Once Upon A Time

Even though Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, 2015, are behind us now, I decided to check the Duquesne Times from 100 years ago. I wanted to gain some insight into how the holidays were celebrated and reported in 1915. What I discovered was an amazing chronicle of “life, the way it was,” reading more like a page from a Mark Twain book.

When you pick up a newspaper today, you’re confronted with accounts of war, terrorism, corruption and scandals. However, when I began to explore the January 1, 1915 issue of The Duquesne Times, was inspired as well as amused by the stories that were published.

I also was amazed at some of the feats that Duquesne’s citizenry accomplished in that era. For instance:

  • Did you know that Duquesne’s Community Christmas Tree in 1915 was 45 feet tall?
  • The 1st National Christmas Tree did not make its debut until 4 years later in 1923 AND was a mere 3 feet taller that Duquesne’s 1915 tree.
  • The Community Christmas Tree was not lit until Christmas Eve in 1915, not a month ahead of time.

Beyond the wonderful account of the holiday celebration, there were several other stories that I knew I had to share with you. From pigs to geese to a boy who parties a bit too much, here are a few articles I’m sure will put a smile on your face to start the New Year off right! – Enjoy!!

I really enjoyed seeing the picture below and reading the description of that very event as it occurred. Although the picture is dated 1915, the article following the photo was published one week later on New Year’s Day, 1915.


 I would chalk up the following story from the same 1/1/1915 edition of the Duquesne Times on a slow news day, but the paper was full of similar lighthearted fare. Sure beats  reading about ISIS!

Silly Goose



 Obviously, the use of today’s politically correct terms for handicapped people was not an issue in 1915. Its a good thing some things have changed for the better.

Here’s another wonderful article from the Times. I can just imagine what this must have looked like when it happened.

Hog Wild pIC

Hog Wild On a slightly more serious side, here’s an account of a young man who apparently “partied like it was 1999!”



Oh, the joy of youth!!

Now, to report on yet another newsworthy item:

Chicken Heist



An so, as businesses, and especially schools gear up to start anew after the holidays, the following cartoon from page one of the Duquesne Times about sums it up.I hope you all have a FANTASTIC Holiday Season!!!! Happy New Year my friends!

All Over




This entry was posted in Christmas Memories, Duquesne History, Hunky Celebrations, Life in General, Wintertime. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Once Upon A Time

  1. Lisa Morrow says:

    Are any of these newspapers available to read somewhere. I would love to read them in “free” time. My family grew up in Duquesne/Mifflin area in the 20s 30s 40s.

  2. Barry Long says:

    JIM: Happy New Year & thanks for the memories plus all the effort you put out lest we forget our history.

  3. Connie says:

    Thanks again. You always seem to put a smile on so many faces. Have a wonderful New year.

  4. Susi Davis says:

    Thank you so much for the articles and taking the time to do this! I totally enjoyed the stories!

  5. Merle Pastrick Linn says:

    My grandparents lived at 51 Mill Street until 1928 so I am sure they knew of this story. I can just imagine them answering the door and being asked about a boy named Mike. My uncle was named Mike and about the right age, but I am sure he would not have been involved. I bet it was quite the topic of conversation among the foreigners “below the tracks” when it all happened. Thanks so much for a glimpse of the glorious past of our fair city! Happy New Year!

    • Karen Rosbough says:

      Hi Merle,
      I am researching my family tree and found my great grandparents living at 51 Mill St in 1910! I found your comment with a Google search of the address. Not sure how long they lived there. I know my grandmother was born in Duquesne in 1916, but I don’t know if she ever lived in Mill St. A lot of her childhood was spent in Johnstown. Would be funny if our relatives were housemates!

  6. Samuel Lee Cowell says:

    It was great to read in the 1st part of that article that back in “The Day” America took care of her own. It greatly saddens me that America has fallen a considerable degree in that effort. Now the “Powers that Be” feel it more important to spend and send billions of our dollars to foreign countries who absolutely hate our guts and would gladly hurt us if they could, but do not hesitate to take our money, all while we do nothing to lift a finger to help our own people who deserve so much more than they are getting, namely our military, who are willing to lay down their lives for our freedoms. Truthfully, America should be ashamed, but it is sadly, not! I for one, would willingly lay down all we have today to go back to the “Good ole’ Days” we all dream and reminisce about. God Bless all of You in 2015!

  7. Suzanne Danko Filotei says:

    The news articles are a hoot! Thanks for keeping on keeping on for all of us! My parents lived below the tracks, if they only knew it would be prime property today to live on the water. They most likely knew these kids……Happy New Year

  8. Bob Chetmonitz says:

    Wonderful read, Jim! My grandfather, John Chermonitz, lived below the tracks in 1915. He would turn 11 on Jan 17, 1915. I wonder if he might have known the ten yr old drunk? Lol!!

  9. Claudia Repko Misage says:

    Fantastic,loved reading,actually out loud to my husband who is watching Dallas maybe lose, we can only hope. Those stories were great. My mom who was born on Mill Street in 1913 was only a babe in arms back then. She was number 12 out of 14…….. Oops better get back to the game. Thanks again Jim for all you do and did to keep us up to date on ” Our Town “!! Happy New Year to you and yours!! God Bless!! Claudia

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