Manville Cub Scouts Pack 191 (1951)

Click Photo to Enlarge

1st row, l to r: Andrew Charneski, Thomas Saitta, Walter Kogut, Kenneth Kucharz, Henry Hribar, James Hill, Daniel Matyola, Alex Bicar, Theodoe Gajewski, Richard Zeleznick
2nd row: Charles Charneski, Cub Master, Helen Charneski, Den Mother, Richard Perini, Steven Gibus, Michael Tacak, George Feno, Robert Tulner, John Spock, Richard Szymborski, Edward Blazovsky
Mrs. Blazovsky, Den Mother, Mrs. Perini, Den Mother
3rd row: Peter Semenick, Gerald Steffon, Atrhur Shandor, Andrew Fotta, Peter Markowitz, Curtis Weidlich, David Batcho, Charles Risko, Robert Vagi

I just received this great photo of the Manville Cub Scout Pack 191 from Charles Charneski. This particular photo was taken back in May of ’51. Being that I belonged to the very same cub scout pack over 30 years later, it brings me great joy to post this here. I don’t think I knew at the time, the long proud history of Manville’s Pack 191. For so many years, all the way through Boy Scouts I gained so much valuable knowledge, experience, and so many great times (and found salamanders) with the scouts. It’s something that I only just realized needs to be addressed on this blog. If there is anyone out there with knowledge of a complete history, or more photos I’d love for you to email me HERE

Thanks again to Charles Charneski & Richard Onderko for getting this over to me. And Mr. Rayot for teaching me how to start a fire and tie a square knot!


Manville Ladies Bowling League 1940’s

Here is the second of some great photos submitted by Tom Kopczyk. This one is the ladies bowling league. He was kind enough to do a little write up on each one, so I’ll let this be expressed in his own words. But as always, we love the comments. Thanks Tom!

“Ladies Bowling League, circa early 1940’s. Standing center right, holding a bowling ball is my Aunt Pauline Perun. Kneeling third from right is my Aunt Mary Zielonka & forth from right is my Mother, Veronica Kopczyk. Parkway Lanes near Walt’s Inn first came to mind but after some discussion my brother Mike and I believe this photo was taken in the old bowling alley in the Polish Home.” – Tom Kopczyk

The Elmcrest Inn & The Nebozinskys


Some of you might remember a post I did awhile back about The Elmcrest Inn. As I remembered it, the Elmcrest was a grand old building that sat on the corner of Main St. and Kyle St. at the current site if the CVS. Thanks to Cathy Deschu, whose grandparents once owned the house, we now have a nearly complete history of this great historic building. The Elmcrest Inn (as most townsfolk remember it) was around barely into the 90’s and was tragically and hurriedly destroyed while a concerned town resident, and a family member were trying to get it listed on the national historic register, and for good reason. First let’s look at the abridged history…

The house was built sometime in the 1800’s and was the residence of Captain Fredrick Davey. At some point in time there was a Ballroom attached to the house, and a barn somewhere between the house and the railroad tracks. Both of which had allegedly burned to the ground. It had been once told through the word of an old elementary school teacher that her grandmother had attended a Ball there which was also attended by then General George Washington. During the Depression, it also operated as “The Weston Hotel” And at some point in it’s history the property included the “Liberty Hall” building, which was a community center & concert venue that supported such great artists as Jimmy Dorsey and Guy Lombardo. If that’s not a matter of significant Manville History than I don’t know what is. Here is a copy of a business card from “The Old Reliable Weston Hotel” Signed Louis Nebozinsky “Proprietor”… Cathy’s Grandfather.

When Cathy’s grandparents Louis and Katherine Nebozinsky left their jewelry business in New York City to run a General Store on 11th and Washington Ave in Manville in 1919 Main Street was still a dirt road. Her mother recalls that cows and chickens would roam carelessly into the road at will.

Louis Nebozinsky

Katherine Ginda-Nebozinsky

At At the time the Nebozinsky’s bought the Property on Main & Kyle, the house was in great disrepair. The man who previously owned the home before them allegedly had mental problems, which contributed to the poor condition of the home and property. The Nebozinsky’s put their 10 children to the task of helping whip the place back into shape. Cleaning the cupola at the peak of the house fell to the task of Cathy’s very young mother and uncle Dan (aged 9 and 7 at the time respectively), who recalled it’s steep rickety stairs, trap door access, and browsing through found Revolutionary War newspaper issues, and sending them as instructed to the trash.

That cupola would become a haven and art studio for one of their daughters Molly, who was a talented artist (she would later refuse an art scholarship in Paris). She loved the cupola for it’s surrounding windows and ample natural light.

When their 10 children grew older, the Nebosinskys sold the house to the Esterhoy family and moved into the smaller house on Washington and 11th that they had previously bought and used as their General Store. Due to water damage and leakage, the Esterhoys unfortunately opted to tear the amazing cupola off the top of the house. Eventually the house turned into the string of restaurants and inns until it was eventually torn down. Losing a building of this calibur seems like such an incredible loss for a town with such a proud past. In honor of this great lost building, here is a historic Illustration from a prouder time. Click the photo to enlarge it.

Later on in 1983 Dan Nebozinsky sat down for a 3 part interview with Joe Patero of The Manville News to recall his families rich history… here is part 1 I will be on the lookout for parts 2 and 3 and hopefully get them up here ASAP. Thank you Cathy Deschu for this priceless wealth of lost Manville history, the photos, the illustration, and for sharing your family’s story. This is incredible.

The South 5th Ave Shutack Family Archive

I was pretty excited on Thursday when I received an email from Richard Onderko. Not just because I was being contacted by one of Manville’s current Councilman candidates. It was rather the content of the email which was something to the tune of “Hey Mike. Meet me over on South 5th I found some great stuff”… and I mean who am I to stand up a possible future Manville Council Seat holder, so I went.

I arrived to meet Richard and a guy named Kevin Shutack, who explained to me the far reaches of his family participation in the towns history. The Manville Police, The Building Commitee, and most thankfully owner of the Manville Print Shop that was right next to the Krausers. I remembered the print shop as a kid… we used to peer into the windows there to find out what went on inside of it. But not to get off track… it seems the print shop handled most of Manville printing needs going at least as far back as the early 40s including the printing of The Manville News. Kevin gave me all sorts of printed goodies that were produced by the shop including A LOT of issues of the paper from 1941-1943. Just as soon as I work out the best way to archive these I will be posting digital copies of the issues just as fast as I can get them up. They are in a super fragile state, with much discoloration and edge damage, but they are brilliant and contain tons of great stories and history including some key Manville events like the building of the row homes, robberies and the Manville train derailment in the 40s in Lost Valley. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg… there are tons of wedding and birth announcements. Deaths, car accidents, reports from the war involving Manville residents, honor role lists, sports scores. I can’t wait to get these up.

This marks the most fruitful batch of town history I have found since Neal Ranauro’s photo archive. I feel like so many mysteries have just been solved. On behalf of the town of myself and Manville’s lost history we definitely own a huge debt to the Shutack family, Kevin, and Richard Onderko for making the connection happen. None of the afore mentioned ever had to waste their personal time to help me communicate this stuff to everyone, but they did. That’s awesome. I also got to spend some quality time with Rich and Kevin who were both very knowledgeable and very willing to share some information with me. Overall I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Saturday morning than striking another victory for my perpetual quest for Manville’s past.


Manville Character Club Revisited

Group Photo


I recently put a post on here about the Manville Character Club that much to my suprised generated a lot of interest. It’s crazy because I knew very little of what the character club did, or if it even played an inportant part in Manvilles history. Thanks to the fine folks on this board we now know that it was a men’s social club that rotated around Petey’s Tavern and sponsored a lot of charity events, dinnners, trips ect. and included a lot of folk who immigrated from the area of Hazleton Pennsylvania to work in the local factories. A guy named Tim Gorbatuk (and i believe some help from his uncle who was in the club) was nice enough to dig up the clubs Bylaws, which can be viewed HERE. He also supplied us with the above photo, and the ones below of a new member being initiated into the club. This is a pretty amazing archival score. THANKS TIM!

Initiation Group photo






It seems like swimming has always been a favorite past time for many a kid in Manville. For me it was jumping off that train bridge down at the end of the Manville train yard into the grimy river that ran past Johns Manville. In retrospect that was amazing… especially when the enginieers would drive by and drop tons of bottled water out of the window of the train. I had a few real “Stand By Me” moments where I would be on top of that bridge and the trains would come shake the bejesus out of it. Scarry business. In this photos it looks like there was actually a designated swimming hole near one of our many rivers… my grandfather used to talk about swimming in town. anyone know about this? Or know anyone here?




So here is a curiosity that I’d love to hear a little info about. The Manville Character Club… it looks like it was a social club associated with Petey’s Casino?  I wonder if that has anything to do with Petey’s Tavern… anyway, Im not sure what the Charater club actually did… but damn if it didn’t look like  a good time. I’d love to hear about what this was all about. anyone?