HomeColumnists ( November 14, 2018 )

100 Years Ago

By Betty Smith, Susquehanna County Historical Society, Montrose, PA

Celebrating the End of the War: From noon until late at night, the people of Montrose and surrounding country celebrated the signing of the armistice, the virtual ending of the great war. Noises of every description were heard on all sides. Pandemonium reigned. People were intoxicated (figuratively speaking) with happiness. The festivities were to celebrate a wonderful day and everyone did his or her best to do the occasion a measure of justice, heaped and running over. The Montrose High School paraded with credit to themselves, their teachers and the commonwealth. The Boy Scouts headed the school demonstration. A finely decorated truck, containing Uncle Sam and Miss Liberty, led the way, followed by a red, white and blue truck to represent "Backing Liberty," filled with farmers, farmerettes, soldiers and sailors, nurses and cooks. Another decorated truck carried the American Girls, dressed in red, white and blue. The Camp Fire Girls and the grades followed, carrying flags. After the school parade, the auto parade formed, headed by Susquehanna and Montrose bands and drum corps. All the patriotic societies and other organizations in the town were represented. At 7pm an informal parade was launched—a real, old-fashioned torch light procession, each marcher equipped with some noise-producing instrument. The homes of the town were illuminated and mid cheers and shouts the parade stopped at Monument Square, where the mayor asked for three cheers for the boys "over there." After numerous speeches and band selections, the crowd then gathered below the Court House where a huge bonfire ended the day's celebration. At East Rush – Our little town celebrated the fall of Germany by the ringing of the church bell and firing off of guns, and all hearts rejoiced that the two young men that went from us to fight the Hun are not injured, and in all probability will soon return to us, although Clark James, while working in the engineering corps was gassed and it affected his eyes, he wrote to his parents that he will soon be all right. At Susquehanna – The news of the fighting having ceased caused a wild outburst of delight among our people. The big shops were practically deserted for every worker wanted to celebrate the great event and only those unable to be spared, were left in the shops. At Brooklyn – When the report came that Germany had surrendered, the church bells, school bells, dinner bells and tin pans sounded forth the glad tidings. School declared a recess and the school children paraded the streets waving flags, singing patriotic songs and hurrahing. In the evening Kaiser Bill was hung in effigy, amid the cheers of a large throng of people, in the center of the town. J. W. Adams and O. M. Doloway, two veterans of the Civil War, aided in the celebration by firing their old army muskets.

Great Bend – V. D. Hand and James M. Gillispie, of Hallstead, and Chas. M. Hamlin, of this village, have organized a system of chain stores, to be known as the H. G. & H. Stores, to be operated as general stores on the cash plan. The new concern starts off with four stores. The Peoples' Cash Store will be the central store, while the former Chambers, Allen and Hamlin stores will be operated as branch stores.

Tirzah (Herrick Twp.) and Vicinity – Neighbors and friends of Charles Fisher held a bee on Thursday of last week and dug his potatoes for him. He is just recovering from an attack of influenza and is unable to work, while in Thompson, several neighbors and friends met and dug all of Mrs. Edith Davis' potatoes and put them in the cellar. ALSO Fire destroyed the large dairy barn of Judson J. Walker on Nov. 7. Mrs. Walker discovered smoke and on going out of the house found their big dairy barn in flames. Immediately giving the alarm she hurried to the burning building, where through the dense smoke, she found and brought to safety a large, young horse, the only animal in the barn at the time. Help came, but to no avail, and the barn and contents were completely destroyed; about 40 tons of hay, several pieces of machinery, a quantity of straw and a large silo. The house, nearby, was saved. The loss was a large one, as this barn was one of the best in this community.

Lakeside, New Milford Twp. – The Lakeside store, which has been closed since Wm. Brink moved to Laceyville, has re-opened with an entirely new stock of groceries and general merchandise under the management of A. W. Darrow.

Oakland – The well-known firm of Brush Bros. has sold the grocery stock, etc. to Joseph Stack, who will conduct that business at the same stand. Brush Bros. have retained their hardware store and remodeled the same, adding new lines, until it will be one of the best and most up-to-date hardware stores in this vicinity.

Lynn, Springville Twp. – Two of our popular young women have donned bloomers and have taken jobs of farmers, husking corn on shares with success, showing that they are trying to do their bit.

News Briefs: We notice one thing about this influenza epidemic. The doctors who prescribed whisky are getting much more of the practice than those who prescribed caster oil. ALSO Here is a remedy to help wipe out influenza—the advice of one doctor—"My advice to all patients is to go to bed with the windows open, protected from drafts by a screen and with plenty of cover, but not as to sweat. It is also pressing that our women get away from the habit of keeping the shades in the "company room," and in bedrooms drawn in day time. Throw open the blinds; let the sunlight in; air the rooms during the day and have plenty of fresh air at night. That will harm nobody and make the body all the stronger in the resistance to the germs." The doctor is right, germs cannot live in sunlight and fresh air.

200 Years Ago from the Montrose Gazette, November 7 and 14, 1818

*"SOMETIMES BY FIRE." The barn of Rev. E. Kingsbury, of Harford, was consumed by fire on Friday night of last week, with all its contents, consisting of his year's supply of hay and grain and a valuable family horse. It took fire from a candle which some lads had carried into the stable. The loss to Mr. Kingsbury is great; but we trust the liberality of the citizens of that township will be exercised in relieving his distress. (11/7)

*NOTICE. As certain persons are circulating a report that I have agreed to pay the debts of Jabez Newcomb, I hereby notify the public that such an agreement never did exist, and that I utterly refuse to pay any demands of whatsoever name or nature existing against him. EZEKIEL MAINE, Bridgewater, Nov. 6, 1818.

*NOTICE. I hereby notify all persons that I never did nor never will agree to pay any debts contracted by Peleg Baldwin, my father, and I forbid all persons trusting any person on my account without a written or verbal order. LYMAN BALDWIN. Middletown, Nov. 10, 1818.

*REGIMENTAL ORDERS. The field officers of the 76th Reg't. Pennsylvania Militia, are directed to meet at Edward Fuller's, in Montrose, on the second Monday of December next, at 11 o'clock am. The paymaster of said Regiment is also directed to attend at the aforesaid time and place and exhibit a fair statement of his accounts agreeably to law. FREDERICK BAILEY, Col. 76th Regiment Pennsylvania Militia. Waterford, Nov. 12, 1818.

*WOLF HUNT. The Sportsmen of Susquehanna County are invited to attend a Wolf Hunt on the waters of the Snake Creek, near the Salt spring, on Friday the 27th inst. A large tract of wilderness will be surrounded, and drove to the centre in close order, until the party arrives at a certain circle, marked out by lopping of bushes where a hault will be made for further orders. Danger need not be apprehended, as the circle will be drawn around a hill. Particular arrangements will be made by officers appointed for the purpose. A SPORTSMAN. Montrose, Nov. 13, 1818.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Duane Williams owns a large parcel of real property in Adams County comprising approximately 172 acres. There is a dirt roadway that leaves the public highway some distance from Williams' property but eventually transected a portion of the Williams' property before crossing onto neighboring properties. This roadway had been used for years by loggers to access timber in the surrounding forested properties.

Williams decided to close the road to the logging activities at the point where it entered his real property. Henry Taylor and his three logging companies instituted a civil suit contending that a prescriptive easement had been established that permitted the use of the dirt roadway for logging purposes. A prescriptive easement is a right of way acquired through adverse possession, i.e., that the person claiming the easement had used the roadway for an uninterrupted period of 21 years.

In 1850, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted the Unenclosed Woodlands Act which sought to protect woodlands from claims relating to prescriptive easements. In particular, the Unenclosed Woodlands Act provides simply: "No right of way shall be hereafter acquired by user, where such way passes through unenclosed woodland." Prior to this enactment, the courts had recognized the establishment of prescriptive easements over unenclosed woodland in circumstances where the owner of the property never knew that there was an easement on the wooded property. The legislature enacted the Unenclosed Woodland Act to protect property owners of large wooded unenclosed wooded parcels from the danger of unknown prescriptive easements being established upon their real property.

The question, however, becomes what constitutes "unenclosed woodlands." The legislature did not define this particular term in 1850 – nor has any subsequent legislation provided any additional clarification. For 170 years, this particular statute managed to avoid any judicial interpretation as to the definition of "unenclosed woodlands" until the dispute between Williams and Taylor occurred. While there had been previous cases, the record in each of the reported cases were extreme, i.e., clearly woodland or clearly not woodland. This was the first case where there was a question as to whether "unenclosed woodland" was involved.

The trial court had concluded that "unenclosed woodlands" means "an area of land occupied by wood and shrubs and is synonymous with forest." Based upon this broad definition, the trial court concluded that the forested portion of the Williams' property was "unenclosed woodlands" over which no prescriptive easement could be acquired. On appeal, Taylor argued for a more precise definition that would consider a variety of factors such as the commercial viability of the timber, density of the trees, canopy coverage, and visibility within the wooded area. Taylor contended that 450 to 500 trees per acre were required before any area could be considered a "woodland."

The Superior Court rejected Taylor's more arduous definition of "woodland" and adopted the trial court's broader definition. Thus, the Superior Court defined "woodland" as "an area of land that trees and bushy undergrowth cover, synonymous with a forest." In reviewing the record, the Superior Court concluded that Williams' property constituted "unenclosed woodland" in that "trees and bushy undergrowth cover [a] portion of his property." As a result, the trial court's decision was affirmed and Taylor's request for a prescriptive easement was denied as the Unenclosed Woodland Act prohibited any prescriptive easement over Williams' real property.

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Library Chitchat

By Nancy Narma

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'Thank you', that would suffice." ~Meister Eckhart

Why does Thanksgiving have to be just one day out of the year? Are we not grateful for our loved ones, a roof over our heads, our feet under our own table and enough food to replenish us? Certainly, but while we are counting our blessings, may we also think about those less fortunate than ourselves and help where we can. I have always maintained that if every person in this country gave a helping hand to just one other individual, there would be so much less homelessness and hunger in our world. Also, while we're filling our plates with turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing and all of the homemade goodies, let us say a silent prayer for those who have, for one reason or another, an empty chair at their table and hug each other a little bit tighter and let those you love, know you do. It doesn't cost a dime and will fill your heart with joy; remember it isn't what you serve on your table—it's who you share it with that counts.

In a previous column you learned about the copy of "Spoon River Anthology" that was checked out from a Louisiana Library in 1934, but wasn't returned (L-O-N-G Overdue) until October 1st of this year. In the continuing saga, presently, the maximum fine on a book is $3.00 and the library graciously waived it—so glad just to have the book (a first edition) back—but the story doesn't end there. The family who returned the book donated $1,542.65 to the library in memory of their late mother, who, when she was eleven years old had borrowed the book and never returned it. Why the odd amount of money you ask? Late fees in 1934 were a nickel per day.

Did you know that people who grow up with home libraries have better math, literacy and technological skills? Adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long-term cognitive competencies. A good place to start is Baby's First Library and reading at home to young children—a great base to encourage the love of reading for years to come.

Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan? Did you know that Sherlock made his first appearance in "Beeton's Christmas Annual" in 1887 when it published "A Study in Scarlet". Until just recently, it was believed that there are 33 known copies still in existence—I guess someone cleaned out an attic as the 34th copy is currently up for sale online. Before you get excited about becoming its owner, or purchasing it as a gift for that difficult person on your list, please note that you'll need approx. $75,000.00. That would put a hole in anyone's Christmas stocking.

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Author Betty Smith, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary besides being named as one of PBS' Great American reads. What a heartwarming and heart-breaking classic story of a young girl's coming-of age at the turn of the twentieth century. You'll fall in love with Francie Nolan and her unwavering attempts to make things right, despite her alcoholic father, and often penniless household. This book will hold your heart and never let it go—it has in my case, all of these years. This classic and many others are waiting for your perusal and enjoyment at your local library location. How thankful we are that we have such wonderful, informative places and the talented staffs that care for them!

As we gather together on the 22nd to give Thanks for all of our Blessings, I leave you with this thought:

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues." ~Cicero

A Sharing Heart—Age Old Recipes—Saying Grace


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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Why is methadone free but chemo isn't?

"Doesn't seem fair to me," Jake said to the pharmacist. "Why is methadone free for drug addicts but chemotherapy is not free for cancer patients. Surely, people with cancer are more deserving of a cure than a junkie!" Judgmental Jake. Always splashing his opinions onto those around him.

The pharmacist explained to Jake that cancer and addiction are not comparable diseases. Cancer is very complicated and involves a regimen of multiple drugs and other therapies, such as radiation. Cancer is an umbrella term for 200 malignant diseases caused by combinations of genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Some of these diseases, such as pancreatic cancer, are more deadly than prostate cancer, for which there are diagnostic tests that pinpoint a malignancy in its earliest, and most curable stage. New, targeted therapies have been developed that attack the cancer cell directly, avoiding the harsh side effects of chemo, such as hair loss, and mouth sores. 

Chemotherapy can be expensive. The costs of chemotherapy can run as high as $30,000 over an 8-week period, according to the American Cancer Society. The average cost for an initial treatment is approximately $7,000. Expenses differ depending on the drugs, the stage of the cancer and other factors specific to each patient. Consider breast cancer. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for breast cancer treatment typically consist of doctor visits, lab and prescription drug co-pays. Co-insurance of 10%-50% for surgery and other procedures can easily reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum. Health insurance typically covers breast cancer treatment, although some plans might not cover the priciest drugs or treatments. For patients with no health insurance, breast cancer treatment costs $15,000-$50,000 for a mastectomy or $17,000-$35,000 for a lumpectomy followed by radiation.

Unlike cancer therapy, drug addiction treatment is more cut-and-dried. Methadone is a controlled substance used to treat opioid dependence. Specifically, methadone works by "occupying" the brain receptor sites affected by opiates. The result is that methadone blocks the euphoric and sedating effects of opiates while relieving cravings and symptoms associated with withdrawal from opiates. Methadone does have its drawbacks. Like heroin, methadone produces a long list of side effects, including euphoria. One can become addicted to it, therefore, the doses must be carefully monitored. Moreover, it does not cure addiction. It simply makes it easier for the patient to quit abusing opioids.

While methadone is a relatively inexpensive generic drug, it is not always free. There are public and private methadone clinics for the treatment of drug abuse. While private clinics are not free, public methadone clinics are government-funded, have a waiting list, and are generally paid for by the taxpayers. The sad part about methadone replacement therapy is the high recidivism rate. Addicts can be treated for months only to slip back into their habit. This wastes taxpayer money. Opioid withdrawal must be coupled with peer group support and educational services. This involves more of your money.

The pharmacist made clear to Jake that addiction is a disease like cancer. While cancer affects the cancer patient and his family, addiction can destroy society, with high crime rates, and loss of life. Right now, there is no answer to addiction. However, addicts should not be prosecuted through imprisonment or ostracism, neither of which addresses the physiologic basis of addiction.

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a registered pharmacist, medical writer, and principal at Read more at

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