PAHS Newsletter July 2002


Portage Area Historical Society




The 2002 version of the Summerfest Ball is entitled “America the Beautiful” and will have a red, white and blue theme to honor the memory of the Americans lost in the 9-11 tragedy.  The theme of the Ball is also intended to show thanks to all the men and women in the military services protecting our country in foreign lands.

The P.A.H.S. invites you to come to the Ball to salute our great country.  The Ball will be held on August 9, 2002 from 9 p.m. to 12 midnight at the Portage Area Elementary Gymnasium.  The price per ticket is $15.00 which includes the dance and refreshments.  This year’s guests will dance to the music of the Tommy Phillips Orchestra.

Tickets may be purchased from any board member or at the Station Museum on Wed, Sat or Sun. afternoon.  Phone messages to order tickets may be left at the Museum, phone (814) 736-9223.  Tickets are also available from Barb Prostejovsky - phone (814)736-9281 - or by mail at her address, 155 Circle Drive, Portage, PA  15946.

To provide an advance look at the decorations, there will be an open house at the Portage Area Elementary Gym on Aug. 8th, 2002, starting at 8:00 p.m.  Admission is free although donations are accepted towards the upkeep of the Museum.  Dancers will be available to demonstrate various dances during the open house.  If you’re a bit rusty or have two left feet, the dancers will be willing to help you out so you can have more fun dancing at the Summerfest Ball.

The members of the Portage Area Historical Society extend their thanks to Ben Adams, Chair of this year’s Ball for the time and effort he has given in coordinating this huge undertaking. We hope to see you at the Ball again this year. Come and Celebrate America!




Last year when the Keystone Grant work was being done on the museum a representative of the department of Labor and Industry “dropped in” and, after looking around, informed us that we were not in compliance with their fire regulations.  We received a list of requirements that must be met in order for us to remain open as a museum.

The first thing we needed to do was to have an architect examine the Building and submit drawings to the D.L.I., then when they were approved the work could be done.  That first step was completed and some of the work has been finished, such as putting a firewall between the museum and the Stager storage building which adjoins it.

The big expense in this undertaking is the fire escape.  We have an approximate estimate of $4500 to build a 6x6 foot observation deck and steps, using treated lumber.  With donations and some fund raising we have $536.06 toward our goal.  We want to thank those of you who have so generously donated toward this project, and to say that if any of you care to help with other donations, they will be very much appreciated.



Pennsylvania Humanities Council Program 

Dr. Jerry Zolten gave a talk entitled “We Were What We Laughed At: Stand-Up Comedy, Ethnic Image and Changing Social Values” at the Station Museum in Portage on April 7, 2002.  Dr. Zolten is a former stand-up comedian and presently works as an Assistant Professor of Speech, Communications, and American Studies at Penn State Altoona.  Dr. Zolten is also an active writer and performer.

The talk discussed comedy as a mirror held up to society.  Dr. Zolten used rare audio and video clips of the best comedy routines of the century to explore American culture and how it has changed over time.  The audience was treated to comedy by such artists as Bert Williams, Miller and Lyes, Amos ‘n” Andy, Abbott & Costello, Andy Griffith, Brooks & Reiner, Bob Newhart, Moms Mabley, Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory, and Bill Cosby.  Dr. Zolten stayed after the presentation to discuss various topics with the people present.

Dr. Zolten’s presentation was a program of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC). The PHC provides speakers free of charge to eligible organizations.  The Historical Society is interested in inviting other speakers to talk.  Some of the topics of the speakers are Books and Writers, Cinema, the Civil War, Ethnic Heritage, Family Stories and Personal Journeys, Folk and Traditional Arts, Heroes and Heroines, Land, Labor and Industry, Native Americans, Special Places, Times to Remember, and Women’s’ lives.  Complete information can be found at the PHC web site at: http://www.pahumanities,org/speakers.  

If there is a topic that you feel would be of particular interest to the people in the area, contact any society member or call the museum at (814)736-9223.





sonmontipplebybarb.jpg (113447 bytes) Here’s a picture of our year 2002 collectable.  If you’d like one, check the order blank in Website, or get one at the Portage Public Library or at the Portage Station Museum or call 814-736-9223.The cost is $16, and includes the tax.  Add $3.50 for shipping. This would make a fine gift for anyone from Portage.





This year’s sixth Great Portage Yard Sale was held May 18th, 2002 and included 70 sites, - Yard Sale Heaven to people addicted to these sales.  Hundreds of people come to the sales, out-of-towners and our own citizens.  We were able to use the Portage Station Museum as our headquarters this year, which brought some people into the museum who had never been there before. We’re hoping they all return, and bring friends.  We’ll do our best to welcome them and to make their visit worthwhile.



Memory Plaque Addition

John J. & Lea E. Derrick

Joseph, Sr. & Wanda McKrush

J. Sherman, Sr. & Ruth Moyer





We welcome two new friends to our list of volunteers.  They are Ardith Maul and Arlene McDonnell.  WELCOME! 




The Portage Area Mustang Education Celebration

The Portage area Historical Society along with the Portage Area School District want the district’s children to know that they have this community’s support in all of their school endeavors.

This year the Portage Area School District will begin a yearlong “Portage Area Mustang Education Celebration”.  This celebration will encourage the children to excel in all of their school programs.  It will also spotlight many of the district’s people and accomplishments.

A billboard displaying support for the “Portage Area Mustang Education Celebration” will be placed on the Portage Freight Station on Main Street in Portage.  It is everyone’s hope that our children realize how much this community cares about them.  The Portage Area Historical Society’s encouragement of the students will be evident in a visual way through this billboard. The Historical Society’s website will also be linked to the Portage Area School District’s website,



Portage Area Year Books From Past Years

A group of PAHS seniors has completed scanning three decades of yearbooks onto computer CD-ROMs, which are now on sale.

The scanning was undertaken by Nadine Pinos and Sheena Trachko as part of their senior projects. Over many hours beginning last September, they have created digital copies of approximately 30 yearbooks and some school newspapers as well.  Assisting the pair were senior classmates Hollie Shaffer and Jodi Spaid.

“These women have done an outstanding job,” said advisor Jay Shuck.  “I doubt that few if any other seniors have put in so many hours as part of their senior projects”.  CD-ROM’s, which can be used on any modem computer, are available for the following years:


*All the 1990’s

*1990-2000 senior portraits on one disk

*All the 1980’s

*Borough: All 1940’s except 1945 and 1948

*Township: All 1940’s except 1946 and 1948

*Borough 1928

*Borough 1938

*All school newspapers from 1990-2000

*All senior editions of the newspaper from the 1980’s (except 1982)

The cost of a disk is $3 per year.  They can be ordered by contacting the high school library at 814-736-9636 ext. 154 during school hours.

Over the summer and during the next school year, the library will be transferring yearbooks from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s onto CD-ROM.  The school will announce when each decade is completed.

The school is seeking loans of the following yearbooks (or year-end edition of the school newspaper) to complete the 1940s: 1945 and 1948 borough; and 1946 township.  Also, the library would like to borrow any yearbooks before the 1940s.




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The Portage Area Historical Society
Box 45           Portage, PA 15946
The Portage Station Museum
400 Lee Street   Portage, PA 15946
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