Do you know your history of Pittston?

First Posted: 3/4/2014

Test your knowledge of Greater Pittston:

1. The Laurel Line railroad began operation on May 20, 1903. When did it have its final run?

2. What fire company was the first to be organized in Pittston?

3. Before Campbell’s Ledge, the rocky precipice located just above Harding was called what “timely” name?

1965 – 49 Years Ago

An article in the Sunday Dispatch announced the 25th anniversary of the Pittston City Hall building on Broad Street.

Here are some facts:

  • The former city hall was located on Water Street.
  • Plans for the new building were initiated on July 7, 1938.
  • Ground was broken on Nov. 10, 1938.
  • Pittston Mayor Kenneth English turned the first shovel of dirt assisted by John McIntyre of the street department.
  • J Harold Flannery spoke at the ceremony and later at the building dedication in 1940.
  • General contract was for $72,288; heating and ventilating $5,540; plumbing $3,585; electrical $2,670; furniture $6,484; carpets and drapes, $1, 043.
  • Councilmen during construction were Dr. S.C. Andaloro, Roy Meade, Olgert Pauxtis, Thomas Gallagher, Joseph Fitzpatrick, city clerk.
  • After completion, Sylvester Grablick and Joseph Walsh replaced Pauxtis and Gallagher as councilmen and Emerson Howley was city controller, Edward Moran chief of police, Thomas Newcomb, health officer and Harold Owens, fire chief.

1975 – 39 Years Ago

Chartered on March 13, 1947, the Greater Pittston Business and Professional Women’s Club celebrated its 28th anniversary. The charter meeting, held at the Elks Club, had over 100 ladies in attendance. In 1975, Margaret O’Boyle served as president. Past presidents were Sarah Thomas, Neva Uhlitz, Lydia Stanton, Stella Flynn Edythe Walsh, Mura Miller, Bertine Dobbie, Rose Bianco, Mary Collins, Evelyn Davies, Catherine Kirshon, Carolyn Clark, Marie Mack, Nadine Holleran and Rose Mitchell.

Members of the eighth grade girl’s championship basketball team at Wyoming Area Catholic School prepared to travel to Marywood College in Scranton to compete in a tournament that, if won, would catapult them into the state playoffs. Members of the team were Suzanne Christian, Juliann Ristagno, Mary Beth Ciarmatori, Liz Kelley, Marie Harzinski, Patti DeGuglielmo, Linda Rees, Jennie Golden, Gloria Morzal, Diane Insalaco, Jo Ann Rees, Debbie Gadomski and Patty Brannon.

1995 – 19 Years Ago

The Borough of Wyoming was designated Greater Pittston’s Tree City, USA, a title that only 12 other Northeastern PA cities or boroughs could claim in 1995. Sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation, only communities adhering to strict standards set by the organization were given the distinction.

Clint Spiegel, of the borough’s Shade Tree Commission and Martin Stahley, council president, submitted an application for the status in 1994.

The commission was responsible for planting over 150 trees in the community. Spiegel cited difficulties in maintaining the borough’s existing maple and oak trees and that new plantings should be smaller flowering or crab apple trees. Presently, according to the Arbor Day Foundation web site, West Wyoming has had the distinction for four years and West Pittston has been a tree city for ten years.The Foundation’s Tree City program began in 1976,

The Pittston Area Lettermen’s Club Award was created by the club to honor a Patriot football player who “overcame obstacles, showed special dedication, a commitment to the team concept and who’s efforts were under appreciated. In 1995, Mike Bratlee of Avoca was chosen by his coaches to receive the award. Head coach Sal Montagna said of Mike, “He fit the award perfectly.”

“I’m Feeling strong from over three months of training and I’ll do my part to make this an overwhelming success for the American Heart Assoc,” Lou Ciampi Jr.Sales Manager of Independent Graphics, Inc. said of his fund raising effort for the association. Ciampi’s goal was to raise $10,000 for the Luzerne County Division of AHA by jumping rope for three hours at the Odyssey Fitness Center in Wilkes-Barre. In his third year, he planned to top the previous year’s event which raised $8,000. According to the company web site, Ciampi continued to jump rope to raise funds for the organization until 2001, breaking his own record each year.


1.The Laurel Run had daily service between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton for almost 50 years. On New Year’s Eve 1952, passengers boarded the train for a final symbolic run. Shortly before midnight the engineer sounded the whistle one last time as the train passed through Pittston.

2. In 1857 the Pittston Hose Company No 1. was the first fire company organized in Pittston. In 1866, the name was changed to Eagle Hose Company No. 1.

3. Prior to being called Campbell’s Ledge, the 2800 foot high precipice, located just above Harding, was once known as Dial Rock. Settlers and Indian tribesmen knew the time of day by the shadow the rocky ledge cast.

In 1809, Scottish poet Thomas Campbell, published a narrative poem titled Gertrude of Wyoming which was set in the time of the Wyoming Valley Massacre. By most accounts the ledge is named in his honor, although local lore has it that a man named Campbell, while being chased by Indians, found himself trapped between the onslaught and the ledge. It was believed he jumped from the ledge to avoid being killed by the Indians.