Keep up with weekly happenings in and around northern Blair County with “Local Intelligence,” a commentary from The Daily Herald’s General Manger, Chris Lash. Chris will give insight on the events that shape our area every Friday. “Local Intelligence,” a service of The Daily Herald.
The Tyrone, Tipton, Bellwood map project is almost complete and will arrive in your Daily Herald officially next Saturday, February 8. I want to thank again the many area businesses who made this possible and assure you that most of them will have extra copies to be picked up if you want to send to family members and former residents. Whew! This was a lot of work, but is going to really be a nice piece that you can even frame.
Besides learning all the roads, alleys, streets, routes and by passes while putting the map project. I also spent time learning more of Tyrone’s history. Let me attempt to dazzle you with some of what I learned. The current population of Tyrone is 5,528 and spans an area of 1.4 square miles. Organized in 1850, Tyrone was originally called “Eagleville”, “Shorbsville” and even “Tyrone City”. Tyrone of course became a railroad town instead of an iron industrial town and they of course made history with the paper mill. Thanks to the Tyrone Historical Society who makes putting together our historic projects so simple.
I’m currently talking with PENNDOT about the projects and funding involving the roads in Tyrone. On Pennsylvania Avenue and on 10th street coming off of I-99 there are some bumps and potholes, that at times makes my SUV shake to the point that I think a tire is going to fall off. As spring draws a little closer, lets hope that the PENNDOT projects for the borough get started. From what I’ve read from meeting notes, the funding is there to pave the streets in this community. So let’s get them started!
Next Saturday on 1340 WTRN radio the annual TACO radio auction hits the airwaves. Broadcasting live from our new Pennsylvania Avenue offices, Cary Simpson will lead the charge and your bidding on some great products. The donated items are currently being displayed in the window of Attorney Ned Newlin’s office in downtown Tyrone. These type of radio auctions started in Pennsylvania. A broadcaster by the name of Charles M. Erhard of Punxsutawney started what would become a state wide project when he did the first Rotary radio auction on 1540 WPME radio. Charlie of course claimed this to me and since I always respect my radio elders I’m reporting it as he told it to me.
It’s Groundhog Day….again! This Sunday, Punxsutawney Phil will again make his official prognostication live at Gobblers Knob. Let me give you some more history on one of this countries longest running winter traditions. Groundhog Day started in Germany and was known as Candlemas Day. Badgers were actually used at this February second celebration to forecast the weather and to be eaten. German residents traveled to the homes by horse or by foot of their neighbors for a half way through winter party. Cabin fever was an actual disease and Candlemas Day was a short break from a long hard winter. When German settlers started arriving in Pennsylvania, they continued the celebration and picked the Groundhog as its official mascot. Gobblers Knob has several pieces of history behind the name. My favorite is the fact that residents got together and GOBBLED down groundhog meat as part of the celebration that winter was almost over. On Sunday with the television cameras on and 30,000 people or more in the crowd, Phil will do it again. In 114 years he has only not seen his shadow eleven times. But to study the science of Groundhog day is to miss the point. It’s a celebration on the exact half way point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. And with my ten years as a member of the Punxsy Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, I’ve learned its great for Pennsylvania, great for the people in attendance and its supposed to be stupid. I predict that Phil will say “six more weeks of winter” on Sunday. So I have a back up plan. My wife and I are leaving for Florida next Friday. This column will take two weeks off and I look forward to some sunshine.
Have a great weekend and Happy Groundhog Day! Scocakaplee to all of you. Which is groundhogese for “Have a great day”!!