Paul Simendinger had
a few amendments to Wednesday's post about Nanty Glo's first basketball
court in the back (or the Shoemaker-Street-facing) Commons Building:
a note of correction: the building behind Commons was once the
Heisley Company Store. It had a skating rink above it. I was seven
years old and used to skate there. Heisley Store then moved to
the location on Lloyd Street [now the American Legion club] after
Webster [Mine Company Store] vacated [it], and moved across the
street. My father was manager of the Webster company store. Mr.
Harris (manager of Heisley) at that time and my father had coffee
together at Hagans every morning. . . . [T]here was a slaughter
house behind the store where turkeys and chickens were prepared
for sale. It was also used as an ice storage house. I live[d]
on Shoemaker Street most of my time there, except for a short
period on Davis Street. Hope this information will help in your
history of the town.
building in question is seen in today's first photo. I had never heard
before that this was the original location of Heisley Company Store.
Can anyone tell us who owned and/or managed the skating rink and/or
the later basketball court? Was it (or were they) part of a Heisley
company community service initiative? If so, that may be the key to
understanding why the UMWA provided a gym on the second floor of its
second and third photos are also part of Nanty Glo's and Cambria County's
industrial history. Below is the sign for Bethlehem Mine 31, better
known for most of its working life as Heisley Mine.
was struck, in studying the sign, to notice that it refers to Cambria
Division, not "Cambria County" Division. My guess is that
this is Bethlehem's way of acknowledging the significance of Cambria
Iron Company in the history of the steel industry. Johnstown historians
often refer to Cambria Iron as the precursor of Bethlehem Steel, and
since Bethlehem's first president was Cambria County resident Charles
M. Schwab, I assumed incorrectly that Schwab began his career in Johnstown,
gained control of Carnegie's Steel Company in Pittsburgh (later US
Steel) and then merged Cambria with Bethlehem to become the larger
Bethlehem Steel. That's apparently an oversimplification as, for one
thing, there's no reference to Schwab as one of the executives of
Cambria Iron before it merged with Bethlehem.
third photo today is of a plaque on Schwab Hall at Saint Francis University,
Loretto, acknowledging his roles in the university's and Bethlehem
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