Pages From The Past

Curated by staff librarian Brian Fulton, Pages from the Past is your outlet for regional local history stories, discussion and the treasures of the Times-Tribune archives.

Aretha Franklin 1942 – 2018

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died this morning at her home in Detroit. She was 76. 

On March 28,  2002, Franklin performed at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre. Below are two images from that performance.

Aretha Franklin on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa on Thursday, March 28, 2002. Times-Shamrock File Photo 


Aretha Franklin on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa on Thursday, March 28, 2002. Times-Shamrock File Photo 

You can read the preview and review of the concert –

The Reigning Queen – Scranton Times  – March 23, 2002

Franklin legendary at Kirby – Scranton Times – March 29, 2002 

Two Headed Calf of Montrose

Two Headed Calf of Montrose

Two is sometimes better then one. In the case of two heads, it is hard to say. But finding a second two-headed calf photo in our archives, is kinda of cool.
Faithful readers may remember the story we posted here on the blog back in May 2016 about the two-headed calf of Honesdale. That calf was born in 1912.

Well some two years later, I turned up second two-headed calf story in our archives. This calf was born on a farm near Montrose in September 1955.

Mrs. John Peterson, owner of a farm two miles south of Montrose, is shown feeding a two-headed calf that was born on the farm on September 23, 1955. Times-Tribune Archives

According to the report, the calf was born on Mrs. Peterson’s Farm, which is two miles outside of Montorse, on September 23, 1955. Eleanor Peterson found that one of their Holstein cow’s gave birth to a set of twins. The calf was fine – one head. The other twin had two heads, four eyes, two mouths but only two ears and one brain. A veterinarian said that both calf have a good chance of making into maturity.

Sindey Button, right, holds the two-headed twin calf born on September 23, 1955 at the farm of Mrs. John Peterson near Brewster’s Pond, two miles south of Montrose. Mrs. Peterson’s daughter, Eleanor, hold the calf’s twin. She found the calves in a field on the farm. Times-Tribune Archives

According to a BBC article from October 2016, if a gene called “Sonic Hedgehog” or SHH is strengthen during the development of the animal it could result in the development of two faces on one head.  The article said if the gene is weakened during development the face will develop into a cyclops.  The article hypothesis that the occurrence of this gene mutation in animals my be the basis of many of the monsters of ancient myths such as the Hydra of Lerna.

Over the Years – The Vans Warped Tour

Over the Years – The Vans Warped Tour

Images from the Vans Warped Tour over the past 12 years at Montage Mountain

and be sure to check out today’s Time Warp article on the first Warped Tour at Montage in 2005 and Gia Mazur’s interview with the band Motionless in White who are performing at this year’s Warped Tour. 

Images in the gallery can be purchase at our online photo store.


I’ll have the Davy Crockett

I’ll have the Davy Crockett

Kenny Zupp of Harrison Ave and Steven Smith of Wheeler Ave both went under the clippers and to get the best “free” haircut in town on July 20, 1955. The haircut was the Davy Crockett – a short haircut with the back cut to resemble the tail of a coonskin cap. The cap was made popular by actor Fess Parker who portrayed the “King of the Wild Frontier” in several Walt Disney films.

The boys got this hairdo to help promote Frontier Night that was taking place in the Petersburg section of Scranton on July 21, 1955.

Here is the article about the “Crockett” and Frontier Night –

Images of Zupp and his friend Steven Smith –

Steven Smith, of Wheeler Ave., received the Davy Crockett cut by barber Charles Mayer on July 20, 1955. Kenneth Zupp, standing facing the camera, also received this stylish haircut meant to resemble Crockett’s coonskin cap. Times-Tribune Archives


Steven Smith, back to camera, and Kenneth Zupp, facing the camera, are sporting the “Best Haircut In Town” – The Davy Crockett – on July 20, 1955. The boys received the free haircuts to help promote Frontier Night in the Petersburg Section of Scranton. Times-Tribune Archives

Learn more about Davy Crockett –

Davy Crockett – Congressional Biography

Davy Crockett – Texas State Historical Association

Davy Crockett – Tennessee Encyclopedia

Short video of Davy Crockett’s birthplace at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Limestone, Tn

Davy Crockett birth place

A post shared by Brian Fulton (@bgfulton) on

Motorcycle Gang on Adams Ave

Motorcycle Gang on Adams Ave

Last Saturday, you may remember reading in 50 Years Ago in the Times-Tribune  a short article dealing with a motorcycle gang causing a bit of trouble on Adams Ave in Scranton. Well as I was researching today’s piece, the paper ran images from the gang’s appearance on Adams Ave.

Here are the images that appeared in July 14, 1968 edition of the Times

and the article that appeared a week earlier about the gang’s wild ride in downtown Scranton.

Sunday, July 7, 1968 – The Sunday Times

Remembering the Battle of Wyoming

Remembering the Battle of Wyoming

From the pages of the July 3, 1878 edition of the Scranton Republican. It is a list of the dead at the Battle of Wyoming in the shape of the monument that commerates the battle in Wyoming, Pennsylvania. Times-Tribune Archives

“The tiger passions of red and white demons stimulated by British gold, chagrined by previous defeat and actuated by greed, broke forth in fiendish fury on the fair valley of Wyoming, sets the secret night of French terrors in the shade by its terrible and thrilling action.”  This was how the Scranton Republican on July 3, 1878 describe the Battle of Wyoming which took place on July 3, 1778. .

A grand event was held in Wyoming on July 3, 1878 to commemorate the events mentioned above when loyalist to British rule and Iroquois killed 360 men, women and children when they attacked Forty Fort / Wyoming section of the Wyoming Valley .

The paper detailed the events of the day starting with the arrivals of dignitaries at 9am. The morning function included a musical selection by the 500 member  Centennial Choir and speeches by Hon. I.A. Chapman, Hon. E.L. Dana and Steuben Jenkins.  The commemoration picked back up at 2pm with the readings of poetry by Jesse Harding and Steuben Jenkins. The Rev. E.H. Snowden ended the afternoon program with a prayer.

The events of the day would pick up again at 8:30 with the arrival of President Rutherford B Hayes. President Hayes along with Mrs. Hayes and their two sons B.A. & W.C Hayes, Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman, Attorney General Charles Devens, Pennsylvania Gov. John Hartranft and his wife and four children arrived by train and were greeted by a committee made up of the Rev. Abel Barker, Dr. D.H. Throop and prominent men of Wilkes-Barre and Wyoming. The Scranton City Guard was tapped to be the president’s military escort during his time in the Wyoming Valley.

The President addressed the crowd that was estimated at 50,000. President Hayes remarked that the action of the daring warriors and accomplished statesmen of 100 years ago should be celebrated. He also took a moment to mark the life of Lt. Col. George Custer at the end of his speech.

To this day, a commemoration of the Battle of Wyoming takes places at the Wyoming Monument is held every year. For information about the commemoration visit the Wyoming Commemorative Association Facebook page.

 “Jottings of the Day”

Besides capturing the details of the numerous speeches and events of the commemoration, reporters also were able to rely back some more interesting items from Wyoming.  Here are a few: a marked absence of drunkenness on the grounds, a two legged calf was present at the grounds, people were able to purchase miniature Wyoming monuments, ice water stations were set up to feed the thirst of the panting multitudes, and peanuts the “size of an elephants foot” were available for purchase.

To read more about the Battle of Wyoming check out these links:

Battle of Wyoming — —

Battle of Wyoming — PA Center for the Book —

Wyoming: a record of the one hundredth year commemorative observance of the battle & massacre — Internet Archives —

Time Warp 2003 – Ozzfest

Time Warp 2003 – Ozzfest

Today in Weekend Times, librarian Brian Fulton reaches back 15 years in our archives for a look at Ozzfest. Here are the images captured at the summer festival –

Imagaes in this gallery can be purchased at our online photo store –

20 Years Ago: Lake Carey Tornado

20 Years Ago: Lake Carey Tornado

A tornado hit Lake Carey at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 1998, with such violent force that it destroyed homes, ripped trees and shrubs from the ground and caused the death of two residents.

The next day, Wyoming County Commissioner Ron Williams reported that firefighters and volunteers were working to clear debris to make roads passable and that the National Guard was coming to help with the cleanup and rescue. Work crews from the state Department of Transportation found one road filled with a mound of trees 15 feet high.

Wyoming County Coroner Tom Kukuchka reported that two people, an elderly woman and a middle-aged man, died as a result of the violent storm.

Officials from the National Weather Service in Binghamton came to the area on June 3 and confirmed that a tornado hit the lake. The tornado sprang from a line of severe thunderstorms that moved across the region, a storm John LaCorte of the National Weather Service office in State College called one of the worst in history. The storm damaged a 25-square mile area, and President Bill Clinton declared Wyoming County a major disaster area days later.

In addition to the tornado at Lake Carey, reports arose about suspected tornados in Meshoppen and Lackawanna County. There also were suspected tornadoes in other parts of Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Centre and Northumberland counties.

Tornadoes also hit the area Sunday, May 31. The National Weather Service confirmed that an F-1 tornado struck in Monroe Twp. in Wyoming County, and two F-0 tornadoes hit Pike County.


Jack Johnson Pardoned

Jack Johnson Pardoned

Today, President Donald Trump posthumously pardon the late boxing champion Jack Johnson. Johnson was convicted in 1913 for violating the Mann Act and he served several years in Leavenworth.  On his release date of July 9, 1921, the Scranton Times ran a short piece on his release –

When Johnson died in 1946, he was remembered as a friend of Scranton. Johnson lived and worked in Scranton at the Newport Hotel on Center Street.


Love and Bullets

Love and Bullets

Today 84 years ago, the notorious bandit couple Bonnie & Clyde were killed by police who were trying to stop them near Sailes, Louisiana..  In their time together Bonnie and Clyde are believed to have committed 13 murders and numerous robberies and burglaries according to the FBI’s Famous Cases and Criminal website.

After a run in with police in Texas and Oklahoma in April, the couple were reported to be staying with the Methvins, another crime family, in Louisiana.  Hearing that they were returning from a party, police from Louisiana and Texas hid in the bushes along the road near Sailes, Louisiana. When the couple drove up the road, the police were waiting. They attempted to get away but the police fired upon the vehicle. They were both killed.

You can read the coverage of the last stand of Bonnie and Clyde from the May 23, 1934 edition of the Scranton Times here

Another interesting item can be found on the front page of the May 23rd paper. On the same day that Bonnie and Clyde were killed, infamous gangster John Dillinger‘s girlfriend, Evelyn Frechette, and his doctor, Dr. Clayton May, were found guilty by a federal jury in St. Paul, Minn. for harboring Dillinger on recent visit to St. Paul.  You can also read this article by visiting the link above.

Many years later, Hollywood would tell their story in a major motion picture starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the couple. The film was a huge hit.  It did lead to an argument for a Clarks Summit couple back in 1968.  The Times helped to settled the dispute peacefully.

To read more about Bonnie and Clyde check out their file on the FBI’s Famous Cases and Criminal website

Have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day holiday,