Mr. Rodney Hartzell was reared in Nazareth, graduating from Nazareth High School in 1971. His first job was at a local textile factory, earning $3.50 per hour. In 1973, Rodney followed his three uncles and was hired at Nazareth Cement Company, starting on the labor gang.
One of the former managers was Mr. Paul Lentz. The plant, at one time, operated eight kilns. There were various jobs no longer found at cement plants. The roof cleaners, sweepers and dust collectors have been replaced by modern, clean technology.
A few months ago, I wrote a series on Austrian immigrants who came to America for opportunity and a new life in a new country. Another large migration from the old Austria-Hungarian empire were people of Slovak origin. Many settled in Northampton, Cementon, Egypt, Coplay and Catasauqua.
My mother, a Slovak, also made the long journey to the United States and settled in Northampton. She was very proud of her heritage. I wonder how many of their descendants can converse in their native tongue.
I recently made my semiannual visit to the historic Horner’s Cemetery in East Allen Township. The cemetery was part of Craig’s Scotch-Irish Settlement founded in 1728. The cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Northampton County. The first burial there was in 1747.
Ten years ago, my friend Peggy Moser organized a group of dedicated volunteers who cleaned and restored the cemetery. A 10th anniversary program will be held there 1-4 p.m. Sept. 22 on the cemetery grounds, 4965 Nor-Bath Blvd. The mission is to raise funds to place name plates on unreadable tombstones.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local NewsDouglas A. Newhard Lafarge, Cementon
Mr. Douglas Newhard was reared in Catasauqua, graduating from Catasauqua High School in 1973.
He recalls, “I played on the basketball team, and my favorite subject was math.”
After taking an aptitude test, he was hired by Bethlehem Steel Corp. in 1973 at a rate of $3.51 an hour. In his 25-year tenure at the plant, there were dramatic changes.
One of our loyal readers recently asked me about the history of Treichlers. I refreshed my memory by dusting off a 1920 volume of “History of Northampton County.” So here is a brief look at the cozy village.
Over the years, I have written a number of columns on the Penn-Dixie Cement Company. The company operated three plants in Bath and Nazareth and employed many area residents. One of my former students, Blaine Hoffmeister, of Bath, gave me a rare Penn-Dixie paper named Penn-Dixie Cementer, dated April/May 1941.
In this concluding column, Mr. Mike Bednar, noted local historian, recalls some of our railroad history. Mike worked on railroads for 41 years and, with the aid of his wife, Donna, wrote a number of books on railroad history and lore.
In the last column, we wrote about two famous Lehigh Valley Railroad trains — the Black Diamond and the John Wilkes.
Today, we board the Asa Packer, Maple Leaf and Central Railroad of New Jersey’s Philadelphia Flyer.
Mr. Michael Jablonski was reared in Reading and attended St. Peter’s Elementary School, later graduating from Holy Name High School in 1984. He especially remembered Mr. Reardon and Mr. John Gallagher, former teachers who influenced him. Michael also played baseball at the high school.
He recalled, “Computers were in their infancy, so I decided to enroll in a Reading computer-technical school to learn the basics of programming. I felt there was opportunity in this relatively new technology.”
In this fourth column, I am down in Darktown, Hokendauqua, Whitehall Township, visiting with Mike and Donna Bednar. Mike is a well-known railroad historian, a former railroad worker and engineer. He has authored a number of railroad books and magazines. Mike has had 41 years of experience with the Lehigh Valley Railroad, Conrail and Reading and Northern Railroad. Mike knows his railroads!
He traces the Lehigh Railroad back to its roots when the first tracks were laid in 1851 to link Allentown and Easton.
In this third column on train memories, we fondly “remember” when the Central Railroad of New Jersey, Northampton & Bath, Ironton and the Lehigh Valley Traction Company trolleys served transportation needs in our communities.
Old-timers recalled the impact of the Great Depression on their families. In those days, trains hauled millions of tons of coal.
If, for some reason, they stopped in a community, some folks would actually climb the coal cars and throw some of the coal on the ground for their heating needs.