Who Do You Recognize From the 1967 Easter Parade?
The images below were scanned from a Super 8 video shot by Mrs. Paul Honus at Mahanoy City's 1967 ( could be 1966 or 1968 ) Easter Parade. The video was donated to the historical society by John Honus.
William Alexander Davies "The Golden Miner"
William Alexander Davies was born in Flintshire, North Wales in July of 1843. As a young man he emigrated to the
United States and arrived in New York aboard the steamer Edinburgh with his young wife, Maria Jenkins Davies,
on September 30th, 1864 after a sixteen day Atlantic crossing from Liverpool. Like many other immigrants he headed west
for the Anthracite coal fields of Eastern Pennsyvania and arrived in Shamokin, where he stayed until early 1866.
He arrived in Mahanoy City on January 25th, 1866.
A miner by trade, but a poet at heart, Davies published two major volumes of poetry: "The Banks of Susquehanna" and "The Workingman's Companion". Much of the poetry contained in "The Workingman's Companion" is
about Mahanoy City and its residents. The Bells of Mahanoy, which appears below, also appeared in " A History of Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County
1863-1963" published by the 1963 Centennial committee. Also in in that book is Davies' poem, The Miner. The Open Library contains both of Davies' books of poetry. You can read more of William Alexander Davies' poetry by clicking on the links below the poem.
Mahanoy City reached its population peak just before the United States entered World War I in 1917. The 1910 census shows that the "City on the Level" had more than 16,000 people. The borough's land area is a little more than one-half square mile, so the population density in 1916 would have been around 30,000 persons per square mile.
Mahanoy City was really hopping in those days. There were more than 300 retail businesses, two railroad lines, two trolley lines, three theatres and as the ad below shows 22 houses of worship.On Easter Sunday in 1930 there were at least 40 different church services- the Catholic Churches had 17 masses.
In 1923 just one of Mahanoy City's many markets, the Economy Market on East Centre Street, would sell five tons of Easter hams. Who knows how many kegs of Kaiers it took to wash down that much ham- despite Prohibition.
To view a larger image of the 1930 Go To Church Tomorrow Page click on the picture. To see more about Easter in years past, click the link below- Remembering Easter from Years Past .
If you are in Mahanoy City this week stop by the Historical Society to see the Easter display in the front window. Thanks to Elaine Luschas and Peg Grigalonis for creating the display.
Four Easter Bunnies join Mayor John"Yoni" Chilinskas, Ida McGroarty ( Left ) and Gerri Scully ( Right ) at the start of the Easter Parade in the late 1980's.