellent bet, so I thought. Besides, after I’d come all this way and found little at the Red Cross, when it came to the library, I certainly “didn’t want no trouble.” But…

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Back from the festival

I have just returned from the festival, after arriving at about 9:45 as planned, heading home for a brief break, and returning for church tours. The cemetery tour, which lasted about an hour and a half, was first on my list, but, unfortunately, I forgot my camera so no photos were taken. In addition to brief mentions of various historical figures buried in the cemetery, a few of them were portrayed by reenactors. Those portrayed included Kimber Cleaver, Henry Reese, J.J. John, Alexander Caldwell, and Sarah W. Kulp. The reenactors, in their roles as prominent Shamokin citizens of the past, spoke in the first person in a conversational, and, I imagine, a partially ad-lib manner, about their lives, careers, and achievements.

Later, I paid a visit to the Trinity Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street, which was open for self-guided tours. The interior was exceedingly beautiful; the vestibule walls were of stone, and large doors led into the nave, which included a vaulted ceiling of magnificent dark wood. The walls, of a pale ivory color, were lined with stained glass windows, dedicated in memory of various prominent members of the parish.

The main window behind the altar, also of stained glass, is dedicated to the memory of Monroe H. and Sarah W. Kulp. Their names, as well as the dates that they were born and died, can be read on the lower panels of the window.

I brought my camera this time, and took three photos, featured below.

Left: A view of the church pews – Center: Toward altar – Right: Stained glass window in memory of M.H. and Sarah Kulp. (Due to the height of the window, I was unable to get close enough for a clear photo.)

Photo: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Shamokin. Lincoln Street, looking east.

In my previous post, I mentioned the church tours featured in the Anthracite Heritage event. This, specifically, is the church I was referring to–where M.H. Kulp, then a well-known Congressman, and Sarah (McConnell) Detweiler, a widow native to Dauphin County, the sister of Colonel William C. McConnell, were married in 1897. The church was built in 1892.

Photo taken May 19.

Heritage Festival Friday & Saturday

May 23/24 are the days of the local Anthracite Heritage Festival here in Shamokin. This event, a kind of historical/reminiscence/nostalgic type of thing, has been an annual attraction since 2006, at which time I had a minimal interest in Shamokin history so I didn’t attend–in fact I didn’t even know it was going on, I suppose because I was in the middle of relocating at the time. Last year, however, I did hear about it and attended, but thought it was rather a bore. The fact is there was no official schedule and I had to go puttering through week-old newspapers at the library to find out what was going on, and inevitably I missed a lot. Basically, what I saw was an infestation of vendors camped out on the median of Market Street, selling crafts and novelties, and a very noisy bandstand–by the firehouse, was it?–playing rather forgettable music most of the time. At CareerLink (courthouse, career center combination), which used to be an old high school, ancient film reels from the Diamond Jubilee parade of 1939 were playing in the former auditorium. Rather dull. I heard there was a cemetery tour going on, but I thought, why trek morbidly through a cemetery, I know who’s buried there.

I was not aware that there was also a tour going on of the church in which a couple I was researching were married 110 years before. Had I known that, you can be sure I would have hastened myself there directly, and I would have been much more pleased with the outcome of the festival overall. But…I did not learn this until several months later while browsing an online archive of recent local newspapers. If they had put out a more complete and easy to find schedule (which it is becoming apparent they are not doing this year either), I would have been much more appreciative. Anyway, enough of my complaints.

There are tours of local churches this year as well, and the cemetery tour will feature the usual reenacters–area thespians portraying prominent Shamokinites of the past, another thing I was unaware of last year. I intend to be at both events, now with my convenient camera phone should a need for it arise.

The weather here is deplorable for May; rain and clouds for most of the last few weeks, I haven’t been counting exactly. With any luck there will be sun soon or the festival could get derailed somewhat; hope not.