Petey Semenick Sr. talks Manville History

Hey everyone. So I’m in the middle of digitally archiving lots of old “original manville residents” interviews. This one with Petery Semenick Sr. is absolutely incredible. Petey surely needs no introduction to Manville folks. For starters, he founded Petey’s bar & Casino, he was a fireman, founding member of the Rod & Gun Club, and original resident before Manville was even a real town. The interview was done by Stuart Crump, former Managing Editor of the Manville news back in March of 1979. Thanks to Petey Semenick Jr. for giving me his blessing on posting this, because it’s incredible.

Petey has a tremendous memory and his narrative of Manville history is amazing. I edited this a little bit, cutting out just the names, addresses, and really personal stuff thats really not anyones business. This interview is pretty long, but it’s a really great look at early Manville. He discusses early JM, Manville Farms, The Manville Gypsies (seriously!), the original Main St. buildings Elmcrest and Greaseheimer hotel (Chester House) Harmony Plains school, all of the Petey’s businesses, bootleg whiskey, the Rod and Gun Club, Fire Co. number 2, instructions on how to craft a baseball from scratch, the Manville Saw Mill (pictured in the video) and so many more random nuggets of great info. It’s totally worth a listen.

Vintage Manville Films

Hello folks, I noticed a lot of new subscribers on this blog, that’s awesome. Thank you. This new post is another great one for the video category. My buddy Gary Carmon, who also does a great website on the Carmon / Sandusky families has turned up some old Manville footage on VHS. Thankfully he put up the time and money to convert these to digital format and has begun to edit them. So here we have the first two, which Gary has graciously encouraged me to share on this site.

This fist video we believe is on Petey’s Bar, but cannot confirm. The first minute or so of the video is pretty shaky, but settles into a nice clear depiction of what Manville does best… have a lot of fun. I do not know the date on this either. If you can verify that this is in fact Petey’s, or if you are in or can identify anyone in the film please leave a comment and let us know.

The next film is of the Manville Fire Dept. If you are in, or can identify anyone in the film, please leave a comment.

Gary has also posted some photos from Neal Ranauro’s collection that are not shown on this blog. Please check out his website, especially if you have any info pertaining to the Carmon / Sandusky families. Thanks Gary for sharing these videos, and for spending the time and money to make these videos available to the public.

Manville Fire Dept. History (from the Gluch family archive)


In a way, the life of The Manville Blog lays partially in the hands of the community. I don’t mean that in the sense that I’ll ever stop hunting down photos and info wherever I can, but like every community… the real true nuggets of info are in the hands of the families. Please keep that in mind, if you have quality photos you want to share… I can help you digitize them, and even give you digital copies for your own family archive. Over time I’ve gotten great submissions from some of the local folks, including this most recent collection of historic Manville Fire Dept. photos. These come from the collection of Chirs Gluch, his father, and his grandfather. The photos are so great, and so plentiful, that I had to break them down into thumbnails. If you click on the thumbnails they will expand into full sized photos. Unfortunately I do not have names to go with these photos, so like always… please feel free to enlighten us in the comments section.

This first bunch of photos are of a fire department inspection held on south main st. They would have council members and the mayor along with other chiefs from neighboring fire depts inspect the members and equipment of the fire department.

This second second batch are two seperate actual fire action shots…

These pictures are of a wet down for fire company #1’s new fire engine, and chiefs car. The fire engine is still in service at #1 and responds to many calls yet. I know the engine is a 1979 so I would assume the car is around the same year. And the wet down was held close to that time also.

And then a couple awesome shots from a firehouse fund raiser…

And finally one last shot of the #2 Firehouse

Thank you so much to the Chris Gluch, and the Gluch family for submitting these photos. This is a truly great collection, great action shots, historically relevant, and incredible quality of photos. This is the best Fire Dept collection I’ve gotten up here yet. Just awesome.