Photo circa 1912 • Click photo to enlarge
Hello folks. So I’ve collected this photo looking down Main Street off of the former Weston-Manville train station, which used to sit next to the overpass going out of the south end of town at Kennedy Blvd. I actually don’t think this is a very good photo at all, but it’s a rare view and I wanted to feature it here for that reason. This photo is from Neal Ranauro’s archive and is dated “circa 1912″ This is pretty crazy because Johns Manville was just breaking ground on their first building in 1912, and while you can see the Weston Garage up the road there on the left… Manville wasn’t even an official town yet, and wouldn’t be for another 17 years. If you are unfamiliar with the Manville-Weston Station you can read one of the many posts I’ve written about it HERE. But just so you can get your bearings here is the reverse view, looking from Main Street up at the station, which is that building right in the middle at the top of the hill. I feel like this one gives you a good look at where the photographer may have been standing when he took the first one. I believe the two photos are from the same day in 1912.
This second photo has been featured on this blog before… but these are priceless early Manville photos!
Photo circa 1912 • Click photo to enlarge
Hey everyone. It’s been a long time since we got in a digitally archived issue of the old Manville News. I feel like after wrapping up the entire 1941 year I even needed a break from those things, but the show must go on. This here is issue is January 2, 1942.
If you are new to this blog… a few years ago I acquired a 3 year pile (1941-1943) of the Manville News, which has no relation to the current Manville News. I have since been digitizing them as they contain a lot of valuable information including lots genealogical info. To my knowledge these issues are not and have never been previously available anywhere else. The issues are downloadable and fully searchable.
You can view and download this issue by clicking the following link. Manville News 01-02-1942
If you need to look at earlier issues you can just click Newspaper archive button on the right side of the page.
So when I started this blog back in 2009 I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to make things the right size, how to crop, or how to allow enlargements on the photos. Also, the category field has grown so much things are not appropriately tagged anymore. Since there was a tiny following as compared to now, and considering how expansive this site has gotten I thought all the newcomers may enjoy a little curation of old posts. So I decided to start going back and fixing the old ones, updating the photos and category tags as well to make them easier to find and reposting links. I started with one of my favorite ones… the construction and opening of the Main Street underpass. This was a crucial and landscape altering construction project that happened starting around 1949, and fortunately Johns Manville photographer Neal Ranauro captured some amazing photos of it all. Please visit (or revisit) the old post by clicking HERE. The photos are now cropped and available to view at about 5 times the size as they previously were. I hope you all enjoy, as there will be more similar updates on the way!
Above Photo by Neal Ranauro • Click Photos to Enlarge
So something interesting happened to me this morning. I was sorting through some photos and came across this one I’ve been ignoring. It was really crazy because I had this labeled as 13th ave crossing, but when I took a good look at it, it didn’t make any sense at all! The water tower is on the wrong side of the photo, and is facing the wrong way. In fact… after some careful examination I came upon a new Manville mystery. The 8th Ave railroad crossing.
The old water tower you see in the photo there was formerly located on the north side between 9th and 10th aves, which would seem to put this crossing on South 8th. This was all pretty crazy to me, since I was completely unaware that this existed so I popped open a google maps street view to investigate…
That is a shot of the end of South 8th next to the tracks looking from South Street (behind the VFW) Sure as hell looks like there used to be a crossing there huh?
UPDATE: According to some Manville folk testimony this crossing did exist on 8th Ave, and I think we’ve narrowed down the time period of that top photo to be sometime in the early 1930’s. While this is still speculation at this point, it’s a pretty good educated guess. I will update this post as more information comes at me.
Date unknown • Click photo to enlarge
I was just cataloging some photos in my external hard drive and found this excellent photo of 2 Manville police cars passing / sharing a moment under the old Weston Underpass. This would be before the road and bridge were rerouted, so this is the underpass that is currently filled in with dirt. (you can see my old post about it HERE) I’m not even sure who to credit for this photo, because I frankly forgot who sent it to me. I can’t believe I haven’t posted this one earlier given how cool it is. You can see the Esso station way back in the distance… love these old police cruisers too! So cool.
Manville Roller Rink • Click photo to enarge
So this is a great old Manville building that still exists at the outskirts of town. It’s now known as Rhythms of the Night and had previously had a stint as a dance club called The Yellow Rose. In the late 60’s it also spend some time as “The Hullabaloo” Here is a current era photo of Rhythms.
The Hullabaloo was also a dance club. Since we don’t have a photo of the place here is an incredible video of garage band “Witches Bru” playing there back in the day.
The truth is that I personally haven’t been inside this building since it was the local roller rink called the Crystal Roller Palace. In my era, The Crystal Roller Palace was a magical place straight out of an early 80’s cult teen coming of age action movie ala “Over the Edge”, where I was fortunate enough to be able cross the makeshift stone bridge across the local creek behind the place and rock the Joust arcade machine whilst listening to the latest Ozzy Osbourne track. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of the outside of the place, but there is a Facebook group dedicated to it. For illustrative purposes I stole this photo from it. I’m sure they won’t mind.
As this photo so perfectly illustrates, it was one of those great cultural watershed places in American small town living… and a great place to show off the latest long sleeve rock and roll T shirts. I suppose it had been for years prior. There was also of course, rollerskating, which somehow seemed to come second to the arcade for me… but I could do it. Well.
Before it was the Crystal Roller Palace, and before the Hullabualoo, it was still a roller skating rink, which I believe was just called “The Manville Roller Rink” and frankly I don’t know when it was constructed or when it opened. I do know from some old newspapers that it did exist at least as far back as 1941. Here is another really early photo of the place.
You can see it pretty much stayed the same except for an addition that was put on at some point. It’s a tragedy that those cool windows didn’t survive its metamorphosis over the years. Thanks to Carol Ascolese for these great old black and whites. These are definitely new to the site.