Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The S&S Trolley In Selinsgrove

The S&S Trolley at the station located at the south end of Orange Street, North of Walnut St.  

The Selinsgrove Post Office

Postal Employees assembled on the steps of the Post Office, 1953, during the Selinsgrove Centennial Celebration.  The modern federal post office building was built in 1935 and is still used today.  The first post office in Selinsgrove was established in 1808.

The Susquehanna Valley, A Mural by George Rickey

The tempera-on-canvas mural Susquehanna Valley  was painted as a federal Treasury Department Section of Fine Arts project by George Rickey. The work was installed in the lobby of the Selinsgrove post office in 1939.

Pennsylvania Coal

A Scrapbook Of Coal Related History

On this page, find assorted random lists, photos, stories and assorted information about collieries and coal mining, in Central Pennsylvania

The Decker & Styer Building Fire, 1938 Selinsgrove

 On February 15th 1938, a furnace exploded in the Decker & Styers buildings, located at the corner of Market and Walnut Street in Selinsgrove.  

Fourteen families were driven from their homes.  The two apartment buildings were among the most densely populated structures in Selinsgrove, with four families living in the Decker building, and eight in the Styers building.

Several jumped from third floor windows, when flames cut off the fire escapes.  Two were killed - one from her injuries after jumping, another trapped in the blaze.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Valentines Day In The Valley Through The Decades, From Local Newspapers

Valentines Day Histories, Superstitions, Traditions, and Advertisements
Taken from old newspapers in the Central Susquehanna Valley
In 1892 the Lewisburg Journal published an article about the origin of Valentines Day, and the later "follies and superstitions of this day".

It states the holiday evolved from the Roman Saturnalia - a festival sacred to Juno and Pan, at which the names of a number of young women were put in a box, from which they were drawn by men, as chance directed.  This occurred about the same time in February as good Bishop's day - "with the desire of the fathers of the  early Christian Church to Christianize these pagan festivals.  In order to do so, the Lupercalia became St Valentines Festival., and from it have come all of the other follies and superstitions of this holiday.  

Follies & Superstitions:

  • The first unmarried man a girl meets on St Valentines Day morning is decreed to be her future husband
  • "A superstition which might be very popular if it were widely known gives a bachelor the right to kiss the first girl they see on the Saint's morning."
  • The Lupercalia practice of drawing names was in vogue as late as the 18th century in England, Scotland and other Northern European countries.
  • Superstition - if a maid looked through a window and spotted a hen and cock walking together, the girl would marry before the end of the year.
  • A young woman would pin 5 bay leaves to her pillow - one at each corner and one in the middle - so that she might dream of her future Lord.  [Connoisseur, 1754]

"Modern custom confines its celebration to the voluntary sending of gifts.  Flowers, candies, books, jewelry, cards, fans, jeweled garters, glove cases, jewel casket, any and everything that a love may send his betrothed are acceptable on this festival, if they only bear the magi phrase "Thou Art My Valentine" " - Lewisburg Journal, 1892

The Williamsport Gazette, 1929

FEBRUARY 14, 1929.

 ALTHOUGH there were St. Valentines the number of a half dozen or more, February 14 is recorded as the date of martyrdom of one of them, the popular form of Celebration of St Valentine's day has nothing to do with St. Valentine or any other saint

Instead, St. Valentine's day is an the Roman feast of Lupercalia, which happened to coincide in date with the aforesaid martyrdom.

 Through this coincidence, as in other cases of carelessness in the course, of the saint's name became attached to subsequent celebration of what was known as - lottery of love.

In sending Valentines on this day, we recalling the practice of the Romans in that hazard, in which the written names of women were drawn by lot, each by or some young man; and those thus mated by chance were to be sweethearts to one another for the year that followed, after which another St. Valentine's day would, bring another drawing. 

Williamsporters will observe the day with the same gentle ritual that has persisted through the centuries, and suitors will plead their cause with love messages.

 What matters it whether the messenger is a lacy fabric of the style which favor in the last century, a bouquet of flowers, a telegraph message or a big heart- shaped box of candy?

 The one feature of St. Valentine's which seems to have languished is the circulation of impish cartoons and doggerels which assailed the personal failings of friends or acquaintances. These so-called "comics" were positively vulgar and in no wise in harmony with the spirit of the occasion. Just how they came to attach themselves to a day dedicated to messages compliment and affection is not known. fact that they no longer find favor is a good augury.


A Valentine Sent To Reading PA, in 1904

Advertisement for Valentines at Evans Book Store
The Lewisburg Journal, 1904


In 1920, The Miltonian declared that Paper Valentines were out.  "No self-respecting swain will nowadays send a paper valentine to the object of his affections; instead,, he hies to the florist and selects flowers, generally of variety he knows will please the fair lady and his sentiment is embodied in the flowers rather than in hackneyed phrases"  

The article then went on to helpfully list the meanings of each of the flowers available in February.

"With the passing of time the paper article has given away to the floral valentine, and St. Valentine's day recognized as a. floral, festival.. No self-respecting swain will nowadays send a paper valentine to the object of his affections; instead,, he hies to the florist and selects flowers, generally of variety he knows will please the fair lady and his sentiment is embodied in the flowers rather than in hackneyed phrases, and, generally, especially if his affections are centered upon, one object, his card is boldly enclosed with the flowers he. takes no chance upon the possibility of his gift being credited to someone else, perhaps a rival. 

Red is considered to be the; real valentine color, the heart tint, supposedly expressive of fervor. Consequently roses, carnations, sweet peas and tulips in: the red shades, flowers commonly available at this season, are in great demand on St. Valentine's Day. Violets, symbolic of lover pansies to convey the message "Think of me," and the humble forget-me-not, significant of true love, are other favorites.

 The symbolic meanings of  the flowers available in February are to be found in the following list. 
Dark red rose Admiration. 
White Rose I am worthy of you. 
Yellow Rose Let us forget. 
Moss Confession of love.
 Carnation, pink Woman's love.  Red Ardent love. Variegated Refusal. White Fascination. Snapdragon Presumption.
 Calendula Cruelty in love. 
Daisy Innocence.
 Forget-me-not True love.
 Gardenia Refinement. 
Hyacinth, white Modest loveliness; blue Conspiracy; purple jealousy. 
Iris My compliments. 
Lilac white Youthful innocence; purple First love.
 Lily .white Purity and sweetness.
Lilly o f the Valley Perfect purity. 
Mignonette Your qualities exceed your charity. 
Narcissus Egotism. 
Daffodil Unrequited love, 
Pansy Think of me. 
Orchid You flatter me.
 Tulip, red Declaration of love; yellow Hopeless love. 
Sweet Pea False modesty. 
Wallflower Fidelity in misfortune,
 Violet, blue Love; white Modesty. 
The Miltonian, 1922
Buoys Stationary & Art Needlework Shop

The Milton Candy Kitchen

A Menu For A Valentin Luncheon Party
The Lewisburg Journal, 1936


A Victorian "Vinegar Valentine", described as wisely out of fashion,  in the above 1929 article in the Williamsport Gazette.


1932 Advertisements from the Lewisburg Journal

Bittners Dept Store Valentines Day Advertisement
The Sunbury Daily Item, 1943


Mail volume was greatly increased for Valentines Day in 1941
According to the 1942 article in the Daily Item, below, Military Valentines were very popular during World War II.
1942 Sunbury Daily Item


Valentines Advertisement
L.L.Sterns, 1946
1950, Sunbury Daily Item


February - How It Gained Its Name & Lost A Day, The Lewisburg Journal 1905

All About February
As Published in the Lewisburg Journal, February 1905
How it Gained its Name and it Lost its Day

The Pudding Mill Explosion, Northumberland 1908

An explosion at the VanAlen mill in Northumberland Pa killed 9 men, and severely injured 5.  February 3rd, 1908

The men in Northumberland went to work joyfully, arriving at 3:30am on Monday February 3rd 1908, for a 4am shift.  Many of them had been unemployed for months, even as long as a year, as there had been no work at the Iron Works.  

And then, just before 6:30am , the entire town of Northumberland trembled, as a boiler exploded at the VanAlen mill. 

 People ran from their homes, as the fire bell was sounded.  They found the entire west end of the mill to be a shattered pile of bricks, mortar, twisted iron and lumber.  Men quickly formed a rescuing party, setting to work pulling the dead and injured from the debris.