Matteo Dave delivering the goods

Matteo Dave, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was the well-known owner of the Stroudsburg Italian food market at 344 Main St., which carried his name.

Portrait of Matteo Dave published Aug. 10, 1933, in the Daily Record

Born in Italy, Dave came to the United States in 1912, settling in Stroudsburg. Three years later, he started his business, a house-to-house service, delivering goods using a horse-drawn wagon.

When his adopted country entered World War I in 1917, Dave joined the U.S. Army, serving until after the armistice.

In 1919, Dave, who became a U.S. citizen in 1920, bought the market of Tony Torzillo at 418 Main St., Stroudsburg.

The business grew, and, in 1922, Dave moved the market to 344 Main, a property which he had purchased or would soon purchase.

The popular grocery was known for its specialties: spaghetti, imported oils, anchovies, salami and Italian bread. A complete line of seafood, fruits and vegetables as well as imported and domestic groceries were also available to shoppers.

Matteo Dave ad published June 6, 1966, in The Pocono Record

Dave credited his success to his customers, stating that he was most appreciative of the local patronage that had made possible his progress, according to a 1933 Daily Record article.

The article also revealed that with careful attention to his business, he made himself a “substantial citizen” of the community.

He also served four years as president of the local Italian Mutual Benefit Association, having previously serving six years as vice president. He was a member of the Stroudsburg Lodge of Eagles 1106 and of the Stroudsburg Moose Lodge.

Dave and his wife, the former Rose Panza, along with his three children lived in the same building as his Italian grocery and deli.

He was described, in the newspaper article, as as being married to a “fine wife,” who assisted him in the operation of the store.

In 1962, he retired, turning the business over to his son, James. Dave died in 1972. He was 78. His wife in 1983, at age 80.


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1977: Farmer pays off 51-year-old debt

“It’s very likely the hospital saved my life.” – Dawson Gillem

Read about "Daws" in this article published Dec. 23, 1977, in The Pocono Record.

Dawson Gillem, a honest West End Farmer, who paid a long-overdue bill to Pocono Hospital, made front-page news in 1977.

The bill’s origin can be traced to 1926, when “Daws” and his daughter were admitted to the hospital in East Stroudsburg, suffering from typhoid fever, according The Pocono Record.

After a three-month stay, father and daughter were released. But  the Gillems could not pay the bill, the article reveals.

As the years passed, the debt was forgiven or forgotten, but Gillem remembered, paying $3,000 in 1977 to the hospital to settle his account.

Daws, a New Jersey native, moved to the West End in 1925. He died in 1985.

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Read Dawson Gillem’s obituary, originally published in the Pocono Record.

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Pocono Gardens Lodge

Workers, along with owner Peter Rossi, paused for a photo.

During the late 1940s and early ’50, Peter Rossi, founder and owner of Pocono Gardens Lodge in Paradise Township, along with his workers drilled a new well near the resort’s main building (right).

In the years that followed, Rossi expanded ownership to include family members and Pocono Gardens prospered.

The resort was sold in 1971. And after a period of decline, the failing lodge was closed in 2000.

Vandals took a toll on the property, damaging guest rooms and tagging the main lodge and several outbuildings with graffiti.

When the roof over the indoor pool began leaking, a mosquito hatchery was born.

The fire-damaged building at the abandoned Pocono Gardens Lodge in 2007.

Once part of a trio of resorts that included Mount Airy Lodge and Strickland’s Mountain Inn, the three properties were split up in 2004 when businessman Louis DeNaples purchase two of the resorts for $25.1 million.

In 2007, fire ripped through an abandoned building at Pocono Gardens (left). The damaged building was later torn down.

Read more:

DeNaples buys defunct Pocono Gardens Lodge in Paradise Valley

No Garden of Eden in Paradise


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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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