THE HISTORY AND OUR MEMORIES OF
Circa 1928 Taxpayers' Association formed earlier changed their name to the Property Owners' Association in 1933. In 1933 there were about 30 members.
Taxpayers' Association President Al Oncay
1937 Swoyersville Merchants Association - On May 27, 1937 a meeting was held in the Town Hall by 15 merchants and an association was formed. It was decided to close on Wednesday's during the summer.
115 stores were listed in the mercantile appraisement of 1940.
1951 On December 12, 1951 the Swoyersville Kiwanis Club was organized at a dinner meeting at Turner's Restaurant, Wyoming Avenue, Kingston with 25 members. The club was sponsored by the Forty Fort-Kingston Kiwanis Club. The Charter Night Program was held on Thursday, February 7, 1952 at the American Legion Home - Post 644. It has served the community of Swoyersville over the years with many service projects such as providing wheelchairs and walkers and purchasing the borough's street signs. The club also provides a yearly scholarship in memory of Pfc. Raymond M. DaSilva who was killed in action on May 8, 1968 during the Vietnam War.
Officers - 1952
President Edward Chiampi
First Vice President George Lawrence
Second Vice President Joseph Troyan
Treasurer Charles Washko
Secretary John Matte
Swoyersville Lions Club - The Swoyersville Lions Club sponsors many service projects and donates to the areas churches' social concerns committees, holds a buffet-style breakfast and assists with other projects to benefit the community.
Past President Dan Brace
1997 President Roy Baker
The Andrew Lawrence American Post 644 is located on Shoemaker Street.
1978 The American Legion established the town's Hall of Fame to honor the town's athletes. American Legion Commander William G. Hlavac stated that the town of Swoyersville, PA with a population of 6,700 people had more professional athletes and college All-Americans than any other town of its size in the United States of America. The American Legion gave Commander Hlavac authority to develop a program, and he selected a committee with former school director John Dorish and Minnesota Baseball Scout Al Kuzma to assist him. In 1978, the first Hall of Fame Dinner was held at the American Legion Home.
1978 Vic Snyder - Football - First All-Scholastic football player from Swoyersville
Bob Washko - Football - First Swoyersville player selected for the Big 33 All-State Pennsylvania team
Lou Michaels - Football
Dr. John J. "Battling Gates" Brominski - Boxing
Adam Comorosky - Baseball
Ray Holup - Basketball
1979 Harry "Fritz" Dorish - Baseball
Joseph Holup - Basketball
Walt Michaels - Football
John "Kid Zook" Zoolkoski - Boxing
Bill "Botch" Kozlek - Football
Ben "Polish Benny" Worlinski - Billiards
1980 Coach Lou Palermo - Coaching
Charles "Chuck" Sieminski - Football
Stanley "Packy" Rodgers - Baseball
Johnny "Mack" Matusek - Boxing
1981 Coach John "Doc" Yonkondy - Coaching
Edward A. Brominski - Football
Joe Ostrowski - Bowling
Paul Semko - Basketball
Catholic War Veterans Memorial Post 1601 in 1997 meets at the post home, The Coral Lounge at 245 Owen Street. In 1997 Leon Ziomek is Commander and Edward A. Gawlas is President.
Joseph Urban Past Commander
Ruinita Hall Runita or Ruinita Hall is located on Oliver Street.
1959 In May, 1959 the Swoyersville Baseball Club for Boys was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The names of the subscribers were as follows:
Armand Morelli Andrew Barilla Anthony Stefanoski
Joseph Koval Joseph Gulla Ernest Bubb
President Armand Morelli
Vice President Anthony Stefanoski
Secretary Joseph Koval
Treasurer Joseph Gulla
Financial Secretary Andrew Barilla
The club had the following assets: a press box located on the field at Church Street, Swoyersville, a public address system, a fence surrounding the field – Total Amount $3,200.00.
1967 The Swoyersville Municipal Authority was organized in 1967. Its' first priority was to install a sanitary sewer system. Councilman Peter Caprari organized the authority for Swoyersville Council with the following members:
Al Fladd - Chairman Patrick Kelly - Member
Edward Perugini - Vice Chairman Ted Fischer - Member
William Hlavac - Secretary Joseph Kalna - Member
Dr. Joseph Evans - Treasurer Atty. Andrew Puhak - Legal Counsel
These men held monthly meetings at the Swoyersville Borough Building with Northeast Engineering of Clarks Summit, PA represented by William Saunders. William G. Hlavac, secretary was instructed to write correspondence for all federal and state grants. The Federal Housing and Urban Development Department representative attended all monthly meetings until all grants were received by the local municipal authority. Councilman Peter Caprari then organized the Planning Commission, the Zoning Commission, the Recreation Commission and the Borough Inspector. It is to be noted that because of all the commissions established , Swoyersville was considered a progressive community. When Hurricane Agnes damaged Wyoming Valley in June of 1972, Swoyersville was given grants because of its progressive image.
1875 A two-room school building was erected in Brodericks. This was on Pettebone Street and this school was staffed by four teachers: Mary Liz Maye, Anna Hayden, Marie McCarthy, and Maggie Backus Miss Backus also taught night school classes which were attended by the breaker boys.
1875 An extra room was added to the one-room school on Shoemaker Street and also onto a one-room school in Dicksville. This school was located on the corner of Main Street and Brook Street near the entrance to St. Mary's Cemetery.
1883 The Dicksville School Building was built by Kingston Township and in 1888 an addition was made to it. In 1900 it became a Swoyersville school when the borough was incorporated. It was abandoned in 1910 but was reopened in 1911. In 1911 it was abandoned a second time and reopened a second time. In February of 1939 is was finally abandoned, and the classes were sent to the Albert Lawrence School Building.
The Dicksville long and narrow school house was later converted into apartments. This school was staffed by three sisters: Nell Dunn, Mary Dunn, and Catherine Dunn.
The Maltby school house was located at the corner of Main and Shoemaker Streets, and this was where eighth grade students were taught by Miss Coughlin, Miss Cahalan, and Miss Condon. This was also known as "The Cahalan Building".
1890 In the early 1890's a kindergarten was established by the Reverend Mr. W.F. Gibbons of the Stella Chapel in a store building on Owen Street and Wyoming Avenue. It was later moved to the Back Road and when the Stella Chapel was vacated, it was moved to Owen Street. The building was then known as the Swoyersville Community Center and was administered by the Kindergarten Federation and Miss Anna Hollenback.
1900 In the early 1900's there was a grade school located on Sullivan Street.
1910 A four room building with the name of the Andrew Lawrence School Building was erected on Owen Street.
1913 The Swoyersville High School was established in 1913 by Joseph H. Finn.
Supervising Principals: 1904-1912 P.J. Hayden
1912-1937 Joseph H. Finn
1937-1942 John R. Horvat
1942- Walter S. Buda
Michael D. Shockloss
1933 Eligible school children in Swoyersville Borough
1,783 registered at the public schools
500 registered at the parochial schools
1933 2,083 total students
1937 Swoyersville had six school buildings.
1944 School buildings were as follows: the Roosevelt School on Tripp Street, the Andrew Lawrence School on Owen Street, and the Cahalan High School
The building that was the Cahalan School is now the Swoyersville Borough Building.
1946 School information as follows: High School 12 teachers and principal
Cahalan annex 6 teachers
Roosevelt and annex 14 teachers
Lawrence building 10 teachers
1949 In 1949 a new high school was built on Hemlock Street. The Cahalan School became a junior high school with buildings in the rear for shop and home economics classes. In the area that is now the parking lot of the Swoyersville Borough Building, there was a large two-story gray wooden school that was eventually torn down. At one time eighth grades classes were taught there and in 1941 the freshman class was taught there because there was no room for them at the high school.
1949 School buildings: Cahalan on Main Street
Andrew Lawrence School on Owen Street
Roosevelt on Tripp Street
Swoyersville High School on Hemlock Street
1949 The School for Deaf Children or the Wyoming Valley Nursery School for Hearing Handicapped Children was opened on December 1, 1949 on Owen Street in the Community Building. It was the first of its kind in Wyoming Valley. It was open Monday to Friday 9:00 am till 12:00 pm. Mrs. Harry Keen and Miss Louise Linfante were in charge.
1928-1949 Kindergarten was located in the Owen Street Community House from 1928 to 1949. Miss Dorothy Biddison was its teacher, and the kindergarten was sponsored by Miss Anna Hollenback. In 1949 the Swoyersville School District took the kindergarten to the Andrew Lawrence Public School. In 1949 the room was changed to a library with Miss Biddison in charge. In September of 1959 Miss Biddison resigned due to the serious illness of her mother. In October of 1950 Mrs. Stephen Marcini was placed in charge of the Community House succeeding Miss Biddison.
1963-1964 In 1963 due to the General Assembly Act 299 by July 1, 1964 the County Education Board was required to establish school districts and Swoyersville combined with Courtdale, Edwardsville, Forty Fort, Kingston, Larksville, Luzerne, Plymouth, and Pringle to form the Wyoming Valley West School District.
VOLUNTEER FIRE AND AMBULANCE COMPANIES
Volunteer Fire Company No. 1
Prior to 1996, the fire company owned a 1967 American La France pumper. This was replaced in September of 1996 with a Pierce Quantum 2000 gallon per minute pumper at a cost of $263,000. In 1996, they responded
to 75 call per year.
Fred Cousin President
1997 - Quick Response Service (QRS) Engine 71 will assist with the emergency medical service provided by the Swoyersville Police Community Ambulance. QRS Engine 71 is equipped with Oxygen and all the equipment necessary to provide emergency care for neonatal, pediatric and adult patients. The unit is staffed with 35 volunteers which include 8 emergency medical technicians and 10 first responders. The current policy is that QRS Engine 71 will be dispatched with the ambulance to medical emergencies in the 2nd ward of Swoyersville and in neighboring communities at the request of the fire chiefs in the other wards.
Volunteer Fire Company No. 2
1912 The company was organized in Brodericks.
1925 On August 10, 1925 Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 was chartered. Some of the charter members were as follows: John Zim and his sons, John Zim, Jr., Charles Zim, Frank Zim, Joseph Zim, William Zim, and Michael Zim, Con Abbott, Michael Shafi, Jacob (John) Zavatski, Edward Zukosky, and William Amos.
1912 -1952 plus A Zim has always been fire chief.
The hose cart was first kept in the Zim's barn. The first fire house was at the foot of Slocum Hill and the first engine was a second hand one. In 1940 a large frame fire house and recreation building was built on Slocum Street. A new fire house was later built across the street and was first occupied on January 1, 1952. In 1952 the company bought a 20 year old La France hose cart from Wilkes-Barre. Frank Zim, Joseph Zim, Jr. and Herbert Amos spent a total of 750 hours converting it into a modern streamlined pumping engine complete with flood lights, booster tank, etc. Every member of the company helped in some way. The engine did not cost the borough one penny.
From 1912 to 1952 plus, a Zim has always been a fire chief. When the fire engine was coming, the people always said "Here comes the Zims!"
1940 The company had 40 active members.
Many dances were held at the fire hall on Slocum Street. Records were played, and the dances were held on Thursday and Saturday nights with an entrance fee of fifteen cents.
1997 Joe Staniorski President of Swoyersville Hose Co. No. 2
Mark Staniorski Fire Chief
Maltby Fire Company
1915 November 4, 1915 the Maltby Fire Company was organized in the Maltby section of town.
1916 The Maltby Fire Company was incorporated on March 6, 1916.
1916 The fire company used a hand truck that was stored in Steve Lukesh's barn.
1916-1940 The fire company had had three trucks.
1916-1941 plus Thomas Pointon was President.
1920-1950 plus John D. Salata was fire chief.
1929 A fire house was built on Owen Street below the Lehigh Valley Railroad at a cost of $7,000.00. The officers were as follows:
President Thomas Pointon
Chief John D. Salata
Assistant Chief Joseph Hornick
1929 An auxiliary was formed.
1936 On January 18, 1936 Kingston Borough sold their old American LaFrance pumper to the fire company. It was bought by Kingston in 1911, and it was the first motorized piece of equipment.
1940 The fire company bought a modern equipped Diamond D fire truck with a triple combination including pump and booster tank. There was also a fire pump which delivers 800 gallons of water per minute, an Indian tank which a fireman could carry on his back, two 2 ½ gallon chemical tanks, and three spot lights of 230,000 candle power.
1941 The fire department bought a Diamond T fire truck.
1950 The company had 50 members with John D. Salata as fire chief.
1950 The fire house on Owen Street which is in the Maltby section was improved. Two new restrooms, a hallway, a rear entrance with new concrete steps and a check room was installed. The restrooms had half tiled walls and tiled floors. The hallway was painted in coral pink and capri blue. Fluorescent lights were installed.
Michael M. Sentigar, Jr. was president of the Maltby Fire Co. until October of 1997. He was chairman of its board of directors and past fire chief. He was also a past fire marshal of West Side Mutual Aid, a retired Swoyersville Borough Fire Marshall and served as Swoyersville Civil Defense director and chairman of the Swoyersville Borough Zoning Board.
1997 Bill Gregory - Fire Chief
Swoyersville Police Community Ambulance
The Swoyersville Police Community Ambulance Company was established in 1948 and in 1997 is comprised of 12 paid personnel that work with 30 volunteers, certified as first responders, EMT's and paramedics. They respond to approximately 500 calls per year and have a budget of $75,000.00 annually. In 1996 they purchased an automatic external defibrillator at a cost of $7,000.00. While many residents gave of their time and talents to this organization, there are a few that deserve special recognition for their years of service; James Galasso, Sr., Lindy Berti, Mike Ferraro, Stephen Stefanides. In 1997 Ronald Mrochko is Director and Ed Connor is EMT/Captain.
Fire Alarm Boxes
1953 In July, 1953 the first fire alarm boxes were installed. The first box was No. 36 at Shoemaker Street and Watkins Street. The system was installed by Frank Zim, Fire Chief of Broderick's No. 2 Fire Station.
1906 The Holy Name Church was destroyed by fire.
1915 Holy Trinity Church was destroyed by fire with a loss of about $20,000.00 on November 13, 1915.
1934 The second edifice of Holy Trinity church was destroyed by fire with an approximate loss of $25,000.00 on February 2, 1934.
1954 February 20, 1954 the Carpet Factory of Frank Baron's at Warsaw and Mountain Streets was destroyed by fire.
The Swoyersville Town Hall was destroyed by fire after the Agnes Flood of 1972.
RELIGION AND CHURHES
Hawath Yeshurun Congregation - Jewish
This synagogue was located on the corner of Main and Kossack Streets.
1900 The synagogue on Main Street was chartered.
1902 11 heads of Jewish families were organized and chartered in a congregation.
1912 The Ahavas Jeshurun Synagogue was built.
1949 Only 11 Jewish families remain in Swoyersville.
Holy Name of Jesus - Roman Catholic Church
182 Shoemaker Street, Swoyersville, Pa 287-2139
This church was known as "The Irish Church".
1899 In December of 1899 the families of Thomas and Elizabeth Watkins and Clarence and Catherine Simpson sold the land to the Rev. M. J. Hoban, Bishop of Scranton.
The first service was held in the Shoemaker Street School House by Rev. John P. O'Malley of Kingston.
1903 The erecting of the first church edifice began.
1903 On Thanksgiving the corner stone was laid with a service delivered by Rev. John P. O'Malley. Holy Name was originally a mission church of St. Ignatius Church in Kingston.
1905 In April, 1905 the first mass was said in the new church by Father Lynott of Kingston.
1906 The edifice burned down.
1909 A second edifice was dedicated.
1992 Holy Name of Jesus merged with St. Mary's of Czestochowa in July, 1992 with Rev. John Sempa as pastor.
1996 Holy Name had 688 active families.
1996 A small fire occurred to the rear porch and storage area in April, 1996.
1996 On November 10, 1996 a closing liturgy was held in Holy Name Church at the 10 a.m. mass with Rev. John Sempa as celebrant and homilist, Rev. Joseph Gilbert as concelebrant and Deacon Peter Hoegen as assisting deacon.
1996 In December of 1996, the twin steeples of Holy Name of Jesus Church were demolished due to the expensive structural repairs that were needed and a broken furnace.
Pastors of Holy Name Church
May, 1905 - February, 1906 Rev P.C. Hurst
1906 Rev. P.J. McHale
1918-1948 plus Rev. Martin Fleming Ordained in 1898
January 6, 1950 Rev. Martin Fleming died. He was pastor until his death.
Rev. A. Boylan
Rev. Edward Sullivan
Rev. Edward Lyman
Rev. Thomas Kelly
Rev. Mark Rosetti
Rev. Martin Dacey
Rev. John J. Sempa
Holy Name - St. Mary's Parish Community 287-2139
283 Shoemaker Street, Swoyersville, PA
1996 Holy Name and St. Mary's merged into one parish community with one house of worship following the demolition of Holy Name of Jesus Church in 1996.
Deacon Peter Hoegen
Deacon John Ostrowski
Joseph Pisaneschi - Seminarian
Sister Amy Wojnarski
Pastors of Holy Name - St. Mary's Parish Community
1996 Rev. John J. Sempa
1997 Rev. Louis A. Grippe
Holy Trinity Church
116 Hughes Street, Swoyersville, PA 287-6624
This church was known as "The Slovak Church".
1895 This first priest who directed this parish was the Rev. Matthew Jankola of St. John the Baptist Church of Pittston. He served this parish until 1902.
1895 - 1897 The property was purchased in August of 1895 for $450.00 and the first edifice was erected with the first mass being said on Christmas Day, 1985.
1902 The old Rodger's apple orchard on Hughes Street hill was purchased for the parish cemetery.
1915 On November 13, 1915 the church was destroyed by fire with a loss of about $20,000.
1916 A second edifice was erected on Hughes Street. It was built of brick and stone. The main auditorium had a seating capacity of 800. There was a lecture room in the basement which had a similar seating capacity. The edifice was 60 feet by 130 feet and there was a tower surmounted by a cupola on each end of the church. The cost was $37,300. The new church was dedicated on May 31, 1917.
1927 A Parochial school and new rectory was built at the following costs with the old rectory being remodeled to be used as a convent for the sisters of SS. Cyril and Methodius:
Land: $17,200 School: $105,111 Rectory: $24,411
Classes in the new school started on September 6, 1928 with 338 students. Students have been taught at this parish from 1920 until the present.
1927 On November 24, 1927 the school was dedicated.
The site is 250 feet front on Hughes Street and is 150 feet deep. The school is of steel and brick with stone trim. There is a recreation hall and bowling alleys in the basement. The first floor has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000. The second floor has ten classrooms. The rectory is 42 feet by 35 feet, and is a two story wood frame building with brick veneer.
1934 On February 7, 1934 the second edifice was gutted by fire with an approximate loss of $11,000. Another source lists the cost at $25,000.
1957 A new convent was built.
The Holy Trinity Cemetery is located on between Hughes and Warsaw Streets.
1917-1957 Organist was John P. Biely
Rev. Aloysius Baloga Sr. M. Imelda Lawrence
Rev. Michael Frohman Sr. M. Liguori Yablonicky
Rev. Joseph D. Podskoch Sr. M. Clementia Asklar
Msgr. Michael S. Harvan Sr. Vivian Hritzak
Rev. Clement J. Podskoch, C.S.C. Sr. M. Maureen Chorba
Rev. John Hovanec, O.F.M. Cap. Sr. M. Regis Derzak
Rev. Joseph Wysocki Sr. Bernadette Dolchak
Rev. Mr. Anthony Urban Sr. Florence Marcin
Brother Jerry Hovanec, O.F.M. Cap. Sr. Gail Vojtko
Brother Joseph Pacovsky, C.S.C. Sr. M. Gemma Evanich
Sr. M. Daniel Jankoviak
Sr. M. Lia Zabresky
Sr. Luciann Prokop
Pastors of Holy Trinity Church
1895-1902 Rev. Matthew Jankola
1902-1906 Rev. Andrew Pavco
1906-1908 Rev. Stephen Pavolcik (first resident pastor)
1908-1910 Rev. Emil Gottschall
1910-1910 Rev. Paul Herman
1910-1918 Rev. Joseph Mateicka
1918-1943 Rev. John A. Karnis
1943-1957 Rev. Andrew E. Klobusicky
1958 Monsignor Michael C. Polcha
Rev. Andrew Strish
Rev. Michael Zipay
Maranantha Fellowship Church
135 Owen Street, Swoyersville, PA 287-4713
Saint Mary's of Czestochowa Church
283 Shoemaker Street, Swoyersville, PA 287-2139
This church was known as the "Polish" church.
1909 The congregation and parish was organized. There were 25 original members.
1909 On October 6, 1909 the first services were held in a public school near Shoemaker Street. The first mass was said by Rev B. Baranowski. The were 180 families and 110 other individuals who belonged to this parish.
1909 On December 12, 1909 a building committee was appointed and the purchase of a location for the church, rectory and school was authorized.
1910 The present site on Shoemaker Street which is one acre was bought for $900.00.
1911 In 1911 the church basement was built. Services were conducted in it until the present edifice was erected in 1925. This edifice is of Romanesque style of architecture. The cost was $61,800.00. The construction of the basement and the purchase of the cemetery plot which is in Dicksville cost $7500.00.
Ignatius Nowicki turned the first spade of earth for the erection of the present edifice. He was a charter member.
The cornerstone of the church has the date of October 29, 1911 inscribed as well as "Donated by P. Bednarski, A.D. 1909. On the church grounds there is a statue of Christ in memory of Father Jim Gryczka 1960, and a statue of the Virgin Mary donated by the Sodality.
For many years the church bulletin was known as "The Bells of St. Mary's" and was published in both English and Polish.
The church operated a one story brick catholic school on the corner of Owen and Maltby Streets. This building later became part of the Swoyersville School System and eventually part of the Wyoming Valley West School District.
1945 The mortgage was burned.
1946-1950's The Holy Name Society of St. Mary's Church sponsored a Sunday baseball club which won several championships and featured players that had recently returned from service or the war. Two of the players were Jack and Bill Puchalsky.
1992 St. Mary's merged with Holy Name as a parish community in July, 1992 with Rev. John Sempa as pastor.
1996 St. Mary's Church has 770 active families.
Pastors of St. Mary's Church
1910-1912 Rev. Valentine Biczysko
1912 Rev. John Kowalczyk
Rev. Charles Duzynski
1928 Rev. Clement Drapsiewski
1928-1952 Rev. Joseph W. Buda. Rev. Buda died in December of 1952.
1952 Rev. Anthony J. Levandowski
1967-1992 Rev. Edward V. Sokolowski
July, 1992 Rev. John J. Sempa
Saint Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church
271 Tripp Street, Swoyersville, PA 287-4418
This church was known as "The Russian Church".
1903 Two lots on the corner of Tripp and Scott Streets were purchased.
1904 Saint Nicholas Church was organized as a mission parish of Saint Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church in Kingston by Father Myron Volkay. A small wooden church was built on the site of the present rectory. The parish consisted of 75 families or about 200 individuals.
1908 The first rectory was purchased and located on the northeast corner of Shoemaker and Watkins Street.
1909 The parish was incorporated and the deed was presented to Bishop Ortinsky.
1914 The original wooden church was destroyed by fire.
1915 The new brick church was completed with much of the work being done by the
men of the parish when they finished their shift of work in the mines.
1915 - 1926 The parish had no resident pastor and was served by the priests from Saint Mary's in Kingston.
1921 & 1934 The interior of the church was decorated.
1923 Five acres of land was purchased to use as a parish cemetery from the Bohemian Slavonian Benevolent Society of Luzerne and in 1925 the cemetery was blessed.
1926 The present rectory was constructed and Father Rudoph Runtagh was appointed resident pastor in December of 1926.
1951 The Cemetery Cross was erected.
1952 The parish adopted the Gregorian Calender.
1955 The old church facade and steeple were replaced and the interior was repainted and renovated. The jubilee celebration and rededication took place on Sunday, November 18, 1956.
1961 Tripp Street caved in to a depth of eight feet, and the rectory was severely damaged. Repair and remodeling work was completed in 1962.
1963 The Diocese of Passaic was established and this parish came under the jurisdiction of its first Bishop, the most Reverend Stephen J. Kocisko.
1967 The church hall was completely renovated.
1972 On Friday, June 23, 1972 the flood caused by Hurricane Agnes destroyed or heavily damaged the homes of 140 parish families, and flooded the church hall and rectory. The church itself was untouched. Clean-up, repairs and refurnishing of the hall and rectory were completed by November.
1974 The renovating of the church interior began in June of 1973 and the renovated church was blessed and rededicated on Sunday, April 28, 1974.
1977 The mortgage representing the final portion of funds borrowed to renovate the church was burned on Sunday, November 13, 1977.
Rev. Benjamin Worlinsky
Rev. Michael Mokris
Rev. Stephen Luzetsky
Pastors of St. Nick's Church
1904-1908 Rev. Myron Volkay
1909 Rev. Elias Kuziv
1909 Rev. Timothy Vasilevich
1909-1913 Rev. Nicholas Duda
1913 Rev. Peter Sereda
1913-1914 Rev. Joseph Bernatsky
1914 Rev. Basil Mayonsky
1915 Rev. Nicholas Molchany
1915 Rev. Nicholas Chopey
1915-1916 Rev. Thomas Szabo
1916-1922 Rev. John Parscouta
1922-1926 Rev. Emil Semetkovsky
1926-1939 Rev. Rudolph Runtagh
1939-1947 Rev. Andrew Stim
1947-1966 Rev. George Hritz
1966-1978 Rev. Christopher Petruska
1978-1980 Rev. Edward Higgins
1980-1987 Rev. Michael J. Mondick
1987-1997 Rev. James Mitchko
1997 Rev. Robert Woytek
The Stella Chapel
Owen Street, Swoyersville, Pa
1882 The Stella Chapel was dedicated in honor of Mrs. Charles Denison Shoemaker. The structure belonged to the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre and was moved to a lot on Owen Street. Mrs. Shoemaker's son, Robert C. Shoemaker was Superintendent of the Sunday School.
This later became the library.
Dennison Cemetery - Lackawanna Avenue and Dennison Street
Holy Trinity Cemetery - Warsaw and Hughes Streets
St. Mary's Cemetery - Brook and Elm Streets
St. Nick's Cemetery - Mountain Street
Temple Israel Cemetery - Dennison Street and Townsend Avenue
Through the years Swoyersville has produced many people who have become community leaders, sports stars or who have made significant contributions in some field. Swoyersville teams dominated in the 1940's and the 1950's in the sports of baseball, football, and basketball.
Andrew Barilla - District Magistrate Andrew Barilla was All-Scholastic (1954) in football, basketball and baseball for Swoyersville High School. He was instrumental in the paving and in the opening of Chapel Street which for many years was just a path between Luzerne and Swoyersville. He also helped to construct and maintain Slocum Street Playground. Magistrate Barilla is well-known for his humor and fairness and is an all-around "Good Guy".
Michael Beky - Mr. Beky was born in Swoyersville and was the son of Daniel and Mary Billy Beky. He was a life resident of Swoyersville and was in the first graduating class of King's College of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Mr. Beky served with the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and was later an assistant professor of education at King's College.
Paul Bieley - Photographer located at 226 Hughes Street and long time sponsor of Swoyersville Little League. For over 25 years he presented a trophy in memory of his dad.
Judge Bernard C. Brominski - Judge Brominski was the son of Dr. and Mrs. John J. Brominski and graduated from Swoyersville High School in 1939. At Swoyersville High School he played football in the backfield for Coach Lou Palermo and played basketball for Coach Ed Chiampi. He graduated from Blair Academy in New Jersey and then from Dickinson College and Law School. He was President Judge in Luzerne County for 12 years.
Edward "Ike" Brominski - Edward Brominski was Dr. John Brominski's brother and he was a member of the 1928 Swoyersville football team. He played for the Columbia Football Team and was a member of the team which played Stanford in the Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day in 1934. He coached Plymouth, Hazleton, Dallas, and Berwick teams. He also was an assistant coach at St. Louis University. Mr. Brominski was also a physical education instructor at the Back Mountain school. He played baseball with the Elmira pioneers.
Edward Brominski - Edward Brominski was Mayor of Swoyersville and a county commissioner. Ed is also a cousin to Judge Bernard Brominski.
Dr. John J. Brominski - Dr. Brominski was born in Duryea and was married to Josephine Hudock who was originally from Plymouth. He graduated from Wyoming Seminary in 1913. He was a professional boxer and while in the service during WW I, he won the championship at Fort Mead, Maryland. He fought for the Welter Weight Championship of the World. Dr. Brominski graduated from Blair Academy (Baltimore Dental College) 1918-1921 and opened a practice at 252 Watkins Street. He was involved with politics and became the Mayor of Swoyersville. He died in 1943 during his third term and his wife completed his term in office. She was a nurse who graduated from Hazleton State Hospital.
Lou "Allen" Brominski - New York Giants baseball
Jacob Burnat - Jacob Burnat immigrated from Austria/Hungary in the late 1800's and operated various businesses at 326 Hughes Street. He was one of the founders of the synagogue on Main Street in Swoyersville. Family history indicates that he helped many people prepare for citizenship and even held their money for them because many immigrants were afraid to trust the banks.
Dr. Milton Burnat - A dentist who practiced on Hughes Street.
Angeline Cacciatore - Swoyersville teacher
Henry Cheskiewicz - Wyoming Valley All-Scholastic team (1949), and the only quarterback to lead his teams to 2 undefeated seasons
John "Ish" Cheskiewicz - All-state honors in football, 2 years; All-Scholastic 1951
Edward Chiampi - Ed Chiampi was born in or near Hazleton and early in his life his family moved to West Pittston. He graduated from St. Thomas College now the University of Scranton, and he married the former Elizabeth Kozlek. His first teaching job was at Swoyersville, and he and his family resided there for many years. He was referred to as "Coach Champ", and he won 689 games and lost approximately 191 games over 32 years of high school coaching. He coached the Swoyersville basketball team for 29 years and amassed 644 victories. Ed Chiampi coached two years at Nanticoke and won 29 games. He coached one year at Forty Fort where his 1967 team won 16 games. Of those 644 victories at Swoyersville, his teams had nine District 2 Class A championships, five District 2 Class B titles and 23 of 29 North League crowns. Coach Chiampi's 1949-50 team went to the Class a state championship final in which they lost to Homestead, 47-42. He never had a losing season in 32 years of coaching basketball. Additionally, he tried to obtain college scholarships for many of his players. Edward Chiampi died October 2, 1982.
Dr. Xavier J. Chiampi - Dr Chiampi was born September 10, 1915 and died August 27, 1979. He was a major in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was also a physician who had his practice on Hughes Street in Swoyersville and was well-respected in the community.
Adam Comorosky - Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds
Agnes Condon - Swoyersville High School teacher
Margaret Condon - Teacher at the Lawrence building
Walter Condon - School teacher of commercial subjects
Joe Coniglio - All-Scholastic 1956
Elizabeth Coughlin - Principle at the Tripp Street School
John Demko - John helped to start the Roosevelt Field and Teeners League and gave much of his time and money to maintain the field.
Helen Dennis - Mrs. Dennis celebrated her 94th birthday on February 10, 1997. She has 3 children, 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter. Her children are Eleanor Cheskiewicz, Dolores Fetchko, and Mayor Vincent T. Dennis.
Sister M. Regis (Mary Elizabeth) Derzak - Sister M. Regis was born in Swoyersville on July 21, 1909 and her parents were Jacob and Veronica Kvitkovich Derzak. She attended Holy Trinity School and graduated from St. Mary's High School. She entered religious life on December 8, 1930 as a postulant at Villa Sacred Heart at Danville and was received as a novice July 7, 1931, taking the name Regis. She professed her first vows August 21, 1932 at Villa Sacred Heart and her final vows on August 22, 1936. Sister Regis received her B.S. in Education from Marywood College and spent 58 years in full-time ministry teaching children in parochial schools. She was notable for preparing children to receive the sacraments. She died in August of 1997.
Harry "Fritz" Dorish - Harry Dorish was one of three sons of Anna and Harry Dorish and graduated from Swoyersville High School in 1941 where he played baseball, basketball and football. He was in the Army and began his career in the major leagues in 1947 with the Boston Red Sox and in his first game defeated Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn and the Washington Senators, 3-2. He pitched in the major leagues from 1947 until 1956 for such teams as the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Browns, and the Baltimore Orioles. In later years, he was the pitching coach for the Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves.
John Dorish - John Dorish was one of three sons of Anna and Harry Dorish, and he played baseball for the local teams often at the Polo Grounds. He played all positions except catcher. He was a Marine during World War II , drove truck and in 1940 opened a tavern on Main Street.
William F. Dorman, Sr. - Bill Dorman lived in Swoyersville for 20 years and served as chief of police for 12 years. He served on the board of trustees of the Northeastern Police Chiefs, was past president and a member of the Auxiliary Police Civil Defense, past president of the Swoyersville Police Community Ambulance, a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Police Chiefs, the United federation of Police, the Maltby Volunteer Fire Co., and the Catholic War Veterans Post 1601 of Swoyersville.
Dr. Joseph Evans - Dr. Evans was a professor at the University of Scranton and a long time member of the Swoyersville Kiwanis Club.
Frank Fondo - All-Scholastic 1953
Loretta Garbette - Loretta was born in Swoyersville and was the daughter of Michael and Bernadine Yanulewicz. She was an Army veteran of World War II and served in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She died August 3, 1997.
Rich Gavlick - All-Scholastic 1960
Frank Gonglefski - Frank Gonglefski was one of the first squires of Swoyersville, and he had one of the first phones in town. He was one of the founders of the miner's union with John Mitchell. Mr. Gongleski took many for their citizen papers. He and his family lived on Dana Street at a time when there were only 4 company houses on the street. He sold real estate for Mr. Tripp who lived in Forty Fort.
Joe Gulla - Joe Gulla was active for many years in most of the clubs and organizations in town. He was one of the founders of Roosevelt Field and was chairperson for many of the testimonial dinners. He also served as publicity writer and took many photographs.
Ken Gulla - All State Guard and All Scholastic Team
Dennis Hlavac - All-scholastic in football
Andy Holup - All-Scholastic 1951
Joseph Holup - Wyoming Valley All-Scholastic Team 1950, 1951, All-state honors in basketball, 1 year, George Washington University, NBA teams in Detroit, Syracuse, Wilkes-Barre Barons, and Williamsport team in the Eastern League - In 1956, he was named to the United Press International and the Associated Press All-American teams and was also an Academic All-American. Joe earned a bachelor's degree with honors in business administration in 1956 and in later years worked for the General Electric Co.'s Nuclear Energy Department from which he retired in 1992. He died January 28, 1998.
John Holup - Wyoming Valley All-Scholastic Team 1949, All-state honors in basketball, 1 year
Ray Holup - All-state honors in basketball, 1 year
Cy "Dopey" Hornick - Cy Hornick was active for many years in Swoyersville Little League as a player representative and commissioner since 1956. He was honored at a Testimonial Dinner on December 11, 1976 with approximately 250 people attending. He was Swoyersville's Mister Little League.
Tom Hrivnak - All-scholastic in football, 1965-66
Vera Husovsky - Mrs. Husovsky catered many delicious dinners throughout Swoyersville.
Margaret Jennings - Miss Jennings was a teacher in the grade school and later taught at Wyoming Valley West High School. She began her teaching career in 1928 and retired in 1974. She was the daughter of Frank and Winifred Jennings.
Regina Jennings - Miss Jennings was the school nurse and graduated from Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre. She became the school nurse in 1936 following Agnes Kozlek. She retired from Wyoming Valley West in 1976. Regina's parents were Frank and Winifred Jennings.
Thomas Jrivnnak - All-scholastic in football, basketball and baseball
John Kolesar - John "Jack" Kolesar is a professor emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania and owner and operator of Kolesar's Greenhouse. He was a Swoyersville councilman, was head of the General Engineering Department in the College of Engineering at U of P and in 1998 serves as an educational consultant for Techneglas.
Mike Kolojejchick - All-Scholastic in football 1965
Amelia Koshinski - Amelia was a native of Sewalski, Poland but resided in Swoyersville for many years. On April 30, 1989 she was feted at a 100th Birthday Anniversary Luncheon by the parishioners of St. Mary's of Czestochowa Church.
Joe Kovaleski - All-Scholastic 1958
William "Botch" Kozlek - William Kozlek played for the New York Giants Football Team. He had the first Franklin automobile in town. He ran a coal delivery business and owned a sand and gravel operation on the Back Road. There was a sand washer at the sand pit making his sand the only washed sand in the area. He also had a screen available to grade the gravel in various sizes.
Fr. Reginald Krakovsky, TOR - Father Reginald was born in Swoyersville on February 29, 1924, and was the son of Joseph and Anna Kovalick Krakovsky. He entered the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Province of the Immaculate Conception in 1945 and made his profession of vows on September 28, 1946. Father Reginald was ordained a Franciscan priest on July 9, 1952 and spent most of his religious life in Pastoral ministry.
Joseph Kurpis - A great toastmaster and speaker
Dr. John J. Lavin - A physician who had his practice on Shoemaker Street. Dr. Lavin was the school doctor.
Andrew Lawrence - Mr. Lawrence lived on Owen Street and was the first person from Swoyersville killed in action during World War I. He was in the Coast Guard.
John Lagoski - Teacher and principal
Marguerite Malone - Miss Malone was an excellent teacher at the Swoyersville High School where she taught history and social studies. She is fondly remembered by many of her students.
Clara Mancini - Clara Mancini worked in the prothonotary's office in the courthouse, was active for many years and in many capacities in the Democratic organization at the state, county and borough levels, and was a state committeewoman for 20 years. She was the first woman to be elected to the auditor's post in Swoyersville Borough and she was sworn into office on January 7, 1980.
Edward J. Matushek - Ed Matushek resided in Swoyersville most of his life and was the owner and operator of Y & M Florists of Swoyersville for 35 years.
Edward Michaels - Pfc. Edward Michaels at the age of 20 was the first Swoyersville man to die in action during World War II. He was killed while fighting with the U. S. Marines on Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. Edward Michaels was an outstanding athlete and student at Swoyersville High School and played football, basketball and baseball. He graduated in June of 1941.
Lou Michaels A Swoyersville native and resident, Lou was both a collegiate and NFL star. Mr. Lou Michaels played for the Los Angeles Rams, the Pitttsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Colts and the Green Bay Packers. Swoyersville Borough Council proclaimed April 29, 1992 as Lou Michaels Day and a Banquet was held in recognition of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1993 he began hosting the annual Lou Michael's Golf Tournament for the benefit of the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Walt Michaels - Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Walt Michaels later became coach of the New York Jets. All-Scholastic 1946
Lillian Munley - Mrs. Munley is the daughter of the late George P. and Josephine Haduch and was married to the late Tony Munley. She is a graduate of Swoyersville High School and was active for many years with the Democratic Party of Swoyersville and was a committeewoman and was a treasurer of the Swoyersville Democratic Organization. Lillian was first woman to be elected to council in the history of Swoyersville Borough and was sworn into office on January 7, 1980.
Henry C. Novroski - Mayor of Swoyersville; Henry Charles Orchestra, Swoyersville Planning Commission
Gerald O'Donnell - All-Scholastic 1950
Joe Olejnick- All-Scholastic 1956
Vince Olejnick - Wyoming Valley All-Scholastic Team 1949
Helen Oliveri - Helen Oliveri, B.S., M.T.(ASCP) graduated from Swoyersville High School and College Misericordia. She worked for many years as the Microbiology Supervisor at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and later the Wyoming Valley Health Care System.
Ray Oncay - All-Scholastic 1952
Bob Ontko - All-Scholastic 1956
Lou Palermo - Lou Palermo was both an educator and coach at both Swoyersville and Coughlin. He was a stern disciplinarian and had many championship teams. His wife was the former Nancy Butwinski of Kingston. He had a daughter Nancy who is married to Anthony Recupero, Jr. and a son Louis, Jr.
Frank Paluck - All-Scholastic 1955
John "Jack" Paluck - Washington Redskins, all-state honors in football, 2 years; All-Scholastic 1951
Charles Petchel - Charles Petchel (nee Pechal) graduated from Holy Trinity Grade School, and Swoyersville High School in 1957. He was an honor student, valedictorian, Key Club Member, and had the lead in the 1957 high school play "Hocus Pocus". He also worked on the school newspaper. He earned a B.S. degree from Kings Point, NY and later an M.A. in Economics from the New School of Social Research, NY, NY, and an M.B.A. in International Business Operations from Pace University, NY, NY.
Anna Polk - Mrs. Anna Polk formerly of Swoyersville celebrated her 103rd birthday on December 19, 1996. She was born in 1893. She currently resides at the Wyoming Valley Manor Personal Care Home and is a member of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre and the American Legion Auxiliary of Swoyersville. She has five children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mrs. Polk plays Santa for the children who visit the home at Christmas.
Ed Poostay - All-Scholastic 1964
John Popson - All-Scholastic Team 1950
Viola Potera - Viola was born in Swoyersville and was the daughter of Stephen and Catherine Homnick Lukesh. She was the co-founder of the non-denominational Christian Inspirational Television Network, Channel 54. She died September 13, 1997.
Anna Puchalsky - Mrs. Puchalsky a long-time resident of Swoyersville celebrated her 98th birthday on August 23, 1997. She is the mother of 10 children and has 48 grandchildren, 70 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She is a member of St. Mary's Church in Swoyersville and its societies. She has often said the key to longevity is staying active. She enjoys reading and watching TV.
Natalie Puhak - Dr. Natalie Puhak of Swoyersville graduated from College Misericordia, received her master's degree in business education from Marywood College and was awarded a doctor of education in vocation/business education from Temple University. She was a former teacher at Wyoming Valley West High School and Luzerne County Community College.
Elizabeth "Babbo" Reggie In 1952 Mrs. Elizabeth "Babbo" Reggie celebrated her 90th birthday. She immigrated from Rasshovik, Czechoslavakia with her husband. She was known as "BABBO" to all which means grandmother in the Czech language.
Bernard Reif - Dr. Reif was a dentist and was also the Swoyersville schools dentist. His parents lived on the corner of Watkins and Grace Streets.
Stanley "Packy" Rodgers - He was 1931 graduate of Swoyersville High Scholl and played for the Swoyersville Junior Buffaloes, a semi-pro football team. He was a manager for the Elmira Eastern League, the Cedar Rapids Western Association and for Farnan Quebec, Canada. Mr. Rodgers was a scout for the Eastern Region for the Washington Senators and later for the Minnesota Twins. He also played for the New York Giants baseball.
Frank "Tippy" Santee - Swoyersville councilman
Adam Sieminski - All-Scholastic 1953
Bob Sieminski - All Scholastic 1955
Charles "Chuck" Sieminski - San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, All-Scholastic 1957
Dr. Louis Sieminski - All-Scholastic in football 1964
Angelo Siracuse - Angelo Siracuse was a Swoyersville councilman and served as school director for more than thirty years. He also served as the athletic director for the Swoyersville High School.
Vince Siracuse - All-Scholastic 1952
Frank Smaka - All-Scholastic 1959
Vic Snyder - All-scholastic in football, 1942
Bob Sobocinski - All-Scholastic 1954
Mike Stelma - All-Scholastic 1948
John Henry Swoyer - John Henry Swoyer was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1832 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He came to Wilkes-Barre in 1859 and was a leading independent operator of private coal mining. He was president of the Wyoming Valley Coal Company and was one of its largest stockholders. He was a good and worthy citizen and an expert in business. Mr. Swoyer died at the age of 56 on September 10, 1888 in Wilkes-Barre, PA of rheumatic meningitis. Mr. Swoyer is buried in Lot 933 in Hollenback Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Stanley Szwast - Pfc. Stanley Szwast was the third member of Swoyersville's St. Mary's Parish to be killed while on active duty with the U. S. armed forces. He died in 1942 in Africa.
Raymond C. Vanyo - Born in Swoyersville and a resident of Swoyersville for many years, Ray was employed by Forty Fort Lumber Company for 42 years and was a member of the Forty Fort Businessmen's Association. Ray was an active member of the Swoyersville Kiwanis Club. He was a past president of the Swoyersville Kiwanis Club and chairman of the Boys and Girls Fund. He was head of the committee that provided wheelchairs, walkers and canes to the community. The Kiwanis Club of Swoyersville wrote following his death in March of 1987 that he "left a "Legacy of Friendship" and really that is a lot to leave." Ray was married to the former Elizabeth Puchalsky and had five children.
Bob Varaitis - All-Scholastic 1958
Joe Varaitis - All-state honors in football, 2 years, Wyoming Valley All-Scholastic Team
Ed Volak - All-Scholastic 1948
Jack Wallace - Swoyersville science teacher
Edward Walsh - School Director
Florence Walsh - Grade school teacher at both the Tripp St. and at the Andrew Lawrence school buildings
Vivian Walsh - Teacher at the Andrew Lawrence building
Bob Washko - All-state honors in football, 2 years; All-Scholastic 1956
Miriam Wolfe - Swoyersville teacher of Spanish and Latin
John "Doc" Yonkondy- John Yonkondy played football and basketball for Swoyersville High School from 1929 to 1931. He attended Wyoming Seminary and then finished at Susquehanna University where he earned letters in football, basketball, baseball and track in each of his four years at the university. He earned his Master's Degree at Scranton University. Lou Palermo, a former Swoyersville Sailors coach invited Mr. Yonkondy to serve as his assistant coach in 1936 when neither received any pay. In 1945 he started coaching football at Swoyersville High School guiding the team to Luzerne Count Conference titles in 1945 and in 1946. His teams also won the Northern Division Championships in 1950, 1951 and 1956. His career record was 149-43-6. In his 19 years as coach, 36 of his players were selected all-scholastic. He was a Mathematics and an English teacher, a football coach of the Swoyersville High School "Sailors", and in 1967 he became a principal of the Forty Fort or Dana Street building of the Wyoming Valley West School District. He stayed in that position until 1976 when he retired.
Edward Zukosky - Edward Zukosky was an elected Constable for 8 years, served as a sergeant of the Police Force and starting in 1972 was Chief of Police. He was active in the Ambulance Association and was a charter member of Swoyersville Hose Co. No. 2.
Joseph "Lefty" Zukosky - "Lefty" is a Swoyersville native and a long time member of the 109th Field Artillery Battalion. He was aboard the train that was involved in the collision at Coshocton, Ohio, in which 33 members of the 109th died.
INTERESTING STORIES AND HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
1926 On March 21, 1926 General Peppino Garibaldi, grandson of the liberator and creator of United Italy spoke at the new Italian hall on Oliver Street under the auspices of the Andrew Lawrence Post No. 644 American Legion and Societa Itali Riuneta.
Hucksters Hucksters were men who would sell fruits and vegetables and meats from their trucks as they drove through the streets of Swoyersville. Frank Lukesh sold meats and groceries from his truck.
Icemen The icemen would sell blocks of ice from horse drawn wagons and would sell blocks of ice cream for 5 cents.
Larry Monahan worked for Woodlawn Dairy and delivered milk with a white horse and wagon.
Peddlers Peddlers were men who sold material or cloth and other household items as they traveled through town.
Ragmen Ragmen were similar to peddlers and used old trucks and dressed in raggedy kinds of clothes. They blew a hand held tin horn and bought rags and all kinds of metals for a few pennies. They then took them away and resold them. Some would also accept bundled newspapers. Many residents always looked to make a few pennies that way.
Umbrella Men and Scissor Men These were men who were on foot and were typical peddlers who would repair umbrellas and sharpen scissors respectively.
The Peter (Pioter Koziolek) Kozlek family arrived in Swoyersville from Poland in the early 1900's. They built a large home on Hughes Street. They owned and operated the Kozlek gas station along with the farm behind the gas station. Their home was also a meat market, and the big barn in the back was used as a livery stable. Peter would go the Tennessee to buy "Tennessee Walking Horses" for the community. Pioter was an excellent business man and owned a lot of property. He owned much of the land opposite of the airport and he donated much of the land to the churches that is now used for cemeteries. There is a story that he loaned A.J. Sordoni enough money to buy his first truck, so that he could build a bridge across the creek on Hughes Street. Pioter died at an early age of cancer. Pete's Pond is named after him. "Botch" and Tom were 2 of 9 children who helped to run the gas station. "Botch" also ran a coal delivery business and a sand and gravel business on the Back Road. Two of the other boys, Bernie and Peter, were glaziers, and eventually left the area to ply their trade in other parts of the country. Jewel Kozlek operated one of the early hairdressing establishments in the area.
During prohibition, the liquor businesses were given two years to sell their stock.
All weddings and wakes were held in the family homes.
Bell Sneakers were people who dressed in angel and demon costumes during the Christmas holidays and visited the homes of the townspeople often scaring the young children.
Some men and women would get together after the Christmas Eve dinner and travel to the homes of relatives and friends singing Christmas caroles. Mr. Andrew Puk would play the accordion and a paper star would be made from special paper sent from Europe and would carried with them.
Coal cars would be on the sidings waiting to be unloaded at the Harry E. the next day, and at night people would knock the coal off the cars and carry it to their homes. Railroad police would be at the intersections but not at the sidings which were in very dark areas. The sound of coal being picked and cracked in order to be used in the stoves could be heard throughout the neighborhood.
Shootings occurring in Swoyersville during the early 1900's were usually over grudges from the "old country".
1939 A study was done in March, 1936 as requested by Miss Anna Hollenback. The study was performed in order to determine the need for opportunities for constructive activities for the youth of Swoyersville.
1930-1940's Passenger type excursion trains would run to Harvey's Lake in the summer and would stop in Swoyersville to pick-up passengers.
Many big league ballplayers got their start by playing in the local parks.
1939 Swoyersville sandlot players set a new record on July 25, 1939 by playing 242 consecutive innings of softball. They started playing at 4:45 a.m. and ended at 7:15 p.m. with the Yankee team winning against the Red Sox team with a score of 115 to 106. The heat was between 70 an 94 degrees and all but two of the 20 starting players finished the game. William Hlabach, 12 years old, was the youngest player, and Elmer Titus, 38 years old, was the oldest. George Gutch was the umpire. George Hlavac and Elmer Titus, Sr. were the pitchers.
1944 In 1944 the students at the high school marched out of school and went on strike to protest the leaving of Coach Lou Palermo. He had taken a job with Coughlin. The strike originated with the athletes but was to no avail.
1950 In September of 1950 a majority of the estimated 320 students and their parents refused to enter the Swoyersville High School due to a change in the school sessions. The State Department mandated a morning and afternoon session with at least an hour lunch period if the district wanted to keep its rating as an approved six-year high school. The school board approved the changes. The protest was because many of the students said that they had afternoon jobs and this schedule would interfere with their work Supervising principle Walter Buda and high school principal Michael Shockless spoke at the regular student assembly and explained the changes.
1950 For many years the name of Swoyersville has been spelled both with and without the extra "s". Historically, it was the intention to call the town "Swoyerville" but an employee in the Clerk of Courts office copied the incorporation papers with the extra "s". This was ignored by many in the town for nearly half a century. In 1950 the townspeople voted on the issue. In 1989 the extra "s" was omitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on the driver's licenses. Jonathan A. Spohrer of Stock Avenue recognized the mistake and after bringing it to Penn Dot's attention, correction cards were issued.
1966 At least 50 people demonstrated at the Harry E. Colliery to protest the continued dumping of mine refuse in the borough by Pagnotti-owned coal companies.
June, 1972 In June of 1972 Tropical Storm Agnes left a good portion of Swoyersville under water as it did to most of the valley. Many homes sustained a great deal of damages and the loss of personal property was high. The Catholic War Veterans Post 1601 Home on Simpson Street was knocked off of its foundation, bounced off of the Fortune Fabric building and then bounced into the home of Mr. & Mrs. John Katchko causing it to land in the yards belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Volack and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Covert. Many residents left there homes to stay with friends and relatives during the flooding and after the waters receded, many rebuilt their lives and properties in their hometown.
1975-76 On August 25, 1975, Bob Long as Coordinator of the Swoyersville Bicentennial Committee, along with Dorothy Kubasti, Secretary, Patricia Sentigar, Delegate 1st 1st Ward, Margaret Ducey, Delegate 2nd 1st Ward, Jack Kolesar, Delegate 3rd Ward, Peter Caprari, Assistant Coordinator , Genevieve Sarnak , Treasurer, Leonard Grozalis, Delegate 1st 2nd Ward, Vincent Dennis, Delegate 2nd 2nd Ward, Richard Evanoski, Bill Hlavac, Communications, and Mike Sentigar, Special Assignments outlined a calendar of events for 1976. It began with a Variety Show on January 31, February 16-22 was George Washington's Birthday week, April 19-25 was Big Trout Contest, May 9 was Mother's Day Festival, May 15 was Armed Forces Day, May 30 was Memorial Day Services with the largest parade the borough has ever seen, June 14-19 was Flag day and Lawn Fete, June 21-27 was Soap Box Derby, July 4 was Old Fashion 4th of July, August 30 was Commemorative Service, August 31 was Awareness, September 1-6 was the largest community amusement festival which was held at the Tripp Street location and it ended with the finale featuring a grand parade with bands and floats. The Swoyersville Bicentennial activities have been put into a time capsule at the Wilkes-Barre Courthouse for the next generation to review and celebrate.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Harvey, Oscar Jewell (completed by Ernest Gray Smith). A History of Wilkes-Barre and Wyoming Valley, 6 volumes. Wilkes-Barre: Harvey and Smith, 1909, 1927, 1929.
Johnson, F.C. The Historical Record of Wyoming Valley, Press of The Wilkes-Barre Record, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 1908.
Grook, Evelyn Buchan, Leisure Time Need and Resources in Swoyersville, Pennsylvania, Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1939.
Proceedings and Collections of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, 1984, Volume XXIV, Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. p. 110.
The Wyoming Valley Observer. December 3-9, 1972.
U.S., Anthracite Coal Strike Commission, Proceedings of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission, 1902-19-3. P 4039.
West Side Weekly. April 16, 1992
Phillips, Edward, Town and Borough Histories, Wyoming Historical and Geological Society.
Diamond Jubilee of Holy Trinity R. C. Parish, Swoyersville, Pennsylvania
September 26, 1971
Diamond Jubilee of Saint Nicholas Byzantine Church, Swoyersville, Pennnsylvania, 1904 - 1979; Sunday, October 21, 1979
Various newspaper articles from The Sunday Independent, The Wyoming Valley Observer, The Wilkes-Barre Record, The Times Leader, and The Citizens' Voice
Personal Interviews, Memories and Memos: Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Barilla, Beth Bantel, Thomas Beky, Ben Belinka, Judge and Mrs. Bernard Brominski, Ed Chiampi, Harry Dorish, John Dorish, Fred and Martha Dorman, John and Nancy Dorman, Shirley Gavlick, Stanley "Huck" Gowisnock, David Himlin, William Hlavac, Margaret Jennings, Regina Jennings, Ann Burnat Kellman, Angelo and Helen Licata, Robert R. Long, Helen Polk Metroka, Lillian Munley, Joann Munzing, Richard J. Nemetz, Mrs. Nevolas, Charles Petchel, Jack and Lena Puchalsky, Bill and Irene Puchalsky, Anna Puk, Ray and Barbara Ripa, Rosalie Romanowski, Barbara Spinicci Sharratta, Jim and Jean Siracuse, Harry Sponseller, Ed Stankus, Elizabeth Vanyo.
The History And Our Memories Of Swoyersville Borough was compiled by Mary Beth Siracuse in 1997 and 1998 from personal stories, newspaper accounts, and personal interviews.
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