Main Street / Camplain Road Schools

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Main Street School • Click Photo to Enlarge

So I have already posted a few photos of both of these school with and areal shot HERE. But these 2 are slightly earlier. The time period for this set is around 1940. Also, the above photo of the Main Street School is from a different perspective than the old post.

This next photo is Camplain Road school. It will also enlarge if you click it. I thought these photos were pretty great and definitely worthy of a look.

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Lost Manville Photos 1938-1939 Discovered!

img346Main Street • Click to Enlarge

Hey Y’all! I’m still here. Life is chasing after my free time with a fury lately, and I apologize for the lack of attention to this blog. Sometimes the best motivator is a swift kick in the ass, and I got one in an email recently from a woman who unearthed a pretty large cache of vintage photos circa 1938/39. I haven’t seen these yet, but allegedly there is a pretty serious portion of vintage Manville. The 2 photos pictured in this post are from said collection. The above example is a man standing across from Duryea Motors, which was formerly located on main street just a couple doors down from quick check. It escapes me what the new businesses are, but the building is still there and has since been stuccoed. The building you see on the left there was most recently Davie’s Tavern. The important question is…. WHERE is the video that guy is taking?


Roosevelt School c. 1938 • Click to enlarge

This one is the N. 4th ave view of Roosevelt School. I actually didn’t know this, but apparently there was an addition put on the right side of the building at some point, and as you can see in this photo, it isn’t there yet. I’m excited about this one, as I do not have this view of the building up here yet. Anyway, that’s all I have for now. Like I said this is from a collection that hopefully will come to light on this blog. If the rest of the collection is of significant quality, we may also, be trying to make some of these images available in print or book form in the future. Stay tuned… I will be bringing you more of these!

Birdseye view off of the Manville water tower

Photo by Neal Ranauro • Click to Enlarge

I have a few random photos, that are not necessarily about anything. They are just random views around town or what have you. I’ve posted a bunch of them up here over the years, and since this blog is becoming a little too large to scroll through every post on the main page I wanted somewhere to put them all… so I created a category called “scenic town photos”. Hopefully one day I’ll get around to linking all the random ones I already posted to this new category.  So without further adue here are two photos from Neal Ranauro’s archive taken from atop the Manville water tower. They are both from the same angle, the one at the top focuses on Roosevelt School and Johns Manville, while the bottom photo is more of an areal style landscape photo . A lot of detail can be seen in both photos if you enlarge them (they will each enlarge twice). These are great.

Photo by Neal Ranauro • Click to Enlarge

Harmony Plains (Gravel Hill) School. Circa 1900

Harmon Plains School • Click to Enlarge

For years I have been hearing of an old school on Main St. in Manville that predated the old Main Street School that sat at the current site of the Main St. parking lot. I heard of it referred to as “the old red schoolhouse” and it wasn’t until I starting turning up maps from the 1800’s that I started to really see the proof. Thanks to Kathryn Quicks great book Manville: A History Enduring, I finally recognized this mystery school by it’s real name Harmony Plains School. It wasn’t until I visited Gary Carmons great website until I turned up an actual photo of the school. This photo originally came out of a book published by The Courier News entitled “Somerset County Memories – the Easrly Years. Here was the original caption from the book

“The original Main Street School, Manville, cica 1900. Bernhard Meyer, Jr. is in front holding the bat.” Courtesy Marian Meyer

The original location of The Harmony Plains school was the Main Street parking lot site right next to the intersection of Camplain, where the Main Street school was later built. As marked on the following 1850 map with the white arrow… I also labeled the streets just to clarify the location. I’m assuming the initials S.H. stands for school house, but you can see the neat little illustration of the school. The map will enlarge if you click on it.

Here is an except from Kathryn’s book regarding the school…

“Called Harmony Plains school in 1915, students from first through eighth grade attended school in a two-room building on the same site with two faculty members. A visiting country teacher would stop in from time to time and teach art. At that time the school was owned by Hillsborough Township. The school had no running water or sanitary facilities. There were no playgrounds, only farmhouses with haylofts.

The school was enlarged with an additional classroom by GB Staats and John W Hamilton of Dukes Parkway. When Manville became a borough, the teachers lost all their seniority and had to start as new.

A fire destroyed the original school shortly after the Borough acquired it. Since the town did not have a fire department at the time, a bucket brigade tried to extinguish the fire. Students were transferred to Camplain Road School until the school was rebuilt with four classrooms. Four more were added in the ‘20s for a total of eight.

The school was first referred to as “Gravel Hill School” because of the soil formation, but the official name was Harmony Plains School.”

 I cannot confirm that the fabled “old red school house” was in fact Harmony Plains school, because frankly I do not know what color it was. There is a rumor of another small school in Manville in the late 1800s, but it’s a loose rumor, and that’s a mystery for another day. Thanks again to Gary Carmon for his great contributions. Please visit his website carmonsandusky for some more great old Manville photos.

Manville buildings 1969-1970

The Elmcrest Inn, Feb. 1969 • Click to Enlarge

Hey everyone. So it’s been a busy few weeks for me, but I finally got around to scanning this envelope full of Manville photo slides that were recently unearthed from an old dusty cabinet in the Somerset County Historical Society. It was pretty frustrating trying to get nice scans of these, but after much rigging I got clean prints and the fruits were pretty amazing. First of all you can see above I got a nice transfer of that Elmcrest Inn photo… which I’m probably most excited about out of the bunch. Here are the other good ones… these will all enlarge a bit if you click on them. The second scan is another Manville favorite place which still exists. The Chester House.

This one is sort of a bad photo, and a little blurry, but people ask me about it alot. And it’s really the first good color photo on this site of The Polish Home. The polish home is also a defunct Manville building, which was located right across from Roosevelt School.

Just got an update on the following building from Antoinette (Rogalski) Vinciguerra! She says…  “The house was over 200 years old when it was demolished, a very sad day for my family. My grandparents Joseph and Loretta Rogalski, moved to the US from Poland and purchased that house which was also a place of business known as the Roadhouse. It was also larger than in the picture. One third of it burnt down in a fire. The Roadhouse was a happening place from what I hear back in its day. It had ballrooms, a saloon and was an inn. The front side of it, not pictured, had a large wooden porch with several large columns. It also had a stepping stone in front of the porch which was used by stage coaches.”

This next one caught me really off guard, and I feel so dumb for never paying attention to this, despite seeing it so many times in my life. I always heard that Camplain Rd. was so named “Camp Lane” because it literally was the campsite of the Continental Army. It’s a little hard to read in the photo, but this sign that sits right outside of Classical Glass on Camplain Rd. reads.. “Encampment area for Pennsylvania troops of the Continental Army from about December 15, 1778 until June 1, 1779.” If anyone in Manville tries telling you nothing ever happened in Manville you bring em here.

Ok. this next one is another mystery house, although it is entitled “The Fiero House” taken Feb. 1969. I’m not sure if this still exists or what the signifigance is but here is a photo.

And last, but most definitely not least is this great photo of the Main Street School (formerly located at the site of the Main St. parking lot). A lot of folks on here attended this school, and I know it’s been a fan favorite on here. The is pretty much the best color photo I’ve seen of this place yet.

I’m not sure who took these photos, so I cannot give a proper credit. If you took them let me know and I’ll be sure to get your name on them. Also, a huge thanks to the Somerset County Historical Society for trusting me with these slides, thinking of me when they were unearthed, and inducting me a trustee. If anyone out there is interested in getting involved with the society, we are looking for fresh faces & ideas. Please get in touch!

Oh, one last thing before I leave you alone. I’ve been talking to some great older folk who keep telling me about some friends around town that have these incredible photo archives, who would be dying to show them off. If you are one of these people, please get in touch with me I would LOVE to come hang out, have about 10 cups of coffee and chat about Manville… AND see some great photos. If you would like to share photos on here as well please get in touch with me. I will credit everyone, I have all kinds of digital archive technologies, and I would be happy to print extra copies or provide you with the digital versions of your photos on a disk. Please help preserve the history of this town. Also, I have specifically heard the name Smolinka as a person who has a great archive of photos. If anyone knows them or anyone else with photos please communicate to them about this site. I know a lot of older folk don’t like to, or are unable to use computers, which pretty much cuts my lines of communication to them. Thank you.

Camplain Road School

Click Photo To Enlarge

Another classic photo from the collection of Art Shandor. This is a 1947 shot of the Camplain Road School. We’ve covered this school before, so there isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about this place, but I just thought this was a nice shot. This is surely another photo from the great Neal Ranauro. Awesome.

Easter Time

So refreshing to see a color photo up here once and a while. This one being taken on March 26 1948 at the Camplain Road School during the production of the play “A White Easter Rabbit” I couldn’t find any info on the actual play, so it’s unclear if this was an original story or not. But this is just a great photo. There’s a signature in the bottom right that just says “Easter Time (1948)” Unfortunately there were no names on the back.