100 Years of Pride

A History of Lopez, Pennsylvania

Compiled and Edited by Edith B. Shuman

Photography and Illustrations by Robert McGuire

Transcribed by Derek Davis
2004

 

Dedication

The History of Lopez is dedicated to the citizens of the Community, both past and present, who played an active role in the growth and industrial development of the area over the past century.

 


Edith Behr Shuman

 

The author wishes to acknowledge all help so graciously given by individuals through personal interview and correspondence, for photographs loaned, and for new photographs made by Robert McGuire

 

Acknowledgement


Centennial Planning Committee Officers. Seated left to right: Vera Gulich, secretary; Ferdie Marek, Chairman; Dorothy Riordan, Vice Chairman. Standing is Stephen Gulich, Jr., Treasurer and Sandra Gulich, Recording Secretary

 

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I express profound gratitude to all who provided material and photographs for the preparation of this Lopez Centennial Book.

For her patience and enthusiasm, the Committee is deeply indebted to Mrs. Edith Behr Shuman, who compiled and edited this comprehensive publication.

To Mr. Robert McGuire of McGuire Studio--who burned the midnight oil--credit is due for his interest and ingenuity in reproducing the hundreds of old and recent photographs in the pages that follow.

Acknowledgement would be incomplete without mention of the officers, committee chair‑persons and all others who gave their time and who worked diligently throughout the entire existence of the Lopez Centennial Committee.

And finally, after seeing the pictures and reading this book, we conclude our "100 Years of Pride." Let us enter into the next century and ask the question--if this be our destiny, is this our pride?

Sincerely,

Ferdie Marek

General Chairman

Lopez Centennial Committee

 

 

Table of Contents

1. The Story of Lopez

2. The Kindling Mill

3. Growth of Lopez

4. The Mining Era in Lopez

5. New Industries

6. Recent Changes in Lopez

7. Social Activities

8. Early Schools

9. Shady nook

10. Development of the Highways

11. Scenes of Lopez

12. The Age of Bicycles

13. The Post Office

14. SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church

15. The Lopez United Evangelical Church

16. Russian Orthodox Church

17. St. Mary's Church of the Immaculate Conception

18. The Flood of 1972

19. Sulick Hall, Centennial Museum

20. A Tribute to Early Photographers

 


Remains of structure in foreground is probably the sawmill built by J. S. Hoffa and sold to C. J. Wilhelm about 1882. Building at left is present Hotel Lopez. Building, center, is present Post Office. The majority of Lopez was on the other side of the creek. The original photograph was found in a trash can in Towanda, Pa. by Paul Daly of Lopez. He brought it home and gave it to Pete Stavisky, who was proprietor of Hotel Lopez at that time. It has remained with the Hotel to present. (About 1893)

Remains of structure in foreground is probably the sawmill built by J. S. Hoffa and sold to C. J. Wilhelm about 1882. Building at left is present Hotel Lopez. Building, center, is present Post Office. The majority of Lopez was on the other side of the creek. The original photograph was found in a trash can in Towanda, Pa. by Paul Daly of Lopez. He brought it home and gave it to Pete Stavisky, who was proprietor of Hotel Lopez at that time. It has remained with the Hotel to present. (About 1893)

 

 

1. The Story of Lopez


Lopez Creek in the winter with trees coated with soft, fluffy snow is a magnificent sight to behold.

 

The village of Lopez is built at the junction of the Loyalsock and Lopez Creeks. It was named Lopez after the tributary which flows into the Loyalsock Creek from the Southwest. There are several versions regarding the origin of the name Lopez.

One version is that about 1816 the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike was being built from Lake Ganoga to the Loyalsock Creek at Seemans, and thence to the place where the village of Mildred is now located. A man by the name of Lopez went with the road builders and furnished board and lodging to the men employed in building the Turnpike. He erected crude camps built of logs at different places as the work progressed.

Since one of these camps was built on the bank of the unnamed creek about five miles above its junction with the Loyalsock Creek, it is said that the stream was called the Lopez Creek after the man conducting the camp on its bank.

Or the current story is that during the construction of the Turnpike, a man by the name of John Lopez was killed by a falling tree; and the stream was named after him in commemoration of the accident.

The present site of Lopez was, at one time, a vast wilderness, and game and fish were plentiful. There was a roomy cabin built of logs and covered with hemlock bark some little distance above the confluence of the two creeks near the present H. M. Kellogg residence. This was the goal of innumerable hunters and fishermen in search of game and formed a stopping place, both going to and coming from their hunting and fishing trips.

In those days there was no bridge across the Lopez Creek. Teams had to wade through the water, except when Jack Frost had bridged the stream with ice. For people traveling on foot, a large hemlock that stood back some distance from the bank was felled. The part of the tree lying on the bank balanced the part reaching about two‑thirds of the way across the stream. It stretched six or seven feet above the water where freshets could not wash it away. The other third of the foot‑bridge was composed of heaps of rocks which formed stepping stones.

About 1876 the County Commissioners erected a wooden bridge across the Lopez Creek. They coated the wood with a protective coating of coal tar, so for a number of years afterward the locality was known as "Tar Bridge."

The first house in Lopez was built by Reilly Stein­bach, who had the contract to peel the bark from the trees west of the Lopez Creek and on the flat south of the Loyalsock Creek. This house was located where Mrs. Alice Gardner now lives.


Tar Bridge, circa 1876. This is a copy of probably the first photo taken in the area. In all our research, this appears to be the original "Tar Bridge." Man in photo seems to be resting after applying some tar to the railings. He resembles today's State worker, so after 100 years, there is not much change.

 


Cars loaded with Bark in Lopez. Bark stripping was the first actual industry in the area. Many thousands of tons of good lumber were just burned and left to decay because they didn't need it. All they wanted was the bark as it was up to four inches thick. The bark was used for tanning leather.

 

The settlement did not grow for a number of years and merited its name Tar Bridge. But when the Lehigh Valley extended its line from Bernice to Lopez in 1886, the name it bore at that time did not appeal to the growing town; and when a post office was established in 1887, the name given was Lopez. In May of the same year, J. S. Hoffa of Dushore built a sawmill with which there was a small store erected back of McGee's Hotel. The mill was sold to C. J. Wilhelm who operated it for several years. In later days the store was owned by Mrs. Semansky.


Pictured here is a piece of bark from the original trees that were in Lopez. At 3 1/2 inches thick, it dwarfs the current varieties of bark now present on the trees, which may reach a maximum of 3/4 of an inch. Just as dramatic, also, would be the comparison between this tree over 300 years old at 3 1/2 feet in diameter and the smaller trees that grow today.

 

D. W. Osler of Forksville, realizing that a booming town would soon be built at this point, erected a hotel in the winter of 1886‑87. He sold it to Deegan and Farrell. Other proprietors have been Tony Rouse, Paul Daly, Walter Yarosh, Pete Stavisky, and the present owner, Mrs. Vera Gulich.

In 1888 Trexler and Turrell purchased a large tract of timber on the Lopez and Painter Den Creeks and built a large sawmill on the outskirts of town. Soon houses to accommodate the workers and their families were constructed. A large company store was erected, and the village of Turrelltown was established. Large splash dams were built across the Lopez Creek, and logs were floated to the mill. By 1897 the timber had all been cut from their tract of land, and Trexler and Turrell sold their mill to Jennings Brothers who converted it to a hardwood mill.

Turrelltown still exists as an attractive community. Families purchased the homes, and over the years they have modernized them. The store building was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kwiatkowski who converted it to a dwelling house. It was destroyed by fire a number of years ago.


Jennings Brothers Hardwood Mills of Lopez, 1904. Located at the extreme south end of town. Because cows were abundant, you didn't have to look far to locate one.

 


Lopez Depot, 1904. The Depot in this photo is just about as barren as the back ridges.

 


Trexler and Turrell Company Store after it was purchased and turned into a home by Mr. Kwiatkowski. About 1914. Pictured is mother, Catherine Warsyla Doba Kwiatkowski, daughter, Helen, brother, Peter Warsyla, father, Martin, son, John S. Doba. Home was destroyed by fire in 1955, at which time it was Ferdie Marek's (grandson of Catherine Kwiatkowski) homestead.

 


Lopez Hotel, Lopez, Pa. A. Rouse was proprietor at this time. The people in the photo are unidentified. Maybe some of you readers can recognize someone. Hotel Lopez was a booming Hotel during the lumbering days. The men spent a good bit of money there.

 

In the year of 1888 Jennings Brothers, who were operating a sawmill on Taylor Creek near Seeman's Hotel (now Kachmarsky's farm) moved their mill to Lopez. The Jennings Mill was located along the Loyalsock. To provide housing, forty homes were built along the Pigeon Creek Road and along the side hill north of the Loyalsock. They also built a large general store on the bluff overlooking the stream. Worth and Cortez Jennings built homes on either side of the store. Today William Hoover and Anthony Marek live in those homes.

Editor's Note: According to Dave Cathell's Jennings Brothers Railroad page:

Bishop Worth Jennings and Cortez Hicks Jennings were the owners of the operations at Lopez. The pioneer of the family was Paul Jennings who was born in England and came to America in 1816. His trade was lumbering. The family finally settled at, no less, Jenningsville which is North of Mehoopany in Wyoming County. At this place they operated a farm, sawmill, store, and gristmill. Cortez, the oldest son, was born at Jenningsville in 1855. He spent many years in the military. In 1880 he married F.N. Mott of Tunkhannock who died in 1883, and he remarried M.L. Bowman in 1885.
The Jennings Bros (Worth and Cortez) came to Sullivan County in 1881, and purchase a large tract of standing timber from James McFarlane. In 1887, they moved their mill from Wyoming Co. to Lopez. They owned in the area of 4,000 acres. At Lopez they operated two mills for hardwood and hemlock, which is native to Sullivan County.
In 1899 they purchased a 2,160 tract of standing timber in Maryland and W. Virginia. On 20, Oct. 1906, Worth Jennings died in Jenningston, W. Virginia through suicide. On July 1, 1909, the Jennings Bros. sold operations in West Virginia and Maryland to the Laurel River Lumber Company for $1,400,000.00. The operation closed in 1923, and all was gone due to low population and floods by the late 1980's. Cortez moved to Bevansville, MD where he opened a saw mill, and built a small town. He may have also resided in Salisbury, MD.
Here is his obituary:

The Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
September 22, 1920

C.H. Jennings died at his home in Towanda, Thursday night at 0 o’clock.
Mr. Jennings has been ill since July 9th when he was stricken with apoplexy while on a trip to Jennings Md.
Mr. Jennings was born in Jenningsville, Wyoming County, December 1, 1855. He had excellent educational advantages, attending school at Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, Wyoming Seminary, Millersville Norman and Claverack College near Hudson, N.Y.
In 1875 he was made captain of a passenger steamer running between Wilkes-Barre and Nanticoke and had the distinction of being the youngest captain holding a government license.
In the spring of 1876 he received an appointment and was admitted to West Point where he remained for three years.
In June 1879 he gave up his military career going to Bradford where he took charge of his father’s lumber office. In 1880 he married Miss Florence N. Mott of Tunkhannock, who died the same year.
Mr. Jennings did not remain long at Bradford but came to Sullivan County in the fall of 1881 where he commenced lumbering for himself. When his brother B. Worth Jennings became of age he was taken in as a partner of the firm of Jennings Brothers, who for more than 40 years were known far and wide for their extensive lumber operations.
In 1899 this concern bought large holdings in Garrett County, Md and later near Elkins, W. Va. For the past fifteen years Mr. Jennings has made his home at Towanda, where he has been very active in business.
During the time he lived at Towanda he has acquired about 1000 acres of the most productive land in Bradford County and established the Jennings Farms, noted for the breeding of good horses and dairy cattle.
He is survived by his wife, one daughter, Mrs. Robert E. Kizer of New York and one son, Paul B. Jennings of Towanda. Also one sister Mrs. N.A. Rinebold of Athens and one brother, William L. Jennings of Akron, Ohio.
Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon from Christ Church of which he was a member with interment in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Finally, we present a biographical sketch of Bishop Worth Jennings, written before his 1906 suicide:

Source: The Progressive Men of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Vol. I
Compiled and edited by Colonel Charles Blanchard
Logansport, IN: A W. Bowen & Co., 1900

Hon. Bishop Worth Jennings

Hon. Bishop Worth Jennings, of the firm of Jennings Brothers, at Lopez, Sullivan county, Pa., is probably one of the most progressive men of the northern part of the Keystone state, and may be called, in fact, the creator of the civilization now existing in his section of the grand old commonwealth, as the reader will readily perceive by a perusal of the account of his remarkable business career, as related in paragraphs yet to follow, but it will be more prudent, perhaps, to give a slight sketch of his family connection.
Paul Bishop Jennings, paternal grandfather of Bishop W. Jennings, came from England about the year 1800 and settled in Mehoopany, Wyoming county, wher he died, after having passed a long and honorable life as a pioneer lumberman, farmer and merchant. His son, William N. Jennings, father of Bishop W. Jennings, married Miss Sarah A. Hicks, and for many years was engaged with his father in the lumber business, but in 1865 removed to Wilkesbarre [sic], Luzerne county, where he continued to pursue the lumber trade, to which he added trading in real estate, and is now living in retirement, being one of the most highly respected citizens of Wilkes-barre [sic].
Bishop Worth Jennings was born in West Pittston, Luzerne county, May 4, 1862, and was educated in the Wyoming seminary, of Kingston, in his native county. At the very early age of nineteen years he entered upon his business career, and in 1881 joined his brother, Cortez H., in the erection of a saw-mill at Seamons, Cherry township, Sullivan county--the first modern lumber-mill of any consequence in the county.
Now came in the grand enterprise which first drew to the then wilderness the multitudes of laborers. After doing business at Seamons six years, in 1887 they moved fartehr into the wilderness and established the town of Lopez, where the busy hum of machinery, churches, schools, libraries, and everyother attribute of civilized life at once commenced. But these were the sequel, simply, of the coming of the brothers, for they have made the town what it is to-day by bringing to it the better class of laborers, and where labor exists, at all valuable, there capital finds its sure investment.
The plant of the Jennings Brothers consists of three modern mills, two of which are devoted to manufacturing of building lumber of all kinds, and one to the production of hard-wood work, such as broom-handles, clothes-pins, dowels, etc., and these mills employ over 400 hands--all prosperous and, consequently, happy. To facilitate their individual progress, the firm have built a line of railroad which extends seventeen miles into the surrounding forest, and the building of this road, which penetrates thousands of acres of wild land, has proven to be of inestimable benefit to the region in whch it is located and in populating what had hitherto been a mere wilderness. The output of the Jennings Brothers' mills reaches at least 25, 000, 000 feet per annum, and in connection with this grand industry the brothers conduct a general store, at which the employees and the public at large are supplied with everything necessary for ordinary living purposes at very moderate prices.
Bishop W. Jennings was also onen of the organizers of the First National bank at Dushore, and is now the president of this sound- moneyed institution, which is a great convenience to the community and serves as a depository for the savings of the economical workmen at the mills, and others. In politics he is a republican, and as a matter of patriotism has filled all the offices wherein he could be of any practical benefit to his fellow-townsmen--not that he cared for emoluments--and among these offices are justice of the peace, school director and post-master. In 1895 and in 1896 and in 1897 and in 1898, he served as a member of the state legislature, and was the first republican in the county to be elected twice consecutively to that august body. Mr. Jennings was happily united in marriage in 1883 with Miss Ella M., daughter of John Castle of Kiantone, N. Y.., and this union has been blessed with two children, William W. and Ethel M., the latter deceased.
Fraternally, Mr. Jennings is a "bright" Mason, and is a member of the Evergreen lodge, of Monroeton, and of the Northern commandery and the chapter at Towanda, Pa.
It may with propriety be added that, under the fostering care and progressive energy of Mr. Jennings, the town of Lopez has grown from a mere hamlet, in 1882, to a town of 1, 300 population, and no better compliment to his enterprising spirit could be paid to him. Of his high social standing and that of his family it is needless to speak.


Hardwood mill and pond, from the rear. Photo taken approximately from Ferdie Marek's present residence.

 


Family portrait in front yard--taken about 1915. Little girl is Helen Kwiatkowski, mother is Catherine Warsyla Doba Kwiatkowsi, father is Martin Kwiatkowski.

 


Jennings Brothers Hemlock Mills. Taken from the present town site of the creek, you can see the ramp crossing the creek and part of the concrete dam beyond. Foreground left shows horse drawn wagon load of supplies crossing bridge.

 


Jennings Brothers Hemlock Mills. Stacks and stacks of good lumber line the railways. Mill was erected in 1897. It had circular and gang saws. The Jackson Hotel can be seen in upper right in the distance.

 


Jennings Store. The original Jennings Brothers store in 1887. Much growth is in store for the Jennings Brothers.

 


Jennings Store. A large addition to the store.

 


Bridge, Jennings homes and store, Lopez. Building off the bridge was Lem Carrington's barber shop. R. Douglas then made it into a studio, and C. Krumb had the studio next. Later Dan Filler had a shoe shop there.

 


Jennings Store. It appears as though the folks are all dressed up for Memorial Day. Note the 44 or 45 star flag. The store shows more improvements. With lumber readily available, large, fancy buildings could be built.

 

 

2. The Kindling Mill

In order to provide work for the women of the community and to utilize the slab wood from the mills, a Kindling wood factory came into being. The first one was erected in 1888 by McCartney and Hall. It was located along the Thorndale Branch of the railroad on the flat near the Gordon Papke home. It was burned down in 1890 and was rebuilt the same year. Later it was sold to the Standard Kindling Wood Company of New York City who sent their product to the large hotels there.

In 1895 the Fisher Kindling Wood factory was built on the flat below Walsh’s and six months later was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1896, and it again burned down during the same year. Sixty days afterward the factory was rebuilt and in operation. It was again visited by fire in 1897, and the packing room burned. The damage was soon repaired. When the Lopez Mills ran out of timber and closed in 1905, the kindling wood factory continued to operate using wood from Trexler and Turrell at Ricketts until it was destroyed by fire in March, 1907. At that time it was the only industry still operating in Lopez.

In 1894 J. W. McCartney built a clothes pin factory near the Jennings Hardwood Mill. Eventually it was sold to the Jennings Brothers who operated it until their lumbering operation was transferred to Mary­land.


Bundle of kindling. Smaller pieces of scrap lumber were made even smaller at the Kindling factory. The small pieces were arranged into an oval shaped bundle about 7 x 9 inches by about 2 l/2 inches deep. A machine would compress the bundle while a laborer would tie it with twine. A tag was tied on and was used to light the bundle. The factory made about 16,000 bundles a day. One bundle sold in New York City or Philadelphia for 5 cents.

 


Kindling Factory, 1902. 16,000 bundles of kindling a day were produced from this factory.

 

 


Kindling wood factory, Lopez. Manufactured kindling wood bundles.

 


Another view of the kindling wood factory. Lopez in the background.

 


New Kindling Wood Factory, Lopez, rear view, 1908. Another peek into history from the other side.

 


Jennings Brothers clothes pin factory, 1904. Called Lopez Manufacturing by an early Lopez photographer, it was established in 1896. It manufactured 259,200 clothes pins per day. It also made broom handles, curtain poles, etc.

 


Jennings Clothespin Factory. Here are more logs to be turned into clothes pins and broom handles.

 


Steps in making clothes pins: A clothes pin started with a rectangular piece of wood, was then turned to the round shape of a clothes pin and partially split to form the legs.

 

 

3. Growth of Lopez

By 1890 Lopez had become a lumbering center with a population of over a thousand people. To meet the needs of the citizens, a number of business places were established. In addition to the large general company store of the Jennings Brothers, Clark Brothers built a general store near the location of the present day Grid Iron. Henry Castle and C. A. Johnson were the proprietors of prosperous general stores. Wes Johnson erected the present Post Office Building and operated a store there. Herman Schram was the proprietor of a candy store.

There were three restaurants. John H. Yonkin erected the building which is now Catherine's Gift Shop and had a restaurant there. William E. Steafather was the proprietor of a restaurant in the building where John Decker now resides. Reed Frutchey operated a saloon and restaurant in 1904-05, and then he sold it to James P. McGee who converted it to the McGee Hotel.

Jacob Per of Hughesville opened a branch clothing store.

H. M. Kellogg was the proprietor of a well-stocked jewelry store; and in partnership with Dr. J . L. Christian, he operated a drug store.

Harry Brewer had a draying business at the George Adams house.

A. L. Dyer conducted a meat market and also a livery stable.

D. W. Pealer had a combination shoe repair and harness shop and residence where the Andy Decker family now lives.


Johnson's grocery store in late 1800's. Right to left: man standing is William Johnson, barber, girl in front is Evelyn Johnson Adams, Ethel Johnson Black, boy unknown, bearded man is Mr. Hawk (Stella Raub's father), Diana Hawk Johnson (Dorothy Johnson Springer's mother), girl unknown, child behind unknown, little girl in front is Merle Johnson Hurst, man behind is C. A. Johnson (Dorothy Johnson Springer's father). Rest unknown.

 


Hotel in Lopez. This Hotel, long known as Chesonis, is now the Grid Iron. When this photo was taken, the name John Nestor appeared after Hotel on the sign. At present there is no information concerning John Nestor. The man in foreground may be Joseph Haubenak.

 


C.A. Johnson's Grocery store, in early 1900's. Left to right: 3 children unknown, George Meckes, C. A. Johnson, owner, Theresa Walsh, Merle Johnson Hurst, Eugene Schock (Albert Neubauer's father‑in‑law), Fred Miller, Harry Hoag, clerk, Justus Johnson (delivered groceries), Mike Fenton, boy unknown, Squire Dunn, unknown, a Mr. Mergo. The horse's name was "Harry."

 


Main Street, looking north from bridges, Lopez. The third building in on the left, a one story building, was Dan Pealer's shoe shop. It was located in the now Andrew Decker driveway. First building on left is now Kathleen's Gift Shop.

 

There were three barber shops owned by W. L. Johnson, Lawrence Dunn, and L. R. Carrington. The Barber Shop of W. L. Johnson, in which later Becky Johnson sold post and greeting cards, now houses McGuire Studio and Hobby‑Photo Shop.

A wholesale liquor store was run by J. P. Gorgg.

Dave and Marty Brown erected a large hotel building which is now the Grid Iron. The chief attraction was several bears in pens. They sold to Henry McDermott who in turn sold the building to H. W. McKibbins.

Lopez was the only lumbering community in the area which allowed liquor to be sold; therefore, on pay day "woodhicks" from Ricketts and other nearby communities came to spend their hard earned money as quickly as they could drink it away. There were four hotels: The Lopez House with James P. McGee, proprietor; the McKibbins House, H. W. McKibbins, proprietor; the McDermott House, Henry McDermott, proprietor; and the Jackson Hotel, Mrs. Julia Jackson, proprietor. Jim McGee had the largest hotel in town, and he did a thriving business. Woodsmen coming into town would give him their money, and McGee would keep track of it until it had all been spent at his bar. Then the woodhick would sober up and return to the woods to work several months before he could save enough to repeat the process.

There were four churches that conducted regular religious services in the town. In the year 1890 a group of Protestant fold gathered in the school house for instruction in the Scriptures. This group wished to be recognized as a regularly organized body, so they set a meeting time for congregational organization. After the Annual Conference had made its examination, the body was formally recognized as the Lopez United Evangelical Church.


Main Street, Lopez. Surrey with two horses in front of McGee's Hotel. Jim McGee standing on the porch.

 

Worship services were conducted in the school from 1890 until 1896 when a congregational meeting was called for the purpose of providing a church building. Jennings Brothers donated lumber, and a church building was erected that same year. It was dedicated by the Pastor, the Reverend I. E. Spangler.

The Methodists erected an edifice on Main Street in 1888. The Lutherans were permitted to hold their services in the Methodist Church with the pastor coming from Ricketts every Sunday.

A Roman Catholic Church, commonly known as St. Mary's Chapel, was located over Mrs. Mary Collin's Store. It was a Mission Church of the Mildred parish, and was served by the same priest, Father J. A. Enright. The Chapel was dedicated in 1911. The building was subsequently donated to the Scranton Diocese by Mrs. Paul A. Daly..

With the exodus of the lumber interest in the summer of 1905, many of the people engaged in lumbering followed the Jennings Company to Mary­land. Consequently the population of Lopez was reduced about one‑half.


McGee's Hotel. Jim McGee with daughter Alice.

 


Evangelical Church, and four houses on Church Street. This street was so named being the first street to have a Church. Later it would have two churches. Note the wood board walk which went all the way down town.

 


Evangelical Church, Lopez. interior. Posted on the wall: "On the roll--234; Att. today--170; Att. 1 year. today--125; Offering today--$10.00; Offering 1 year today $1.98."

 


Jackson Hotel, Lopez. Hotel was owned by Jeff Jackson and his wife Julia Earl Jackson. Mr. Jeff Jackson is seated on the lower porch. Mrs. Jackson and her children are on the upper porch. Izetta is the child in front of Mrs. Jackson. Note the board walk which went into town, also the two hitching posts. The Hotel burned in 1900 from an overheated stove while Mrs. Jackson and her 3 year old daughter, who is now Mrs. Bert Hollenback, were in town.

 

4. The Mining Era in Lopez


Murraytown Breaker. Commencing business in April, 1902, breaker Number One was, in its day, said to be the largest anthracite breaker in the world. It stood 165 feet high and had a capacity of 1,000 tons of coal per day.

 

In 1902 the Murray Brothers came from Scranton and opened a mine which bore their name, and the development of the surrounding coalfields brought a return to prosperity. The breaker which the Murrays erected was one hundred sixty‑five feet high, taller than any other in the anthracite field. When the mine was ready for full production, many miners and their families moved into the village and began acquiring property and building homes.


Mason's Silk Mill
An Old Postcard Photo Taken Between 1914 and 1930
Source: An unused postcard published by W. L. Johnson,
Photographer and Dealer in Souvenir Post Cards
Auctioned on eBay in March 2008
Photo by Carol Brotzman

The young women of the miners' families provided a source of labor, and the Mason Silk Mill was erected near the site of Jennings Hardwood Mill along the Turrelltown Road to give them employment. Charles Obert of Dushore was the superintendent of the mill for a number of years until the silk industry declined all over the country, and it was closed.


Mason's Silk Mill
Another Old Postcard Photo
dated 1915
Source: A used postcard sent from "M. Bovee"
Auctioned on eBay in February 2012
Photo by Scott Tilden

A building boom was on once more, and Albert Dyer opened a building supply and hardware store. Building contractors were the Steafather Brothers, John Gavlick, and Fred Leyfert.

During the days when the coal industry was at its height, there were quite a number of stores in the village. On the Main Street, J. J. Martin was the proprietor of a men's clothing store. Sam, the Turk, sold imported fabrics in a shop which he operated in the Semansky Building at the rear of McGee's Hotel. Wolf Sachs and his family lived in the present V.F.W. Hall and operated a general clothing store. There was also a millinery store with Lizzie Kernan as the milliner. The town had two barber shops with Law­rence Dunn and Will Johnson the proprietors. Johnson Brothers Store and the Company Store with Charles McCarthy, proprietor, provided the citizenry with groceries and general merchandise. There were two shoe repair shops operated by Dan Pealer and Dan Filler. Mike Sulick and Sam Yarosh were the proprietors of modern meat markets.


Mason's Silk Mill. Erected in 1914, the factory employed mostly women.

 


Dyer's Hardware Store, Main Street. None of the persons have been identified.

 

There were three hotels with bars. They were McGee's Hotel, Rouse's Hotel, and Chesonis's Hotel.

Several saloons came into being and Steve Hallabuk bought John Yonkin's Restaurant and converted it. Eventually he built a new saloon near the Walsh’s' home and sold the former one to Fred Leyfert. William Steafather's restaurant became a saloon, and some of the proprietors were Sam Yarosh, William Urban, and John Decker.

In the days when the automobile was just coming into its own, Arthur L. Seeman built a garage and repair shop across Route 487 from the school grounds on the present Centennial Park.

For recreation there were two ice cream parlors, each with a pool room in the rear. The proprietors were C. E. Donlon and Fred Leyfert.

Lopez also boasted of the first moving picture theater in Sullivan County. The Teitelbaum Brothers erected it next to their wholesale liquor store. There were performances there three times a week with admission ten cents for adults and five cents for children. Since the films shown were silent ones, Elsie Leyfert, Merle and Dorothy Johnson, and Dorothy Seeley were hired to play appropriate music on the piano.

The health of the community was not neglected. Dr. J. L. Christian, a very fine physician, practiced medicine there. The dental needs of the residents were taken care of by Dr. Lewis White. When he died as the result of burns sustained when a kerosene lamp exploded, Dr. M. B. Warburton came to take over the office.

In the winter of 1918‑19 an epidemic of Spanish Influenza, which was sweeping the country reached Lopez. Whole families became ill which meant that there was no one to nurse them, provide food, or keep fires going to heat their homes. Dr. J. L. Christian realized that it would be necessary to provide a center to care for the many influenza patients. He contacted the Red Cross, and they rushed in beds and supplies. An emergency hospital with two hundred beds was set up in Rouse's Hall. Dr. M. B. Warburton, the dentist, and nurses Sadie Cangley and Anna Finan assisted in caring for the patients. Townsfolk who were able assisted in pre­paring food, doing laundry, and other necessary tasks. Because of the expert care given to the patients at the hospital, the death rate was low.


Main Street looking south, 1907. The bridge and trestle is seen in this photo. Note the space on the left before the bridge which will be occupied by "New Theater" in the near future.

 


McCarthy's General store, interior. Charlie McCarthy on the right and Dan Pealer with apron on in the center. Note old sled, lanterns, pails and oil cloth on the rack.

 


McCarthy General Store, Charlie McCarthy standing in front of his general store. He sold a wide line of goods.

 


Lopez New Theater, 1918, operated by Teitelbaum Brothers. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday evenings, from 8:45. Four reels cost adults 10 cents, children 5 cents. Serials were popular. Later turned into Decker’s Bar.

 


Main Street, in winter, Lopez winters can be quite rough. The best way to get around then was a horse drawn sleigh.

 

5. New Industries


Stone Quarry. The drum on the concrete pilings holds the cable that lowered cars full of sandstone to the Sandstone plant. The pilings still stand.

 

During the years a number of enterprises were started. Many of them were of short duration. One of the first of these was a stone quarry which was operated for a couple of years. A fine yellow sandstone was obtained from the ledges back of Church Street. The huge blocks were cut and hauled to the railroad station on heavy wagons pulled by six horses. The blocks were shipped to Scranton where they were used to erect a church. The cost of transportation was prohibitive, therefore the project was abandoned.

In 1911, the Stony Brook Lumber Company was formed. A sawmill was erected on the site of Jennings Mill on the Loyalsock. In order to reach the timber in Crane Swamp on Dutch Mountain about ten miles of railroad was laid on Jennings old road bed. The work of constructing the line was done by forty Italians under the supervision of William Keiter of Bloomsburg. The men were housed in the former Jennings Store building at Shady Nook. In 1916 the lumbering operation was over, and the mill was torn down.

In the early twenties Joseph Smith came from Mt. Carmel and purchased the Mason Silk Mill. He converted it into the Weldon Pajama Factory. For many years it provided employment for the local people as well as for those from other communities.


Smith Manufacturing Company
Later Became Weldon Pajama Company
Lopez 1933
Source: An Old Postcard auctioned on eBay in September 2012
Photo Submitted by Scott Tilden

Another industry which flourished for a few years was a brick plant which was erected near the pajama factory. The clay used in making the bricks was obtained from the Daddow Estate on Dutch Moun­tain. The Highway Building in Towanda was constructed of bricks from this plant. When the President of the Company died, there was no other member capable of carrying on the business. The remains of the kiln are still standing.


Sandstone Plant, about 1907. Located about where the brick plant is. Started construction August, 1906, finish­ed in November, 1906.

 

A company from Pittston acquired the pajama factory and opened the Sullivan Woodcraft Company. They employed a number of local men. Their specialty was custom furniture. After a couple of years of operation, the structure was destroyed by fire. Although it was a thriving business, it was not rebuilt.

There were changes in the churches of the area, too. With the moving of families as the lumbering days came to an end, the Methodist Church was closed. In 1907 the building was sold to the Russian Orthodox denomination. The following year, 1908, the Greek Catholic Church was built by the Steafather Brothers and was dedicated the same year by Father Nicholas Chopey who served as the parish priest for many years. In 1911, Mrs. Anthony Rouse gave the second floor of her store building to be used as a place of worship for those of the Roman Catholic Faith. The name St. Mary's Chapel was given to it.


Sandstone Plant. Taken from south end of Church Street, looking east.

 


Sandstone Plant, 1908. The sidewalks in Lopez business district are made of sand from this plant.

 


Stony Brook Lumber Company. Sawmill being erected and nobody identified. Judging by this photo, early buildings were extremely well built.

 


Stony Brook Lumber Camp. Time out for a photo break at a typical lumber camp of the early 1900's.

 


Smith Manufacturing Company, manufactured pajamas. Ten pair of pajamas were manufactured at this plant for the movie "Pajama Game."

 




 


The Lopez Pajama Factory, then Sul Pen Wood Products, was completely destroyed by fire in 1963.
Onlookers and fire fighters are at the scene as the fire pays no heed and continues to burn.

 


 


This photo shows all that is left of the once thriving brick plant.

 

6. Recent Change in Lopez


Hotel Lopez. Don't know why, but the "Z" in Hotel Lopez is backwards. Notice the old rocking horse on the porch and the watering trough by the porch, and, of course, the new auto.

 

In more recent years there were more changes made in the village. Rouse's Hotel has had a number of proprietors. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Daly took over the management upon the death of the Rouses. When the Dalys retired, Walter Yarosh took over and ran the hotel until he joined the Army at the beginning of World War Two. Mr. and Mrs. Pete Stavisky became the new proprietors. After a number of years Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Gulich purchased the business, and Mrs. Vera Gulich is the proprietor at the present time. Somewhere along the way the name was changed to Hotel Lopez.

The Chesonis Hotel changed hands. Today it is known as the Grid Iron with Mr. and Mrs. Robert Reese as the proprietors.

Joseph Hrubenak (Motsko) purchased Leyfert's Ice Cream Parlor and Pool Room and carried on the business for a number of years. Today the building houses Catherine's Gift Shop where one finds many lovely and unusual items offered for sale. The proprietor is Catherine Decker.

There were three beer gardens which were operated by Mrs. Hallabuk, John Decker and Andrew Decker.

When Charles McCarthy closed the Company Store, Joe Ellis opened a grocery store there with James V. Christini of Mildred as the manager. The business continued for several years. Today the Post Office is housed there.

Ernie Fiocca was the proprietor of a barber shop in the Harry Steafather Building at the corner of Main and Church Streets for some time.

Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Ortlieb of Dushore became the proprietors of Johnson's Store and operated it for many years until their recent retirement.

For many years John Hurray, Jr. conducted a Shoe Repair Shop in the Sulick Building.

Alex Stavisky established a greenhouse, nursery, and florist shop on Main Street. He supplies flowers and plants to customers from a large area. He also does landscaping.

 

7. Social Activities

During the years when Lopez was in its hey day, the social life was interesting and varied. Rouse's Grove was the center of activity in the summertime. Frequent dances were held in the large pavilion. Fred Leyfert showed movies in his building there. On holidays the whole community turned out for picnics. There was even a merry‑go‑round to entertain the children.

In the winter months activities took place in Rouse's Hall. The opening highlight each year was the Election Day Dinner and Supper which were prepared by the Ladies Aid Society of the Evangelical Church. Over two hundred people would be served.

Dances, plays and concerts were presented in the Hall throughout the winter months. At that time Lopez had its own band under the direction of William Bellas.

Sulick's Hall furnished its share of entertainment for it was there that the popular Voelke (Big) Balls were held.

Another attraction was basketball. A town team composed of Paul Dyer, Wilbur Johnson, Glen Springer, John Zondory, and Andrew Kozemko earned a reputation for skill in playing the game. They were challenged by teams from as far away as Towanda, Binghamton, Wilkes‑Barre, and Scranton; and they were usually the victors. The games were played in Rouse's Hall until it was condemned. Then they were transferred to Sulick's Hall.

As Lopez approaches it Centennial, it has become a sleepy little town nestled in the hills of Pennsylva­nia. It would seem at times, that the village is almost oblivious to what is going on in the outside world; but newcomers are rapidly moving into the area. A number of former residents have returned to the old home town on retirement, and others are planning to take up residence here when their working days are over. It shows that with all their traveling, all their experiences with other people, and all those early, really earnest efforts to shake off all traces of the old home town, they have come to realize that life in a small town is, after all, the best.


Citizen's Band of Lopez. No one in this photo has been identified at the present time. Maybe some of you readers will be able to pick out a familiar face.

 


Lopez Boy Scouts. Left to right: 1. Dan Pealer, 2. Rev. Remaley, 3. Dr. Loomis Christian, Scout Master, 4. Andrew Paiko

 


A gathering of some sort by a factory, not positively identified, just under construction. Number 7 is Mrs. Kleiner and Number 17 is Mr. Jake Kleiner (parents of Alex Kleiner).

 


Lopez Little League Champs, about 1951. Bottom row, left to right: Ed Cole, manager, Bobby Decker, Don Springer, Ted Kozemko, Butchie Cahill, Pat McDonald, Sonny Decker, Butchie Cole, Adam Gutosky, Leo McDonald, Sr., manager. Top row, left to right: Unidentified boy, ? Hartzig, Dan Borick, John Murray, Dave Kachmarsky, Frank Gutosky, Fred Dyer, David Miller.

 


Lopez Orchestra. Left to right: Harold Leyfert, Loomis Christian, Otto Neubauer, Paul Dyer, Albert Neubauer, and Harry Hoag.

 

8. Early Schools

 


Lopez High School (on the hill yet today). This school was built in 1911. It later had asbestos siding put on. School was really fun in the good old days. The building now belongs to the Lopez V.F.W. and recently had a roof put on.

 

The people of Lopez took great pride in their school. In 1889, a one‑room building was erected at the foot of Jackson Hill. Two years later another room was added. During this time the school enrollment was growing so rapidly that it was necessary to enlarge the building; and in 1893 two rooms were added, making a four‑room building. In 1895, two more rooms were built directly back of the other building. At that time there was no course of study, and each teacher planned her own work. The school was not completely graded, but was composed of the Primary, Intermediate, and Grammar departments, and the pupils were divided among the two, four, or six rooms as the enrollment increased.

Lopez High School had its real beginning in the fall of 1897. That was the year that the students first pursued subjects beyond the common branches with a view to graduation. The first principal was J. E. Reese Kilgore, and the pioneer class was composed of four young ladies--Julia Meeks, Mary Finan, Cara Pealer, and Angeline Place.

Again the school system had become inadequate to meet the needs of the growing community as the mining industry flourished. During the summer of 1911 a six‑room building, equipped with a modern steam heating plant, was erected by the Ortliebs of Dushore. Proper attention was given to lighting and space requirements, making it the most spacious and pleasant to be found in the County.

By 1918, the school population had increased so that more room was needed. The Steafather Brothers built a large one‑room building alongside the school. There the first and second grades met in half‑day sessions. Two rooms of the Old Schoolhouse were reopened, and later the Russian School was rented.


Children in front of the old school at the turn of the century. Some students at the old Lopez School: 1. Albert Neubauer?, 12. Steve Mergo, 13. Steve Yamelsky, 16. Ann Smith, 28. Evelyn Johnson, 30. Anna Buk, 32. Ida Betsey, 38. Alice Walsh, 39. Helen Ivanyko?, 40. Mary Finan, teacher?, 42. Mary Fangya, 45. Andrew Ivanyko?, No. 16 was thought by some to be a Gilligan girl.

 


School and Honor Roll. Memorial Day services held at the intersection in Lopez. The school, now closed, is the property of the Lopez V.F.W. Note part of the little school building on extreme left side.

 


Unveiling of new monument at the dedication ceremony. This is the monument that replaced the one pictured above.

 

9. Shady Nook


Dyer's Sawmill, 1906. Another good mill of the lumbering era

 

When Jennings Brothers began cutting timber along the side to the mountains lining the Loyalsock, they planned to haul the timber to their mill in Lopez by sleds in winter and to float the logs down the stream in the spring and summer. A splash dam was constructed across the Loyalsock at a point west of the iron bridge at Shady Nook. The logs were cut and rolled into the ponded stream until it was full. Then the flood gates were opened and the men made a log drive to the mill.

A settlement of a number of houses accommodating the woodsmen and their families grew up there, and the Jennings erected a large two‑story Company Store at the top of the hill. A school house known as the "White School House" was built on an adjacent hill. Reed Frutchey and Albert Dyer operated a sawmill a short distance east of the Shady Nook Bridge. In 1907, they moved their mill to the site of Jennings Mill in Lopez.


"Concrete." This is all that remains of the concrete abutment that Stony Brook Lumber Company built to form their splash dam. More recently a popular swimming place. This can be seen from Centennial Park.

 


Lopez 1903. Photograph taken from the south. The south side of Loyalsock Creek showing the town quite built up. Jennings Hemlock Mill is located in the upper right.

 

 


Early photo of Jennings Mill with heaps of lumber piled up. The pyramid‑shaped pile was railroad ties used for the expanding railroad industry. The team of two horses can be seen pulling a ski‑equipped wagon full of kegs. In the distance the Jackson Hotel and the early school building can be seen.

 

10. Development of the Highways

 


Lopez Main Street, about 1920, with three autos. Railroad tracks in foreground. Buildings on left house McGee's, Post Office, Ohrt's, McGuire's and Stavisky's.

 

In the early days, the first roads were trails or paths over which pedestrians or men on horseback traveled. Gradually these trails were widened, and teams of oxen could be driven over them.

The late Otto Behr told of the hardships experienced when he, as a boy in the late sixties, traveled to Dushore. A group of neighbors composed of Mr. Hopkins, F. A. Behr, and John Moss set out on their semi‑annual trip to Dushore with a team of oxen. Since the road was rough and rocky, they used a sled although it was summertime. The wooden runners became worn out every few miles, and the men would then cut down trees with their axes and fashion new ones. The road led to Seeman's along the Loyalsock where it joined the Turnpike. The stream was forded there, and they dragged the sled on the Turnpike which led over the hills to where Mildred is now located, and then onto where Fairview Cemetery is now located, and then down to Dushore. The round trip took two days; and the party had to camp out with their supplies on the return trip.

As the lumbering industry grew, the roads were improved and made passable so that teams of horses with wagons could haul loads over them. In swampy areas trees were felled and placed side by side over the roadbed and became corduroy roads. At Seeman's a covered bridge was erected across the Loyalsock.

In 1905, the coal industry was developing, and the present highway from Lopez which went through Murraytown and O'Boyletown to Bernice was constructed in 1908 appreciably shortening the road to Dushore.

 

11. Scenes of Lopez

 


Passenger Car at Lopez Depot. The little girl on the street is Anna Sulick Waldron, she tells us. Passengers traveled on these cars daily here at Lopez. (About 1928)

 

Lumber was in plentiful supply and inexpensive. The roads were dusty in summer and muddy at rainy times, so the town fathers constructed a board walk from the center of the village up Jackson Hill, up Main Street to the Methodist Church, and up Church Street to the Evangelical Church. These walks fell into disrepair and were removed after Jennings Brothers left for Maryland in 1905.

The early settlers could not step around the corner to buy food supplies, so each family had to provide its own. Every family owned one or two cows to furnish milk, cheese, and butter. The meadows and yards were enclosed by fences, and the cattle were turned out to graze on the cut‑over land. Each morn­ing over a hundred cows, with their bells clanging, meandered down the Main Street of Lopez, and in the evening they returned home to receive their grain and to be milked.

 


The Two Bridges, Lopez, 1907. One was for horses, carriages, people, and cars. The other bridge was for trains. Notice wood board walk.

 

12. The Age of Bicycles


Main Street, 1904. Hotel Lopez on right with weigh scale (small shed) near tracks. During the warmer time of year the street would be filled with bicycles. It was from this point people would begin their 100 mile trips.

 

When the roads were well established, a more convenient way to travel without hitching a horse to a wagon was common and bicycles came into vogue. By the year 1897, thirty‑seven people in town had bicycles. They joined a national organization known as the League of American Wheelmen. Within the group the younger, more athletic members formed a Century Club. Each Sunday throughout the summer months they rode a hundred miles. Frequently a few of the members became exhausted and had to be returned home by horse and wagon.

 

13. The Post Office

The establishment of a Post Office brought changes to the village. Formerly it had borne the name "Tar Bridge," but when the first post master was appointed on June 2, 1887, the more appropriate title of Lopez was given.

The first postmaster was Truman T. Landon who served for approximately six months. The post office was set up in a room of Jennings Store. On December 8, 1887, B. Worth Jennings was appointed. On Dec­ember 24, 1888, C. J. Wilhelm became postmaster, and the post office was moved to his store in back of McGee's Hotel. On May 10, 1889 Cortez Jennings succeeded Mr. Wilhelm and the office was transferred back to Jennings Store. On June 24, 1893, Richard J. Clark took over as postmaster and moved the post office to his store where the Grid Iron is now located. On May 2, 1894, George Musselman became the postmaster, and moved the office to his store. On April 27, 1898 Cortez Jennings received the appointment and again the office was transferred to Jennings Store. He was succeeded by Worth Jennings in 1900, and he remained as postmaster until 1905 when he moved to Maryland. Herbert M. Kellogg became the next postmaster, and again the office was transferred to his drug store where it remained until December 17, 1914, when Mary E. Collins was appointed. She moved the office to her store where she continued as postmistress until July 28, 1924, when she was succeeded by J. Lawrence Miller. The post office remained in her store. On October 23, 1926, Mrs. Collins was reappointed, and she retained the position until February 24, 1927 when she was succeeded by Wilbur C. Johnson, who moved the post office to Johnson's Store. Miss Kathleen Riordan was appointed postmistress on February 5, 1935 and she continued in that capacity until April 22, 1937 when she was succeeded by Miss Margaret E. Walsh who transferred the post office to the Hrubenak building now Catherine's Gift Shop. Miss Walsh retired in 1955 and Mrs. Dolores Mattichak assumed charge as postmistress on July 31, 1955. The post office was moved again to its present location where Mrs. Mattichak is current postmistress.

 

14. SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church

On December 15, 1905 the members of the Byzantine Catholic Church purchased three acres of land from Dr. and Mrs. J. L. Christian, Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Dyer, Mr. and Mrs. James P. McGee, and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Lepsch for the sum of one hundred fifty dollars.

Steve Hoodak recalls that as a small boy he watched the men of the parish cutting trees which had been donated by his father and hauling them to Dyer's Sawmill to be cut into lumber for the erection of a Church. The church was built by the Steafather Brothers in 1908 and dedicated the same year by Father Nicholas Chopey. During the early l900's, the Church membership reached a total of sixty families. A resident priest, a flourishing Sunday School, and regular worship services every Sunday served the needs of the Parish.

The building, an attractive wooden structure, has always been kept in excellent repair. The Reverend Andrew Ivanshism hand built the side Altars and extended the main Altar while here. The interior was completely redecorated in 1956 at an approximate cost of two thousand dollars.

In 1914 a parish house was built on the lot adjoining the Church property. Mr. Fiocca of Dushore was engaged to build a retaining wall around the church property and landscaping was done at the same time­--probably the year 1916. For twenty‑five years, the parish house was occupied by a resident priest, the last being the Reverend Andrew Ivanshism.

In 1967, the Church was renovated. A new floor, new carpeting, and rewiring were done. Pews from St. Mary's Chapel in Lopez were donated to the Church, and new kneelers were purchased, considerably improving the interior. A new roof was put on, the exterior was painted, and the cross atop the dome was refinished.

 


Sts. Peter and Paul Byzantine Church, Interior. This was originally the Greek Orthodox Church.

 

During recent years the Church membership has decreased, the Sunday School has disbanded, and for a time Services were held the second Sunday of each month.

Father Nicholas Chopey served the Parish for many years, as did the Reverend Andrew Ivanshism, the last priest to occupy the parish house. In 1956, Father Silas Tretyak, from the Wilkes‑Barre Diocese, became the priest. After him various priests from the Sybertsville Monastery served the Parish. Then the Reverend John J. Pakan from Georgetown came on a monthly basis. He was succeeded by the Reverend Serguis Bachkovsky from Taylor who came weekly. This was when the 1967 remodeling was done. He also conducted Sunday School for a time. Following that, the Reverend Harold R. Stockert came from Taylor three Sundays each month. The present Pastor, the Reverend John Balog, of Old Forge has Divine Liturgy each month.

Among the early families of the Church were the following: Mike Buk, Nicholas Chessock, Mike Chessock, Steve Hoodak, Mr. Vancko, Michael Sulick, Peter Hurray, John Grega, Joe Hrubenak, John Minarik, Andrew Drabo, Nicholas Homza, Mr. Selepetz, Nicholas Faltovich, Mr. Fetcho. Steve Hallobuk, Andrew Brunosky, Andrew Kooch, Andrew Rosinko, Wasil Hallobuk, Andrew Baran, Steve Decker, John Decker, John Washington, Andrew Kozemko, Walter Ewancho, John Patrician, John Polinsky, Mike Krak­oski, John Sheleman, Mike Walosin, Mr. Bello, Andrew Rusko, Mr. Musick, Mr. Hine, Mr. Urena. Andrew Romania, Mr. Arenda.

 


Greek Orthodox Church and Parsonage, Lopez. The center section of the spire was removed by Peter Huray, Sr. and helpers, year unknown.

 

15. The Lopez United Evangelical Church

In the year 1890 a group of Protestant folk interested in the Christian Life, gathered in the public schoolhouse for instruction in the Scriptures. That first sermon was preached by the Reverend J. D. Shortess on June 29, 1890. His text for the founding message of this newly established group of worshippers was 1 Peter 2:7--"Unto you therefore who believe He is precious; but unto them who be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner."

This group then wishing to be recognized as a regularly organized body, set a meeting time for congregational organization. After such preliminary measures were taken and the Annual Conference had made its examination, the body was formally recognized as the Lopez United Evangelical Church.

In the early years, the Lopez appointment was served on the Dushore Charge: first by the Rev. J.D. Shortess, and in 1892 by the Rev. H. Minsker. At the Conference Session of 1894, held at East Prospect, Pa., the Committee on Boundaries offered the follow­ing to be adopted: Resolved, that Shinersville, Bernice, Lopez, and Ricketts be taken from the Dushore Circuit and constituted a circuit to be called the Bernice and Lopez Circuit. Services at Bernice and Shinersville were discontinued prior to 1911.

 


Evangelical Church, Interior. The Church is decorated for Christmas. This Church always had a large number of gatherings, outings, and socials. Many participants happily recall the "Fish Pond" at the annual Halloween social.

 

 


Church Street with Evangelical Church and four houses. The board walk is gone and the Church now shows a ground level entrance instead of the steps to the second level.

 

Worship Services were conducted in the school building from 1890 until the year 1896. At that time Jennings Brothers donated lumber for the purpose of providing a church building. A building committee and a Board of Trustees were elected, and in 1896 a church building was erected and dedicated by the Pastor, the Reverend I. E. Spangler.

On August 6, 1909, the Board of Trustees met to decide upon the purchasing of a local residence on Main Street for use as a parsonage . This was approved, the deed secured, and the Rev. J. M. King became the first to use the new parsonage.

At the Conference Session of 1930, the following action was taken: "Resolved, that the Dushore and Lopez Churches be merged into a Charge to be known as the Dushore and Lopez Charge."

Pastors who have served the Church are: 1890‑92 John D. Shortess; 1892‑94 Harry Minsker; 1894‑95 Frank H. Foss; 1895‑98 I. E. Spangler; 1899‑1901 D. F. Young; 1902‑04 J. F. Hower; 1905‑08 B. F. Keller; 1909‑10 J. M. King; 1911‑12 J. F. Schecterly; 1912‑14 W. H. Rhoads; 1914‑16 C. E. Jewell; 1916­18 C. B. Shank; 1918‑21 F. E. Remaley; 1922‑23 W. H. Warburton; 1924‑25 M. W. Dayton; 1926‑27 C. S. Messner; 1927‑28 B. F. Rogers; 1928‑29 H. S. Entz; 1929‑30 M. A. Bateman; 1930‑31 W. H. Heisley; 1932‑33 G. R. Mergenthaler; 1934‑39 C. F. Gunther; 1940‑41 L. C. Bailey, Jr.; 1942‑44 W. F. Woods; 1945‑46 G. E. Aderhold; 1947‑ L. A. Fuhrman, Ray Schloyer, Clyde E. House, J. Roy Bower, Norma Kinard.

 


Commemorative tray with Evangelical Church and Pastor B. F. Keller.

 

 


Church Street. More houses have been built. Being erected is the Gulick house, now the Andy Matychak home.

 

16. Russian Orthodox Church

St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church building in Lopez was purchased from Albert Dyer in 1907, for the sum of $700. The structure was built in 1899 by the Methodist Protestants, who under the leadership of the Rev. C. M. Krump, held services in the church for many years.

As the group became depleted by death and the moving of families, the building was purchased by Albert Dyer, and later sold to the Russian Orthodox denomination. A complete renovation then took place, and under the enthusiastic direction of the choir master and the local church leader, Metro Ivanyko, the remodeling program gradually developed into an elaborate proportion.

The serious efforts of the small group challenged the whole‑hearted support of the Russian Orthodox Resurrection Church of Wilkes‑Barre. In the summer of 1907, the sister church in Wilkes‑Barre chartered a special excursion train, and the entire parish came to Lopez with ample provisions for a community dinner, and soft drinks, ice cream and other food supplies for sale at special side booths. People from all parts of the county crowded the grounds and the spon­sored project was not only a financial success, but also an outstanding demonstration of a cooperative community spirit.

The parish has always been small, the membership at no time exceeded seventy‑five families. The property has been improved and kept in excellent repair over the years. About 1910, a property joining the church grounds was purchased as a Parish House for a cost of $400. The house was completely remodeled and restored. During the years 1912‑1916, the church purchased new ikonstasis at a cost of $5,500, and also purchased twenty hand painted ikons to adorn the walls, the royal doors and the ikonstasis.

In August 1955, fire destroyed the interior of the church, and many of the beautiful paintings were lost. The damage was estimated at $25,000, the loss was partially covered by a $12,000 insurance policy. In 1956, plans were formulated for financial assistance from the Russian Orthodox Council of New York to completely restore the paintings .

 


St. Vladimir's Orthodox Church (exterior).

 

 


St. Vladimir's Orthodox Church (interior).

 

The congregation observed its Fiftieth Anniversary in 1957.

More than thirty priests have served the Lopez Church. Many of them served for a short time in the capacity of a supply. The following incomplete list was compiled from the memory of the Church President, Mr. Frank Kiwatisky: Rev. Leonty Vladishewsky, 1907‑09; Rev. Basis Rubinsky, 1909‑12; Rev . Basil Vikoff, 1912‑16; Rev . Basil Gambil; Rev. George Sinefsky, Rev. Theodore Kiruluk, Rev. Andrew Fedetz, Rev. John Krockmalnik, Rev. Jonah Korsetsky, Rev. Peter Dubrevsky, Rev. Jacob Pshenichuk, Rev. Demitros Rassetar, Rev. Theodore Waniga, Rev. John Boruch, Rev. George Cucura, Rev. Kanyan, Rev. Vianko, Rev. John Oblitoff, Rev. Yaroslav Sudick, Rev. Roman Wytovich, Rev. Joseph Gallick, Rev. Michael Evans, 1972 to present.

Among the early families of the church were the following: Theodore Shimansky, Frank Kozemko, Stephen Betsay, Theodore Smith, Joseph Stavisky, Frank Kiwatisky, Andrew Hurray and the Borick Families.

 


Lopez looking south. Some points of interest: Russian Church with two crosses on the peak of the roof and no steeple or belfry (on the extreme right). Note the large gardens behind homes on upper Main Street. Store to left of center was between Andrewlavage's and Halabuk's. It is best remembered as Decker's General Store, but there were several prior owners. Mrs. Shuman tells of her mother taking her into the store to buy articles helpful in dressmaking. Mrs. "Mommy" Halabuk's Hotel is the large building in foreground with 8 windows prominent.

 

17. St Mary's Church
of the Immaculate Conception

The first settlers of the Catholic Faith came to the Lopez area in the 1890's; and since there was no church nearby, some of the more than one hundred attended services in St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Mildred which had been erected in 1895 and others were sent to the Catholic Church in Laporte which had been built at an earlier date.

In 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Rouse built a new, larger dance hall to replace the original building which housed a general store, conducted by Mrs. Mary Collins, on the first floor and an auditorium complete with a stage on the second floor. That same year the Rouses gave permission to have the second floor converted to a Roman Catholic Church, commonly known as St. Mary's Chapel. It was a Mission Church of the Mildred Parish and was served by the same priest. The Rouses donated the Stations of the Cross, and the Chapel was dedicated in 1911. The building was deeded subsequently to the Diocese of Scranton by Paul and Genevieve Daly on January 22, 1943.

The First Holy Communion, with nineteen mem­bers in the class was celebrated on December 19,1923. The last time there was a First Communion was on June 22, 1930, with twenty‑five members.

On October 26, 1930, there was a Confirmation Class of fifty‑two members. There were ten members from Murraytown in one class.

Two weddings were solemnized in the Chapel. In 1911, Emma Cangley and Pat Cahill were married there during a rebuilding of St. Francis Church in Mildred. The second marriage to be performed there was that of Nancy Chernak and Richard Huber some­time after St. Francis Church had been destroyed by fire.

At least two children were baptized in St. Mary's Chapel.

Priests who served the Chapel are: John A. Enright, May 8, 1894 to Oct. 15, 1922; Michael C. King, Nov. 5, 1922 to Oct. 23, 1927; John E. McHale, Feb. 12, 1928 to Aug. 30, 1942; Leo E. Gilroy, Sept. 20, 1942 to June 30,1946; H. F. McGranahan, July 7, 1946 to May 28, 1950; Luke F. Halley, July 16, 1950 to May 18, 1970.

 


St. Mary's Roman Catholic Chapel (interior).

 

18. The Flood of 1972

 

 

The Flood of 1972, which was brought on by rains from Hurricane Agnes, did not skip Lopez, as witnessed by these photos. Rising waters caused many of the beaver dams to break loose, throwing thousands and thousands of gallons of water down Lopez Creek and Factory Road into the heart of Lopez (Photo 1). As it approached the big bend by the Election House it tore a large section of the stone wall apart, causing water to gush up over the high concrete corner block that is still there (Photo 2). It also tore loose the outdoor "Necessary Room" and carried it half way down Borick's field (Photo 3). A car venturing up Factory Road was quickly thrown off the road by the high currents and the swirling, newly born river (Photo 4). Reaching town, the water spilled over Main Street, in between Hotel Lopez and other buildings, and through the ball park in its mad rush to meet the on‑coming waters from the Big Sock (Photo 5).

 

19. Sulick Hall Centennial Museum

 


Much thanks should be given to Len and Anna Sulick Waldron for their time and materials in preparing their building to be used as the Lopez Centennial Museum. Also, thanks to their daughter Barbara Waldron Calaman who painted the flag on the building.

 

In 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Michael P. Sulick, Sr. purchased a property on Main Street from W. L. Johnson. In 1911, the Sulick's completely changed the structure of the residence.

The building became a two‑story square with two large rooms on the street floor in front and living quarters in the rear. The second story had a large hall the full length of the building, plus living quarters in the rear. The basement also had rooms which were rented mostly to newly married couples.

The same year, 1911, the Sulick's started a butcher shop business in one large room. The other room was rented to Jake Weinstein. In 1919, John Huray, Jr. leased the room formerly rented by Weinstein and there started a shoe repair shop. He remained in that same spot for almost 50 years, until he retired.

The hall of the building became a versatile room, the scene of many activities. Miners used it to hold noisy union meetings, brides chose it for their wedding receptions which sometimes lasted three days, but best of all, there were the "Vellky Balls," which in Slovak means "Big Dances."

There was no baby sitting in those days; the whole family attended the balls. When the children became tired, they were simply put to sleep in the Sulick's beds.

In 1914 the hall was used as a school room due to the fact that the school building became over‑crowded.

The building still stands and in this Centennial year is being used as a Museum.

 


This invoice shows one order of the many items that were in this building at one time. A few of these casks are still there, though empty. A thousand dollar order in 1921 was quite a large order.

 

 


Wooden Butter Bowl. Whether handmade or machine made, these bowls were very useful in early Lopez.  Their main purpose was to wash freshly churned butter. Now these bowls are used for salads.

 

 


Foot warmer. This 1 1/4" x 7" x 9" block of soap stone with a wire carrying handle was the common method of warming your feet on the cold winter nights in Lopez. Late afternoon, it was placed in the oven to be warmed. It was carried to the bed and placed at the bottom to put your feet on when retiring. They were also put in sleds during the cold winter rides.

 


Early wooden pants stretchers, adjustable. When not in use they locked together for easy storage.

 


Cabbage shredder. An original, hand powered wooden shredder.

 


Locomotive No. 5 about 1900. Log train on Jennings Brothers railroad out of Lopez. Note size of logs used for ballast. Log loader was moved toward engine on rails as each gondola was loaded. B. Worth Jennings is standing on large ballast log.

 


Locomotive No. 1, Stony Brook Lumber Company. A load of logs on their way to the mill.

 

 


Lopez Depot, 1908. Some travelers awaiting the arrival of the train. When it pulls in, many people will run to watch the people coming in and going out.

 

 


Old 77 at Lopez Depot, about 1894. The Good Old 77 was a much favored locomotive when it was scrapped in 1912.

 


Depot Square, 1906. Church Street in background. Watering trough alongside Hotel Lopez.

 


Trestle and C. Jennings Home, looking west. Ice is still on the creek in this March, 1907 photo showing the L.V.R.R. Trestle. The trestle and tracks are gone but the concrete abutments still stand. The Jennings home on the hill is now the site of the Tony Marek home.

 


Lopez taken from the hill on the way to Murraytown. This photo shows bared ground and ledges due to the lumber industry and the quarrying. Flat Street is in the foreground. Highway guard rails at the bottom of the photo. Sandstone plant is in the background at the left. (About 1911).

 


The Huray Family, summer of 1923. Left to right: Peter Huray, Jr., Mary Huray Annear, Mary Huray (mother), Ella Huray Tomasak, Margaret Huray McGuire, Peter Huray, Sr. (father), Anna Huray Gorsky, Sue Huray Delovich. Photo was taken in front of the Greek Orthodox parish home. This picture, of the grandparents of Robert McGuire, portrays a typical miner's family.

 


Lopez Hollow, 1904. More of the south side of Lopez is being developed as the boom continues. The white window framed building was located between the creek and the new Peter Stavisky residence. At the time of this photo Stavisky's was not yet built. Jennings homes and store can be seen across the creek.

 


Lopez fire truck was a 1923 Reo Speed Wagon. Though the top speed was 40 M.P.H., the pumper will give most modern day trucks a good run for their money. Driver Jack Leskoven, passenger Ken Riordan, running board Robert Hoover, tail gate John Stavisky.

 


Artesian Well. Another natural beauty mark of the Lopez area. Between a drop in water levels and stones forced in the pipe by vandals, this natural water fountain is reaching only a fraction of its original height.

 


The Pokey. Originally the Lopez Jail House, this is now used for elections and township supervisors meetings. Many an over imbibed individual and other law breakers have spent some time in this two cell jail house contemplating their sins and misbehavior. Also seen is the newly replaced "Necessary Room."

 


Old Home Day. The big day in Lopez each year is the annual Old Home Day gathering to renew old friendships and make new ones. The town really filled on these gatherings and everyone had lots of fun and stories of old times to tell.

 


Loyalsock Creek west of Jennings Mill in Lopez. Cortez Jennings home on bluff. Taken in 1907.

 


Lopez Depot, 1940. This George Hart photo shows the closed Depot and the death of railroads in Lopez. The passenger cars were used as rooms for the workmen that were taking up the track known as Bowman's Creek Branch. This line ran between Lopez and Noxen.

 


The first light bulb in Sullivan County was used by the Jennings Brothers and was donated to the Sullivan County Historical Society by Paul Daly.

 


Old Lopez Honor Roll. Because of deterioration, the old Honor Roll was replaced with a smaller granite one. Lopez had the highest percentage of men in the nation, that went to war. Many gave their lives for the nation, town and people they loved.

 


Upper Main Street, looking toward town. William Raub is standing in his yard.

 


Icicle cave in Lopez. Because temperatures in the cold winter can plunge to a minus 40 degrees, conditions are ideal for icicles to grow from the ground up. Robert McGuire, Jr. is seated to show which end is down.

Editor's Note: In April 2008, Pat Foley forwarded to us a poem about Lopez winters she received from Robert McGuire, Jr.:

It's winter here in Lopez
Where gentle breezes blow
At seventy miles an hour
And thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love my Lopez
With the snow up to my butt
You take a breath of winter
And the nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I really can't leave Lopez
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!!

 


GOTCHA! These young pranksters were recorded on film by remote camera. The camera was set up inside McGuire Gift and Photo Center in Lopez. As the "soapers" did their thing on the windows, the camera would fire catching them m the act. Four of the many that were caught are pictured here. 1. Graceful strokes by Rose Neufer. 2. Ted Puzo trying his hand. 3. Frank Romania getting ready to leave his message. 4. Dan Kulsicavage doing his art work out of the view of the camera. This was Halloween of 1965.

 


Bears are not the Number One calling card for hunters in Lopez, but they are very much present. While three Bruins were frequenting the local land fill, photographer Bob McGuire ventured out night after night to capture on film many photos of these furry creatures. One night, with a remote camera set up about twenty feet from the stump, Bob waited for the Bruin to walk the path he walked previously, which brought him out at the stump. At that time, the remote camera was fired. As the flash lit up the area, the photographer noticed the coarse texture of Bruin's nose. Bruin then turned and went down over the bank.

 


Another bear episode happened this past year when a bear came up from Lopez Creek, crossed Church Street by Delovich's and meandered through Mrs. Kriel's yard. He ventured across Maple Terrace and continued up through Mike Fedorchak's lawn, where this second photo was snapped by the Lopez photographer. During his leisurely stroll, he had stopped several times to look around taking in the view and also keeping one eye on the photographer, always giving his most photogenic side. He then continued into the woods and ledges. This July 23,1975 visit brought an exciting moment to the people of Church Street.

 

20. A Tribute to Early Photographers

 


I would like to take a minute to give credit and attention to the known and unknown photographers of the past. Without their efforts, the photographic part of this book would not exist. Detailed information on the photographers of Lopez is sketchy but present. The only marked photograph of E. K. Sturdevant is dated 1902 but there were at least fourteen different photos that he sold commercially at 25c each or 5 for $1.00

Ranald Douglas was deaf and dumb. He was called Dummy but he could handle a camera and darkroom. His studio was first a barber shop located just across the bridge on the right--across the street from the now Bill Hoover residence. "R. D." photos are dated 1904 to 1908. This does not necessarily limit the time he was here.

Carl Krumb, it is said, next took over Douglas' Studio and was in Lopez two or three days a week. The rest of the week he worked out of his Towanda studio. He was popular for his portrait work around 1916‑18.

William L. Johnson was the next Lopez photographer. Though primarily a barber and not having an actual studio, he had photographic talents and produced many excellent post cards of the area.

In 1965 I bought the Johnson Barber Shop building and converted it to a Photography Studio and photo hobby shop. From 1965 to present I have done magazine, post cards, weddings, portraits, advertising and various other types of photography. This era of photography is fortunate enough to have the dimension of color films.

I feel that there were other photographers in the area of whom we have no information. Some of their pictures may be in this book. To them we also have sincere appreciation for their contributions.

I want to thank all persons who loaned us the original photos from which these copies were reproduced.

Bob McGuire

 

McGuire Studios is in the process of establishing a Photographic Archives. We will accept old photos of Lopez and area to be placed in the collection. We would also like to borrow old photos that you may want to keep, long enough to copy. Copying does not harm in any way the original photos. Contact McGuire Studios, Lopez.

 


Crest on back cover is the die cast metal Centennial plate, produced to commemorate Lopez's first century. The limited edition plate, designed by Robert S. McGuire, depicts the Lopez Rail Road Depot, which was at one time the focal point of Lopez.

 

Copyright © 2007 Robert E. Sweeney for presentation format and individual Contributors for content. 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)