20 YEARS AGO (1999)
Charles Tomcavage of Mahoning Township was pictured in The Danville News holding a plaque he recently received from The Pennsylvania Cable Television Association. He was being honored for his service to the regional cable television industry, his contribution in building the cable television industry in Pennsylvania. He began work for Service Electric in 1948 with John Walsonavich in Mahanoy City and came to Danville in 1953 with John’s brother Peter to develop a cable network. Charles was instrumental in the initial planning, location, wiring, installing and maintaining of the Danville service, which eventually spread to Milton, Lewisburg and Watsontown. He was also deeply involved with installing and maintaining one of the nation’s first microwave delivery of distant stations to cable systems in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1959.
He retired from CATV in 1985.
Keeping in step with tradition, the Pittsburgh Area Slovak Ensemble dancers were swirling to ethnic music while performing a traditional dance during the annual ‘Summerfest’ hosted by the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius on their grounds at the Villa Sacred Heart.
40 YEARS AGO (1979)
Winners of the Hotshot basketball competition in each division at the Washies Playground were: 8-year-olds, Daryn James; 9-year-olds, Chris Hendrickson; 10- and 11-year-olds, Don Moodie; 12- and 13-year-olds, Fred Shepperson; 14-year-olds, Randy Gable; 15- and 16-year-olds, Jim Shutt, and 17-year-olds, Frank Brent. Monetary awards were given as prizes.
Daryn James was also the 8-10-year-old winner of the Hoop Shoot competition held at the playground; Larry Bohner, 11-12; Bud Mordan, 13-14; Kevin Moodie, 15, and Marcellus Fegley, 17. All winners were treated at the food stand and given a monetary award.
60 YEARS AGO (1959)
The Washies Playground girls softball team handed the visiting Moose team from Nescopeck a huge loss, 25-0. Sally Snyder chalked up nine strikeouts to take the win for the locals and added to the scoring column with a double. “Heavy sticks were also wielded by Barb Edmondson and Joanne Reibsome who hit doubles and Shirley Raup who rapped out a homerun.”
A photo of Mike Coira, manager of the Elks team, champion of the Danville YMCA Junior League, accepting the league trophy at the annual banquet held at the Washies Fire Company appeared in the local newspaper. Harold Buck, manager of the Thompson Jets, last year’s champs, presented the championship trophy. Looking on were Don Williams, also a manager of the Elks, Butch Blosky, Elks hurler, and Mike Reedy, TP Jets hurler.
Another photo, from the banquet, pictured Fred Geringer, Danville Manufacturing, accepting the playoff plaque from Henry Hostelley, executive secretary of the YMCA. Danville Manufacturing won the plaque as the result of a 2-1 win over the Championship Elks. Also in the photo was Bill McLaughlin, Danville Manufacturing manager, and Dave Reedy a team member.
75 YEARS AGO (1944)
A headline in The Morning News, the local newspaper read: “Montour County women can ‘Mine’ Tin sufficient for 501 1 ½-ton Army trucks this year.” These figures were compiled by J. A. Stewart, vice-president of the American Can Company, on the basis of canned foods consumed by civilians in Montour County during 1943. The figures of last year’s consumption predict that civilians would open 1,252,752 cans of food this year. According to a table recently issued by Washington, 2,300 cans could provide tin sufficient for a 1 ½-ton Army truck.
Mr. W.A. McCloughan recently sold his men’s clothing store on Mill Street to a firm on Broadway, New York. Then, in partnership with his brother Mr. H.D. McCloughan, purchased the Morning News, the local newspaper. Mr. W.A. McCloughan, as editor, commented that he would devote his efforts henceforth to the interests of the Morning News, and with his brother would endeavor to give the public a high class commendable and newsy paper that would be a credit to the community. McCloughan returned in 1947 to the men’s clothing business. In 1948, Dan Himmen was president and general manager of The Morning News and Les Carpenter was the editor. That same year, McCloughan, or “Mac,” as he was known, opened a stylish ladies specialty shop on the second floor of his men’s clothing business, named "Bea Butler," after a well-known local woman who had worked in another ladies shop when McCoughan asked her to manage his store. He retired in 1963 and Bea Butler’s women department moved to the first floor of the building that is now the site of BJ's M Street Tavern & Oyster Bar. After Bea Butler retired in 1992, McCloughan’s daughter Pat and son-in-law, Jim Diehl, ran that business until the end of 2000.
There were eight ladies shops on Mill Street in 1976.
The Bea Butler store had the first neon sign in Danville.
100 YEARS AGO (1919)
The 20 Mule Borax Team arrived at the train station in Riverside. The mule team spent the day in Danville going through the streets, stopping to visit with folks along the way. Planned lectures were given at several points in town. The team of mules was hitched to an old desert schooner followed by mammoth wagons, two for freight and one water wagon. It was stated that it was worth going miles to see ‘Borax Bill,’ the driver, with the 20 mules. “Tarantula Pete” at several different points from his high perch on the side on one of the mammoth wagons explained the merits of Borax, the reason that the 20 Mule Team was making the tour to the households of the country. He also had special praise for “Trilly” the “nigh” leader of the team, described as a $10,000 mule.
The weather was extremely hot but didn’t faze the 20 Mule Team as it came from the hottest place on Earth, Death Valley, California. They camped in Riverside.
The town officials were receiving a good deal of complaints about the amount of unnecessary sounding of horns at all hours of the day. The offenders were drivers of motor trucks equipped with a squawking ear-splitting device. These drivers seemed to amuse themselves by seeing how much noise they could make traveling through town. One horn was heard blowing almost continuously for intervals of 5 minutes.
Sis Hause is a Danville historian. Her column appears every week in The Danville News.