HomeColumnists ( October 4, 2023 )

100 Years Ago

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

Montrose – The Village Improvement Society will hold a formal opening and house-warming, Oct. 6th, at Colonial Hall. The hall has undergone many interior improvements during the past and the object of this opening is that the public may have an opportunity to visit the hall and see the beautiful condition in which it has been placed, made possible only by the untiring efforts of this association. There will be refreshments, dancing and musical numbers. Everyone most cordially invited.

Lawsville – The annual community fair is to be held Oct. 13 at the Grange Hall. One of the features of the fair will be the summing up of the work done by the boys' pig club. The pigs, which have been fed and raised by the boys, will be brought in and Mr. Barnhart, from State College, will be present to place the winners and award the prizes. Among the attractions will be guessing contests, nail driving contest, prizes for school work, sewing, the best cakes, pies, bread, candy, and more, are offered.

West Auburn – The Merchants Telephone Company closed a deal for the West Auburn Telephone Company's line, running from Laceyville to West Auburn. The company has about 74 miles of pole line and 250 subscribers.

Forest City – The memorial tablet to be erected in Christ church in honor of members who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War and those who saw service, has arrived. It will not be unveiled until such time as the entire expense is in the hands of the committee. Quite a sum is lacking and all members wishing to contribute to the fund are requested to get in touch with Carl Brown, J.J.L. Jones or the rector.

Susquehanna – Robert E. Lea, a native of this place and brother of Henry Lea, died on Tuesday in Chicago, aged 56. Mr. Lea was born here and spent his boyhood in Susquehanna. In Chicago he gained prominence as an artist, and was well known through the west for his excellent work. Numberless friends here will note his death with genuine regret. He is survived by three brothers and two sisters.

Birchardville – The second annual Field Day and Trap Shooting Tournament, to be held under the auspices of the Sportsmen's Club, is to be held on Saturday, Oct. 13th. In the dog trials a silver cup will be given for the best fox hound, and a valuable prize will also be given to the owner of the best coon dog as shown by trial. Athletic contests are being arranged, including 300-yard dash, 100-yard dash for boys under 15, tug-of-war, boys' pie eating contest, girls wheelbarrow race, greased pig race and more.

Thompson – We missed a familiar voice in the choir Sunday, and craning our necks to see who was missing, we discovered to our amazement that A.E. Foster's seat was vacant. We could hardly believe our eyes. After the many promises that appeared in last week's issue, we felt surely good times have come again and then to think to our Postmaster should be the very first one to transgress, and the very first Sunday too. We thought surely that he, of all the rest, we could rely upon. Well, wonders never cease.

New Milford – Correction: We are in receipt of a communication which states that an item relating to the injury of Joseph Wellman, of New Milford, near the Summersville bridge, was incorrect. It states that young Slater met a large car near the bridge which was going at a high rate of speed and he was obliged to slow his car down, and at the same time Mr. Wellman, who was working on the road, started across in front of Slater's car with a wheelbarrow load of gravel. Slater's car struck him and injured him slightly. Mr. Slater stopped his car and asked Mr. Wellman if he was hurt, and replying that he was and wanted to go home, Mr. Slater left him with those working with him, as they said they would take him home. Mr. Slater then continued on his way to Hallstead. [Refer to Sept. 21st, 100 Years Ago article under New Milford, where Slater was accused of leaving the scene of the accident.]

Silver Lake – C.J. Heavey, a former resident of this place, now a member of the police force in New York City, was sighted on the streets of Montrose this week.

Dimock – The Dimock Township School Board has decided to send Prof. Reiter, with 16 vocational boys, to the national dairy show at Syracuse. The only expense, which the boys will have to bear, will be the payment for meals and about $3.50 ought to cover that, if the boys do not eat too much. Lodging will be provided by the national show committee. This sum does not allow for movie shows and other legitimate pleasures.

Brooklyn – The members of the Musical Club entertained their husbands, the teachers of the high school and a few friends, at a corn roast near A.W. Gere's. All had their fill of corn, wieners, rolls and coffee. The evening closed with a performance by "Bill" Tiffany and Lou Smith.

North Jackson – So far as known Mrs. Allie Savory is the first lady to be chosen to an elective office in Jackson township. She was named inspector of election upon the Republican and Democratic tickets at the recent primary. ALSO Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Benson have returned from a vacation and auto trip to the "old Benson homestead" in New Hampshire.

News Briefs: The price of coal advanced at the Hudson Coal office to 70 cents on all sizes. That makes the price of range and stove coal $11.35 per ton. The company has no small sized coal for sale. ALSO Every farm owner, if not his wife, is looking forward to the time when his home and farm buildings will be lighted by electricity, doing away with the dim, ill-smelling, time-taking kerosene lamps. Today every enterprising farmer is putting in an electric plant for lighting and power, and in a few years they will be as common as running water, now in homes. The Delco-Light Co. is offering a considerable discount in the next few weeks.

Back to Top

Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

In the spring of this year, I was approached by a friend who requested me to teach a class for the Montrose Area Adult School program. More than 20 years ago, I taught a few college classes for local satellite programs in Susquehanna and Bradford Counties. While I enjoyed teaching, it was simply a matter of having too little time to put the work into the classes that they deserved. As many people have done, I promised myself I would get back to it at some point – but have failed to do so over the past 20 years.

My friend's invitation created an opportunity to teach even if for only a few hours – so I readily agreed. The request came with an assigned topic, namely, a lecture on the life of Justice Jonathan Jasper Wright. I had a little bit of knowledge about Justice Wright as his portrait is on display just outside our historic courtroom. There is a very small placard next the portrait noting that Justice Wright was the first African American admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and that he later became the first African American appellate judge when he was appointed by the South Carolina General Assembly to serve as an associate justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court, where he served from 1870 through 1877.

If you are from the Springville area, or have simply driven down State Route 29, you have passed Wright's historical marker that contains a brief biography and notes that "Wright's boyhood home was here in Springville." In February 1999, the Susquehanna County Bar Association conducted a ceremony to unveil Wright's portrait, which was graciously loaned out by The Center for Antislavery Studies. The ceremony occurred in our historic courtroom – the same location that Wright would have been admitted as the first African American to the Pennsylvania Bar.

Because Wright's portrait is right outside our historic courtroom, my friend requested that the class occur in the courtroom itself so that the attendees would have a chance to see the portrait. It was a wonderful suggestion – and we agreed to host the class right in the courtroom where Wright was sworn into the bar on August 13, 1866.

I received both an undergraduate and graduate degree in history from the University of Scranton in 1993. The world of historical research was much different in 1993 than it is now – and I have had such a wonderful time using the internet to discover Justice Wright's historical footprints in so many different places – the National Convention of Colored Men in October 1864, Pennsylvania State Equal Rights Convention for Colored People in February 1865, the first meeting of Pennsylvania's Equal Rights League in 1865, the South Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1867-1868, and opinions written as an associate justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

But as amazed as I was at the historical treasure troves now available at my fingertips, I then received a letter in the mail from Mac Hulslander, who now lives outside of Pennsylvania, but indicated to me that he has spent most of his summers over his 80-plus years staying at a campground in Dimock. Over the course of those many years, Mac developed a special interest in Justice Wright, and he had done some of his own research, which he graciously shared with me. In particular, he forwarded me a copy of the speech that Justice Wright gave to the Montrose Community at a meeting that occurred in our historic courtroom on April 3, 1865. I had read about the speech in the various histories of Justice Wright, but I had not yet found a verbatim copy of the entire speech. Thank you so much, Mac! If you attend the class, I will provide you with a copy of this treasure that Mac was so gracious to share with me.

The class be October 20, 2023, at 2:00pm in the historic courtroom of the Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose. While I understand that this time may not be the most convenient, if we were going to utilize the historic courtroom, then we had to do it when the courthouse was open for business. If you can attend, you will get the chance to learn about one of Susquehanna County's most extraordinary citizens. If interested in attending, register through the Montrose Area Adult School at:, email, or call 570-432-0184.

Back to Top

Trailblazing To Conditioning

By Shannon Madden

Going out on the trails is an excellent way to condition your body while enjoying nature. Not only is it a great workout, but it's also an enjoyable experience. Hiking trails offer a range of activities that can help you get ready for basketball, football, and soccer. To get you ready for the season, let's explore the best outdoor activities for trailblazing your way to conditioning.

The Importance of Pre-Season Conditioning for Fall and Winter Sports

Conditioning is crucial for athletes to perform their best in fall and winter sports. I was always one dragging myself to the end of laps or sprints in soccer because I didn't prepare my body for the season. Conditioning  helps prevent injuries, improves performance, and builds endurance. Biking and hiking for conditioning are excellent ways to prepare for these sports. Rail trails and bike trails offer diverse terrain and challenges that mimic the demands of fall sports like soccer and football. By incorporating these activities into your pre-season routine, you'll be ready to tackle the field or court with confidence and strength.

Best Outdoor Activities for Fall and Winter Sports

Ready for winter sports? The best outdoor activities to condition yourself for basketball, football, and soccer include trail running, plyometric exercises, and agility drills. Trail running is pretty straight-forward. Lace up your sneakers and hit the trail. Plyometrics are basic exercises like push-ups, throwing, jumping, and kicking. You can add some of these in by pausing your trail run to do some push-ups or jumping jacks. Soccer players can dribble for a portion of their run. Football players can grab a friend to sprint and pass the ball. Agility drills include short bursts of movement and change of direction. You can add a few of these along the trial to improve your flexibility and balance.

How Many Hours Each Week Should a High School Student Spend Conditioning for Sports?

Finding the right balance between school, sports, and conditioning is crucial for high school athletes. Experts recommend that high school students spend around 8-10 hours per week on conditioning activities. This includes a combination of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. It's important to listen to your body and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Remember, quality over quantity is key when it comes to conditioning for sports. There are few bigger bummers than an early season injury!

Tips for Staying Safe on the Trail During Your Conditioning Workouts

When hitting the trails for your conditioning workouts, it's important to prioritize safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Always bring a map and familiarize yourself with the trail before starting.

2. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the terrain and weather conditions.

3. Stay hydrated and bring enough water with you.

4. Tell someone where you're going and when you expect to be back.

5. Watch out for wildlife and be mindful of your surroundings.

6. Use sunscreen and insect repellent to protect yourself from the elements.

7. Take breaks when needed and listen to your body. Remember, safety comes first on the trail!

Living near well-kept trails is an excellent opportunity for young athletes to train their bodies and enjoy nature at the same time. I hope everyone enjoys the privilege!

Back to Top

Pastor's Corner

By Pastor Vince Chiaramonte

Good day dear hearts, I love you. This past Sunday, September 24th we celebrated 100 years of our church building located at 1361 Main Street, next to the Dollar General. There is a hymn we sing from time to time titled, "We are the Church", and there is a line we sing that goes like this, "The church is not a building, a church is not a steeple, a church is a people." And that is what we celebrated. We celebrated the legacy created by the people of God over the past 100 years. Our 100-year-old church is alive and well. We are committed to continue bringing the light of God into our community and we invite the people of our community to join us in this continuing legacy.

So, let's talk about legacy. Legacy focuses on what has been endured, on what has been accomplished, on what has been accumulated. Legacy is about passing things of lasting value to those who live on after us. The concept of legacy is important because it helps us understand our roots and provides a sense of continuity. A legacy allows you to build on it or make amends for a past wrong.

All of us have been left with a legacy. It doesn't have to be a million dollars, but some materially valueless item can be worth a million dollars. For example, my life growing up is far different than many of you reading this. I was born in Manhattan (NYC). I lived in mid-town Manhattan, while my grandparents, uncles, aunts and a ton of cousins lived in downtown Manhattan known as "Little Italy". Every Saturday and Sunday morning we got on a bus and went to Little Italy to be with family. We numbered in the low 20s and we spent every weekend together, floating from one apartment to the other as everyone lived in the same building or the one next to it. The legacy for me was a strong sense of family value within my family and now, has carried over to within my own family and our church.

Legacy means a lot to God. In fact, the topic of legacy is mentioned 87 times in the Bible. I'd like to reference the book Exodus of the Old Testament, which was written by Moses. Chapter 20 is titled the "Ten Commandments". While most of the commandments listed are one liners such as, "Thou shall not kill," or "Thou shall not commit adultery," the fourth commandment not only gives you the commandment but an explanation as to what happens if one fails to follow this commandment. Exodus 20:4-6. While I'm quoting vs. 4-6 I want to quote vs. 1 first. "And God spoke these words." Vs. 4-6, "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven or on the earth or beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them." For the moment we are in the middle of vs. 5 which is the end of the commandment. We pick up in the middle of vs. 5 and this is where God tells us why this commandment exists and what happens when we fail in this commandment. Middle of vs. 5-6. "For I the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." We are reading about generational curses but also of a generational legacy. The generational curse can be broken, so we are not bound to this. My point is that a legacy does not need to be individualistic, it can be a legacy for a nation.

Paul writes a letter to his young protégé; Timothy, some call it a book, some call it an Epistle. And in the very beginning of the letter in chap. 1-2 the apostle Paul makes an appeal to be loyal to God's Word and then specifically in chap. 2, he advises Timothy and us to be equipped to pass on the faith. Before the Bible was written the people of God were required to pass down God's legacy verbally. It was the legacy of those who verbally passed down the Word, which has made it so powerful and lasting. God has left us with a tremendous legacy which continues to grow today. God has given us His church, that's you and me, a tremendous responsibility; to make disciples in every nation. This involves using the gifts the Holy spirit has given us such as preaching, teaching, healing, nurturing and many other gifts. What are you doing to contribute to God's legacy? What are you doing to build your own legacy for your family and God's people.

O Lord, we thank you for the legacy you have given us. Bless our community. Watch over our children. Heal the sick and broken hearted. Let your spirit continue to hover over our community.

Contact me anytime. Pastor Vince Chiaramonte, 570-853-3988, Susquehanna Christian Community Church 1361 Main Street, or email:

Back to Top