Welcome to the Kingston High School
50th Anniversary Reunion Site
Kingston and Area Today -- Snapshots

Welcome to the Kingston and Area Today page where I've gathered a number of snapshots of the town and region for you. They're a bit mixed up but I've put the familiar areas first and spread out to the region including a number of Harvey's Lake where I now live.

Page on and remember how it used to be when you see today's views. I'm directing the writeups to those classmates who have not had an opportunity to visit recently. I hope you come back.

Here are Kingston and its public places.

Karl Rittinger ('58) sent me this picture of the old KHS building from another perspective. The picture displayed is a small piece of the real picture. Click on the picture to see all the way to the Hoyt Library (before it lost it's roof) and the Maple Street School. KHS-arial.jpg (486x239; 8620 bytes)
KingstonOverTheRiver.jpg (486x239; 8620 bytes) This is a view of the town today from the cliff across the river near General Hospital. It's a fine morning fog over all. Westmoor is in sunlight and the high rise at Kingston Corners is about a third of the way from the left.
Kingston Borough Hall at Christmas. Yes, that's snow. dscf0140_tn.jpg (300x241; 17499 bytes)
DorrancetonBank.jpg (405x304; 18580 bytes) The fancy brickwork on the corners of the Dorranceton Bank across from Stull Brothers and Goodwin Auto (now both gone) was done by wife Mary Louise's father. As a result we had an affection for this building.
The original part of this building was one of my favorite places. My car crazed friends liked the American Auto next door. The store came down after the 1972 flood and the Hoyt Library built an extension. This winter of 2007 the snow on the roof wiped out the new part and it's now being repaired. hoytlibrary2005_tn.jpg (300x225; 15702 bytes)
KingstonBank.jpg (405x305; 15758 bytes) They don't build banks like they did in the past. I was always in awe of this building and the Mary Poppins bank scene brought me back to this place. One of the James brothers ran this place and the other was a Florist.
The Armory was another magic place for me. The Shrine Circus and the Parade of Progress here every year. The Barons playing baseball in Artillery Field and an inch of snow when we played Coughlin on Thanksgiving for the Coal Trophy one year. My grandfather was a member in the 109th Artillery Band marching in all the parades down Market Street. Arrmory.jpg (405x225; 87209 bytes)
TudorShops.jpg (405x297; 113784 bytes) The Dorranceton end of the class, my late wife included, hung out here.
Last year the First Ward classmates accused me of ignoring them so I did a bunch of photos over across the tracks. One of us commented that she didn't know where the First Ward was but the kids from there had more snow on their coats when they got to school. Here's where they come from. ZerbyHD.JPG (1280x960; 325474 bytes)
NesbittNursing.jpg (405x293; 19080 bytes) The only part of Nesbitt which is recognizable is the Nursing Home. A lot of our classmates went here for their post-high-school education.
Yes, this one is quite a bit north of the borough line but it seems to have been very much a part of the Kingston High experience in the '50s. Whether the "Victory Pig" pizza or the "Grotto" pizza at Harvey's Lake was better was more of an issue than politics. Even today the Class of '56 is hotly divided on the pizza issue. victorypig_tn.jpg (202x261; 9130 bytes)

Now for Kingston's Schools

I tried to get all the school sites we went to in Kingston, starting with the High School. Unfortunately, Agnes did a number on the schools in 1972 and both my elementary schools were torn down.
KHS-Winter2005-A.jpg (405x304; 80252 bytes) Here's a shot of our Alma Mater in winter the way it really was. Cold, wet feet and no days off due to snow. Coming from Westmoor I never got to see this side of the building but the snow was just as deep in the back of the building.

This shot was taken on March 1, 2005 while I was on my way to work. The storm dropped about ten inches on us.

This picture taken in July 2006 was closer to what we saw on graduation day. Except for the fact it is now a middle school it sure looks the same. The Class of 1956 arranged a tour of the building for their reunion. KHS-July06_tn.JPG (300x225; 13119 bytes)
NE-KHS_tn.JPG (300x400; 14493 bytes) NW-KHS_tn.JPG (300x400; 15658 bytes) Did anyone read the panels on the front and back of the school? Here's your chance. >/td>
The school with the best view is the Vocational/Technical High School up on Pringle Hill. VoTech_tn.JPG (300x157; 6348 bytes)
Rutter_tn.JPG (300x233; 14435 bytes) Rutter Avenue was the pride and joy of the community as Dorranceton High School. It was closed in 1972 and remained an ugly blot on the neighborhood until this decade. It was finally razed and replaced by town houses in 2006.
Pringle Street was the elementary school for the First Ward. It has been as hardy as the students and is still in use. PringleSchoolHD.JPG (1280x960; 329710 bytes)
Schuyler_tn.JPG (300x225; 13780 bytes) Schuyler Avenue was the school Mary Louise attended after she moved to Kingston in sixth grade. It wasn't a big move, just across the tracks from Luzerne.
Chester Street was "middle school" for the kids north of Market Street who started out at Loveland Avenue as well as their own lower grades from the East side of the West Side. Chester2_tn.JPG (300x225; 12525 bytes)
Church1_tn.JPG (300x225; 20184 bytes) Church Street was the place for neighborhoods bordering Forty Fort but the school is no longer there. At least today's kids have a nice playground. The original piller and fence does remain.
My first public school was Loveland Avenue. It no longer exists but memories of a segregated playground remain. Heaven help the boy who trespassed on the "GIRLS SIDE" of the playground. He got punished three times; once by the girls, once by the teasing from the boys and a third time from the teachers. Now it's a row of town houses. Loveland_tn.JPG (300x225; 18907 bytes)
Main_tn.JPG (300x225; 10987 bytes) My "middle school" was Main Street. The approved path was to walk down Market Street to Kingston Corners and turn left. It was the original Kingston High School before Kingston and Dorranceton merged. It's now a parking lot.
Maple Avenue was the midtown school for the West side of the West Side across Wyoming Avenue. It's now school offices. Maple_tn.JPG (300x225; 14500 bytes)
DorothyTurner.jpg (324x432; 9413 bytes) FamousHead.jpg (172x190; 4704 bytes) As much an institution as the buildings was the Faculty. Miss Dorothy Turner was still driving at 94 in 2005 when I took these photos at the Eisteddfod in Edwardsville. None of the class of '56 recognized the back of the head which I told them they had seen "at least a thousand times" while she played the organ. They all know her when I posted the face and many shared their feelings for her. She and other teachers still around were invited to the KHS-56 reunion as honored guests.

Here are some of the town's churches, primarily First Ward.

Sorry, I'm still working on the census of churches. There are a lot in Kingston and I ran out of good weather last year.

AnnunciationHD.JPG (960x1280; 309323 bytes) Annunciation
Saint Hedwig Hedwig3.jpg (960x1280; 101614 bytes)
Hedwig2.jpg (1280x960; 123530 bytes) Saint Hedwig School
Saint John StJohnHD.JPG (1280x960; 322768 bytes)
StVladHD.JPG (1280x960; 318521 bytes) Saint Vladimar
Saint Ignatius StIgnatius_tn.JPG (300x400; 26515 bytes)

April 2005 Flood

All the snow received in 2005 resulted in a big melt. It was deep enough to cover Nesbitt Park between Market and Pierce Streets where the Boy Scouts used to camp. With the help of a couple inches of rain the Susquehanna River rose to 22+ feet on April 3, 2005. Agnes reached 42 feet in 1972. It got to 39 feet in August 2004 as the hurricane came through River At Market Street
cityacrosstheflood_tn.jpg (300x225; 15862 bytes) A wider view showing Wilkes Barre on the far bank.
The levees (we never called them that) were raised after the 1972 flood but they couldn't raise the bridge. Here's the steel bulkhead wall they put across Market Street to hold back the water. They put it up the first weekend of April "just in case". What a lousy April Fool's joke. marketstbridgebulkhead_tn.jpg (300x225; 10369 bytes)
closeupofbulkhead_tn.jpg (300x225; 12801 bytes) A closer look at the bulkhead. It's about eight feet tall and a large crane is used to put it up and take it down. It would certainly make it harder for us to get to the Teen Canteen or the CYO if it were there in the fifties.
A picture showing the near side of the river and how high up the bank the water was. nesbittpark_tn.jpg (300x225; 11591 bytes)
piercestbridge_tn.jpg (300x225; 14982 bytes) Looking north we can see the Pierce Street Bridge beyond Nesbitt Park.

Here are pictures of the surrounding area

Old industry adapted to new purposes without hiding the old. Peeking above the old brewery is a modern office tower where the Social Security offices and a US Postal Service data processing center are located. Stegmaier.jpg (371x257; 15165 bytes)
Valley&Huber.jpg (405x304; 13111 bytes) The last standing breaker. The current fight is whether to tear it down or to preserve it as a historical site.
The row of windmills on the mountains above Wilkes Barre is the latest source of energy in this historic center of energy. Windmills1-1.jpg (648x226; 5872 bytes)
DSCF0781.JPG (2048x1536; 875592 bytes) I'm working at the Department of Energy and one of their "Clean Coal" initiatives is heralded by this sign just off Interstate 81 outside Frackville. The concept is to turn CULM into DIESEL FUEL. We have six billion tons of anthracite culm to contribute.
Way out at the western end of Luzerne County is the beautiful Ricketts Glen State Park. Fifty feet from Route 118 is this waterfall so wonderful to visit on a hot summer day. RickettsFalls.jpg (405x304; 22011 bytes)
Fall2005.JPG (324x432; 163018 bytes) Just a shot in the neighborhood to remind us how beautiful it can be here in the hills.
The flooding in 2006 washed out the road below Huntsville Dam. You would never believe that little stream had so much power. Huntsville3_tn.JPG (400x300; 29153 bytes)
SandyBeach_tn.JPG (400x248; 17593 bytes) Here's an old picture of Sandy Beach taken while the Drive In Theatre was still in operation.
Just a nice summer evening looking over the bridge rail beside the Grotto at Harvey's Lake. SUNSET@hl.jpg (405x304; 11675 bytes)
Across From The Grotto This shot of Harvey's Lake across from the Grotto was taken earlier in the winter on January 20, 2005. Yes, it's COLD!!! But it's one of the more beautiful times at Harvey's Lake and the pizza is good. Our classmates in Florida, Arizona and California forget how cold.
All the boys remember the Mohawk Riding Stables on Old Lake Road at Harvey's Lake. Here's a picture taked from my window of the remaining barns at the Mohawk. They stopped renting the horses when they were injured in a wind sheer event and had to be euthanized. Mrs. James never had the heart to replace the horses and reopen. Look hard and you can see the barns. MohawkInSnow.jpg (1239x597; 89027 bytes)
DSCF0048.JPG (1280x960; 328331 bytes) A fall view of the marina and new town houses at Sunset.
A wider view of the mountain behind the Grotto in fall. DSCF0049.JPG (1280x960; 325075 bytes)

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Made on 5/6/2007