EMPORIUM — A celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of Emporium as a borough and its naming as the county seat of Cameron County, was well attended at the Cameron County Vets Club on Thursday evening.
Nearly 200 people attended the reception, which included displays of items representing Emporium throughout its long, colorful history, videos, slide shows, a musical performance and the presentation of a number of citations for borough council.
Many members of the Cameron County Historical Society dressed in period attire and were on hand to answer questions and discuss different aspects of life in Emporium throughout the town’s century and a half of history.
State Rep. Martin Causer, R-Turtlepoint, presented a citation to borough council in honor of the anniversary, and honors were also sent from U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and the State Association of Boroughs.
A very popular attraction was a video shot of the Centennial Parade held in 1964 by a short-term Cameron County resident from Sinnemahoning, whose last name was Barr. The video was recently discovered, and had never before been seen by most Emporium residents.
A slide show featuring more than 200 photos of Emporium throughout its history was also a big hit, and most chairs in both areas were filled throughout the reception. A number of tables were also set up, with knowledgeable individuals offering insight and answering questions about the many items on display.
A table with school and sports memorabilia, including a megaphone, several early Cameron County yearbooks, and a traveling library, was staffed by former school district personnel James Miller and Tim Kinsler. The traveling library was used when there were more than 30 one- or two-room school houses across the county. The wooden boxes filled with books would spend a few weeks at one school before being sent to the next school for use for several weeks.
Sylvania items covered another table, staffed by former employee Ken Ostrum. The Sylvania plant made radio tubes and items important to the war effort during World War II. Many pictures, manufactured parts and promotional items were displayed.
On another table, watched over by lifelong Emporium resident Sandra Hornung, was laid out all types of items given out by local businesses as promotional items. Many items from Bucktail Bank were among the trove of treasures, as were pins, calendars, hand-held fans, matchbooks and all types of products.
A large display of military memorabilia staffed by Mike Wennin and John Kautz included rarely-seen photos of Gen. Joseph McNarney, all types and sizes of ordnance, photos, medals and other items.
Meanwhile, local historian Ron Luckenbill wore full period attire to act as a town crier — complete with soap box and bell — to call the ceremony to order. An Emporium song sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” was played by Glenn Lucas, accompanied by guests who were handed copies of the song. The tune was originally penned by McNarney’s mother and references the beauty of the area and some of the highlights of her time in the county.