The City of Nanticoke is situated between the Susquehanna River on the north and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the south. It occupies 3.4 square miles of land (2,179 acres) and is located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. In the late 19th Century , 1894, Nanticoke was carved out of Hanover Township and Newport Township with Hanover Street as the dividing line between them.
City, Luzerne county, northeast-central Pennsylvania, U.S., on the Susquehanna River, about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Wilkes-Barre. In the early 18th century white settlers were attracted to the site of a village of the Nanticoke Indians and set up a gristmill, iron forge, and sawmill at the Susquehanna Rapids. The Nanticoke migrated to New York state in 1793. In 1825 the first anthracite coal mine was opened in the locality and by 1878 Nanticoke was a major coal-mining centre. Coal mining declined with the widespread use of fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity; the population decreased and all the mines were closed by 1973. Nanticoke is now basically residential with some light manufacturing development. Luzerne County Community College is located there. Inc. borough, 1874; city, 1926. Pop. (1990) 12,267; (1998 est.) 11,122.
On the Mill Memorial Library grounds, at the corner of Main Street and Kosciuszko Street, stands a state historical marker which reads: "Named for Nanticoke Indians from Maryland who settled here about 1750. Adopted in 1753 by the Six Nations, they settled at Chenango, near Binghamton, to guard the "Southern Door" of the Confederacy.
Incorporated as a village in 1830, Nanticoke was chartered by the Pennsylvania state legislature as a borough on January 31, 1874. The first borough election was held on Tuesday, February 17, 1874 at the Fountain Hotel (site of Guaranty Bank).
By 1885, Nanticoke was a growing community as reflected in new laws being passed and in the appearance of improvements and utilities. A supplement to the "Nanticoke Sun" of 1885 mentioned many accomplishments, a few of which follow: a new law forbidding employment of boys under the age of 14 from working in the mines and boys under 12 from working in the breakers; fifteen additional street lights were recommended and adopted; purchase of 2 hose carriages; Nanticoke Water Company put into operation; building of new roadway from Broadway to river bridge commenced; ordered 35 ft. hook and ladder truck; and the Rough and Reddy Hose Co. #2 was organized.
1892 - A paid police dept, was established. The police cruiser was called the "Black Maria."
1896 - It was decided to used the building at the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets for city hall; Mill Lane changed to Kosciuszko Street.
1897 - Chestnut St. to be discontinued between Main and State Streets for coasting in the winter.
1898 - Emil Malinowski asked to be exonerated from taxes on his spoke and handle factory that employed 15 men. He also requested the borough lock-up to be sold. He obtained it for $60. per year. Offered $500. cash.
1899 - Plank sidewalks ordered constructed at once on Hanover Street from Green to Washington School to make it possible for children to get to the different Boro schools during muddy weather.
1905 - Council used Park building; city building to be used as Emergency Hospital for typhoid epidemic; police to distribute handbills to boil water; bucket of lime distributed to each family having typhoid.
1910 - Meetings held at new city building on West Main.
1915 - Cemetery Street changed to Washington St.
1916 - Enforced sidewalk paving. Owners had to pay Boro employees to lay them; tax levy was 6 3/4 mills; request for dummy policeman at corner of Market and Main Streets.
Nanticoke experienced its greatest increase in population between 1917 and 1925 and qualified to become a Third Class city under the Pennsylvania code. The citizens voted in the fall of 1924 to form a city government and elections were held the following year. The new city government consisted of a mayor and four councilmen. Those taking office in January 1926 were: Mayor - Dan Sakowski; Council - Stanley Drapiewski, Stanley Janowski, Frank Nork, Sr., Teofil Znaniecki; Controller - Alex Skuzinski; Treasurer - Charles Gorski; Solicitor - Michael Torlinski; Secretary - Frank Wadzinski.
Succeeding Mayors were: Evan J. Williams, Stanley Ostrowski, John Paulus, Anthony Drier, Frank Kielar, Charles Makar, Vincent Znaniecki, Edward Gorka, Frank Wadzinski, Jr., Stanley Glazenski, Edward Butkiewicz, John Haydock, Walter Sokolowski, Wasil Kobela and John Toole.
Nanticoke is truly a city on the upward move. It has been fortunate to have had public officials who are dedicated to this community and who are continually looking to the future for its progressive revitalization.
At one time, much of the east coast of the United States was the land of the Nentego Indians, who influenced the culture and society of other nearby peoples.
These native Americans were the first to discover the anthracite coal that would shape much of the early history of Nanticoke.
After battles and forces agreements with the different ethnic settlers of the area, the tribe was forced to move to reservations and vacate the land it had lived on for hundreds of years.
In 1881, the Nentegos were recognized as a Native American tribe in Delaware, where a museum in Milisboro houses years of tradition.
Taking advantage of the fruits of the land that the Indians found, Nanticoke's residents turned the community into a prosperous coal mecca.
Colonel Washington Lee, whose home still stands, was the city's initial coal miner, and he used the Susquehanna River to send the black diamonds out and bring money in.
The growth of Nanticoke was phenomenal- the coal industry had paved the way to riches. By the late 19th century, anthracite streamed by trainloads out of the Wyoming Valley.
Until the middle of the 20th century, Nanticoke flourished with industries and businesses that had been attracted by the coal.
In 1830, the North Branch Canal and the Nanticoke Dam were established, which really began the upward climb of the city.
In 1861, the Nanticoke Railroad was built and later bought by the Lehigh and Susquehanna companies.In 1882, Honey Pot housed tracks from the Pennsylvania Railroad and contributed to the transportation of coal.
Taking place of the Indians were English and German farmers, who were later joined by the Welsh, who were imported to work the mines.
These ethnic groups were followed by the Irish and Polish, who were trying to escape undesirable situations in their homelands. Eventually, Nanticoke was a quilt of European influenced diversity.
The population of the city has fluctuated, with the current citizenry being about 11,000.
With a population of over 500 in 1800, Nanticoke reached its peak in the 1930s with more than 26,000 residents calling the city home.
Today, Nanticoke is a residential community. Neat, clean, and well cared for homes and gardens dominate the city. Reaching back into their history, the residents of Nanticoke can see the dignity and dedication of its ancestry.
of Concrete City located in the Hanover Section of Nanticoke.
excerpts from this page taken from Nanticoke's 200th Anniversary book
FIRST THE INDIANS ....
The city of Nanticoke derived its name from the Nentego Indians. The whites corrupted the name Nentego to Nantico and finally Nanticoke. The name means Tidewater people or seashore settler. In 1608 Captain John Smith recorded seeing the Nentego tribe along the Chesapeake Bay near the Nanticoke River, Maryland. A nomadic tribe, these Indians asked permission of their Iroquois Council in Onandago (Syracuse), New York to move into Penna. and settle along the Susquehanna. The Iroquois granted their request and the Nentegos moved from Maryland and Delaware to the mouth of the Juniata River. When their villages along the river were overrun again by white traders and settlers, they were forced to leave.
In 1748 Chief Ullunckquam and eighty Nentego Indians beached their canoes for the first time in the wilderness area later to be called Nanticoke. The Nentegos were attracted to the area by the shad and other fish in the Susquehanna as well as the deer, bear, wild turkey, and other game which roamed the woods. In the summer the Indians put their tepees on the flats along the river where they planted corn, cooked, fished and swam. In the winter, however, they moved their encampment from the flats to the shelter of the nearby mountains. Their manners, customs, and dialect differed greatly from the other Delaware tribes. One of their customs was to carry the bones of their dead to their new homes. Their burial ground was between Scalpingtown and the river.
Although much has been recorded about the warlike and bloodthirsty Indians invading this valley, this does not pertain to the Nentegos. It has been said of the Nentegos that "never, since the beginning of the world did this Indian nation pull one scalp. No record can be found of the Nentegos having engaged in any hostile expedition against the English, and on July 3, 1937 they were acquitted of any participation in the Wyoming Massacre. Members of the tribe point with pride to the fact that their ancestors had no part in that slaughter.
Nanticoke residents have found spear points, arrowheads, hammerstones, and other artifacts providing evidence of more than 8,000 years of Indian inhabitation. Thus the Nentegos were the last in a long line of Indian tribes to settle the area. We know little about earlier tribes, as no white men were present to record their history and the only information has been compiled from findings through archeological research. The spring floods and the plowing of the flats have provided some interesting findings concerning early Indian existence.
Quite by accident in the early 1900's, Jerry Han, owner of the first home in Dewey Park, when digging sand in the flats, struck a skeleton in a sitting position. The Wyoming Valley Historical Society identified it as a young Indian boy buried over 300 years ago. We can trace records of the Susquehannock Indians who once settled in this area back to 1666. In 1959, a Susquehannock Palisaded Village and Burial Ground was uncovered on Herald's Farm in the Nanticoke area.
The last full-blooded Indian in these parts was Kate Frazier. She made her home in the mountain above the Hanover section of Nanticoke. Kate smoking her pipe was a familiar sight at the turn of the century.
CONFLICTING LAND CLAIMS ....
Prior to 1800 there were few permanent settlers here. The Indian invasions, the Yankee-Pennamite conflict over land ownership and the Revolutionary War involvement all hindered the settlement of the area. The first white settlers arrived in the Valley in 1762, planted grain, and went back to Connecticut for the winter. The following summer a number established farms, but were driven out by a force of Delaware Indians. The Conn. Yankees had acquired claim to the land under a royal charter in 1662 from King Charles II of England. In 1754 the Conn. Susquehanna Co. had also completed a treaty with the Iroquois Indians purchasing the land for 2000 pounds. However, 18 years later, the king included this same land in a grant to the Pennamites of the William Penn Colony. The error was caused by a lack of knowledge about the geography of the new colonies. In 1768, after an appeal to Gay. Johnson of New York, the Pennamites received the deed from the Iroquois for the same lands the Yankees had already purchased; and so the Iroquois were paid, not once, but twice, for this land. The only recourse left to the Yankees was to occupy the land by conquest. Thus began that long and bitter conflict between the Connecticut settlers and the Pennsylvania settlers, known as the Yankee-Pennamite War, which never became settled until the passage of the Compromise Law of 1799 by the Penna. Legislature.
The Battle of Nanticoke was the most formidable encounter of the war. In December, 1775 Col. William Plunkett with a force of 700 Pennamites started up the icy Susquehanna to dispel the Conn. settlers. The resourceful Yankees mustered up a force of 300 settlers to protect their homes. When Plunkett and the Pennamites arrived at West Nanticoke, he was met by Col. Zebulon Butler with the Yankee forces, who were stationed behind a formidable breastwork of logs and rocks. Butler fired a volley of blanks to discourage Plunkett's advance but Plunkett then decided to approach the valley from the east side of the river. There he and the Pennamites were permanently stopped by a volley of real gunfire from the forces stationed at Lee's farm, Honey Pot, under the command of Captain Lazarus Stewart.
A temporary halt was made in the Yankee-Pennamite War when the Revolutionary War enlisted the support of both the Yankees and the Pennamites. The darkest day in the history of Wyoming Valley came on July 3, 1778 when the valley was invaded by a surprise attack of a large force of 500-700 British regulars, Indians, and Tories. The settlers were defenseless, since all their able-bodied men had enlisted in the Continental Army. About 300 untrained old and young men from the valley marched from Forty Fort to meet the force at Exeter. Among those heroes who gave their lives were the following: Captain Lazarus Stewart, William McKarrichan, the first Nanticoke merchant and schoolteacher, and Henry Pencil, who was an ancestor of Fred Pensyl, of the Nanticoke National Bank. During the Yankee-Pennamite conflict, three shooting wars took place between 1769 and 1784. At the end of the hostilities the Yankees were in possession of the valley.
PIONEER SETTLERS ....
Nanticoke owes its beginning to the water power provided by the Nanticoke Falls which encouraged the establishment of mills. Some early settlers who took advantage of this natural resource were: Mason and John Alden, John Oint, and Chapan. Chapman erected a log, grist mill which was the only mill in Wyoming Valley that escaped destruction from floods and burnings by the Indians. In 1780 it was guarded by armed settlers.
There are three other towns which are named Nanticoke. One of them is located in Canada. There is a local story of the first settler of Nanticoke, Ontario, Canada. Called "White Peter," he was a white child, who had been captured and reared by the Indians, but then expelled because he was white. He settled on the banks of a creek, Nanticoke Creek, running into Lake Erie. A later settler noted the strong resemblance he bore to the Klingers of Nanticoke, Pa. He invited Peter to return here. Arriving in Nanticoke, he went into a general store, leaving Peter holding his horse. In answer to his query about the Klingers, the storekeeper replied, "If that isn't one of them outside, I'll eat my shirt." This was about 20 years after Peter's parents had been killed by the Indians. It is then believed that Peter returned and named his creek and settlement after Nanticoke, Pa., where he was born.
In 1778 the early pioneer settlers fled in wildest confusion and later returned to the valley following the end of the war. Among these were old Conrad Line and his family. His home was on Prospect St. across from the site of the Old Auchincloss Colliery. At that time there were more Indians than whites in the community, and whenever Mrs. Line baked bread in her outdoor oven, she always offered two of them to the hungry Indians watching her. Her kindness was rewarded when these same Indians warned her of the invasion. Despite the fact that these Indians had marked the Line home with an X (a "hands-off" symbol to the invading Indians), the family took no chances. Burying their pewter along the creek, they escaped to safety in their wagon.
William Stewart along with his brother Captain Lazarus Stewart had received land in Wyoming Valley as a reward for their part in defending the Yankee claims during the Yankee-Pennamite Wars. This grant was given to them by the Susquehanna Company at a meeting at Windham, Conn., January 9, 1771. In 1789 Cal. Andrew Lee also acquired the land where his home was located. In 1793, Win. Stewart, who owned Lot #27 of the 1st Division, now Nanticoke, had his land surveyed, plotted, planned for streets, and commenced sales. Between February 9 and March 14, 1794, he sold 36 lots at $10 a lot. A portion of this land was sold to John and Mason Alden who owned and operated a grist mill and forge on Nanticoke Creek. After selling 1/3 of this lot, Stewart sold the rest to Matthias Hollenbach and _ he in turn sold to John Mill and others. A second division of land in the valley in 1776 and a third in 1787 but the first division lots were the only ones which extended from the Susquehanna River bank back to the Nuangola Mountain. They contained 430 acres each. By 1802 the following families were known to have owned land here: Matthias Hollenbach, James Coffrin, John Comar, William McKarrachan, James Stewart, James Campbell, Andrew Keithline, John Mill, George Espy, and George Stewart. There was a constant transfer of land ownership. Some of the land owners and other early settlers were: John Fairchild, Silas Alexander, Henry - George, John Lape, Lueder, John and Jacob Lutsey, William and Silas Jackson, William and Cornelius _ Bellesfelt, Jonathan Kelley, John Noble, and Henry, Isaac, and Elisha Bennett.
WHEN COAL WAS KING.
The community owes its chief growth to the anthracite coal industry. Although coal had been discovered by the Indians in 1710, Col. Washington Lee was the first to mine it in 1825. Coal was quarried from the hillside. The teams drove right into the mine and loaded their cargo which they hauled in wagons to the river. The cargo was then loaded into arks which were navigated by skilled river pilots who expertly ran the treacherous falls below Nanticoke. Cargoes of coal were shipped downstream, since there was no sizeable market for them up the river.
Water transportation was important in marketing coal in the industries early days. In 1830, the Nanticoke Dam was completed which allowed the North Branch Canal to be extended as far north as Nanticoke. This city was a terminal point for the canal. The canal was used extensively for coal shipments to larger cities both north and south of the city. In 1840, Col. Lee's mines mined and shipped 20,000 tons of coal a year on the canal. From 1830 to 1900 the economy was entirely dependent upon its canal system. The last two boats were shipped from Nanticoke on December 9, 1900 to Bloomsburg. Captain Cooper, father of Daniel Cooper, a former superintendent of the Nanticoke Light Company, was in charge. The advent of railroads spelled doom for canal transportation.
Col. Lee also built Nanticoke's first breaker. Located near his home, it was erected in 1852 and ceased operation in 1891. In 1869, the Susquehanna Coal Co. purchased Lee's entire holdings. This period also saw the end of the independent coal operator
and small farmer, who was glad to sell his land for $40 or $50 an acre. Agriculture had ceased to be the backbone of the economy.
Susquehanna lated erected the following breakers:
Breaker #2-December 1, 1870; ceased April, 1892- Honey Pot.
Breaker #3-August 11, 1872; ceased 1896 - West Nanticoke.
Breaker #4-1872; the old stockyard.
Breaker #5-1880; near Main St.
Breaker #6-April 1, 1885 - Glen Lyon.
Breaker #7-April 5, 1899.
In 1892 Breaker #7 had an annual production of 1,600,000 tons. The D. L. and W. Coal Company later Glen Alden J also purchased land and constructed the Auchincloss, Bliss, and Truesdale Collieries. At the end of 1916 an anthracite coal record was made by the Truesdale Colliery. It produced 1,689,910 tons-an average of 542 tons per hour. In 1953 fire destroyed this largest anthracite producing mine in the world.
A SURGE OF IMMIGRATION....
Coal mining, as an industry, emerged into national? Prominence through the exploitation of immigration labor. The earliest settlers in Nanticoke were English and German farmers. Welsh immigrants were imported to drive the shafts for the new mines in the 1840's. Because of the Potato Famine, the Irish came next, seeking a new livelihood. In the 60's and 70's the Poles fled political persecution in Poland and hoped to secure liberty and freedom in this new land. - For similar reasons the Slays and Hungarians arrived here and were followed by the Ukrainians, Lithuanians and Italians in 1900. Coal company agents met these people in New York and offered them employment. Many did not even know their destination un-~ til they reached the railroad depot. Boardtown was the headquarters for the immigrants until they could locate.
The majority of these newcomers lived in company homes, and had to make all purchases at the company store. These bills were deducted from their salaries and, wages were so low, that, on payday, many returned to their homes with empty envelopes. Many miners, after years of working in the coal pits, were afflicted with miners asthma. Another hazard was the danger of cave-ins and gas explosions. The outstanding mine catastrophe was the 1869 Avondale fire that took 110 lives. (During this period incidents such as this one were the cause of the formation of the Molly McGuires, a secret society of assassins and terrorists, who were eventually brought to trial for their crimes.) Nanticoke also had her share:
1885-Colliery #1 cave-in took 26 lives.
1891-Colliery #7 explosion took 12 lives.
1904-Auchincloss cage accident took 11 lives.
1950-Bliss Colliery rock and earth slide took 2 lives.
By means of union organization the miner secured better wages and higher standards of living. The first major step was taken when John Mitchell led the miners strike of 1902 and secured recognition of The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) as the official union of the miners.
King Anthracite attracted thousands. In 1880 the population was 3,884. Mass immigration took place from 1880 and reached its peak in 1930 when the population of Nanticoke was 26,043. With the decline of coal as king, the population in 1960 dropped to 15,601.
All old timers remember the steamboats. In 1826 the first steamboat "Codorus" which ferried sightseers from Nanticoke and Plymouth was the first iron ship built in America. In 1834 the Susquehanna Steamboat and Navigation Company built the "Susquehanna" for $13,000 but it was a commercial failure. In 1838 while in service between Wilkes-Barre and Nanticoke as a pleasure boat, she went aground and people had to walk back to Nanticoke. In 1843 one hour sailing on the pleasure steamboat "The Fashion" cost 121/2 cents. An editorial in the 1854 "Democratic Expositor", a Wilkes-Barre newspaper, stated: "The only proper and profitable use to which steamboats can ever be put, will be towing canal boats from Nanticoke to Plymouth and from there to the Outlet Lock and the various coal depots on the Nanticoke pool." In 1874 the Wilkes-Barre Steamboat Company was chartered to carry passengers during the summer season between Nanticoke and Pittston with Wilkes-Barre as its main docking point.
An 1882 news article: "The practice of bathing in the river in full view of passing steamer and boats should be stopped."
"As the steamboat bringing the theatre-goers to Wilkes-Barre was coming upriver last night, it ran aground and was stuck for half an hour."
June, 1883: "For a pleasure trip take one of the many steamboat trips down the Susquehanna to Nanticoke and you will be reminded of some seaport by the number of canal boats in the dam.
BOROUGH, THEN CITY....
Nanticoke was carved from Hanover Township and one third of Newport Township. The charter of Nanticoke borough was granted Tan. 31, 1874 and the first borough election was held at the Fountain Hotel (site of Nanticoke National Bank], kept by Xavier Wernett, on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 1874. E. N. Alexander, Patrick Shea were the inspectors. Lewis C. Green was elected burgess. Xavier Wernett, E. N. Alexander, Patrick Shea, and George T. Morgan were elected Councilmen. Samuel Line, William Fairchild, L. W. Carey, Thomas Williams, Joseph Sheperd and George Ahrs, school board; Samuel Keithline, justice of the peace; George Hill, assessor; Samuel Line, L. W. Carey and Dr. A. A. Lape, auditors; L. W. Carey, clerk of the town council. The successive burgesses were as follows:
Milton Stiles, I. D. Williams, Thomas 0. Evans, James Marker, John D. Williams, John I. Boyle, W. Burnett, H. M. Williams, James Keating, Frank Stryszynski, James Cooney, F. W. Madajewski, Win. H. Oldfield, and Dan Sakowski.
On the 50th anniversary of the Borough of Nanticoke, 1924, the citizens voted in the fall election to change to a city government. The newly elected government officials took office in 1926. The government, a 3rd class city, was a commission type with an elected mayor and four councilmen. They were:
Mayor-Dan Sakowski, Council-Stanley Drapiewski, Stanley Janowski, Frank Nork, Sr., Teofil Znaniecki; Controller-Alex Skuzinski, Treasurer-Charles Gorski, Solicitor-Michael Torlinski, Secretary- Frank Wadzinski. The successive mayors were as follows:-Evan J. Williams, Stanley Ostrowski, John Paulis, Anthony Dreier, Frank Kielar, Charles Makar, Vincent Znaniecki, Edward Gorka.
HERE COMES MODERN NANTICOKE....
Ask 'em what happened to the old towne when King Coal took it on the lam, and most anybody who was around at the time will likely say, "We tightened our belts and we prayed!"
Historians may relate of Nanticoke's "lost generation", but they'll find no evidence that withdrawal of the coal chest brought the City to her knees other than to pray.
No ghost town complex for Nanticoke, friend, resulted from the economic decline and loss of population precipitated by the demise of the coal industry. But, rather, a spiritual resurgence took hold. .
the proper reflection of the bold, proud look to the future taken by men who refused to be counted out when all seemed lost.
Good men at that time and at this place took Fate by the scuff and the seat and changed course.
The objective was revitalization. The vehicle was renewal, urban style.
On August 2, 1957 the vestiges of coal dust were whiffed away with the creation of the Nanticoke Redevelopment Authority. The necessary resolutions were passed and a set of by-laws put together the board of directors to control the course.
Stanley L. Yantz . .. Edward W. Kyrnick. . . Donald W. Jones. . . Anthony E. Gribb . . . Bernard Lawrence: these men formed the first thrust toward renewal. As members of the new board of directors for the Redevelopment -Authority they were united by a common bond, their love for Nanticoke.
Three days later, on August 5, 1957, the Board of Directors chose their quarterback-Al Bohinski.
Al Bohinski assumed the responsibility of running the Authority as executive director with boundless energy. With courage, a conscientious and progressive plan called for the rejuvenation of the central city business district.
The Authority retained the services of the consulting firm of Candeub and Cabot to handle the initial planning and redevelopment phase of Nanticoke's first urban renewal project . . . the Market- Broadway Urban Renewal Project. These plans were completed in 1959, and on June 26 of that year the plans were presented to the Nanticoke citizenry at a public hearing. By April, 1960 the Authority had begun to purchase properties and prepare them for demolition.
The Authority assembled 650,989 square feet for disposition. Right-of-way disposition of 71,960 square feet assisted the fulfillment of a new traffic circulation plan for center city.
A new appearance was given center city with construction of the spacious Nanticoke Towers by the Nanticoke Housing Authority. The seven story high- rise apartment has fifty dwelling units designed for the elderly.
A new United States Post Office . . . a new medical center . . . and the new Petro Building added to the refreshing quality of center city.
A large A & P supermarket . . . new car wash and commercial plaza of the Susquehanna Savings and Loan Association bolstered the renewal effort. The purchase of 3300 square feet by John E. Bednar helped. Peoples Bank expanded its services to the community by redeveloping project land for a new drive-in facility.
Totaled together the above redevelopment accounts for 195,320 square feet of disposable land.
The remaining 383,709 square feet of disposition land is all on the way of being processed for conveyance to redevelopers like the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority . . . The Pennsylvania Gas and Water Company . . . Mark Realty . . . Leonard Pawlowski and one other localite to be named.
Today, the Redevelopment Authority is driving for the goal of completing the redevelopment program for the Market-Broadway Project. What a joy to present disposition of all project land in time for the 175th Anniversary Party!
The impetus given renewal by Al Bohinski was continued by Irvin C. Patterson who was appointed August 7, 1961 and carried on by the late Attorney Anthony B. Drier as executive director in 1962. The untimely death of Tony Drier on Feb. 2, 1966 created a void that was quickly bridged by Irv Patterson. John Leighton, of Wilkes-Barre, succeeded Mr. Patterson, and served the Authority for a short period before resigning. With the resignation of Mr. Leighton, Mrs. Sophie S. Novak continued as acting Executive Director.
Time has also recorded the transition of the Board of Directors. John Hurley, R. Jay Hughes , Joseph Szot, Frank Koronkiewicz and Eugen Horanzy now form the directing course for the Authority. Mr. Horanzy was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Dr. John L. Darns on December 21, 1967. Mr. Horanzy was reappointed to a five year term on July 1, 1968.
THE EAST SIDE STORY....
In addition to assuming the challenge of closing out the Market-Broadway project, the new Authority Board focused attention on preserving the residential characteristics of the City and in April, 1965 initiate this effort with a conservation program for the East Side.
On September 1, 1966 the Board of Director brought William Gates Snyder from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to run the Nanticoke renewal program. By March 1967 the East Side Urban Renewal Project was funded and ready for operation
A survey conducted by a special task force of the Authority during the summer of 1967 pin pointed the needs and desires of East Side residents. Keystone to the conservation program is the assemblage of land at Central Park South for construction of a 76 unit high rise apartment house for the elderly. Relocation of the families, individuals and business interest from the site at Market, Green and Church streets is assured without undue hardship. The Redevelopment Authority on July 3, 1968 tendered the disposition contract for the public housing site at Central Park South to the Nanticoke Housing Authority, designated redeveloper.
Although there will be some clearance activity throughout the East Side, the program is primarily conservation. Restoration of housing is creating quite a stir. With the help of Federal grants and low interest loans the Authority is assisting many property owners in rehabilitating their properties. Every available contractor in Nanticoke has been put to work and still the need increases to meet the call of property owners for rehabilitation.
There'll be a general environmental face lifting throughout the East Side beginning during the summer of 1968. Reconstruction and repaving of streets paving of all alleys, installation of new curbing and sidewalks where required, installation of street signs, planting of 1,000 trees, and construction of a new storm drainage system are planned.
Engineered by the firm of Cope, Linder and Walmsley, the public improvements to the East Side will also include recreationally designed tot lots and parks.
While many new single family dwellings are expected to be started early in 1969, the Authority anticipates that some 125 moderate income garden type apartments will be sponsored by a local non-profit group at the same time. In addition to its 76 unit high-rise apartment house, the Nanticoke Housing Authority has pledged its acquisition of at least 60 scattered sub-standard houses for rehabilitation and rental to~ low-income families. The Authority has on hand the intent of local developers to construct affluently priced town houses. Thus, the new housing program for the East Side runs the full gamut from low income public housing to high income town house types.
The rehabilitation of older housing by the private sector blends in with plans for new housing and rounds out a complete housing program for the East Side.
The Authority has achieved notable gains for human renewal, too. Scores of hardships suffered by East Side residents have either been resolved by the Authority's Social Service program or have been referred to appropriate agencies. An adult education program was also initiated during the summer of 1968 and will continue through the winter months- and as long as required during the life of the project.
The opening of the site office in the East Side community in July, 1968 centralized the effectiveness of the conservation program and made the Authority more readily available to area residents.
What direction will the renewal course take after a successful completion of the Market-Broadway project and a continuation of the East Side conservation effort? The Authority has been encouraged to write the lyrics for a West Side story . . . and interest has been developed by citizens residing in the Hanover section . . . and great opportunities beckon from Honeypot. There's also the need to rejuvenate the river side-a bountiful resource to be tapped for the City. And the great open spaces of the Middle Road area invite attention.
Like the song says, "Everything today is coming in modern . . . everything today makes yesterday slow!"
So, check your personality .
Here comes modern Nanticoke, NOW!
The educational system of Nanticoke dates back to 1774, when William McKarrichan was a teacher and a merchant. The first recorded school, a log cabin, was built in 1810 and was replaced by another in 1830. Ground for the first church and schoolhouse was given by John and Catherine Mill and was located between the present Presbyterian and Methodist churches.
placed it. Another was on Welsh Hill (W. Main St.) on the present site of Frank Koronkiewicz's home. A third was in Hanover on Espy St. Among its very earliest pupils were John Badman and Ada Paull, who later became his wife. Before the Methodists built their Espy St. church, they had services in the school, and had to supply their own wood and coal. Later the Lithuanians used it for church services.
CENTENNIAL BUILDING-1876 ....
The Centennial was the first brick building and had 13 rooms. It was situated on the corner of Market and Noble Streets. Its first teachers were imports. In 1901-02 Edwin Gibbs was principal; his salary was $585 a year. His teachers were Hannah Jones, Margaret Sorenson, Mary Oplinger, Harriet Sutliffe, Rachel Winter, Margaret Fisher, and Elizabeth Evans, whose salaries were $405; and Bertha Fine whose starting salary was $360. The last principal was Miss Margaret Fisher.
Early log schools were replaced by wooden buildings, frequently painted red. They were small, one- room buildings. One of these wae in Honey Pot, and was used until 1910 when the Garfield School reWest Main was the second brick building. The
architect was W. Miuer and the Contractor was William Pethick. Plumbing was handled by I. Srnoulter, Jr. In 1901-02 D. S. Pensyl was principal. Teachers were Mary Gruver, Edna Deitrick, Maude Thompson, Genevieve Corgan, and Anna Snyder, who taught first grade. Among her students were Laura Jackson in 1900 and Emma Fairchild Kelly. The last head teacher was Marie Fisher.
This was a white wooden building. Grades 1 to 6 were on the first floor; 8th grade and High School classes were on the second floor. Pupils had to go to 7th grade at the Centennial. Alice Dunn was in the first High School graduating class in 1890 when
D. A. Davis was principal and his assistant was Charles Petty. The Superintendent in 1886 was Miller whose salary was 083 per month. In 1901-02 A. P. Diffendafer was principal (salary - $7201, I. N. Garman was first assistant and Margaret Davis was second assistant. Teachers were Anna (Polly) Brader,
Margaret Kelley, Bessie Whitson, Emma Lore, Mary Thomas, and Mary McCarthy. Robert Davis was the last principal.
WASHINGTON SCHOOL-1893 ....
This was the third brick building. Through the efforts of Patrick Shea, Stearns donated the land for the building. Podmere was the architect. The third floor was so huge that the boys played basketball there. In 1898 the principal was Joseph Oliver and he was assisted by Galen Oplinger. Mabel Hawke taught 4th grade for 5 years from 1898 to 1902. Some of her pupils were Mary Piotrowski, Atty. Stanley Jones, Louis Coopey, Verna Phillips (Mrs. T. Morgan), Catherine Evans (Mrs. J. Jonathan), Emma and Lucy Malinowski. Music Supervisor was Gwilym Davies.
In 1901-02 the principal was Galen Oplinger. Besides Mabel Hawke, other teachers were Anna Gaffikin, Lillie Powell, Mary Williams, Margaret Morris, Katherine Smith, Margaret Lynch, Anna Burke, Bessie Connell.
In the fall of 1918 during the Flu crisis, schools were closed. This school was used as an emergency hospital and teachers volunteered as nurses. Robert Davis is now principal.
This was a large white wooden building. In 1901-02 the principal was Joseph Oliver and teachers were Jane Roberts and Mary Bates. About 1907 when Dr. Waters was examining the pupils, he discovered a number of TB cases. Cots were placed on the third floor for them. This floor had been used for basketball formerly.
PULASKI SCHOOL 1904
A large brick edifice with ornate Roman columns and stonework, it served upon completion as the Nanticoke High School. Sophie Morgan (Mrs. John Williams) was graduated in its first class in 1905. Graduation exercises were held at the Broadway Opera House. The last principal to serve was Win. Jonathan.
GARFIELD 1910-12 ....
A large, white, wooden building whose first principal was Margaret Fisher. Until her retirement, Anna Gaffikin was principal of this school.
LINCOLN SCHOOL-1913 ....
The school is a brick building which cost $50,000 to build. Arch Jacobs was the school's first principa1. Recently renovated, it is still a fine, large building. Principal is Harry Dykens.
NANTICOKE HIGH SCHOOL 1914-l916....
Located on Main St. it cost $153,000 to build. At first the 5th and 6th grade classes were held in the Nanticoke High School, in addition to Junior High and High School classes. Charlotte Jenkins (now Mrs. P. Locke) and Edith Davis Bache taught these grades there for $67.50 per month. At that time, the first principal was John Davis and Claire Conway was - head of the English Department. Anthony Diksa's - principal.
STATE STREET SCHOOL
Located on State Street between
Christian and Walnut Streets. Built in late 1910-20 decade and closed
in early 60's. Bob Davis was its last principal. Teachers between
1952 and 1958 included K. Vera Davis, 1st grade Ruth Pratt, Miss Estelle
Macclevage 2nd grade, Mrs. Alta Harrington--3rd Grade; Mrs. Dombrowski
4th grade, Mrs. Dorothy Type 5th grade , and Mr. Edward Boyle 6th
grade. The two district nurses had their headquarters in this building
also. They were Annette Jonathan and Gertrude Turner.
Ed Williams was the principal until 1961. After fortyfour years of continuous service in Hanover upon his retirement, the community gave him a tremendous banquet and ovation. Adult education classes in English and history were held in this school; to prepare the newer immigrants for the naturalization process. Andrew Blysak was the head teacher~
KOSCIUSZKO JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL-1924....
William H. Jones was the first principal. When the High School became overcrowded, the 9th grade became a part of the Junior High School. Principal is John Kravitz.
JOHN F KENNEDY SCHOOL-1963 ....
The first head teacher was Marie Fisher; the present one is Mrs. Myrthen Mack. This school has the only cafeteria in Nanticoke. Primary grades 1 to 3.
PAST SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN: ....
Miller, John W. Griffith, A. P. Diffendafer, Fred Jones, John Smith, Joseph Siesko, and Louis Gawat.
PAST HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS HAVE BEEN:
D. A. Davis, A. P. Diffendafer, John Davis, Martin Gronka, Anthony Diksa.
In 1966 Nanticoke schools, under the Federal Anti Poverty Program, received aid in the form of free dental care, renovation of school buildings, and the beginning of a remedial program. A great deal of credit for improving educational standards in Nanticoke must be given to the administrative heads of the school system and the Superintendents of Schools.
In 1966 Plymouth Township merged with the Nanticoke Schools, and in 1967 Nanticoke, Newport, Conyngham and Plymouth Township merged to be- - come the Greater Nanticoke Area School System. The present School Directors include Mauro Nardozzo, Mike Danko, John Shipp, Alfred Szatkowski, Frank Kuchinski, James McDermott, William Matikiewicz, Dr. John Raven, and Roman Piestrak.
Many, many years ago, Rev. James McGowen of Wilkes-Barre made this statement: "The morning sun rising over the eastern mountain gives its first kiss to the glistening crosses atop the churches of this valley." That applied to Nanticoke then but more so today, for there are twenty-two churches here. The people in this community have always been devout church members. In the early days, services were held in the homes by visiting ministers or priests and later they were held in schoolhouses. The Presbyterians were first organized in the Keithline School in 1829. Among the homes that claim the honor of having fass were the Shea's Honey Pot; Frank Miklosz, Prospect St.; Leary and McGuire, Main St. and O'Brien, Boardtown.
The earliest churches are:
The First Presbyterian Church-Main and Walnut,