1958: “Dr. Bill,” area medical pioneer, dies

Dr. Eugene Levering, brother to Dr. William Levering, started practicing medicine in Snydersville in 1895. A true country doctor, he and his wife would make house calls in a horse-drawn buggy.

The family legacy

When Dr. William Roger Levering, 78, a Stroudsburg physician, died on April 22, 1958, it was the first time in 150 years that Monroe County was without a family doctor named  Levering.

He had been the last Levering in the family chain to practice medicine. A chain that could trace its history back to the early 1800s.

Dr. William Levering

Dr. Levering, who was known to his patients as “Dr. Bill” was the son of Dr. Rogers J. and Sarah Ann (Keller) Levering of Sciota.

Receiving his early schooling at Fairvew Academy in Brodheadsville, he continue his education, studying medicine. He went on to graduate from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1904 and the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia in 1908.

He began practicing medicine in Stroudsburg with his brother, Dr. Eugene Levering, in 1908, and, according to the 1920 “Pennsylvania Medical Journal,” at an office at 805 Main St.

During those early years Dr. Bill made house calls using a horse and buggy, eventually trading that mode of transportation for an automobile.

He was known for his kind and understanding manner in which he cared for his patients, and, although he had not specialized in obstetrics, he became well known for his skill in delivering babies – many who were named William Roger after the physician who delivered them.

William along with his brother were among the founders of the Monroe County Hospital. When the hospital merged with Monroe County General, he became its first radiologist.

Eugene, also a prominent physician in the county, died Feb. 10, 1932. Although nearly 64 years of age, he would have only celebrated his 16th birthday anniversary on Feb. 29., having been born on that date during a leap year.

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Read Dr. William Levering’s obituary April 23, 1958, Daily Record.

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On the air with WHAB

Jesse Weiss adjusts the transmitters at WVOP radio station.

Note: This late 1940s photo was published on Oct. 1, 2000, in the Pocono Record’s Old-Tyme Photo section, a predecessor to Yesterdays Photo.

The Old-Tyme feature – similar to its modern-day version – was a weekly offering of old newspaper photos, which readers were asked to identify or had already identified.

Here is what some of the readers had to said about the photo in 2000:

Lydia Getz Berger of Kunkletown, who had worked for the radio station in Stroudsburg for a number of years, was sure the man was a young Jesse Weiss. At the time, Weiss was an engineer for the 250-watt daytime station, which was then known as WHAB.

WHAB took its name from owner and manager Harold B. Newman (HArold B). Today, the station is known as WVOP – Voice of the Poconos. The call letters were changed in 1948 when the Ottaway family bought the station. (The Ottaways also owned The Daily Record, now the Pocono Record.)

Jesse Weiss of Stroudsburg, who is shown adjusting the transmitter, was surprise to see the photo in the newspaper. “I didn’t know this picture existed,” he wrote in an email.

Judging from the settings on the transmitter, the station  was “on the air” when the photo was taken, Weiss wrote. “Sure brings back memories.”

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View a collection of Yesterdays/Old-Tyme photos.


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1965: Champion Backhoe Operator

In 1965, Ron Focke of East Stroudsburg won the title of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northern New Jersey Champion Backhoe Operator during competition at Pine Brook, N.J.

Ray Hartman Sr. and Ron Focke board a hop to Baltimore on their way to Detroit.

About a week later, Focke, an employee of Contractor Rudolph Drop in East Stroudsburg, would represent the region as he competed for the national backhoe-operator title. He was one of 48 hopefuls.

In order to compete, Focke would travel to Detroit, Mich., and on June 10, 1965, he along with Ray Hartmann Sr. of Minisink Hills boarded a plane at Hamlin Airport in East Stroudsburg, for a hop to Baltimore. From there, they would catch a plane to Detroit.

The contest was sponsored by Massey Ferguson for which the Ray Hartmann & Son company in Minisink Hills was an authorized dealer.

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Does any reader have knowlege of Focke’s placement at the national competition? If he was the first-place winner, he took home – in addition to a trophy – a new Plymouth Barracuda, a color television plus other prizes.

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2001: Remember when?

Commerce has changed along the Route 611 corridor through Stroud Township since 2001. Can you name the businesses that are no longer in service?

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1992: Sidewalk shopping

Else Brown looks at sale items on display during the sidewalk sale.

Else Brown of Portsmith, N.H., shown in the photo to the right, browses through the racks outside The Apple Tree, a women’s boutique on Main Street, Stroudsburg, during a sidewalk sale on Aug. 1, 1992

Apple Tree employee Lauree Kracht is shown in the background.

Shoppers check out the bargains.






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1958: Fire at Pleasant Ridge House

During the early morning hours on Christmas day in 1958, fire broke out on the third floor of the 25-room Pleasant Ridge Boarding House in Mountainhome, causing an estimated $65,000 damages.

The three-story retreat, which had no electricity or heat, was closed for the season, according to the owner at the time, Norman Sommers.

The Pleasant Ridge Boarding House was heavily damaged by fire on Christmas morning in 1958. Only the first floor remained intact.

Known also as the Pleasant Ridge House, the hotel dated back at least 50 years.

In 1909, Pleasant Ridge was a trendy retreat in Eastern Pennsylvania, then owned and operated by Christopher Sommers. It was open from June 15 to Nov. 1., and could accommodate 25 guests, paying from $7 per day to $10 per week.

Some of hotel’s amenities included a free “concrete” swimming pool, an “excellent” tennis court, dancing to orchestra music and hot and cold running water in every room.

An advertisement published Aug. 25, 1929, in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York, revealed that the resort’s occupancy had increased to 75. The name listed on the ad, presumably that of the owner, was J.E. Janney.

By 1930, tennis games, horseback riding, badminton, shuffleboard, wagon rides and a shady front lawn were the enticements being advertised in the hotel’s brochure.

The resort’s attributes were also touted in “Here and There, Where Vacationers Go to Relax” section of the June 7, 1942, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The entertainment brief was meant to appealed to those who were concern about the war effort (World War II): “Rail and bus service to the Pocono Mountains will be better than ever this year, to accommodate those who are saving their cars and gas for national defense, and the Pleasant Ridge House states that there are adequate facilities for meeting guests at the station.”

An ad in the May 8, 1954, Daily Record (Pocono Record) reveals that the rooms, all with running water, were moderately price, and “Modified American Plan 12 well planned meals” were being served to guests.

During 1971, husband and wife, Frank W, 80, and Susan Price (Sommers) Janney, 92, who had operated Pleasant Ridge for years, up until it burned, died – Frank in August, Susan in December.

Susan had been destined to become a resort owner, she was born in the Mountain Lake House, a farmhouse that was converted by her father into one of the first boarding houses in the area catering to visitors from the city.

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1924: Loaves by the Batch

Local retail businesses of yesteryear such as the East Stroudsburg Home Bakery are – no matter how small the influence – a part the region’s rich history.

These relics of a bygone era were the forerunners to today’s commerce. Some of the former businesses are documented in history books and articles, others have faded from memory.

Advertisement for East Stroudsburg Home Bakery published in 1924.

In 1924, the Home Bakery was among the shops along South Courtland Street in East Stroudsburg. It is one of businesses that has become just a footnote in history, remembered by few.

The bakery appears to have been a popular spot for buying confectioneries and breads, judging from an advertisement published June 7, 1924, in The Morning Press, a local newspaper of the time.

The following is the text from the ad, which may make you wish the bakery was still in operation:

Loaves by the Batch but not easy to match, in aroma, flavor, taste or satisfaction! When you approach our bakery you unconsciously inhale a fragrance that spurs the appetite to taste what is baking. It may be bread or rolls, or some fancy pastry, but the longing to “sample” it is in you just the same.

Share your stories about the East Stroudsburg Home Bakery or information on its history. Post your comments.


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1975: A cat calls for help

In 1975, this guest of the animal shelter was looking for a home.


In 1975, kittens including this fluffy fellow, right and below, were available for adoption at the shelter of the former Monroe County Branch of the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Today, the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe on Godfrey Ridge Drive in Stroudsburg fills the need for temporary homes for pets waiting adoption.

The homeless kitten lets potential owners know that new living arraignments were needed.





AWSOM is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 570-421-3647.

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Blizzard of ’78, an enormous storm

More than 12 hours after snow stop falling, Monroe County residents were still digging out from underneath 22-30 inches of snowfall from an enormous storm, which would become known as the Blizzard of ’78.

The storm struck most of the Northeast, hitting the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania on Feb. 6, 1978, paralyzing the region under towering drifts and crippling commerce for several days.

Carl Cramer got more than a drift of winter weather during the Blizzard of 1978 as he dug out a car at his Texaco service station in Sciota.

During the Blizzard of 1978, East Stroudsburg University closed. Students such was Phil Wayes, seen here, enjoyed the break in classes.

Check out the “Blizzard of 1979” photo gallery and the more recent Feb. 13, 2014, storm photos.

For more information and photos on past storms, take a look at the Pocono Record article “The didn’t need snow days in 1945.”

Foot was the best form of travel during the Blizzard of 1978.





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1965: Tired of snow

June 21, 1965, The Pocono Record: Christina Borgerding Susie Smiley ride the chairlift at Camelback,

Take a ride on a chairlift

During the summer of the 1965, Christina Borgerding of Syracuse University and Susie Smiley of Penn State found use for the chairlift at Camelback Mountain, and they weren’t skiing.

They took in the view of the Poconos, sitting high above the mountains.

The two had been contestants for “Queen” at the annual Laurel Blossom Festival held at The Inn, Buck Hill Falls. Neither won the title, but both were “beautiful enough for us,” according to the original 1965 caption.

Fred Waring crowns Judith June Gross queen of the festival.

Although the coeds were not selected, they each held the royal title of princess awarded to them as pageant participants.

The princesses’ former competitor and now their queen, Judith June Gross, a senior at Bloomsburg State College, was crowned during the festival by nationally known bandleader Fred Waring.

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Another famous celebrity often found at the festival was Jackie Gleason.

Check out blog entry: Remembering Jackie Gleason.




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