Climax Locomotive
Sonestown to Eaglesmere Narrow Gauge Line
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison

A Pictorial Legacy of Sonestown
The Early 1900s

Teresa Porter is the major source of information and interpretation for this page about the old community of Sonestown. She is the wife of Ronald Dale Porter, the great-great-great-great-grandson of George Washington Sones, who founded Sonestown, Sullivan County, PA in 1804. You can read more about this Sones ancestor and others at Settlers XVIII: The Sones, Simmons and Stevenson Families: Elders, Patriots and Lumber Barons. Teresa also has contributed a historical piece on her husband's specific line of descent in The Descendants of Isaac T. Sones. Ronald also has a cousin by the name of Tonya Sones Madison. She is actually his fourth cousin, once removed, for those who keep track of those kind of things. In fact, you can find their exact mutual ancestry at the end of this story. Teresa recently let me know that Tonya's mother was at the "Heritage Days" festival in Sonestown in the Fall of 2001. There she came across, to quote Teresa:

...pictures out of a "cheap booklet". Some pictures we knew nothing about- but there are little typed out descriptions below each one already there. They are dated in the early 1900's . So, we have limited information. Names are not known of the people in any shots unless indicated. But here is a black and white snapshot history of a Sonestown that was there when we were children but is now largely gone.


School on North Main Street
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

Tonya says her folks went to school here. It was right next door to the old church that she attended as a child. The church is gone, but the school is still there; it has had wings added since this picture was taken.


Evangelical Church, School and Community Building
North Main Street
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

The church was torn down in the late 1970's.


Main Street
Muncy Valley, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.


Horse and Buggy
Before Sonestown Hotel and Home of Dr. Hydock
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

The hotel is still in the middle of town, and Dr. Hydock's house is still there, although he passed away about 1980. Tonya adds: ..he did surgery on my hand when I was one year old and saved my thumb. This surgery was about 1963... The people in the picture are unknown.


Boatman's Gas Station
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

Tonya Sones reports that her great grandfather, Augustus Wilson Sones, is sitting next to the pump in this picture. He can barely be seen. She says this view of Sonestown really hasn't changed. Although the gas station is no longer there, you will still see the gas pump. Across the street, the house on the corner was her great grandfather's. Her grandmother bought the house and did some renovation, but that street still looks about the same.


Editor's Note: If you are nostalgic for old gas stations, gas pumps and those kinds of things, you will probably enjoy the Old Gas Stations Page on Harley Tech Talk.


Sonestown Parade
Speary Home/Store on Left and Dr. Hydock Home on Right
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

Tonya says she can remember the Speary store that was torn down in the 1970's. There is another picture of the Speary store below with a note on its owners! It was vacant for years; however, she remembers as a child going there and buying candy. The store no longer exists, but, where it stood, there is a street called the "Swamp Poodle". She doesn't know how it ever got that name. On maps, there is a street called "Swamp Puddle," in Sonestown, but Tonya insists that it was called "Swamp Poodle" by folks who lived there. Bob Sweeney has seen references to the "Swampoodle" in old 19th century issues of the Sullivan Review as well.


Post Office
Main Street
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

Tonya tells us that the structure shown above is not there anymore. She vaguely remembers it. The Freas house next to it is still standing, although they have passed away. Their daughter-in-law was living there in October 2001. *
* Editor's Note: In Sepembeer 2013, Eugene E. "Gene" Kline wrote to tell us that the man sitting on the porch is, in his opinon, C. C. Kline, his grandfather. This would have been his first shop--note the barber pole out in front of the store. At some point he moved to the "LODGE Hall". C. C. Kline had previously been the bookkeeper for Col. R. Bruce Ricketts in Ricketts, PA, before living in Sonestown. Later, he moved to Watsontown to live with his son (also Eugene's father), Earl Kline (Sonestown H.S. 1929). Eugene says also that he was named for Eugene Magargel (1905-1993).


Stores Owned by Frank Magargel and the Speary sisters
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

Both stores are now gone. The Speary store was torn down in the 1970's. We received a separate note from Ruth Speary about the owners of this store. Says Ruth:

I believe they were Anna and Mable Speary, born in 1885 and 1887, respectively. They were daughters of Asa Speary's son Charles Watson (he used the name "Watson") Speary. Some of the information on my web page called The Speary Family of Sullivan County, PA came directly from them in the 1950s and 1960s. These are also the two daughters mentioned in Bate's History of Sullivan County where it says "Asa's wife was Jane Feister. They had nine children and all at first settled near their parents, and later dispersed. There were 32 grandchildren. Two of these are daughters of Watson Speary and have proved in Sonestown that Speary thrift has not been lost to the third generation."


Clothes Pin Factory
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

This clothes pin facility sat behind Tonya's grandparents' house, across the creek. Her great- grandmother used to work there when she was young.


Butchering Pigs
South Main Street
Sonestown, PA
Photo contributed by Tonya Sones Madison.

Unfortunately, we don't know who the people in this picture are either. Sonestown only had a couple of streets. One was what has always been known as Swamp Poodle. There isn't a road behind the Sonestown hotel, so Tonya is not sure what exact location they are referring to. Across the creek, there is a dirt road still, and Sones families have lived back there for as long as she can remember. Says Tonya: "I can remember, when I was a young girl, a lot of the town people butchering pigs, but not in the center of town... generally at someone's house. We did process seven pigs once. I couldn't eat pork for the longest, because those pigs were my pets and I would ride on them. One was even named Arnold..from Green Acres. haha."

Tonya also says of Sonestown:

"It may have been a little hick place. but I loved it growing up. Nothing ever to worry about. Most of the old timers have passed, but I have a lot of memories of so many of them. I was blessed. I knew my great grandparents, and just adored them- they were very close to me."

Finally, here are the lineages for Ronald Porter and Tonya Sones Madison that make them an improbable fourth cousins, once removed:

Ron's Ascending Lineage

Ronald Dale Porter, Jr.
his dad: Ronald Dale Porter, Sr., b. March 20, 1934
his mom: Elsie Lura Sones, b.Dec.17, 1894
her dad: Joshuay Bougart Sones, b. Nov. 15, 1849
his dad: Isaac T. Sones, b. ca. 1821
his dad: George W. Sones, b. Nov. 1783, founder of Sonestown
his dad: Johann Peter Sones (Sohns), b. Nov. 23, 1755
his dad: Johann Philip Nicolaus (Sohns) Sones, b. ca. 1720
his dad: Johan Methes (Sohns) Sones, b. ca. 1678 or 1668-1697

Tonya's Ascending Lineage

Tonya Sones
her dad: Richard W. Sones
his dad: George Walter Sones
his dad: Agustus (Augustus) Wilson Sones, b. Aug. 1847
his dad: Daniel Sones, b. 1787
his dad: Johann Peter Sones (Sohns), b. Nov. 23, 1755
his dad: Johann Philip Nicolaus (Sohns) Sones, b. ca. 1720
his dad: Johan Methes (Sohns) Sones, b. ca. 1678 or 1668-1697

November 2001

Copyright 2001 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (http://www.rootsweb.com/~pasulliv)