Article #68  - April 8, 2001


by Glenn Tunney

Brownsville Time Capsule looks back over the years

through the archives of the Brownsville Telegraph

Fifteen Years Ago - April 1986

* The California, Pa. G. C. Murphy store has been sold to a local merchant.  Ernie Miller has announced that he and his wife Ella will use the building to expand their hardware store operation.  Miller Supply Co. is now located at 153 Wood Street in California.  The Millers are planning a June grand opening celebration.  They will close the building that currently houses their hardware store, although Ernie Miller says he has had several offers from businessmen interested in renting the site.  Miller has not revealed the purchase price of the G. C. Murphy store.

* The Golden Age Nursing Home, target of state and federal investigations in recent years, is now suing some of the individuals who supported those investigations.  Attorney Robert Webster stated that the nursing home, which is owned by Frank A. Bock, is seeking more than $40,000 in damages from each of four defendants, charging them with attempting to ruin the facility's reputation.  Defendants in the lawsuit are Joyce McNamara, director of the division of Long- Term Care for the State Department of Health; U. S. Senator John Heinz; and two Monroeville women, JoAnn Wells and Paula Snyder, who had complained to government officials about conditions at the nursing home after touring it in May 1983.  The Golden Age Nursing Home is still under investigation on charges that operators have moved patients to other facilities in order to receive Medicare payments.  Medicare payments have been revoked for the facility since November 1985 because of non-compliance with federal requirements.

* The 88th annual celebration of Mitchell Day was held in Brownsville under a cloudless sky on April 1.  UMWA President Donald Redman stated, "Brownsville is where I came from and I'm proud of it.  All those people who came to see the parade had a chance to see that Brownsville is a nice town."  The parade began at 11 a.m. and featured 50 marching units, including three high school marching bands.

* Brownsville Area High School basketball player Salvin Wallace will appear in this month's Dapper Dan Roundball Classic at the Civic Arena.  Coach Ken Meadows' 6'-4" star is being projected as a shooting guard by college scouts.

Thirty Years Ago - April 1971

* The Brownsville Summer Playhouse is moving.  After completing its first two seasons at the Plaza Theater in Brownsville, the theater group will be known as the Brier Hill Playhouse after moving into a newly acquired building at Brier Hill.  The building will be converted into a 225- seat theater.
   Brier Hill is slated to become a "new town," and Charles E. Parker, developer of the planned new community, says the theater will be the first operating facility at the new town.  "It will be the first mark of resurgence there since the town's prosperity ran out with the closing of Brier Hill Mine in the mid-30's," he observed.  The first phase of the construction of the new town, which is installation of utility and sewage lines, is scheduled for this spring.
   The Brownsville Summer Playhouse was founded in June 1969 by LeVoy Melville (its current producer), Emily Jefferson and Gary Farr, all from New York City.  The owner of the Plaza Theater, Dr. Joseph A. Klimoski, rented the Plaza to the group, and it enjoyed a successful initial season.  Returning in 1970 for a second season, attendance fell off after the season's opening show, "Mame," drew record crowds.

* Intermediate Unit I can't find a home for itself, as directors this week were unable to make a choice between Brownsville and California for their headquarters.  The competing locations are a cinder block building on Route 88 between California and Brownsville and the Gallatin Bank building in Brownsville.  A motion by Brownsville Area School District's Dr. Ralph Garofalo to accept the Gallatin Bank bid was defeated by a 6-5 vote.  A subsequent motion by Thomas Webb of the California Area School District to select the Route 88 location failed by a tie vote.  The meeting ended with no decision having been reached on the matter.

Fifty Years Ago - April 1951

* The Woodward-Wright furniture store lease, accounts and merchandise have been acquired by its neighboring furniture store, Cohen Furniture company.  A modern fire-proof archway is already being built to connect the adjoining stores, with Brownsville Construction company doing the work.  Woodward-Wright had just completed a three-day liquidation sale.  The new, larger Cohen Furniture store will have tremendous window display space on High Street as well as an outlet on Water Street at the rear.  Lester Cohen, president of the corporation operating the Brownsville store, said that the formal opening of the new, enlarged store is tentatively set for next month.

* A local youth was the tragic victim of a highway accident over the weekend.  15-year-old Alex Sabo Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Sabo of Daisytown, was killed almost instantly when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a truck at the intersection of Routes 40 and 88 in West Brownsville.  State police and Centerville officers said the truck, operated by Theodore Belan, 55, of West Brownsville, was driving west on Route 40 and started to make a left turn into Route 88.  Young Sabo was riding his bicycle in the 6:30 p.m. twilight, cruising down the long hill into West Brownsville when the two vehicles collided head-on in the intersection.  Sabo is survived by his parents, his sisters Irma Jean, Marian, Charlotte and Conna Lee, and his two brothers, Donald and Wayne.

Seventy Years Ago - April 1931

* The American Medical Association, meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, has announced its award for the finest hospital in the United States.  The Association considered 6,719 hospitals nationwide and has chosen the Brownsville General Hospital, Brownsville, Pennsylvania as the top institution in the nation for the year 1931.  The highly respected AMA bases this award upon the efficiency of the institution; a staff of qualified physicians who are graduates of reputable medical schools; a competent pathologist; competent nursing staff; regular staff conferences; and the highest standards of care.  Of the hospitals evaluated, 540 were deemed unworthy of approval by the AMA.  Our entire community congratulates the staff of the Brownsville General Hospital!

* Jefferson Township will build a new school along the Newell-Connellsville highway within the next five months.  Contracts aggregating $51,000 were awarded this week by the township's school directors.  Harris Construction of California won the general contract to build a six room, one story affair with a basement.  It will be erected on a hill directly opposite the Little Redstone Presbyterian Church.

* Twenty-four bicycle tires, valued at $36, were stolen through a window from the Coulter Hardware company's store on Market Street, Brownsville, according to store manager Maurice M. Lewine.  It was an odd theft, because the thief managed to take the tires from inside the building without entering the structure!  The tires were stored near a window with bars.  The glass was shattered by the thief, then the tires were individually slipped between the bars that covered the glass.  The culprit apparently stood on the railway platform to accomplish the unusual theft.


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