Kathy Eckels, former area resident now living in Florida, was online doing research regarding her birth parents, Pittston residents John “Slivers” Tigue and Stella Sweeney Tigue. She came across a Peeking into the Past article published some time ago regarding John as becoming a father to a baby girl at the age of 76. Kathy, as it turns out, is that baby girl. She was given up for adoption and lived in the Back Mountain area with her adoptive parents. Recently, the Pennsylvania law concerning adoptees’ rights to certain information was changed and Kathy was able to get a copy of her original birth certificate which held the names of John and Stella. She contacted the Dispatch to find out if we had any additional information on the couple and, in particular, her mother, of whom she has little detail. Unfortunately we do not, but Kathy has asked that if anyone has any knowledge of either John or Stella Sweeney Tigue to email her at email@example.com.
In 1960, an advertisement in the Sunday Dispatch noted that after the July 4th holiday all of the shoe repair shops of Greater Pittston would be closed for vacation. How many shoe repair shops were there in Pittston at the time?
1957 – 61 YEARS AGO
The story of the Twin Shaft disaster as related in a Sunday Dispatch column written by publisher John Kehoe was reported to be incorporated into the Congressional Record of June 26 by Congressman Dan Flood. Kehoe was a youngster at the time, but assisted in the rescue attempts which he detailed in the article. The mining disaster which occurred in the vicinity of North Main and Union Streets in Pittston left 58 men buried 434 feet below ground. According to ExplorePAHistory.com, the effort to dig rescue tunnels to the trapped men became futile as the attempts only yielded about 20 feet per day. The bodies of the miners were never recovered.
Charles E. Matechak, John S. Koslerowski, Joseph M. Zuba Jr., Alexander Esterowicz, all Avoca High School graduates, enlisted in the Air Force and were on their way to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for basic training.
1960 – 58 YEARS AGO
Emily Romanczuk, of Duryea, was entering her car after visiting friends on McAlpine Street. She suddenly felt a stinging pain at the back of her neck and instantly thought she’d been stung by an insect. After returning to her home on Swetland Street, her husband noticed blood on her collar. He took her to the office of Dr. A.J. Horvat, who discovered a .22 caliber bullet embedded in her neck. Romanczuk was admitted to the hospital. Upon hearing of the incident, Duryea Police Sgt. Bernard Ozovek, along with patrolman William Gale, combed the area where the shooting took place and found a 25-year-old male along with two juveniles target shooting. The young man was arrested but released after posting $500 bail.
1964 – 54 YEARS AGO
Six young men, Teddy Marmo, Francis Aita, Tino Turco, Ronnie Russo, Bob Ochreiter and Chuck Aquilina served as lifeguards for the Pittston Swimming Pool Association.
The region’s oldest school rivalry was in danger of ending as St. John’s High School was planning to cancel football as part of its athletic program. The annual Thanksgiving Day game between Pittston High School and St. John’s netted each school an average of $734 a year from proceeds of the contest. The total income over the 10-year period, after expenses, netted the high schools a total of $7,345.30, which according to the US Inflation Calculator would equate to $62,432.07 today.
1966 – 52 YEARS AGO
The Pulaski School building in Dupont was razed after being sold to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Holy Name Society. The building, which was erected in the early 1900s, was used for a hospital during the 1918 flu epidemic and then converted to a four-classroom school house. In 1950, the building was partitioned into more classrooms and served as Dupont’s High School until the forming of the Northeast School District In 1962. The world-wide 1918 flu epidemic lasted from January 1918 to December 192,, Between 50 and 130 million died, making it one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history.
1967 – 51 YEARS AGO
Major Eleanor Carey, of Avoca, returned home after a year serving as the head nurse of a surgical ward at the 12th US Air Force Hospital at Cam Rahn Bay, South Vietnam. A 12-year veteran, Carey expected she would return to Vietnam on a voluntary basis stating, “It’s a good life for a nurse and an important one.” After graduating St. John’s High School and Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Wilkes-Barre, she received her commission from the Air Force in 1955. She volunteered for service in Vietnam in June 1966. According to www.vietnamwomensveterans.org, “In June 1966, the first 16 female nurses arrived in country for duty at the USAF base at Cam Rahn Bay in the new 12th USAF Hospital and the casualty staging unit. Within a short period, women were filling the full range of nursing specialties normally found in a modern military hospital.” With the month and year coinciding with Major Carey’s request, she could have been one of those first 16 young women.
1977 – 41 YEARS AGO
Carl Ruschel, Tommy Ruschel, John H. Glatz, Carl Ruschel, Greg Sheplock Chris Peterson and Michael Sheplock, members of the Wyoming Valley Model Airplane Club, put on a demonstration of control line flying at the West Pittston Little League Field. With the motorized aircraft connected to the operator by a pair of lines, the fliers were able to simulate dogfights and strafing maneuvers. The Wyoming Valley R.C. Club will hold a summer fun fly July 15 at Moon Lake Park.
2002 – 16 YEARS AGO
Nick Esposito, of Exeter, did not get to see his dream realized. Nick requested a new war memorial be constructed with names of servicemen who lived in Exeter and died serving our country. The memorial was to be placed at the site of the newly constructed Exeter borough Building. Before completion of the project, Nick passed away. Exeter Mayor Joseph Coyne and Jack Brogan continued to seek funding. In 2002, the memorial was completed and ready to install at the entrance to the new borough building on Wyoming Avenue.
In 1960, there were 14 shoe repair shops in Greater Pittston. All of the shops closed during the same week for vacation after the July 4th holiday. The shops that were closed were Carmen’s, 76 S. Main St. Pittston; Pat’s, 19 Broad St., Pittston; Vincent’s, 30 S. Main St. Pittston; Jimmy’s, 164 Mill St., Pittston; Tony’s, 190 S. Main St. Pittston; Ross Maira’s, 166 S. Main St. Pittston; Mogavero’s, 6 Market St. Pittston; Terminal, 4 William St. Pittston; Argenio’s, no address; West Side, 18 Luzerne Ave., West Pittston; Royal, 420 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston; Joe’s, 613 Main St., Avoca; Mazzitelli’s, 266 Wyoming Ave., West Wyoming; Esposito’s, 1202 Wyoming Ave., Exeter.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1789 — The electors of Paris set up a “commune” to live without the authority of the government.
1806 — Lieutenant Zebulon Pike begins his western expedition from Fort Belle Fontaine.
1863 — Confederate raider Bill Anderson and his Bushwhackers attack Huntsville, Missouri, stealing $45,000 from the local bank.
1901 — Over 74,000 Pittsburgh steel workers go on strike.
1942 — The first supply flight from India to China over the “Hump” is flown.
1958 — President Dwight Eisenhower sends 5,000 Marines to Lebanon to keep the peace.
1960 — John F. Kennedy accepts the Democratic nomination for president.
1606 — Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch artist
1779 — Clement Moore, American scholar and educator
1904 — Dorothy Fields, songwriter
1906 — Richard W. Armour, humorist and author (“Twisted Tales from Shakespeare”)
1913 — Hammond Innes, English novelist
1914 — Gavin Maxwell, Scottish writer and naturalist (“Ring of Bright Water”)
1919 — Iris Murdoch, British novelist (“A Severed Head,” “The Black Prince”)
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org