First to Cross the Bridge
The new Slatington bridge is nearing completion and is a fine structure. About the latter part of April, 1910, M. N. Stebbins, of Wellsboro, Tioga Co., Pa., arrived in Slatington and immediately commenced building the superstructure, for which he had the contract, and well he performed the building of the abutments and the piers. To say it is a fine piece of work is only drawing it mildly. Mr M. N. Stebbins has quite a reputation in building superstructure. Later on the iron began to arrive for the construction of the bridge, and the erection was done by the Horsehead Construction Company, under the supervision of C. Swayne, a man thoroughly up-to-date in the construction of bridges, and also a genial gentleman, well versed in his business and the handling of his men; there being no delay after the iron arrived, and it was marvelous how soon the heavy parts of iron was transferred and put in place. Every piece fitted precisely under the efficient management of Mr. Swayne, and considering the small amount of help which he had, the erection of the iron work was very quickly done. They completed the erection of the bridge proper on Saturday, Dec. 3, 1910, and the riveting will be completed this coming week and will be a fine structure. Mr. Stebbins has the contract for the concrete floor and is progressing finely, having two spans already complete, and if we have good weather for about three weeks the entire bridge will be concreted. Mr. Jenkin Evans a resident of the Third Ward, town was the first man to cross the entire bridge on foot, outside of the men who are constructing it. Mr. Evans feels proud that with the assistance of Mr. Swayne and the foreman, that he has the distinction of being the first man to cross our fine bridge. Notwithstanding that Mr Evans is nearing his 70th year he risked the crossing of the bridge while a portion was bare of planks and he feels grateful to the efficient superintendent, Mr. Swayne, for his kindness in assisting him to cross the entire bridge which was quite an undertaking fr him.
Source: The Slatington News, 9 December 1910
NINE HOUSES BURNED
A row of nine frame tenement houses were completely destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon at Williamstown, a little quarry worker’s settlement lying between Slatington and Emerald. The fire was discovered about 1 o’clock by John Roberts, a motorman, on a car running between this place and Slatedale when he noticed flames shooting from the roof of one of the dwelling houses.
He sent his car with all speed to town and notified the fire company which hastened to the scene. By the time they reached there the fire had gained such headway that they were unable to cope with the blaze.
The Vigilant Fire Company of town, and the Slatington Hose Company Number 1, also responded. The firemen soon realized that nothing could be done and turned their attention to other houses in close proximity, and the Greek Catholic Church nearby, which was dedicated two weeks ago.
About 2 o’clock with a terrific roar the roofs of the houses fell in and sent showers of sparks into the air. The collapsing of the roofs scared many of the foreigners in the nearby houses and they quickly packed up their belongings ad got ready to move.
The row is owned by the Harry Williams estate and all the houses were of frame structure two and a half stories high. It is said that nearly eighty people, all Slavs, lived in the nine houses.
When the roofs of the houses gave way it was seen that the entire row was doomed and the terrific heat from the burning buildings made the crowd of spectators retreat.
It is reported the fire was caused by one of the women, attempting to light a fire in a stove “a la kerosene.” The fire continued until shortly before 3 o’clock when it burned itself out.
Source: The Slatington News, 8 July 1910
Slatington Fireman's Monument
The dedication of the Fireman's Monument (photo) took place on the corner where Main Street turns to the east. The statue was erected in 1909 by Slatington Hose Co #1 as a drinking fountain for people, dogs and horses and as a symbol of the service and dedication of firemen. The statue cost $700 (E. T. Barnum Company in Detroit), arrived in Slatington on 9 November 1909 and was subsequently installed. The location was approved by town ordinance #117.
Dedication included a parade, speeches and festivities.
The monument was damaged in the early 1940s when hit by a car, and then struck again and severely damaged in 1979. At which time a restoration committee was formed. The statue was replaced on its former spot and rededicated on 19 July 1980.
Sources: Dedicated April 23, 1910, Rededicated July 19, 1980; also The Slatington News, 17 July 1980
Presentation of the Drinking Fountain
The handsome new public drinking fountain, secured by Slatington Hose Co., No. 1, was presented to the Borough on Saturday afternoon, with imposing ceremonies.
Prior to the presentation, a parade was held with the following organizations in line: Slatedale band, Springside Fire Co., Jr. Vigilant Fire Co., Emerald band, Citizens’ Hose Co., Slatington band, Vigilant Fire Co., No. 2, Young American Hose Co., of Walnutport, Slatington Hose Co., No. 1.
The parade passed over the route as published in the last issue of “The News,” and came to rest at the fountain. The fountain was almost entirely concealed with flags and bunting.
The committee of arrangements and speakers occupied the spacious porch at the McKenna residence, facing the fountain. James L. Foote, of the Slatington Bangor Slate Syndicate, presided as master of ceremonies in an able and pleasing manner.
Rev. H. M. Vogelsonger offered the invocation and Rev. George A. Knerr, the chaplain of he “Fighting Fourth” Regiment delivered a telling address on the symbolism of the fountain, which was revealed by the pulling of a cord which released the draperies surmounted by an heroic-sized fireman in full uniform, clasping a babe in his right arm and holding a smoke lantern. Rev. Knerr impressively told the lessons of strength, of purity, or usefulness, emphasized by the refreshing fountain for man and best.
Chief Burgess J. S. Mack accepted the Fountain in behalf of the Borough, in the following words:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
“Cicero said.....life’s treasures wait.”
The Slatedale band played the Star Spangled Banner and the crowd dispersed.
The town was nicely decorated for the event, private dwellings enjoying with business houses in the elaborateness of their dress. All night long festoons of incandescent lights in the neighborhood of the drinking fountain produced a very pretty effect.
Source: The Slatington News, 29 April 1910
To Dedicate New Drinking Fountain
The new drinking fountain secured by Slatington Hose Company No.1 through the subscription of friends and the proceeds of several entertainments, will be unveiled to-morrow.
The fountain which stands directly in front of the Post Office buildings, owned by A. P. Berlin, is 14 feet high and it is surrounded by a life-sized statue of a fireman holding a child in one arm, while in the other hand he holds a lantern, making the effect at once striking and ornamental. The exercises will take place in the afternoon at 3 o’clock. Prior to the exercises a parade will be held in which the firemen of the town and a number of civic organizations will participate. The parade will move at 1.30 o’clock. The committee and the Slatington Hose Company is desirous of having every organization in the town in line and help make the affair the big success it deserves.
The program of parade and ceremonies at the unveiling and presentation is as follows:
Parade will form at 1.30 pm., and move, at 2 o’clock, over the following route: Out Church street to Fourth, up Fourth to South, out South to Main, down Main to L.V. depot. Countermarch to Second, up Second to Washington, out Washington to Main, down Main to Fountain.
Form as follows:
First Division, South Main street, right resting on Church street
Second Division, North Main street, right resting on Church street.
Source: The Slatington News, 22 April 1910