We are happy
to announce that we will receive a $2500 grant from the Community
Foundation for the AIIeghanies toward building a fire escape. We
are required to have matching funds of $2500 in order to receive
the grant. Bids are being requested. We already have in hand the
architect's plans, which include an observation deck for
"train watching". Also, the second story door to the
planned fire escape is already built.
are due, not only to the Community Foundation Board, but also to
our own John Havrilla who did such a good job on the grant
If any of you
out there would like to contribute toward the matching funds, we
will be very grateful.
thought it might be fun for our contributors and our readers to pass
along some old memories. If any of you would like to write us about
your memories of
just send them along to Portage Area Historical Society, Attention:
P.O. Box 45
is an excerpt from a letter by former
Jean Campbell Ziebron, presently living in
parents married when my Dad returned to
During the War my mother played the piano for the silent movies in
Baird's theater. She often told me that after a movie she would
stand up on the stage and sing "The Rose of No Man's
Land." She was dressed as a Red Cross nurse. She would sing
the ending of the song for me, as I remember, "There mid the
curse stands the Red Cross Nurse, she's the rose of no man's
We have suffered two great losses this
summer with the deaths of
France’ Stager and Nancy Troxel.
France’ died in August, very suddenly, and Nancy
died in September, after a long valiant battle with cancer. Both
were generous, loving and giving people, and both were mainstays in
France's help mostly came from behind the scenes. As a member of the Stager
Enterprises, she was very instrumental in their providing us with
the former Pennsylvania Railroad Station where we have established
the museum. She supported us in many other ways, from financial
contributions and memberships to bringing us beautiful flowers to
brighten up the outside of the building.
was one the hardest workers we had. She started helping set up
exhibits and served as treasurer from 1994 until 2000.
was our "Computer Person", and she put many records on the
computer, including church (death, marriage, etc.) and cemetery
records. She did all our genealogy research, and served as a docent
(and chief cleaning person) at the museum.
The Summerfest Ball was held on August
9, 2002 from
. It was held at the
Area Elementary Gym. Everybody danced to the big band sound of the
Tommy Phillips Orchestra. The theme this year was "God Bless
". The colors of red, white and blue abounded through the gym
in all of its glory. Much of the design of the beautifully decorated
gym was coordinated and assembled by Ben and Janet Adams and Dan and
Phyllis Wess. Thank you for all of your, time and talent which made
the Summerfest Ball a success.
The twin towers stood at the back
of the gym shrouded in gray cloth and trimmed with blue lights. The
structures were 2 ft wide by 16 ft tall and were a very effective
facsimile. It was very touching when everybody stood and sang
" along with the orchestra.
Finger foods, snacks and soda were
served. The food was wonderfully prepared by Pat Koenigsburg and
Annette and Paul Lutz! As a special treat our high school hosts and
hostesses served apple pie and ice cream to everybody at their
The Summerfest Ball decorating
Committee once again did a wonderful job. Thanks to -Vivian Kunko,
Ardith Maul, Velma Madigan, Marge Slonac, Barb Prostejovsky, Barbara
Yetsko, Pat Gardner and Jo Steward.
A special thanks to Coach Grouse
and the 2002 Mustang Football Team and to our Student Hosts: Jon
Pollock, Cory Fuller, Matt Pisarski, Paul Lutz, Eric Skutch, Kassie
Maurer, Nicole Panick, Whitney Myers, Kathryn Tremel under the
direction of Toni Koenigsburg, and the school janitors.
Many thanks to these volunteers who
so generously donated their time in assisting the Committee Members
with the decorating and the dismantling: Ryan Adams, Charles J.
Adams, Charles N. Adams, James Koban, Don Burket, Eleanor Fisher,
Katy Gressick, Tom Gordon, Frank O'Shaben, Greta Thomas, Paul New,
Mary Kostan, Chris McQuillen, Jean Kinley, Jane Onderko, Mark
McQuillen, John Bertuzzi, and Lori Miller.
Thank you -Corporate Sponsors for
Stager Chevrolet and Buick
1st Summit Bank
John Karduck, M.D.
Ray Oil and Gas Company
Jean H. Kinley Funeral Homes
Thank you for your contributions:
Area Women's Club
tour of some of our local churches decorated for Christmas. The tour
will begin at on the evening of December 27th
and the churches in the tour are: St. Joseph's -Caldwell Ave, St. Michael's Russian
Orthodox -Blair St., Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine
-Church St., Trinity United Methodist
-Caldwell Ave., Bethany United Methodist -Farren St., Our Lady of
the Sacred Heart -Hammer St., First Lutheran -Caldwell Ave., Church
of God -Hammer St. The bus will leave from the Station Museum on Lee
St. at 6 p.m. We
hope it will be a joyful occasion to share the various Christian
traditions during the holidays. Each church visit will be 15
tickets will be available at the Station Museum for a $3.00
donation. Tickets will also be available the evening of the tour.
and coffee will be served at St. Michael's Russian Orthodox, which
will be the last stop on the church tour.
In conjunction with the Portage Area School
District's "Mustang Celebration of Education" under the
direction of Mr. Michael Duffy, the Museum is displaying artifacts
from the Portage Borough and Township Schools. There are also item
from St. Joseph's and Sacred Heart Parochial Schools.
Desks, photographs, banners, trophies, etc. are
being shown in the cases. One case contains writing instruments
including a computer board. A replica of a Horn Book, which is an
early form of textbook used in the time period of the Pilgrims and
Puritans, is included.
Continuing this theme of Education, the museum
Christmas Decorations are being done by Mrs. Vi Kiel. She is
gathering, preparing, and arranging them. These decorations will be
in place by Thanksgiving weekend.
We urge members, non-members, students, parents,
visitors, etc. to visit the Museum, especially at this holiday time,
to show their support for school educational programs and the museum
annual Christmas House Tour has been steadily growing in popularity,
and we have a very exciting tour planned for this Christmas season.
It will be held Sunday, December 8, 2002, starting at and ending alt The self-guided tour begins at
the PortageStationMuseum, 400 Lee Street, which will be uniquely
decorated. Vi Kiel has graciously agreed to be responsible for
planning the decorations. Vi has a reputation as a great decorator,
and she is full of good ideas and the skills it takes to implement
them. There is an eight-foot tree, recently donated by Stanley
Olszewski, is decorated to harmonize with our current exhibit on
educations, and honors our 2003 graduates. The other is an
old-fashioned tree, to fit in with our 1930's era kitchen. When you
stop at the museum you can pick up your shoe covers (to use when you
go into the homes) and the brochure giving the addresses of the
homes featured. You may visit the homes in any order you choose.
and Debbie Kaufman are opening their 1999 Colonial ranch style home
for your enjoyment. They designed and built it themselves, and are
still completing the finishing touches. Tile foyer and living room
boast ten-foot ceilings and the stone fireplace adds a cozy feeling.
The Christmas decorations have been gathered over the years by Tim
and Ray Vandzura's 1922 colonial Revival home has the distinction of
being listed in the National Registry for Historical Buildings. The
decorative plaster detail in the living room is an unforgettable
feature of this classic home. The Christmas decorations, collected
by the Vandzura's, are a mix of old and new, and are used
harmonizing with the age of the building.
home of the Koban Family is already famous in Portage
for its outside decorations! And now Jim and Gail have agreed to
share the inside of this delightful home with the tour group. Gail
uses over 3500 lights outside, with two Nativity scenes. The house
is a modified ranch, and extensive renovations have been made to the
already classic design. The basement area was enlarged to include 2
bathrooms, walk-in closets and a playroom. A bar and built-in
cabinets were added to the family room, which features a stone
fireplace. Remodeling included new windows, skylights, and a sunroom
that was made into an office. The kitchen and dining room were
recently updated, using cherry cabinetry, modern appliances, and
granite counters. The inside includes
two Christmas trees, a Christmas village, and other decorations.
The final treat
on our Christmas Homes list is the home of Greg, Karen, Courtney,
Travis and Jeffrey Jones. Here is a poem in their own words, to tell
you about their home:
Built seven out
As each brick was laid
By family, Andrew
The Jones' house was
This house has a
High in the rafters
suspending the second floor
Because Andrew made a
When he opened up
his car door,
The pole was in his way,
He knocked it to
the floor and said,
"'This pole simply
So, come enjoy
the festive decor,
That we put up every
This is a true
home for the holidays
And we'd be glad to have
$5.00 tickets for the tour may be bought at the museum during
regular hours Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, or the day
of the tour. Come and enjoy.