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Swansea Valley Celebration Male Choir

50 Voices in Concert promoting local talent and heritage


Carbondale, October 15, 2018:  Côr Dathlu Cwmtawe Male Choir from the Swansea Valleys of Wales reprises their inspiring 2015 concert tour of NEPA. Sponsored by the Carbondale Historical Society, there are 5 US concerts scheduled beginning in Carbondale, October 28th.  The choir brings the gifts of song, heritage, and tradition from the Swansea valleys to the communities that the Welsh helped create through coal, iron, and culture.

The Carbondale Historical Society, led by Dr. S. Robert Powell, a serious contributor to regional research, has recently published the last 4 volumes of a 24 volume, 10,000 page history of the D & H Canal Co. Gravity Railroad.  Sponsoring concerts by a Welsh choir from the Swansea Valleys adds an entertaining cultural dimension to the society’s accomplishments that is historically appropriate. Ninety Welsh families were recruited here in the 1830’s to mine coal.  Scranton and Bethlehem recruited Welsh iron masters from the Swansea area to start that industry.  Along with the technology, the tradition of choirs became a large part of NEPA culture for over 100 years.

The tour of 2015 saw local High School choirs being invited to sing with the Welsh choir.  A tradition of intergenerational mentoring by Welsh choristers, many of whom are educators, had an international impact.  The Valley View HS Voices of the Valley Choir was invited to tour Wales for two weeks in 2017.  The talent that our students presented impressed both audiences and the top national Welsh choirs with whom they sang.


The Swansea Valley Choir will re-unite with Valley View students on October 30th and will welcome students from Old Forge and Western Wayne at concerts on the 28th and 29th.


·        Carbondale Methodist Church, October 28th, 7PM

Special guest: Old Forge Elementary Choralaires


·        Western Wayne HS, October 29th, 7Pm

           Special guests: Western Wayne HS Marching Band


·        Valley View HS, October 30th, 7PM

           Special Guest: Voices of the Valley Choir


·        Wilkes-Barre First Presbyterian Church, October 31st, 7PM

            Pre-concert organ interlude by Dr. John Vaida


·        Bethlehem Trinity Episcopal Church, Nov. 1st, 7PM


Helen Gibbon, Soprano. Kees Huysmans, Bass Baritone. Both are four time winners at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Dr. David Lyn Rees, Accompanist. A Primary Care Physician, Dr. Rees has been an international choir accompanist since his youth.

     Conway Morgan, Conductor, Organist, Arts Educator, Horse Breeder.

Ticket information:  Carbondale Historical Society 570-282-0385

Facebook: CD Choir US Tour 2018

                   (Presale $15 ends 10/26, $20 at the door)     



Concert Schedule JPEG.jpeg

 Carbondale Historical Society and Museum, Inc.

Location: One North Main Street, Third Floor, Carbondale, PA 18407

Mailing Address: Post Office Box 151, Carbondale, PA 18407

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, noon to 5 P.M.; Saturday by appointment 

Phone: 570-282-0385

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Matthew Levine - The Carbondale Report:

Friday, October 19, 2018

            This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform all of you about local happenings and events in the Pioneer City. We hope to see you at these events, so read on to find out more in this column!

            Before I get into local happenings and events, I want to inform all of you about a book I am currently reading. It is called The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized American Cuisine, by David DeWitt. DeWitt’s book traces the history of colonial gastronomy in the United States, starting with the first English settler colony in Jamestown before proceeding to the era in which Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin lived. The book specifically analyzes aspects of the Founding Fathers’ culinary side, including Washington’s agricultural experiments at Mount Vernon, Jefferson’s travels in Europe, and Franklin’s celebrity status regarding his gastronomical palate; Franklin once declared that Native American hoecakes were finer than any Yorkshire pudding he’d ever eaten, and he proposed recognizing the turkey as our national bird instead of the bald eagle. This book also includes colonial-era recipes updated for twenty first-century palates; DeWitt’s study offers a little-explored side of our Founding Fathers’ history in the shaping of our country. I highly recommend it as a read to anyone with an interest in this.

            Now, for some local events and happenings: on Sunday, October 28th, the Côr Dathlu Cwmtawe male choir from the Swansea Valleys of Wales will be giving a concert performance in Carbondale. This performance comprises part of a concert tour that includes five stops in Pennsylvania, including at the United Methodist Church in Carbondale (October 28th, at 7:00 P.M.), Western Wayne (October 29th, at 7:00 P.M.), and Valley View (October 30th, at 7:00 P.M.). If you like Welsh musical tunes, these performances are for you. Come out and support this talented musical choir!

            The previous was a snippet of local events and happenings in Carbondale. Once again, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


Pennsylvania Coal Company Gravity Railroad


There were two "Gravity" railroads in northeastern Pennsylvania in the nineteenth century: the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's Gravity Railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale, and the Pennsylvania Coal Company's Gravity Railroad from Pittston to Hawley.


The article given below is about the presentation that Dr. Powell gave on April 22nd at White Mills, PA, on the Pennsylvania Coal Company's Gravity Railroad. This talk, which was very well attended and very well received, was a part of the annual Tom Kennedy Local History Festival.

Research Requests

Genealogical and/or historical research requests must be received by the Historical Society through one of the research request options offered under "Research Services." Genealogical and/or historical research requests that are sent to the Historical Society's email address can not be processed appropriately by the Society. 

For general research not related to genealogical items, select Research Option #6.

City Drinking Fountain a.jpg

"City Drinking Fountain, Carbondale, Pa." This drinking fountain for horses was located in the center of the intersection of North Main Street and Lincoln Avenue. 

1951 Parade.jpg

In 1951, the City of Carbondale celebrated the centennial of the incorporation of the City on March 15, 1851 with a week-long celebration, featuring several street parades, all with a wide variety of floats. In the photograph shown here, we see a D&H steam locomotive pulling a Gravity Railroad passenger coach down Main Street. 



2018 Historical Society Membership Campaign: To renew your membership in the Society for 2018, click on "Membership" at the head of the webpage. Select the level of membership that you wish to register for, and fill out the membership form there.


To continue to do all that we do for the community, we need the membership support of many people. Please help to continue our work on behalf of Carbondale's past, present and future.


  Mason Jars:  Among the many remarkable items in the holdings of the Historical Society are many home canning jars from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some remarkable green jars from the mid-nineteenth century. These jars have all come from houses in the Carbondale area.

Mason Jars: Among the many remarkable items in the holdings of the Historical Society are many home canning jars from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some remarkable green jars from the mid-nineteenth century. These jars have all come from houses in the Carbondale area.


Carbondale Historical Society Members, 2018

1. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Williams, Carbondale

2. Nancy and John Hollenback, Greenfield Township, PA

3. Hendrick Manufacturing Company, Carbondale

c/o Kathy Saslo

4. Ben Franklin High School Class of 1961 and

Saint Rose High School, Class of 1961

Courtesy of Ronald Konosky

5. Carbondale Chapter of UNICO National

"Service above Self"

c/o Yvonne Gatto

6. Pierre Mancuso, Carbondale

7. Attorney and Mrs. Fred Moase and family, Carbondale

8. Attorney and Mrs. Jeffrey Nepa and family, Carbondale

9. Marie P. Greto, Carbondale

10. Mary C. Zlobl, New Bern, NC

11. Chris Wade and family, Dickson City, PA

12. Marjanie P. Hellman, Carbondale

13. Jeffrey Davis, Naches, WA

14. Nancy Moran, Port Orange, FL

15. Anthony Di Marino, Massapequa Park, NY

16. Edward J. Spall, Manassas, VA  Corporate Member

17. Mary Parise Tomaine, Carbondale, and Madison, Alabama

18. Gloria A. Wilson, Waymart, PA

19. Leo B. Burke, Vestal, NY

20. Patti Morrell, Carbondale

21. Ann Marie Pettinato, Carbondale

22. Sean P. McGraw, Esquire, Carbondale

23. Frank Moro, Waymart, PA

24. Thomas and Ellen Farrell, Carbondale

25. Neal and Susan Davis, Carbondale

26. Benjamin Schnessel, Esquire, Carbondale

27. McGovern Insurance Agency, Carbondale

28. John J. Price, Carbondale

29. Dan, Eliza, Sarah, and Anna Totsky, Carbondale

30. John M. Coleman, Esquire, Pasadena, CA

31. Tony Mickloiche, Carbondale

32. Alex Kelly family, Carbondale

33. S. Robert Powell, Carbondale

34. Marie and Charlie Speicher, Carbondale

35. Barbara A. Campbell, Archbald, PA

36. Kevin L. Tomaine, Alexandria, VA

37. Dawn Bentley, Mitchellville, IA

38.  John Bifano, Cape Coral, FL

39.  John Fagan, San Francisco, CA

40.  John Fagan, Greenfield Twp, PA

41. Anne Maleskey Rose, Merritt Island, FL

42. Joan Chellino, Carbondale

43. Mazza Linen, Carbondale

44. Joseph P. C. Surace, MGySgt. USMC (Ret.), Meridian, ID

45. Carl Reichart & Jason Smith, Honesdale, PA

46. Ben Franklin High School, Class of 1951

47. Russell Bonacci, Paoli, PA

(age 90; grew up in Carbondale; visited Historical Society on July 27,  2017)

48. Matthew Levine, Carbondale

49. Jeffrey & Lisa Levine, Carbondale

50. Delores Levine, Carbondale

51. Aaron Levine, Philadelphia, PA

52. Joe Callahan, ND

53. Tony Mickloiche, Carbondale

54. Judy Gretzula, Carbondale



























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A View of the Park


On a recent afternoon, I visited Dr. S. Robert Powell at the Carbondale

Historical Society and Museum on the third floor of Carbondale City Hall.

Walking through the exhibition galleries, where so many artifacts are so

proudly displayed, I was filled with nostalgia. It was exciting to see the

memorabilia of the many stores that were a big part of our lives. Do you

remember Fulkerson's Music store, on Salem Avenue? Cramer’s

Photography Studio on Main Street? The Elite at the Park?


As I looked at Memorial Park, out of the third floor windows of City

Building, I smiled when I saw the monuments, one of which my dad helped

to dedicate. Over the years, the Park has maintained its peaceful and quaint

look and along with the City Building remains the centerpiece of our small

town. In my youth, Main Street was always filled with pedestrian traffic but

on this sunny day, the sidewalks were empty.


I was born in Carbondale and raised on Lincoln Avenue, in a home my

grandfather built in 1927. Both my husband and I are graduates of Benjamin

Franklin High School but like so many of our contemporaries, we left our

hometown for college and to establish careers.


Because we have built a retirement home in the area, we are fortunate to

spend time in our beloved hometown. Looking at the park that day, I

wondered what I could do to help maintain our heritage. What could people

who are non-residents do to support the efforts already established by the

Carbondale Historical Society? What about the residents of Carbondale?

Your membership is fundamental to keeping the Society viable. If you have

not yet renewed your membership for 2016, I encourage you to do so. If you

are not certain if you have renewed, Dr. Powell has supplied a list of current

2016 members. Please see below.


What could I do as a part time resident? The answer came through clearly as

I spent time with Dr. Powell-- -- volunteer, get involved in creating a new

vision for Carbondale, learn more about our shared history, visit the

museum. The enthusiasm among the members of the Chamber of

Commerce and the City Building is contagious. Those citizens are working

vigorously to revitalize the spirit of Carbondale but it can't be done without

the support and encouragement of not only the residents of our town but

those of us who are non-residents as well.


For your convenience, membership can be renewed via the Historical

Society's webpage: Click on "Membership"


Please consider a membership to the Carbondale Historical Society and

Museum (if you are not already a member) or contact the Society (570-282-

0385) to get on the Volunteer Schedule. It is one small thing but it will make

a huge difference.


Best regards,

Mary Parise Tomaine

Welcome to the new and improved Carbondale Historical Society website! Please bear with us as we migrate to the 21st Century and update this site with all of our archived content from our old site as well as provide new content for you to enjoy.

The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is located on the third floor ofhistoric Carbondale City Hall and Courthouse in Carbondale, PA. The building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is located at One North Main Street. 

The first public meeting of the Historical Society, founded in October of 1974 by a group of six Carbondale Area school teachers, was held in January of 1975.  On November 6, 1982, the Historical Society and the Committee to Restore Carbondale City Hall merged to form the Carbondale Historical Society and Museum, which was incorporated on March 15, 1983. 

The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is an educational and historical membership organization whose mission is to record, gather, and preserve the history of the city of Carbondale and the surrounding area. Through its genealogical and local history research center and exhibition galleries on the third floor of Carbondale City hall (listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 6, 1983, through the efforts of the Society) and through an annual series of public lectures, programs, exhibitions, and commemorative ceremonies, in the community and in the public schools, the Society, at the same time, interprets and makes accessible to the public the City's rich, diverse, and unique history and heritage. The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is committed to the central values of (1) maintaining the highest possible standards in all its endeavors, (2) providing excellent service to the public at all times, and (3) demonstrating leadership and innovation in the field of local history. 

The Society's research room and exhibition galleries are open from 1 - 5 P.M., Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Given the fact that we are an all-volunteer organization, it is always a good idea to phone ahead  (570-282-0385 or email to make sure that someone will be at the Society when you arrive. This is especially important if you're traveling from out of town to Carbondale to do research.