Vol. 1-Interview-Barron


George Barron 8/2/72 Waln Brown

The first house built in Eckley was a twelve-room house build in 1850. I was built in the area where Shanty Street was. This house was used mainly for boarders. It was owned and run by the coal company, who has someone live there to cook the food, etc. and to collect the rent.

The Casa Garde (Castle Garden), which was Slavish for hotel, was built between Shanty Street and Main Street behind the church and rectory area. This was a boarder house which was owned by the company and was mainly occupied by Slavish people.

The houses on Back Street looked very much like the ones on Main Street. The Back Street houses were smaller. There were two types of homes on Back Street. From the club uptown the houses were smaller. These smaller houses had two room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. These were all double houses. They had three windows in them, one for each room. The downstairs rooms had the regular double-sash windows, while the second floor had only a single-sash window, half the size of a regular window.

The homes on Shanty Street were town down about 1910, all except two where were located behind where Max Marmello lives. There were destroyed about 1950. The houses on Back Street were destroyed in the 1940s.

When a man got married, he would live with his wife’s parents. Meanwhile he would put his name in to the company to rent a home. When a man’s name came up in order of request, he would get the home and set up housekeeping. The Welsh and English, since they were the bosses, got first choice on homes and also got homes much quickly than others. While others might have their names on the list for a home (as many as thirty or forty names at a time), the Welsh and English would have the priority at having the next home or their choice of homes when vacated.

Many of the men who came to Eckley would leave sweethearts in Europe. They would correspond with their sweethearts while they were setting up finances in Eckley. The man would put his name in for a house, and when it was about time for him to get a company house, he would send her the money to come to Eckley. They would get married in Eckley and settle down in their new home.


Dennis Mercier 7/1/72 George Barron

Observations at “clubby” picnic: In the olden days picnics like the one going on now were quite common. Almost every Saturday of the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It would usually be held in the picnic area near the ball diamond and would be a very elaborate affair. There was at least one ball game, plenty to eat, and a raffle, usually for cash.

The raffle policy was that the cash prizes totaled half of the money taken in, except in the case where the beneficiary was the church (one of them). Then the church got the majority of the money! All raffles would be “for the benefit of” the baseball team, some special fund, some family, or something worthwhile. It was also used for the public good.

An interesting delight to this was the fact that the early raffle “tickets” were actually little wooden or metal paddles shaped thus [image of paddle]. On the paddles were printed three numbers. Each change or paddle cost a dime. After the raffle was over, all the paddles were collected and used again.

[Drawing of raffle ticket paddle]

On the paddles were printed three numbers. Each chance or paddle cost a dime. After the raffle was over all the paddles were collected and used again.


Waln K. Brown 6/21/72 George Barron

Back Street Residents (1940s)

[Left Column] 1. Zahay, Steve 2. Guza, Philip 3. Cerballa, Michael 4. Fedorsha, John 5. Xenshaw, John 6. Evanscho, Joseph 7. Kislan, Joseph 8. Pazlovich, Stephan 9. Ondoch, Andrew 10. Kochie, Emorol 11. Pankoski, Valentine 12. Fedorsha, John Sr. 13. Witchan, Nicholas 14. Nagle, William 15. Nedash, George 16. Machelle, John 17. Senick, John 18. Nicholas, Emory 19. Lagonoski, Frank 20. Zynell, Felix 21. Charnigo, Joseph 22. Zavotsky, John 23. Worwath, John 24. Rudiwick, Charles 25. Lesho, Michael 26. Uhrick, Walter 27. Polifko, Michael 28. Wasiko, Joeehp [Joseph] 29. Havitski, Michael 30. Susa, Steve 31. Barron, George 32. Sikora, Michael

[Right Column] 33. Barron, Joseph 34. Draganoski, John 35. Palko, Andrew 36. Falatko, Frank 37. Evancho, John 38. Ondech, George 39. Holanar, John 40. Charnigo, George 41. Kimmel, Charles 42. Falatko, Joseph 43. Fatula, John 44. Timko 45. Sherban, Elec 46. Timko, Joseph 47. Tarapchak, Michael 48. Yurko, John 49. Petrosky, Harold 50. Yencha, Michael 51. Kaminski, Vaeentine [Valentine] 52. Nagle, Thaddaus 53. Petruska 54. Falatko, Clifford 55. Kimmel, August 56. Kimmel, Rudolph 57. Kislan, Andrew 58. Belas, George 59. Pavelko, Nicholas 60. Timko, Michael 61. Waskamin, John 62. Murdock, Joseph 63. Cheslock, Peter 64. Zaraski, Joseph


Waln E. Brown 6/12/72 George Barron

There was a hotel on the “upper” end of John Fatula’s house. It was the biggest house in Eckley.

There is no evidence left of Fourth Street, which was back further than the other streets. Perhaps it was twice the distance between Shanty Street and Fourth Street as between Main Street and Shanty Street.

Shanty Street began at the rear of house #128. There was a four-room school house with two teachers in each room. It was down the street about forty feet, more than the average distance between houses. This would put the school house approximately near the rear of house #125. Shanty Street ended parallel to the rear of the last house on Main Street.

The Back Street houses were located, beginning with house #1 even with the rear of the last home in front of the Molly Maguire breaker, located by the stripping ditch.


Waln K. Brown 8/2/72

The train station was located about a hundred yards east of Anna Timko’s house. These was a railroad run by the Jersey Central. It came to Eckley once or twice a day. The station was built about 1900 and was torn down about 1912 or 1915.

The train just carried mail and some freight for the store and the colliery. There was no station agent at the station. The railroad men would have the keys to the station and open it and put the freight in. Someone from the store or colliery would come down and open the station and take the freight. There would be a man who came to the station from the post office in the store. We would collect the mail.

The station was just a building about 30 feet long and 15 feet wide with two or three sliding doors. The station was built on a platform the height of the off steps from the train. It has a set of steps at each end. There was a sign about ten feet long and 18 feet high that was Hersey Central R.R. Station, Eckley, Penna. The only time people were there was when the train came. Once the train left, all the people left. Usually the only people around the station were people who had something to do with the station. There were no social activities held about the station.


Waln K. Brown 8/7/72 George Barron

There were a great many boarders in Eckley. The boarders were mainly Slavish people; they lived mostly with Slavish people. As the work increased in Eckley, more people came to Eckley. Most of these people came to Eckley from the old country. There were very often “in the hole,” that is, they had to pay for their fare to America and therefore owed for the cost of this travel.

People who were working in the Eckley mines had recently come from the old country and would write friends or family still living in the old country and tell them that jobs were to be had in the Eckley mines. These men who were working in the Eckley mines would “line-up” a job for their friends plus find them a place to board. Then they would go to a Slavish lawyer or “broker” who was located in Freeland and have this man draw up papers to get a passport for the new immigrant. Once all of thise was taken care of, the Eckley miner would send all this information to his friend or family member in the old country. In about a month time, the new immigrant would arrive in New York and from new York he would come straight to Eckley. He would arrive in Eckley with nothing but the clothes on his back.

About half of the people in Eckley kept boarders. Usually Polish immigrants would stay with Polish who took boarders, Slavish with Slavish, Irish with Irish. The number of boarders kept in one house may have been as few as one or as many as eight. The boarders usually had their sleeping quarters in the upstairs. The family sleeping quarters was always in the front room of the house “parlor”. These were always the “family bedrooms” in the boarder houses. They were not used as living rooms in the se times. The boarders slept on bunk beds where were boards nailed against the wall and had end posts to support them. A man slept on a top bunk and one of a bottom bunk. Clothes were hung on the end posts; the valuables were kept in suitcases or trunks, securely locked, which were kept underneath the first bunk.

The amount of money paid by a boarder is unknown by George. The boarders would get their food supplied, lunches packed, bed made, clothing washed and ironed for the boarding price. The woman of the house did not have to wash the boarders. They boarders would help each other out at bath time. They would take their baths in a small tub which had water heated from the stove by the woman of the house. They would take their baths in the shanty off the kitchen where they also kept their work clothing.

A boarder would remain a boarder as long as he was single because it was cheaper and easier for him this way. However, if he were married, and his wife was still in the old country, he would remain a boarder as long as it took him to get to-


Waln K. Brown 8/7/72

gether enough money to rent a house in Eckley and to bring his wife over.

The boarders were kept by families because the extra income would help to supplement the family income. At one time there may have been as many as two- to three-hundred boarders in Eckley. Boarders were kept on Back Street, Number 4 Street, Shanty Street, and upper Main Street. Boarders were not kept or very few were kept on lower Main Street because this was there the bosses lived. From slightly up passed the Emerald House down to lower Main Street, there were mainly bosses, and thus there were few, if any, boarders kept.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception located in “upper” Eckley was show down about 1960. The church was used mostly by Irish Catholic people. It was controlled by the Iris, but Slavish people would attend church there when they didn’t go to Freeland for church. (The Slavish mainly attended churches in Freeland as well as the Greeks, Polish, etc). This church would have two major social functions during the calendar year – a bazaar held in the church basement during the winder and a picnic held outside during the summertime. These two functions were attended by everyone in Eckley, Slavish, Polish, Greek, etc. alike. All spend their money there in appreciation of knowing that there was a church nearby that they could attend if they couldn’t make it to Freeland for church services.

In the old days there was a priest who lived in Eckley in the rectory. Then about 1940, when there was only a few people who were attending the church, St. Anne’s, to whom this church once belonged, had two priests and began sending one of the priests to say mass on holy days.

The interior of this church was very pretty. It was always painted. There was a mural of Christ on the ceiling; this was always kept painted and intact. There were fourteen pictures on the Station of the Cross hung in frames on the walls, seven on each side. There were some benches in the basement where Sunday school was held for the children. The outside of the church was always painted as well as the sheet iron roof.


Waln K. Brown 8/2/72 George Barron

Around 1900 traveling stores began to come to Eckley. Butcher wagons were the first travelling stores to come to Eckley. There were four, maybe five, butcher wagons that came to Eckley. These wagons were owned by men who had butcher shops in Freeland. Some of the traveling butchers were Silvasi, Gabbuzda, Yok, Cheppu. The butchers would ring a bell in front of the house. Each had a different sounding bell. They would allow the people to but off the book and pay for the meats they had bought every two weeks. These traveling butchers were cheaper than the company store’s prices on meat, as much as two to three cents per pound. All types of meat were sold by these butchers.

The wagons were the size of an ordinary wagon, about eight to ten feet long. The wagons had a slight overhand of canvas on the back so that if it rained, people could get under the canvas. The interior of the wagon was mostly meats, with places in the wagon for knives, meat cleaver, meat saw all hung on the side. In the back was a chopping block with a meat scale in front of it. The meats were kept in the rest of the wagon with certain section being for certain meats. Each type of meat was kept in a special section of the floor, shops in the middle, steaks on one side, et. Cold cuts were kept on a shelf near the top of the wagon. The butcher stood on the ground in front of the chopping block and, with a long iron rod or meat hook about five feet long, would pull the meat he desired to the rear of the wagon where he stood. There was to special time when the butcher would come. They did try not to come at the same time.

Grocery stores on wheels also name to Eckley. These travelling stores were owned by men who owned grocery stores in Freeland, O’laird, and Brunningson. These stores first came to Eckley about the same time that the butcher stores first appeared. These traveling stores were on wagons similar to the butcher wagon. They mainly only carried apples and a few vegetables. They would go to a person’s house and take an order which they would bring along the next time they came to Eckley. They would come every other day. Each time they would bring a family’s order, the grocery man would take the order for the next time. The traveling grocery stores would try coming to Eckley at alternate times. Some families dealt with as many as four different stores so they might stay abreast of the savings which one grocer might have that another would not.

Bout 1915, the Mine Workers Union state a store in Freeland. This store was founded so that the food would be cheaper and also to drive the other stores to cheaper prices. In this way the store tried to help the coal miner.


Waln K. Brown 8/2/72 George Brown

The name of the store was the Union Store. This Union Store had a travelling store which came to Eckley. They brought very little produce with them, but rather took orders. Everybody would buy from the Union Store on wheels because their prices were cheaper. This drove the other merchants to have cheaper prices so they could compete for trade.

Around 1920, the feed mills began sending wagons to Eckley to sell feed and flour to the residents. Since most of the people had livestock of some type, they would need for the livestock. Flour, of course, was needed for the great amount of baking which was done in Eckley. The schedule for the feed vendors was that they would come to Eckley about twice a week.

There is a man who still comes to Eckley named Michael Opilla who takes orders for a travelling store. He owns a store in Freeland. He has very few customers in Eckley. He comes to Eckley twice a week.

The first store on wheels was run by Joe Gallagher. Is was called Joe’s Motor Store and first appeared in 1920. Joe’s father owned the store, but Joe kept his stock in a garage and concentrated on selling from his wagon. (This store was the first to sell meat, produce, and all other types of good simultaneously) The former stores either sold meat or produce.) Joe came to Eckley about three times a week. Joe’s store was as large as a bus, and he carried a great deal of produce, meat, and dry goods. He would also take orders for things he did not carry with him. This was the first “motor store on wheels” to come to Eckley. Once the rest of the traveling stores saw how well Joe’s store was doing, they followed suit and hot larger motor vehicles.

Henry Marchetti was an itinerate repairman who came to Eckley. He would repair pots and pans, reline stoves with bricks, sell stove pipes, hook up stove pipes. He would mostly get a call to come to someone’s house to make a repair and while in the town he would check with other people to see if they needed anything repaired. Marchetti had a hardware store in Freeland from which he worked from. He began coming to Eckley in about 1905.

There were a great many peddlers who came to Eckley. These peddlers were mostly Arabians. They would have a pack on their back with dry foods or materials and a box hanging from his front which had drawers in it. The drawers held buttons, thread, pins, ???, thimbles, and other sewing utensils. They would go into somebody’s house and take off the pack and box and show the goods to the people, describing the materials and prices for each item.


Waln K. Brown 8/2/72 George Barron

Once he was done at one house, he would pick up his goods and head for another house. There were about two of three different peddlers who came to Eckley about once per week.

There was a woman who everyone called Annie Robienka, Anne the Arabian, who was a peddler. She bought a horse and wagon and drove to Eckley, this bringing a large supply of goods. These peddlers came to Eckley long before George can remember and ceased coming to Eckley about 1945.

There were a few men who came to Eckley and collected rags, bones, and iron. They would have a small wagon in which they could carry their salvage. (They did not collect trash). There was one fellow named “Perry(?)” who had a peg-leg, who most everyone saved their salvage for. He would come once a week on Saturday and take the salvage. This salvage was taken to Hazleton, where is was sold to a scrap man.


Waln K. Brown 8/1/72 George Barron

John Lloyd car: John Lloyd, a foreman in the Drifton Company Shops, invested a car with a single axle. This car had the two sets of wheels hooked up so that they worked in unison, not independently as the other mine cars do. Through the use of this car, a patcher would be eliminated because the mule driver could sprag one side of the car. Since the wheels worked off a single axle, the other side did not need to be spragged.

There were some difficulties with the use of this type of car. First, since the wheels worked in unison, not freely, when a car went around a curve, the wheels would make the same number of circumferences. Thus since one wheel would be traveling less distance on the inside of the turn, this would widen the curve and cause the car to fall in between the tracks.

Second, when this type car was on a grade, it would tend to break the wooden sprags because only one sprag was supposed the load, where two sprags were used before. For this reason a metal sprag was incented for this type car. However, these sprags were of little use because they did not have the tendency to indent and thus hold itself firm between wheel and undercarriage. This sprag of metal would flyout of the wheels and send the car down the incline uncontrolled.

This car type was used in the Eckley mines for approximately ten years (1939-1949). The Joh Lloyd car was cursed by most of the Eckley miners because of the above problems. It was used to its best advantage in a mine where there were long, straight, flat tunnels, thus avoiding the above problems.

George had a means of eliminating the problems of making the turns without having the car fall between the tracks. He would apply oil to the tracks on the turn, this the wheel would spin as the wheel on the outside made its revolutions. In this manner, George never had the problem of pulling his cars out from between the tracks.


Denis Mercier 7/5/72 George Baton

“Bugg Gangway” – Detail of Construction & Use of Buggies

[Drawings: buggy gangway, dumping procedure, buggy dumping door]

It took four buggy loads to fill a 3-ton mine car the way they came form the shop – but many of the miners built the sides up higher!

Dumping procedure

[Drawing: dumping procedure]


Denis Mercier 7/5/72 George Barron

Front view of “Buggy” Dumping Door:

[drawing of buggy]


Waln K. Brown 7/5/72 George Barron

Where the pitch is “flat” or with no include for the coal to travel down by the force of gravity, the men would aid the coal’s descent by the use of a buggy or small coal car pushed by men, holding about a ¾ ton of coal. The coal was put in the buggy and pushed along either the buggy gangway or the buggy breast until it could be dropped in the area of a breast where there was a downward pitch. The natural gravity would descent the coal to the main gangway where it was to be loaded.

Usually the buggy gangway or buggy breast is the only one used. Very seldom are both used simultaneously.

Anything that runs across the pitch is a gangway. Anything that runs parallel to the pitch is a breast.

The Eckley mines were all “flat work” mines. There was little work done on a pitch, only a small amount. The Buck Mountain miners did most of their work on a pitch.

Most of the homes has no laws, but rather had gardens. The front of the house had flowers which could be seen from the street, then a vegetable garden filled out the middle of the yard, and the rear of the yard had livestock, usually chickens, ducks, rabbits, and maybe a cow or goat.

The company houses were red with either black or white trim, predominantly black. They could be either color. The company carpenters would use either color. The trim color depended on what color paint the carpenter had and wanted to get rid of. He might have half a can of white and decide to finish off the can.


Waln K. Brown 7/5/72 George Barron

Williams Feed Mill still has the same type of feed sacks used to make curtains, aprons, and other cloth goods. The mill is located in Hazleton. When you bought the feed at a mill, the printed feed sacks cost ten cents more than the now-printed sacks. George believes that the printed feed sacks was a sale gimmick to get people to buy that brand of feed.

The “lokie” driver worked an eight-hour day. Each lokie was assigned a specific slope. There was an early lokie that left Eckley at 6:00AM which had a “man car” or caboose that the men sat on. The Eckley men who worked in the Lower Buck Mountain mines would get on this lokie train and be transported to the mines which began work at 7:00 AM. At quitting time the lokie would pick up the men and bring them back to Eckley. Quitting time was at 2:30 or 3:30 PM, depending on whether it was a seven- or eight-hour work day.

There were two men who worked on the lokie, the engineer and the patcher. The patcher was just like the patcher in the mines. It was his job to couple and uncouple cars, throw switches, etc.

In the stripping operations mules were used, but man times small lokies were used to pull the stripped coal to the big lokies which pilled the coal up tot eh breaker. The small lokies were used in the place of mules because the work could be done much faster with the lokies than with the miles. The small lokies drivers did the same job as a mule driver, but got paid more since he was an engineer. He had a patcher just like the mule driver.

Buggy gangway drive across the pitch, that is, it is driven parallel to the main gangway. The main gangway may have three breast driven off of it. The road which connects the breasts together is the buggyway. Buggy breast driven parallel to the chute, that is, it is driven parallel to the chute or at a 90 degree angle from the main gangway.

[Drawing of buggy gangway]


Waln Brown 7/26/72 Mr. and Mrs. George Barron and Eva Sulkosky

The company store was owned and run by the Coxe wives. Then it was rented by Evan C. Reese from the Coxes (about 1905-1930). The store was taken over by the Jeddo Highland, and it became a company store again.

When Reese was renting the store, he had to collect his own bills. You would buy off the books during that time, but the money was not taken out of your check. Reese would collect it from you. If a person didn’t pay their bills, they would not get any more credit from the store. They might be arrested by the Freeland constable. Sometimes Mrs. Coxe would step in and pay the bills.

According to the Sulkoskys, when a family was too poor to make ends meet, due to illness of similar circumstances, the people would tell the nurse Miss Whiteman who was fired by Mrs. Coxe. She could tell Mrs. Coxe and then help the people. Mrs. Coxe would then go to the company store and pay off the store bill for the poor family. Mrs. Coxe was the “Angel of the Anthracite” who always helped the poor people.

She always took care of the widows and orphans. A family would have free housing, coal, and their store bill paid by Mrs. Coxe. Miss Whiteman was not only nurse but also a go-between between the unfortunate family and Mrs. Coxe. The family could buy off the books, but they could not buy more than the store felt the family needed. When clothing and shoes were needed for the family. Miss Whiteman could O.K. any company store purchases of such items, and Mrs. Coxe would pay for the purchase.


[Drawing: First floor diagram of company store]

1) The upstairs was a storage area where dishes, pans, shoes, stove pipes and similar items were kept 2) The basement was a storage area where junk, refuse, and other similar paraphernalia were kept until they were discarded


Waln K. Brown 6/21/72 George Barron

When the car was being brought to the “face,” and the face was located on an include, the chain went up ove rth epulley and down under the car between the car and tracks. The mule would pull down the slope while the car went up the hill. Only one, or sometimes two cars, were pulled to the face at a time. All the mules in the team were used to do this. To pull more than one of two cars at a time would be too hard on the mules, besides, you didn’t need to.

Once the car was pulled to the top, all four wheels were “spragged”. As a safety measure a “drag” was placed in the rear “I” (bolt) half, loosely. In case the sprags might slip, the drag would catchl it was left loose because, if secured, the weight of the car and its load of coal would make it impossible to dislodge the car and take it out of the mine.

[Diagram of mule and pulley]

The pulley was imbedded in the ground ebtween the rails so that car would travel over it.

Sometimes the chair was attached to the rear “I” bolt if the car was to be pulled closer to the “Face”. In this manner the car could be pulled closer ot the “face”–by the length of the car.

A mule driver did not always get a patcher when he got more than one mule. A two-mule driver who drove on a “plain” or level ground didn’t always get a patcher because if you spragged one side that would be enough. There wasn’t much of an include and this not enough inertia to warrant sprigging both sides.

During World War I, the miners would many times work a seven day week, with no time and a half, just straight time.

The seven foot height of a gang-way was measured from the top of the rail, not the ground.


Denis Mercier 6/9/72 George Barron

[Diagram for Safety in a Gas-Filled Mine]


Denis Mercier 6/9/72 George Barron

[Diagram for Mine Timbered]

[Diagram for hooks, chains, and eye to hold coal cars together]


Waln K. Brown 6/12/72 George Barron

[Diagram for tunnel dimensions and supports]


Waln K. Brown 8/22/72

Two-pointed nipsy was played, primarily, in Eckley. The game could be played with both a broom handle or with a wooden paddle. When a wooden paddle could not be found, a brook handle was used. The paddle was the best club to use when playing nipsy. The nipsy is three to four inches long. There is no exact, standard size, rather, they were made to be in the neighborhood of the above dimensions. Both ends of the nipsy was tapered.

There were often many accidents from playing nipsy. The person trying to hit the nipsy was most often hurt, but people spectating or the fielders might get hit by the flying nipsy.

Children might begin playing nipsy at as early an age as our or five, and boys as old as twenty were known to play the game. Girls would also play nipsy, but the girls who would play the game were “school age” girls from four to twelve years old. Girls would play against girls and boys against boys. Boys would not play nipsy against girls because “it was too dangerous”. Boys could hit the nipsy too hard, and girls did not know how to protect themselves right in such a game.

Nipsy was played in the streets. There were no cars then, so the game could be played safely in the streets.

The circle used in playing nipsy could be from one foot in diameter to as large as three feet in diameter. The circle could be made to suit the game. If a fellow could threw the nipsy into the circle with a relative amount of ease, the circle could be made smaller so that the cast into the circle would be more difficult. The distance from the circle to the pitching line could be adjusted to be any distance; however, twenty-one steps was a generally used distance.

There were no boundaries to play the game. A nipsy could be hit in any direction, in front of you to the side, or even to the rear. In Eckley during the time George was playing nipsy, many times a hit over a fence into a garden was considered an out. The various ways of getting a player out were: if a nipsy was caught on the fly, you were out; if the nipsy went into a garden, you were out; if the pitcher cast the nipsy into the circle, you were out; if the right amount of jumps was made by the matcher, you were out; if you didn’t hit the nipsy, you were out.

When the pitcher casts the nipsy at the circle, three possible situations may arise: if it lands within the perimeter of the circle, you are out; if the nipsy lands on the lone, you get one swing; if it lands outside the circle, you get three swings. In whatever direction or position the nipsy lands, that is the way you must hit it; you are not allowed to move the nipsy. The nipsy is to be struck on one of its pointed ends, which will cause it to be hit into the air.


Waln K. Brown 8/11/72 George Barron

When the nipsy is hit into the air, it is then swung at so the nipsy will travel outward from the circle as far as possible. If you miss the nipsy, while either on the ground or in the air, it is a strike against you. One strike may be enough to put you out if the pitcher cast the nipsy on the line. Three are needed if he missed the circle. If you hit the nipsy a certain distance, and you have three hits, you can tell the pitcher he can have so many jumps to get to the circle. It is much wiser, however, to take your other two strikes at the nipsy so that the pitcher will have to jump longer distance.

Once your hitting is completed, the nipsy is more than one from the circle (It must be more than one jump away or you are out), you figure out how many jumps you can allow the pitcher to take without his making that number of jumps from the edge of the circle to where the nipsy landed.

First the pitcher gets to cast the nipsy at the circle from where it landed when last hit. If he makes the cast land within the perimeter of the circle, you are out and get no points. The spot is marked, and the hitter tells the pitcher he will give him x number of jumps to make it from the circle to the place where the nipsy landed. (He will always try to make it a small number so that the pitcher will not make it, get he will try to get the most points possible). The number of jumps that the hitter allows the pitcher is the number of points which the hitter will get if the pitcher cannot make the jumps.

To decide who gets to hit first in the game, several means may be used: eeny, meeny, miney, moe; drawing straws, or throwing the nipsy at a circle in which the closest one gets to go first. The game is played until the participants are tired. There may not always be an equal number of innings.

The game was played mostly with one on a side. With three on a side, one would bat, one would hit, and one field. When a man was made out, the position would be changed in rotating fashion. With four playing two would be on a side. One man would fat the whole inning; the next inning the other man would bat for the entire inning. George never played with a boy and a girl on one side. The game was always segregated according to sexes.


Denis Mercier 7/5/72 George Barron

One person painted his porch and some fences green. All else followed “independently”. Trim was black and white, black especially in window casings.

Houses were usually locked, even in the “old days”. Black iron latches, if not original equipment, were augmented by “trip latches”. See #10 slope building. Old lime “locks” on doors: “Good protection from Mollie Maguire Irish for Hunks.”

[Diagram of door lock]

There were no lawns. All spaces were used for gardens with flower in front, vegetables in the middle, and livestock in the back. Where were few wire fences; most were wood. There was a hydrant below the Hooper/Berger house. If a fence was hear the hydrant:

[Diagram of hydrant and fence]

There was a valve sticking out of the top of the hydrant

Poor closes of people were discouraged from going into lower Eckley.

Kids, when sleigh riding, would take turns watching for cars or buggies.

Courting couples would walk around the town and humorously (sarcastically) greet each other around the “blocks” of Back Street and Main Street. Some went by one way, some the other.

[Diagram of blocks]

Contributions Message

Camille Westmont and Avery Ohliger