From “Middle” to “Intermediate Elementary”

 Forty years of education

The philosophy of the one-room schoolhouse took on a modern motif when the Stroudsburg Middle School opened in 1974. Now, 40 years have passed since the first classes were held in the new open-concept school.

In 1993, Eastern Monroe Public Library officials asked voters to support a property tax that would help fund library services. Stroudsburg Middle School students took up the cause, showing their support at school pep rallies. The tax was eventually adopted by voters.

Journey back through time with the Pocono Record as reporter Christina Tatu and photographer Maria Horn take a look at the history of the school, now known as Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary, in their Aug. 7-8, 2014, stories.

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View the photo gallery:

“Through the years: Stroudsburg Middle School.”


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Looking back: West End Fair

Interesting facts about the West End Fair

• Country singer Loretta Lynn belted out one hit after another before 5,500 fans during two shows at the 1991 West End Fair.

• Joe Anewalt, a former director of the West End Fair, celebrated his 89th birthday on Aug. 24, 1971, which was also the first day of fair for that year. Anewalt, not only was a driving force behind the fair, he helped start the West End Fire Co. and was a lifetime charter member.

George P. Brodhead of Snydersville was the youngest owner and exhibitor of livestock at the 1939 West End Fair.

• 1985, five members of the Neola Needles and Busy Hands 4-H Club entered the new West End Fair category “Vegetable Creatures.” Entries included a gourd sporting tiny cherry eyes, a cabbage head with a tomato tongue, and an eggplant with corn silk eyebrows and Italian sweet pepper arms.

• One of the oldest exhibits at the 1936 West End Fair was a chair shown by Justice of the Peace J. Davis Weiss of Brodheadsville. He said the 100-year-old chair was an exact copy of those brought to this country by the Moravians.

• The West End Fair, now a multi-thousand dollar business organization, began in 1920, operating with a budget of little more than $500.

• Two well-known West End residents, Berlin Serfass of Brodheadsville and Frank Moyer Sr. of Effort, were overcome by the heat at the 1928 fair. “They fell to the ground, but were picked up and hurried away, where they were soon revived,” reported the daily newspaper.

• Ruth Berger won first place and Clair Kresge second in the button sewing contest at the 1926 fair.

Melanie Johnson, employee at Pizzaland & Sub City in Brodheadsville, eyes the elephant ears she helped make. The ears were new to the West End Fair in 1983.

• The team of May Wagner of Pen Argyl, Sarah Shafer of Glibert, Clair Kresge of Brodheadsville, Rachael Dotter of Wind Gap, Mildred Snyder of Cherry Valley, May Shafer of Gilbert, Olive Shafer of Gilbert, Margaret Arnold of Gilbert, June Snyder of Snydersville and Blanche Frantz of Gilbert won the Ladies Tug of War contest  at 1926 fair. “The women pulled lustily for a minute and a half,” according to a newspaper report.

• In 1963, Alden Fetherman of Long Island, New York, with his wife and children attended his first West End Fair. Fetherman, better known to the local people as “Red,” is remembered as the “flashing” quarterback of Stroudsburg High School’s 1952 football team.

• A warning published in the 1981 West End Fair supplement of the Pocono Record: “Make your baked goods from scratch — mixes aren’t appreciated.”

• Maurice C. Andrew of Saylorsburg, a veteran under the Veterans Administration vocation agricultural training course, was presented with a purebred registered Guernsey bull calf  — “Pohopoko Senator” by the Pohopoko Farms in Effort during the 1946 West End Fair.

• Country singer Charley Pride performed two shows at the 1989 fair. The shows yield fewer than 4,000 fans.


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Can’t get enough West End Fair photos?

Check out the photo gallery A Night At The Fair, depicting scenes from the 2009 fair, or the gallery of opening day of 89th West End Fair and the 2012 photos of West End Fair Bunnies.

 There are more photos of the highlights of past years, scenes from the 1981 & ’82 fairs and the opening day of 2013 fair.

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The 2014 West End Fair will held Aug. 24-30.

Gilbert, Pennsylvania



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1991: Book heaven

Friends of EMPL 1991 book sale

Book sale on Main Street

When this photo was snapped, Regina Treanor of the Bronx, New York, a regular library patron, was browsing the offerings of the 1991 annual book sale at the Eastern Monroe Public Library.

At the time, the library was housed in the venerable home at 913 Main St., Stroudsburg, where it had been since 1954.

In 1996, the library was moved to its present location at 1002 North Ninth St., the former Stroud’s Jewelers and Distributors building.

The Main Street site now houses the Monroe County Bar Association.


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1847: Easton and Milford stagecoach

In 1847, passengers traveling on the Easton and Milford Mail Line from Easton could catch the stagecoach at Joseph Hagenbuch’s Inn every Monday, Wednesday or Friday for the trip north.

The header from a June 1, 1847, ad in the Jeffersonian Republican

After leaving Easton, the stage would stop at Richmond, Centreville, Williamsburg, Dill’s Ferry, Delaware Water Gap, Dutotsburg, Stroudsburg, Bushkill and Dingmans Ferry, before arriving in Milford on the same day.

The distance traveled was 60 miles.

Passengers catching the return trip could board the stage at Samuel Dimmick’s Hotel in Milford every Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday and arrive in Eastern the same day.

The cost of the fare from Easton to Stroudsubrg was $1.25; from Easton to Milford $2.87.

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Check out a page from the June 1, 1847, Jeffersonian Republican, a Stroudsburg, Pa., newspaper, on which an advertisement for the Easton and Milford Mail Line appears.


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1850: Cheap stoves at Cheap Store

During the 1800s, Stroudsburg merchant George Malven operated a shop in the borough, selling an assortment of parlour and cooking  stoves. In addition to selling stoves, Malven had a side business, a tin shop.

Ad for the "Cheap Store" published in The Jeffersonian

One unique aspect of the stove/tin-shop business was that it was often referred to as the Cheap Store. Presumably, Malven offered his wares at low prices.

In September 1850, Malven received a shipment of stoves, which he advertised for sale in the Jeffersonian Republican, a Stroudsburg newspaper of the time:

Just received for sale at the cheap Store of G. Malven, in Stroudsburg, Monroe county, Pa., the largest, cheapest and best assortment of STOVES  in the County, which he will sell as low as can be bought this side of New York.

He has also connected with his store, a TIN-SHOP, and keeps constantly on hand a complete assortment of Tin Ware. All kinds of work in that line done at short notice and reasonable price.


Read a page from the Jeffersonian Republican on which the ad originally appeared.

Courtesy of Library of Congress’ Chronicling America.




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1976: Catching some rest

ESU freshman Susan Savage


A warm summer day

Susan Savage, a freshman at East Stroudsburg State College, known now as East Stroudsburg University, played softball with gusto in July 1976, but when she took a breather, she treated the sun with kid gloves

The photo, snapped by a Pocono Record photographer, illustrated that warm days of summer had indeed returned to the Poconos.


 Another 1976 photo:

Yesterdays Photo No. 858

Former paperboy Heinz Rother recognized the youngsters shown in this old photograph. “That is me and twin brother Herman,” he wrote.

When the photo was taken in 1976, Herman, left, and Heinz, both 15, had just been named The Pocono Record’s Professional Carriers for the Month of June.

Heinz started as a paper carrier on April 30, 1973, with 48 subscribers. Seven months later, he took over a larger route of 63 subscribers.

His twin brother, Herman, began Nov. 5, 1973, with 44 subscribers, adding a second route a year later to deliver to 91 subscribers.

Both twins now live in Saylorsburg.

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1955: First shovelful for Ronson

On Sept. 21, 1955, the first shovelful of ground for the new $1 million lighter-production plant of the Ronson Corp. was turned by Louis Aronson, president of the corporation. When completed, the new plant in Delaware Water Gap would face Route 611′s approach to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge.

In the front row with the spade-wielding Ronson president Louis Aronson are Emerson Stanton, machinist union business agent; Charles Clapper, union president; Milton Phol, local manager of Ronson; Jack Sherill, contractor; George Albach, vice president of contractors; Harry Tepper, general counsel, and Benjamin Zuckerman, director of Ronson, William Davlin, State Secretary of Commerce. In the background are B.B. Bond, vice president of Ronson, Richard Fuller, Ray Noonan, contractor; Ted Lowey, industrial engineer; Samuel L. Cohen, secretary; John Roth, treasurer and Walter Mikos, plant superintendent of Ronson.

During the ceremony, Ronson’s president paused to read a telegram from then-Pennsylvania Gov. George Leader, who praised the decision to proceed with the new plant:

“Your action is a vote of confidence in an area where the citizens have shown the courage of recovery from disaster (referring to the massive flooding throughout the area just one month earlier). Your decision is the best you could possibly make because it is an area which has proven it will never succumb to defeat. ”

Twenty years after the groundbreaking celebration for the most-modern lighter-manufacture plant in the world, the “new” Ronson plant was closed.

Although the end of Ronson caused some 200 employees to lose their jobs, the company had long history in Monroe County, employing numerous local residents throughout its years.

Ronson was first located in East Stroudsburg when it entered Monroe County in 1941. Thirteen years later, the company’s Newark, N.J., operation was consolidated with the East Stroudsburg plant. Two more sites were added later, both located in the borough.  Ronson’s final home was in Delaware Water Gap.

Ronson went through a five-month strike in 1970 and was to open talks on new a contract in June 1976.  Since labor-management relations had been smooth, no difficulties had been anticipated. But, before the contract could be negotiated, a portion of the work force was laid off in June 1975.

An eight-week general closing was called on Nov. 12, 1975, while year-end inventories were taken. Then, two weeks later, the plant permanently closed.

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Check out this Pocono memories photo of Ronson Corp.

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1976: Musical reflections

Russel Speicher



Russel Speicher, mirrored in the bell of his baritone, leads the band from Pocono Mountain High School in Swiftwater through some German music at the close of the three-day Blakeslee Community Center Craft Show.

The 1976 event featured sign making, paintings, food and music – of course.

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1965: Zabriskie and L’Hommedieu

East Stroudsburg landmark demolished

Spectators watch as the old decaying City Coal Co. building in East Stroudsburg is demolished.

In 1965, the empty Zabriskie and L’Hommedieu City Coal Co. building at 270 S. Courtland St., East Stroudsburg, was demolished to make way for urban renewal. With the razing of the old building, a landmark that had stood for decades became just a memory.

The roof of the City Coal building collapses with help from the tugging lines attached to a bulldozer.

Within months of the demolition, the Monroe County Redevelopment Authority purchased the property. Urban renewal had officially taken hold in East Stroudsburg.

The interior of the former coal company, long past its heyday.

The City Coal property was massive, extending from the old St. Matthew’s Cemetery to 266 South Courtland St. and from the cemetery to 245 Crystal St.

Under the renewal plan, an Acme Market would be built on the 4.5-acre block slated for redevelopment.

In addition to the supermarket, the East Stroudsburg Post Office would be constructed on the site.

Although the post office is still in use, the Acme building now houses a CVS pharmacy and the Pocono Health System Professional Center.

Before the decline in the use of coal, City Coal was a thriving business with its roots in the small East Stroudsburg  business of R.R. Coolbaugh, which Abram J. Zabriskie and William “Bill” L’Hommedieu bought in 1903.

The partners would later incorporate their business in 1923.

L’Hommedieu died in 1932. “He smoked to much,” Zabriskie said about his partner during an interview in 1964. Zabriskie would die the year following the interview.


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1947: Whirldry Washers

Easy to carry, easy to store

In 1947, when the sale of washing machines increased at the Wyckoff’s store in Stroudsburg, a new laundry aid, the portable Whirldry Washer, was added to the store’s line up.

An 1947 ad for Whirldry Washer published in The Daily Record.

Already available at stores in some parts of the country, the sale of the Whirldrys at Wyckoff’s was the first time the machines were being offer in Pennsylvania.

Touted as “a great little all-purpose washer that was small enough for an apartment kitchen,” the Whirldrys were large enough to handle “hearty” loads, according to an advertisement published in The Daily Record, the local newspaper of Monroe County.

A typical-sized load that could be washed in a Whirldry equaled three child-size play suites, four dish towels, eight hankies and one pair of slacks.

These revolutionary “miracle” washers not only washed laundry, but thoroughly rise the loads with the help of a self-emptying tub, drained by gravity.

The cost for a Monroe County homemaker to own a brand-new Whirldry was $49.95.

Whirldrys were produced by the Easy Washing Machine Co. in Syracuse, N.Y., which also made Easy Washers and Irons.

“Easy” was first used in the company’s name in 1932. Previously, the business’ identifier reflected its location – Syracuse Washing Machine Corp.

More than 30 years later, production of Easy Washer appliances ceased.


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Read about the Easy Washing Machine Co. in the May/June 2001 Gas Engine Magazine.

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