Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084


The Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township meets regularly from April through November, with a presentation on a historical topic featured.

A variety of significant historical, educational and entertaining accounts are planned to present to HATT members and guests. Professional historians and experts present their areas of specialty that reveal the secrets of local, regional, national and even international histories. Although we have had to cancel our 2020 program line-up and have no programs yet scheduled for 2021,, we are leaving the program descriptions posted so visitors to our site can see the types of programs we have … and perhaps get a hint of programs to come when we resume our normal schedule. All of our programs are open to the public and free, with the exception of the annual dinner, for which there is a meal charge.

Meetings are held at Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Road, Pocono Pines, unless otherwise noted.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HATT’s meeting schedule and activities have been canceled.
We will resume our schedule when it will be safe for the community to do so.
In the meantime, check out all of the interesting stories and details on this website

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CANCELED — Thursday, April 9 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines

“The Silk Industry” by Martha Capwell-Fox

From 1913 to 1930, eastern Pennsylvania led the world in the production of woven and knitted silk goods. Dress fabric, stockings, gloves, umbrella silk, auto upholstery, ribbon, clerical vestments, casket liners, coverings for electrical cords and much more poured out of the commonwealth’s silk mills. How this happened is a fascinating story, weaving together many of Pennsylvania's natural, mineral, transportation and human resources.

Martha Capwell-Fox worked from time to time in her father’s silk mill, Catoir Silk Company, the last mill to operate in Allentown. Her presentation includes historic maps and photographs as well as a brief shot in her father’s mill in the late 1980s.

Martha Capwell-Fox returns for her fifth year at HATT. Martha is a graduate of American University, and is the archives and museum coordinator for the National Canal Museum in Easton. She has worked at National Geographic and Rodale as a senior editor, and has published seven books of historical content. She is a long-time resident of the Lehigh Valley.


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CANCELED — Thursday, May 14 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines
“The World-Wide Flu Epidemic of 1919,” by Ann O’Hara and Carol Dunn

The start of the Spanish influenza in 1918 spread into a global epidemic by 1919. With the Great War in process, millions of soldiers and civilians were on the move, whether to fight and support the war, or to avoid it as distraught, displaced refugees.

The characteristics of the flu, and its devasting effects that caused the death of millions, will be examined. Local and regional conditions will be discussed, including those “hot spots” and unscathed communities in Monroe County. Parallels to today’s coronavirus will also be considered.

Ann O’Hara retired as a senior vice president of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in New York City. She is a past president of the Wayne County Historical Society, a leader of the Wayne County Genealogy Group, a contributing member of the WCHS newsletter and co-author with the late Gloria McCullough of “Murder, Mayhem and Sundry Misadventures in Wayne County, Pennsylvania,” a collection of newspaper stories that prove the good old days were not so great.

Carol Dunn is a retired science teacher who has served as Wayne County Historical Society executive director in her five years of retirement. She enjoys the variety of research and projects that are always on-going at WCHS, and loves to work with the staff members and volunteers who assist WCHS to carry out its mission. No two days are the same!

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CANCELED — Thursday, June 11 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines
“Brady’s Lake Castle,” by Bill Leonard

Brady’s Castle was built at Brady’s Lake in Coolbaugh Township circa 1914 by ice harvesters under the direction of Edward T. Brady.

It was used as a home for the Brady family and as a boarding house during the ice harvest. In the late 1930s and 1940s, it was used for various public and Boy Scout functions.

Bill Leonard will give a presentation with photos and information about the castle and also some topics related to the castle: Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad, Brady’s Icehouse, Sparkling Spring and the Brady’s Lake Dam reconstruction.

Bill Leonard is a native of Tobyhanna, and has lived there all his life. His family, along with the Coolbaugh Township Historical Association, have held the Annual Tobyhanna Millpond #1 Ice Harvest since the Coolbaugh Township Bicentennial Celebration in 1994.

He serves on the board of the
Monroe County Historical Association and the Coolbaugh Township Historical Association.

Bill retired from the National Park Service as the deputy superintendent at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Before coming to the National Park Service, he was the facilities engineer at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering at the Pennsylvania State University.

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CANCELED — Thursday, July 9 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines
“The Murder of Theodore Brodhead,” by John Abel

In September 1868, the murder of a prominent citizen shattered the tranquility and enraged the citizens of Delaware Water Gap. After robbing a hotel owned by Thomas Brodhead, drifters William Brooks and Charles Orme attempted to flee the area but were apprehended by Thomas and his brother, Theodore. The encounter left Theodore dead and Thomas badly mauled. Brooks and Orme were taken into custody within hours. Hear of their escape, recapture, bungled execution and revelations 25 years later.

John Abel is a local history enthusiast, having researched and written many articles of history in Monroe County. He serves on the board of the Monroe County Historical Association and has conducted its History Challenge for county high school students. Both his book and his play of “The Murder of Theodore Brodhead” have been local hits. This is John’s second appearance at HATT.

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CANCELED — Thursday, August 20 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines
“The Life of David Wilmot” by Dr. William Lewis Jr.

During the pre-Civil War period, David Wilmot was a U.S. representative and senator from Northeastern Pennsylvania. Wilmot is famous for the “Wilmot Proviso,” the failed proposal to ban the expansion of slavery to western lands gained from the Mexican succession. Associated with the anti-slavery parties, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him to the U.S. Court of Claims in 1863.

Dr. William Lewis is a published local historian from the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton area. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a member of the board of the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, and past-president of the Luzerne County Historical Society. Dr. Lewis last spoke to HATT’s annual dinner in 2015 with a presentation on the sinking of the Titanic.

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CANCELED — Thursday, September 9 • 6:30 p.m.
Lake Naomi Club Clubhouse, 135 Miller Dr., Pocono Pines
“The Sinking of the Lusitania” by Rick Smith

Rick Smith became interested in the sinking of the Lusitania about 40 years ago, and has amassed a large collection of books, newspaper and magazine articles on the subject. Over the years, he read and researched the details of the sinking, the events that led up to that fateful day — May 7, 1915 — and the worldwide public outcry that followed.

Rick Smith is a local historian from Monroe County, and he and his wife, Kelley, live in Jackson Township. He graduated from Pocono Mountain High School in 1971 and received his bachelors and masters degrees from Wilkes University.

Rick retired from Sanofi Pasteur in Swiftwater in 2016 following 44 years of service. During that time, he also served as aPocono Mountain School director for 23 years. This will be Rick’s fifth presentation to HATT over the last 10 years.

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CANCELED — Thursday, October 8 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines
“The Dutch, the Munsee and the Quest for Copper,” by Frank Salvati

For more than 150 years, it has been asserted that Dutch miners had penetrated the Minisink region in about 1650 for the purpose of extracting copper ore from the Pahaquarry outcroppings along the northern Delaware River.

To transport the ore to Esopus (Kingston) and the Hudson River, the Dutch were said to have built a 104-mile long road over two mountain ranges and through virgin forests. All the while, the mine and road were surrounded by various Munsee bands of native Americans who were at war with the Dutch. The “old mine road” is known as America’s first commercial highway, and “the first for wheeled traffic.”

Frank Salvati returns for his fourth year at HATT. He has a commanding knowledge of colonial Indian affairs in northeastern Pennsylvania. His career with the Forensic Psychology Center for the state of New York has prepared him for his investigative studies. With his vast library of historical details, Salvati educates and entertains, rather than offering a dry history lesson.

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CANCELED — Thursday, November 12 • 5:30 p.m.
MONTHLY MEETING | Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Rd., Pocono Pines
“Women’s Suffrage and the 19th Amendment,” by Dr. Brian Alnutt

Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of women’s suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change in the Constitution – guaranteeing women the right to vote. Some suffragists used more confrontational tactics such as picketing, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Their efforts paid off when the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Brian Alnutt, Ph.D., returns for his eighth year at HATT as one of our most popular speakers. He is a professor of history at Northampton Community College. His personal focus is on North American history of the late 19th to mid-20th century. A native of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, he has lived tin he Lehigh Valley for more than 30 years.

Dick Cary
Larry Jarema
Ike Olsen
Pat Quigley
Rick Bodenschatz