KINGSTON — For World War II veteran Frank Steinberg, the Kingston Historical Society’s new project “brings back memories of two fine towns, Kingston and Forty Fort.”
Steinberg, 91, received a copy of “News and Views of Kingston and Forty Fort” at a recent historical society meeting to put with his original version of the booklet, purchased in 1946 while on leave from the European Theatre. He said the new edition is a faithful reproduction of the booklet that was first printed in 1945 and sent to community members stationed overseas during World War II.
The booklet’s pages are full of mid-1940s photos — churches since repurposed or demolished, still-standing institutional buildings including the Kingston Armory and photos of Kingston High School football games. Steinberg said the booklet brings back memories of community members and what he called “old haunts.”
“I remember the policemen, I remember a lot of the teachers,” Steinberg said. “And the movies, the Forty Fort movies and the Kingston movies, you don’t see that much anymore. And places we used to go. Barney’s and Carney’s, and Thomas’ in Forty Fort.”
“News and Views of Kingston and Forty Fort” was the project of four Kingston men who called themselves The ABCD Club — Clint Carey, Sid Pallitz, Tom Edwards and John Feeney. The group wanted to send local service members a piece of their hometown. The book was also available at local stores in the community and given to service member’s families.
“A group of men sitting around in a barber shop one day decided they wanted to do something to give to all of the servicemen so they could remember what they had at home,” said Kingston Historical Society Vice President Isabel Pisaneschi. “Why they were fighting, why they were over in Europe. Looking back, I’m not sure that was a good idea, to make them homesick.”
Members of the historical society want to do something for those service members too — they’re selling reprinted copies of the booklet for $5 (plus $2 if shipped) to raise money for a new, modest Kingston WWII memorial to hang inside a location to be determined.
The original memorial stood in front of Kingston’s Hoyt Library and displayed 2,500 names of WWII service members from the borough. The plans for the memorial called for marble, but paper was used due to budgetary constraints. The monument was torn down in the mid ’60s after the elements rendered it inadequate. The names listed weren’t preserved, so the historical society is piecing the list back together through historical documents including letters and newspaper articles.
“We got the first 1,500 very easily, but the next 1,000 is going to take some work,” Pisaneschi said. “We’re getting there.”
The society also receives names from the families of veterans at events like its recent lunchtime pop-up shop at Pierce Street Deli. The society plans to be at the deli’s 517 Pierce St., Kingston location again from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8, selling copies of “News and Views of Kingston and Forty Fort.” Those who can’t make it Dec. 8 can purchase a book by emailing [email protected] or calling 570-239-5040.