Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rolling Green Park, Selinsgrove Pa

Also Known As "The People's Playground"
In 1908 Guy Webster purchased 46 acres of land, to create a destination for the last stop of the trolley line. From 1908-1944 this was a popular spot, with bands, including Tommy Dorsey, performing almost every night.  A gradual decline in attendance and revenue lead the park to be sold.  From 1936-1966, the park was owned and managed by Roman M. Spangler of Red Lion.  It continued to operate after his death, but in 1972, the park was heavily damaged by Hurricane Agnes and never fully recovered. Real estate developer Luke E. Bogar Jr. purchased the park from the Spangler estate and turned it into a housing development.

The park was located off Route 15 on the Selinsgrove (strip) near Lowes, in back of the golf course & Dairy Queen. Park road still exists and is still a traveled road which once led to the park. N 40.8384181 W 076.8460802

Theatre At Rolling Green Park, Sunbury PA

The park's theater witnessed the talent and music of entertainers such as Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, George Jessel, Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy.

More Rich Details about Rolling Green Park By Gary Parks

Rolling Green Park served the area well, especially during the Great Depression and World War II. People would come and spend most of the day, taking advantage of the lake and shade from the natural groupings of trees which dotted the extensive landscape. In later years, of course, they would take advantage of the swimming pool. “We had metal swings for the kids,” recalls Beverly Search Curry, whose family managed several concessions within the complex.  “You could hear the kids swinging on them. As soon as you heard that, we ran down the hill as fast as we could to collect the nickel fee,” she recalls.  
Curry is perhaps the most vivid “memory” of Rolling Green Park: she is the only person known to have been born in the park. Curry’s family lived at Rolling Green year-round in one of the cottages. Not only was her grandfather the stage manager for the theater, her grandmother sold tickets and her mother was an usher. “It was a wonderful time growing up.  I would fall asleep listening to the bands playing music. There were rocking chairs lining the dance floor -- one side was for the dancers, the other row of rockers was for the watchers.” 
It was a rich upbringing, too. “I had umpteen babysitters,” Curry continues. “There were performers of all nationalities and so I grew up never knowing prejudice. The performers brought their children, most of whom couldn’t speak English. My grandmother admonished me not to pester them.”
Other amusements 
With the increase in automobile ownership, area residents began to seek out other amusement parks–Hershey Park, for instance. A gradual decline in attendance and revenue led to the sale of Rolling Green Park in 1935 to four investors. For approximately a year, Roman M. Spangler, Sr., of Red Lion, managed the park for the new owners. Spangler assumed ownership of the park one year later. He continued to own and manage the park until his death in 1966. The park continued to operate for several years, but by 1971 it had closed. 
Hurricane Agnes, in 1972, did extensive damage to the park and it was apparently felt that the park would never regain its former patronage. Real estate developer Luke E. Bogar, Jr., purchased the park from the Spangler estate and eventually sold the rides on an individual basis. The merry-go-round, sold for $18,000, is now enjoyed at Wonderland, Ocean City, New Jersey. The dark ride is incorporated into Knoebels Amusement Resort’s haunted mansion ride. A large model of the Rolling Green Park, produced in intimate detail by Robert Troutman is installed at the Snyder County Historical Society in Middleburg and can be enjoyed by visitors as renovations to its buildings are completed.  

Found On Ebay

Shamokin News-Dispatch
Shamokin, Pennsylvania
Tue, Jun 7, 1938 – Page 9

The Old Sled Works posted this on facebook:

Another interior arcade image from 1941. This is one of my favorite photos in our collection. It's from the former Rolling Green Park near Selinsgrove, PA., about 40 miles North of Duncannon. Unfortunately, park is long gone. I bought it years ago from an author who had a wonderful collection of original images he used in many of his reference books. I was able to purchase a number of them before he died.

A quick glance reveals some late 30's/ early 40's pinball machines, several penny postcard vendors, punching bag machine, a white scale and a large shooting gallery. Many of my arcade collecting friends would enjoy a chance at buying most of these relics.

And when was the last time you saw kids so well dressed in an arcade? Today, you're lucky if kids even have pants on.

The Express 
(Lock Haven, Pennsylvania)
7 Dec 1967, Thu • Page 4

The People's Playground, later and better known as Rolling Green Park, was one of the area's most popular hot spots of its day. Those who remember the park might recall not only its dance pavilion but the crystal ball that hung above it.

Now in the care of the Snyder County Historical Society Museum, the crystal ball was donated to the Society by Dawn L. Youngs on March 3, 2002.

And beneath the crystal ball, housed in a large 7-foot glass case, lays an elaborate reproduction of this park, carefully constructed with the finest details. The artist who created this menagerie was Robert Troutman, of Selinsgrove. His family generously donated this to the society on Feb. 14, 1989.

The history of The Peoples Playground goes back a long way.

In 1907 a trolley line was constructed to run from Selinsgrove via Hummels Wharf, Shamokin Dam and into Sunbury. It was then that Guy Webster, president of the York Bridge Company, realized that potential trolley-riders needed a reason to travel on the trolley. In 1908, approximately 46 acres of land was purchased for $9,841.66 with the idea of a park as the trolley's last stop.

During the first quarter of the 20th century, the People's Playground's rapid growth fueled the need for a new name, to be chosen through a contest. Mrs. Charles Kissinger, of Lewistown, dubbed it Rolling Green Park for which she received a $25 cash reward.

From 1908-1944 a vast line-up of entertainment which featured well-known bands such as Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Rogers and Fletcher Henderson were held virtually every night and on Saturday nights, accompanying the music, were fireworks. The park's theater witnessed the talent and music of entertainers such as Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, George Jessel, Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy.

Later on, the theater became the fun house with a slowly turning barrel exit. Other popular rides were the tilt-a-whirl, the carousel and the Giant Twister roller coaster. Unfortunately, a gradual decline in attendance and revenue led to the sale of Rolling Green Park in 1935. In 1936, Roman M. Spangler Sr., of Red Lion, assumed ownership and managed the park until his death in 1966. The park continued to operate for several years, but by 1972, Hurricane Agnes did extensive damage to the park and it was felt the park would never regain its former patronage.

Real estate developer Luke E. Bogar Jr. purchased the park from the Spangler estate. The land is now the site of Rolling Green Acres, a housing development.

The Snyder County Historical Society Library has a wealth of information and pictures regarding Rolling Green Park. A model of the park and its crystal ball can be viewed during museum hours. The library also has for sale "Snyder County: Postcard History Series" by Jim Campbell in which he devotes an entire chapter to Rolling Green Park. The price is $19.95.

-- Jane Kessler is the librarian at the The Snyder County Historical Society, which is located at 30 E. Market St., Middleburg. Library hours are Thursdays and Fridays 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sundays 1:30-4:30 p.m., weather permitting. Also, visit and view "Items for Sale." For more information call 837-6191.

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
5 May 1932, Thu • Page 10

These photos were posted on facebook, on the group "Vintage Sunbury" (These pictures make me think of Knoebels Amusement park)

In 1980, a friend loaned me a stack of 8×10 glossies which I copied. These photos were taken about 1960 by an unknown photographer. (They may have been posted before.) Recently I found my copies and decided to share them with this site.


"Just" $1600 -
Offered for consideration is a huge dartboard game sign from the original Rolling Green Park (aka The People's Playground) of Hummels Wharf, Pennsylvania (Selinsgrove). It measures 72" x 36" and is in good condition without any major or excessive damage or wear to the wood-constructed frame and pressed board game piece. There are the obvious dart holes from a lot of play wear though. The "Poky the Clown" graphics and sign lettering/colors were done by Grignard Litho Co of New York. The park opened in 1908 and was closed in 1971. This is a one-of-a-kind sign from the park which makes it a rare piece.

"Charlie the Clown was an antique prop from Rolling Green Park in Sunbury, PA that had been passed down in my Family over a few generations. I believe after researching it, that he was most likely sculpted by Van Olkon of Animated Display Creators of Miami."

More  -

Monday, February 8, 2016

Large Parade Celebrates the completion of the Road between Turbotville & Danville Pa

240 cars, and 2,500 people came out to celebrate the opening of the new road between Danville and Turbotville.  The Danville Band, Boy Scout Drums, and Bugle and Levites School of Music took part, on the beds of trucks, in the parade.

The parade formed in Turbotville, with cars joining in at Washingtonville, and a contingent from Elysburg and Mt Carmel joined in.

The Rev Mr Clark welcomed the crowd to Turbotville, declaring the day inwich dreams came true.  He predicted the road would bring neighbors closer. 

It took 5 years to complete the 2.6 mile stretch, which included 4 bridges - one 38 foot span across the Chillisquaque creek, and three 12 foot bridges.

In 1930 6 miles from Washingtonville towards Turbotville was built for $200,000.
In 1928 a two mile section from Turbotville to the Susquehanna Trail was built, at a cost of $100,000. In 1927 two miles from Washingtonville to Danville was built at a cost of $84,000.

The Morning News
Danville, Pennsylvania
Thu, Jul 27, 1933 – Page 1

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
27 Jul 1933, Thu • Page 1

The new road was heralded as  a "shortcut from Williamsport to Philadelphia"

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
13 Jul 1933, Thu • Page 1

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
18 Jul 1933, Tue • Page 1

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chillisquaque Presbyterian Church, Burnt By Indians

In 1778 the Revolutionary War was well under way.  Native Americans in north and central Pennsylvania allied with the Loyalists, and were devastating small communities along the susquehanna river.  Most of the settlers fled their homes and relocated to Fort Augusta, while the Indians burn their  houses and farms to the ground.  

I do not know the exact date that the Chillisquaque Presbyterian church was burnt, but we do know it was the same year of the battle at nearby Fort Freeland, and it appears to have been the result of the same conflict.

"By 1779 Northumberland County was on the edge of the American frontier and Native Americans who sided with the British during the war had brought the conflict to local settlers. George Washington had ordered Major General John Sullivan to invade the Iroquoian homeland in order to relieve the pressure on the frontier, but before he could complete his campaign, attacks were made in New York and Pennsylvania in hopes that Sullivan would divide his force and make his army a less formidable foe to the Iroquois."

The paragraphs below are from a sermon by H.G Finney, originally preached in 1876, and so far they hold the most information I could find on the church being burnt to the ground.

"Imagination cannot conceive the perils with which the early settlers of this country were surrounded. Never could they have a consciousness of security safe throw trust in the Lord of hosts. The vast forest which surrounded them on all sides with a working place of the savage treacherous treacherous merciless Indian. Any hour of the night or when the day in overpowering numbers they might be upon them. When leaving home they could hardly ever be sure it would not be to find upon returning their wives and children put to the scalping knife or which was perhaps even worse scary captive by the savages and their homes and ashes. When they enjoyed the sharing precious privilege of meeting in their little church for worship or when they went out into their little stuffy field to read their small crop they must take their rifles along for defense against the scalp king Evil Joe.  Time came when the ever present danger seem so greatly to increase that they had to leave their homes and fleet of one of the small for which the government head cause to be constructed along the river. Probably it would be to Ford Augusta at Sunbury that seems to have been the strongest one among in them.

One of the fathers of mine yesterday tells me that his own maternal grandparents mr. And mrs. Session while sleeping with their bad for safety to one of their forwards were overtaken by some Indians. The child was killed his wife was left as it was supposed dead. And Mr Dawson was taken captive. Some friends found her lying there still alive. They took her to Fort Augusta. She recovered her husband some years after work either escaped or was exchanged infirmity years after where they lived as members of this church. Another father among us tells me that grandfather and grandmother Curry were riding along a path through the woods on the other side of Montour Ridge when attacked by some savages. First two sources shot and he has murdered and scalped. Soon after her horse made with similar fate and she is caught and lead away over the mountain several miles distant. But the following night she escapes and reaches her little home the next morning where her little children, the eldest seven, had stayed alone. He knows nothing of such experience.

One day of one of the years of the war the sad news started through the congregation that their church was in ashes. A company of cowardly Indians and set it on fire. The people that work hard in their property to get it. It was yet new. It was a precious place the house of God to more than a few of the people. Tears were shed as I told and heard a sad story. That's where they called the passed through many changes and trials. For years they were without any building. During those years of war sacrifice and suffering it is likely they had but little preaching. Whenever a minister did make the perilous journey through the woods to give them a day is preaching they would meet and worship there among the trees."


Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
11 Sep 1937, Sat • Page 5

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
22 Aug 1930, Fri • Page 1

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Exchange Bank Robbery, October 1931

The Morning News , (Danville, Pennsylvania), 
30 Oct 1931, Fri • Page 1

I came across this photo in the booklet Old Photos Of Montour County Pa, at the Montgomery House Library in McEwensville. The book gave no further explanation, so I did a little research, which is shown below.

On October 30 1931, three unmasked bandits robbed the Exchange Bank, in Exchange, Montour County PA, of $1100.  

Two men were arrested in Tioga County, they were similar in description to the robbers,and were driving a blue oakland sedan, similar to the one used in the robbery.  James Dennen, the cashier who was bound during the robbery, could not identify the men, so they were released.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
2 Nov 1931, Mon • Page 1

The bandits had lived for a few days in the dense woods on a farm owned by McCarty, in the Northern end of Northumberland County PA.
The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
16 Nov 1931, Mon • Page 1

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
20 Nov 1931, Fri • Page 3

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
8 Feb 1932, Mon • Page 1
The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
9 Feb 1932, Tue • Page 1

I do not know where the Allenwood bank was/is located.  A July 26 1932 article in the Morning News tells us that the assets were bought by the Watsontown National Bank.  It says that the Allenwood bank was established in the "horse and buggy days, when it was practically necessary in order to carry on business of the community to have a bank near the center of the community."

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
10 Feb 1932, Wed • Page 1

Two women are linked to the Allenwood & Exchange Robberies. Two women picked up the men after they hid the car in Orangeville.  Fred Ungard, the postmaster and Allenwood merchant followed the bandits as far as Blue Ball where he grave up the chase. One of the men had fired a gun at him.

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
11 Feb 1932, Thu • Page 2

The Allenwood Bank robbery & Exchange Bank Robbery are believed to be committed by the same bandits. (and they were correct - the Shooks were the primaries in both)
The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
11 Feb 1932, Thu • Page 1

When the Wilkes Barre Bank robbers were caught, James Brennen, and a cashier from the Allenwood bank that was also robbed, went to Wilkes Barre to see if they were the same bandits that robbed them,but they were not.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
19 Feb 1932, Fri • Page 1

Reuben & Luther Shook, John Maley & Floyd Hoover confess to robbing the Allenwood & Exchange banks. They were planning to rob the banks at Picture and Laporte.

The Wilkes-Barre Record 
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
6 Apr 1932, Wed • Page 1

The Allenwood bank was robbed February 8 1932.  Floyd Hoover helped Reuben & Luther Shook with the Allenwood robbery, John Maley was not involved at Allenwood, he was only the driver for the Exchange robbery.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
7 Apr 1932, Thu • Page 1

Luther paid his $80 fine, for destroying light stands in a car accident in Williamsport, with the stolen money.  Luther Shook was married a month after the first robbery, on Thanksgiving day, to a 16 year old girl.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
9 Apr 1932, Sat • Page 1

Reuben Shook, who was partially deaf, had trouble hearing the questions in court, his son would repeat them to him.  Reuben testified that it was his suggestion that they rob the bank. He  testified that Luther Shook was his only child, and that his wife was still living. He was employed by Neyhards Hardware Company, Williamsport Pa
He was in jail March 1-June 3 1930, for violation of the Voistead Act.

The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was enacted to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment, which established prohibition in the United States.

Luther's 16 year old wife, married just 4 months earlier, was in the court room.

John Krouse, a neighbor, often talked of robbing the Exchange Bank. He was in the penitentiary for another crime at the time of the trail.

Reuben testified that his son Luther broke two light stand in Williamsport, and was fined $82.  They did not have the money for the fine, so they decided to rob the Exchange bank for the money to pay the fine. Krouse was away from home, but John Maley was at the Shook place, and agreed to drive the car.

The first time they drove up to the bank they lost their nerve.

The second time, Luther Shook tied up the clerk, Maley remained in the car.  When fleeing the bank, Reuben said Maley drove 55 and 60 miles an hour.  Shook became nervous, and asked to drive, saying he knew the roads better.  Shook drove at 40-45 miles per an hour.

The three men divided the loot, and returned to the Shook residence.

Note - "Dark Moleskin pants"appear,from a google search,to be what we think of as Docker style pants.  "Red Mackinaw" is what we refer to as "Woolrich Plaid" - the typical red and black plaid.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
13 Apr 1932, Wed • Page 1 & 6

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
15 Apr 1932, Fri • Page 1

Samuel Fischer of Montoursville purchased $200 from John Maley, one of the Exchange Bank Robbers, and took it to New York to launder it.
Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
21 Apr 1932, Thu • Page 1

Luther Shoop is arrested again in 1940. He was sentenced 10-20 years for the Exchange Bank Robbery, but was released on parole in 1938, 7 years after the robbery.  In 1940, he committed another robbery.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
22 Jan 1940, Mon • Page 1


Reuben Henry Shook was the son of Henry H. & Mary Anna Shook.  He was the grandson of Jacob & Mary Snyder Shook.
He married Mabel Weller.
He died on May 2 1980 in Florida, age 87.

Luther Delay Shook was born December 8 1912 to parents Reuben Henry & Mabel (Weller) Shook.
In 1925 he lived at 1525 High St, Williamsport Pa
He married a 16 year old girl in 1931.
He was listed as divorced in 1940, when he was in the Penitentiary in Philadelphia.
Luther Died December 12 1967 and is buried in Lycoming County Pa.