Twin Rocks in its heyday,
the 1950's and earlier
Webmaster's note: The text below has been compiled from several letters received from a Twin Rocks native who prefers to remain anonymous.
Twin Rocks had many businesses at one time, and yet many were gone even before I can remember. Beginning from the south edge of town, there was Rubbo's grocery and gas station, the Kovach and Volassin taxis, the Kovach grocery, the VFW, Big Bend Mine, the movie theater, Cocho's water works, Kikta's grocery, Goss's gas station, Shadden's grocery/hardware/clothing/shoe store, Dugan's hotel and bar, Smith Appliances, DeFrank's Barber Shop, Seec's Confectionery, McHugh's hotel and bar (later Luko's, now G.A.L.'s), Dr. William Prideaux's office, Frank Greneider's Company Store, Felix Losurdo's grocery store, Almady's grocery store, Knapic's bar (famous for it's broom dances on Saturday nights), John Knapic's grocery and gas station (corner of 271 and now Expedite Road, once known as Longs Corner), Krupa's TV and Radio, Number 5 Coal Mine, and Lanzendorder's Trucking and School Bus Garage. Beside Almady's was a huge garage, but I can't remember the name of it. And Margaret Rutledge, who lived next to that garage, had a thriving fortune telling business...I think that she did more business than all the others!
A postcard view of downtown Twin Rocks, believed to be from about 1910. The large hotel at the left, known to later generations as Dugans, was originally Peaches Hotel, owned by Amandeus Peach, according to Blacklick Township historian Desmond Warzel.
Across from DeFrank's Barber Shop was the Post Office and Shutak's grocery store, which I forgot as I traveled the main street in my mind above. There used to be a Veterans' Memorial next to the Barber Shop. Each year, the parade would stop at the memorial to honor each of the veterans who gave all for our freedoms.
Parades were an important event for us. How proud we were to march in the band, just to be a part of it all. Men in uniform, military active and inactive, marched in precision. Everyone, with no exceptions, gave respect to the flag as it passed. As a little child I was immensely proud because my dad carried the huge flag that led the parade. It was such an honor to him.
Seec's was "the place to meet" in our school years. Often, we would go there in the evenings to meet with friends, dance to the jukebox, and have a Coke. Frequently, we went there at lunch hour on school days at Big Bend School, again to meet, dance, etc. "Lizzie" Seec (owner) was a widow who apparently loved children, too. Her husband was killed in the mines. In those days, most folks held funeral "wakes" at their homes ... for three days ... and I can remember going to the wake for Mr. Seec with my dad.
Blacklick Township historian Desmond Warzel sent this follow-up to the preceding on November 9, 2002:
The car garage mentioned above was a Buick dealership early on, then an outfit from Johnstown, then Lanzendorfers in the 40's.
Across from Seec's, prior to the War Memorial (designed and built by my grandfather according to the Journal; I don't remember) was the Shoemaker Hotel ('30's). A little Red Schoolhouse was where the park and gazebo now stand. Across from where Kovachs Store and Taxi was the original site of St. Charles Church (until 1926). Across from Almadys store was the original Methodist [formerly EUB, and even earlier, United Brethren] church.
Selders store was sort of catty-cornered from John Knapic's store. Goss's store, at the bridge (and way way back next to McHugh's near Longs' corner) there was a soda bottling factory next to the pipeline where the trailer sits today (not sure; it may have possibly been owned by an early Goss, as the mine next door was Goss owned). Babinscak had a store on First Street; Knapics location then was then occupied by a blacksmith shop owned by Mr. Knapic prior to being a tavern.
The building at the corner of Fifth and Station Road was Vizi's grocery. The red brick building next to the bridge and across from the theater was Strizak's Jewelers. The house next to the Company Store (Susie Marines' house) was formerly the White House, which was a rooming and boarding house and also housed the township offices for a while. The township offices were also in Dugan's Hotel for a time.
According to the Nanty Glo Journal the house next to Dugans was a "house of ill-repute" and was raided. The miners hall by the theater was the first and third miners hall, the one in between being the Dave Adams residence on top of High School Hill.
Verna (Rutledge) Chernisky sent this follow-up to the preceding and it was added to this page on November 20, 2002:
I just viewed the Twin Rocks page a few days ago; found a few erroneous items, possibly you could correct them?
1. The Rooming House mentioned was owned & operated by Ed & Mary Waite, NOT WHITE. She was like a Grandmother to me, since my Mother (who was an orphan) roomed and worked there at age 11 in 1920; don't know how many years she was there. After Mrs. Waite died, the State of Pennsylvania sold the house to Susie Marines and her husband.
2. Metro Volassin also had a Shoe Repair Shop at his taxi stand, down near Dugan's Hotel. I don't recall Kovach having a taxi service in Twin Rocks, but in nanty Glo. (Maybe it was before my time?)
3. There also was a grocery store down from Longs Corner on Cardiff Road in the Kovach House for a few years. Can't remember what years; would say the early 40's. It was a big white house on the right side of the road, heading toward Lanzendorfer's. It was also called Kovach's Grocery Store.
4. Knapic's Tavern was previously owned by Louis Solesky (Soletzky? - not sure of spelling) before it was purchased by Mike Knapic, Sr., around 1946 or 1947. They had moved to Twin Rocks from Armaugh, or around there, I believe. Later, it was owned by Mike Knapic, Jr.
I really enjoyed the article. It brought back many memories of my childhood.
Verna (Rutledge) Chernisky
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