Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tilda Sewing By Heart: New Patterns and Fabrics from Norway

Tilda Sewing By Heart cover with patchwork pumpkins 
These fresh quilts and sewing projects from Norway are ADORABLE!  

Tone Finnanger is the founder and sole designer of the internationally recognized Tilda brand, which she started in 1999 at the age of 25. She was at the 2017 Quilt Market in Houston, TX and won "Best Newcomer."

Bumblebees quilt on left. 
The book features 7 full-size quilts plus smaller sewing projects such as pillows, pincushions and  soft toys.

All the projects use the Tilda fabric lines including Cabbage Rose, Bumblebee, Circus, Harvest, and Cottage lines. You can view the fabrics at

Sewing From the Heart is the first Tilda book in English. Expert technical editing from Linda Clements, bestselling author of The Quilter’s Bible, offers in-depth instructions. The photographs are gorgeous and the book is filled with illustrations showing construction and fabrics used.

The instructions are detailed. There are 21 pages for The Bumblebee Quilt, 55" x 73," including:

  • multiple full and close-up photographs of the quilt
  • swatches of fabrics used and yardage chart
  • preparation and cutting instructions
  • overall quilt layout illustration
  • cutting instruction with illustrations
  • block construction instructions with color illustrations
  • border construction with illustration
  • and assembling and finishing the quilt instructions

I love love love this soft fox

The patterns have some unusual methods. For instance, the stuffed Santa doll's legs are made with pieced fabric. To construct, one sews the various widths of fabrics into one unit. The leg pattern is laid over the pieced unit, traced, and cut with seam allowances. Each leg has two pieces which are sewn and turned.
Projects include

  • Bumblebee Quilt, pillows, pin cushion, and stuffed bees
  • Flower quilt, pillows, and fabric flowers
  • Circus Quilt
  • Tree Pillow
  • Applique Elephant quilt
  • Cabbage Rose Quilt
  • Patchwork squirrel and rabbit stuffed animals
  • Birds and Sunflowers quilt and pillows
  • Patchwork Fox stuffed animal
  • Pumpkin Harvest Quilt and pillow
  • Patchwork Santa and stocking

Cottage Quilt
Visit the website at

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Tilda Sewing by Heart
by Tone Finnanger
F+W Media
ISBN: 9781446306710

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Winter Station by Jody Shields
The Winter Station by Jody Shields was just the read I needed. I was experiencing a lack of motivation and knew it was time to pick up a book that would sweep me along into it's world.

Based on a "true story that has been lost to history," the atmospheric setting is beautifully detailed, the mystery revealed with a slow build up of suspense, the characters fully realized and sympathetic.

The story takes place in the winter of 1910 in a remote Manchurian city built as a train station and hub of the railroad that brings freight and passengers across Asia. Divided into quadrants, each with its own character and government, Chinese and Russian, with Japan champing at the bit to invade Manchuria, the city's peace is precarious.

The Baron has rejected the life of wealth and privilege to become a doctor. He embraces Manchuria, marrying a Manchu woman and learning the customs and language. He is more comfortable with smugglers and misfits than with his own class. He is open to new ideas, including modern medical practices such as hand-washing and the use of masks.

The Baron is a student of calligraphy, struggling to find the calm center which allows the brush to lead his hands. He enjoys the formality of the tea ceremony, boiling water poured over a hand turned, unglazed clay teapot to warm it, the rolled leaves set inside and steeped three times, each steeping of tea offering a new experience. His lovely young wife is his refuge, and he marvels at his happiness with her.

In the bitter snow of winter the dead appear, frozen and blood splattered. As the weeks go on, it is clear there is an epidemic of monstrous proportions. Dr. Wu, the Baron, and other doctors clash over methodology, and the Baron argues against the orders of secrecy and the disposal of the deceased. The Baron seeks a balanced path between East and West, the interests of state and business versus medical practice and wisdom, considering needs of the poor and rich and even the quick and the dead.

Scenes of unimaginable hell become commonplace, and every decision made could mean life or death. The historical plague took 40,000 to 60,000 lives over the winter of 1910-11.

Shields' novel brings alive a city and place that was totally new to me. I loved the descriptions of the tea ceremony and calligraphy lessons, although some readers may complain that these scenes impede the plot. I say, bosh, the scenes make the world come alive. My only disappointment was the open ending. I had invested a great deal in the lives of the characters and I was left stranded on the ice.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Winter Station
by Jody Shields
Little, Brown  & Company
Publication January 30, 2018
$27 hard cover
ISBN: 9780316385343

See photographs of the historical plague at
Viewer discretion advised.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Lynne O. Ramer's Memories: Lt George H. Ramer

Last week my grandfather Lynne O. Ramer's article referred to Maude Shannon Ramer and her husband Harry W. Ramer. Today I am sharing the 1963 article which appeared in Ben Meyer's We Notice That column of the Lewistown Sentinel about their son George W. Ramer. George died in the Korean War. Ben wrote the article based on a letter received from my grandfather.
Honors for Lieut.
George H. Ramer
A former local school teacher whose son was killed on Hearbreak Ridge, Korea, has been notified that a new combat training facility at Marine Corps Schools, Quanitco, VA., is to be named in his honor.

The mother is Mrs. Maude D. Ramer of 424 Burnley Lane, Drexel Hill. Her son who died in the Korean War was Second Lieutenant George H. Ramer.

Mrs. Ramer has received notification from Lieut.-Gen. F. L. Wiesman of the U.S. Marine Corps that his command is planning a dedication of a new building, naming it Ramer Hall as a memorial to her late son.

“We believe that naming this facility after Lieutenant Ramer will be both decorous and appropriate since the facility will primarily serve newly-commissioned lieutenants in the Marine Corps, says the notice received by the mother.

“Mrs. Ramer, you are most cordially invited to attend the acceptance and dedication of Ramer Hall. Your travel expense to and from Quantico can be provided for, if you desire.

“I hope that you can accept this invitation and that we may have the honor of your presence with us Oct. 4, 1963.”

Scholar at 3 Yrs.

The Ramers formerly lived in Milroy. George, or Bud Ramer, the Marine lieutenant mentioned above, was the only son of Mr. And Mrs. Harry Ramer. The father died some time ago, and the mother is now residing in Drexel Hill with her daughter, Mrs. Ethel Coulter.

The then President, Harry S. Truman, awarded Lieutenant  Ramer the Congressional medal posthumously.

News of the dedication of the new building at Quantico to be known as Ramer Hall comes to us indirectly by way of Mrs. Ramer’s nephew, Lynne O. Ramer.

No doubt some of our teachers will recall the episode concerning Mrs. Ramer and her daughter Ethel, related for this column by Lynne Ramer some time back.

It seems that Mrs. Ramer was substituting for an ill teacher in the Burnham schools during the 1915 era. She had taken the assignment at the urgent insistence of the school board, which was unable to secure a regular substitute.

Well, Mrs. Ramer not only took the assignment, but she took her three-year-old daughter Ethel along to school with her—in her crib! Believe Ethel was the youngest “scholar” ever to matriculate in the Burnham district.

“Ethel and I plan to accept the invitation and be in Quantico for the dedication,” says Mrs. Ramer in her letter.  “Naturally we are thrilled, but after all we will have mixed emotions during this experience. Harry’s branch of the Ramer tree ended with Bud, but his name will go on at Quantico.”
Maude Pearl Ramer, Evelyn Ramer (Lynne's wife), and Ethel Ramer
at Lynne and Evelyn's home in Royal Oak, MI. 1960s.

‘Polly Kicks Bucket’

“Vacation is over—back to work”, continues Mrs. Ramer’s letter to nephew Lynne. “You speak of Mackinac Island. We have never been there, but have ferried across from Upper Michigan twice. Of course, at that time no bridge.

“We hope to get back into that country some time. Our trip this year took us down one side of Cape Cod and back the other. From there to Nova Scotia along the coast. It was fascinating and we want to go back to ferry across the Bay of Fundy from Maine and drive around to Nova Scotia.

“The ferry trip is 100 mile and takes six hours, but it cuts off about 700 miles of driving through Maine and New Brunswick. Polly (her car) chirped right along for over 2,000 miles but kicked the bucket after we got home, causing Ethel to be late for work after having to get a new battery.”

‘O How Good!’
Lieutenant Ramer was among the 434,000 U.S. Marines engaging in the Korean War. Of his number, there were battle deaths consisting of just about one per cent—or 4,267 to be exact.

According to records revised by the Department of Defense, the ratio of Marines slain in combat in Korea during what President Truman called “a police action” was about twice as great as the combined battle deaths of all branches of the service being engages—Army, Navy, Marines and Sir Force—over the three year period extending from the mid summer of 1950 to the same time of year in 1953 when the armistice was signed and fighting ended within the next 12 hours.

We’ve included Mrs. Ramer’s address in the story today so that any of her old friends who might desire to get in touch will be able to write or send her a card. We are inclined to believe that she would like this very much.

Word from the old home always comes as a refreshing breeze in the heat of summer or as the old proverb goes: “A word at its right time is O how good!”

Lt. Ramer was a real hero.

This branch of the Ramer tree traced its mutual ancestor to Nicholas Romer.

The Ramer family tree:

Matthias Roemer (1746 Germany-1828 Berks Co, PA) Matthia served in the Revolutionary War.
   Nicholas Roemer (1791-1867). He is the mutual ancestor with Lynne O. Ramer
      Isaac William Ramer (1829-1869) He was a blacksmith and served in the Civil War
        Charles Maurice Ramer (1855-1920)
           Harry Webster Ramer (1883-1944)
                George H. Ramer (1927-1944)

A January 8, 1953 article in Stars and Stripes noted that Second Lietenant George H Ramer, 24, was a Bucknell University graduate, who was killed while covering the withdrawal of his platoon in an assault on an enemy held hill. Medals were presented to his wife Jeanne Grice Ramer. website has a detailed story about George including newspaper articles and his genealogy: has this story: Second Lieutenant Ramer commanded the 3rd Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On September 12, 1951, he led his platoon in an attack against a heavily fortified position. Although wounded he and eight of his men finally captured his objective. Upon an overwhelming enemy counterattack, he ordered his men to withdraw and singlehandedly fought the enemy to furnish cover for his men to evacuate three wounded comrades until his was mortally wounded. For his leadership and extreme valor.

George has his own Wikipedia page at

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Building the Great Society: Inside's LBJ's White House

I was in Seventh grade in the spring of 1964 when I was asked who I was voting for in the mock election. I asked who was running.

"Well," I was told, "there's Barry Goldwater who wants war and may use the Atom bomb, and there's LBJ who wants to end poverty." 

I voted for LBJ, enchanted by his Great Society idealism.

I have been fascinated by President Johnson for years and have read multiple biographies him. My political awareness was formed under his presidency. I was a junior in high school when President Johnson gave his speech that ended announcing he would not seek reelection.

Building the Great Society by Joshua Zeitz is exactly the kind of book I enjoy, one that puts my personal memories into historical perspective, fleshed out with insight that I lacked at the time. I also appreciated learning how the Great Society programs impacted lives and the motivation behind their critics' desire to dismantle them.

In 1963 America was at a pinnacle of economic boom with the rise of the Middle Class and a huge increase in the Gross National Product. It was a time of fast food restaurants and power steering, electricity in every home powering refrigerators and televisions and stereos. My family had just moved to Metro Detroit, Dad seeking employment in the auto industry. Getting that job gave my family economic stability and badly needed health care.

At the same time millions of Americans were left behind in poverty, including populations in Appalachia and rural America. One-fifth of the population lived at or below the poverty line of $3,000 for a family of four. The majority of the impoverished were Caucasian, but a higher percentage of African Americans were impoverished--40%. And female headed households were 50% impoverished.

After assuming the presidency following the assassination of President Kennedy, President Johnson identified himself as a "Roosevelt New Dealer" who found Kennedy "a little too conservative." But his history of voting with the Dixiecrats against legislation addressing African American equality left many doubtful.

Zeitz paints a picture of Liberals' belief in the sustainability of the Great Society programs, writing that "the idea that the economy might someday stop growing rarely factored seriously into liberal thinking."

Government's impact in solving social ills was not a new idea. The programs envisioned by President Johnson were rooted in the New Deal public works programs of President Roosevelt. "The War on Poverty" was an term first used by President Kennedy in a 1960 campaign speech. "The Great Society" was the title of a book by Walter Lippmann. President Johnson used the term "Great Society" in a speech at the University of Michigan in May, 1964, drafted by Richard Goodwin.

According to Charles Roberts, Bill Moyers was the "Presidents' good angel, representing his conscience when there's a conflict between conscience and expediency."

The Great Society programs were not instituted predominately for urban African Americans; that stereotype came later from Republicans who were hostile to the programs.

Zeitz follows Johnson's presidency and the events of the time: the impact and legacy of the Great Society programs; the Viet Nam War siphoning money and energy away; Robert Kennedy's candidacy and assassination; riots and civil unrest at home; the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; George Wallace and his platform of rage and hate (giving my little brother nightmares!); and Nixon's secret campaign to sabotage Johnson's peace talks.

Nixon did not dismantle all the programs; many continued to thrive while others did not. It was a time of environmental awareness, and Nixon established the EPA and NOAA and addressed clean air and water issues.

The economic theories of the early 60s did not pan out. Poverty is still with us. But the Great Society programs have impacted society for the better, especially in areas of equality, access to food and health care. Zeitz warns that the Trump administration's dismantling the Great Society programs may cause a backfire: "When the pendulum swings back, it may swing hard," with a more radical approach.

More than 'just' a history lesson, this book also informed me about the changing attitudes and policies concerning social issues and especially how we got to 'here', a time when Republican leaders are determined to dismantle the Great Society legacy.

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Building the Great Society
Inside Lyndon Johnson's White House
by Joshua Zeitz
Publication January 30, 2018
PRICE $30.00 (USD)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Lynne O. Ramer's "Stories and Sagas" of Reedsville, Mifflin County 100 Years Ago

Between 1959 and 1971 my grandfather Lynne O. Ramer wrote hundreds of letters to his hometown newspaper which were published by Ben Meyers in his We Notice That column.

Lynne O. Ramer, age six
Today I am sharing Gramp's memories of a hundred years ago in which he recalls people and places in and around Reedsville, PA. I have added information about the people mentioned in the article wherever possible.
August 1, 1960

We Notice That
By Ben Meyers
The Heights       Phone 8-8430
‘Twont Be Yours Again
Hustle this moment to yourself and hold it close,
and warm it with your flesh.
But do not spoil the new and uncut cloth of time
Around yourself, enhancing you.
Turn it gently, fit it, give it shape
And do not overstrain the weave.
You want it perfect, strong, unmended, whole.
It won’t be yours again.

Dear Ben: No, it won’t be ours again, to recall the memories of those olden, golden days back in Mifflin County. So I’ll include a few more for the sake of your readers who like to linger in memory’s lane.

He has passed to his reward, but Hyman Cohen* often recalled the time when it was my privilege as Boy Scout counsel or to initiate him into the mysteries of frying eggs on a heated rock, then making them the basis for a grand outdoors meal.

Also he leaned how to mix water and flour and wrap it round a stick and bake his own bread. And eat it amid the glories and wonders which Mother Nature so lavishly furnished.

I still remember those days. Also how I used to attend Mr. Cohen’s theatre, the Embassy, also the Rialto, long ago in the silent movie days.

If Jimmy Mann* were here, he would recall all the series of boy’s books I borrowed from his library.  Also the pheasant-on-toast I once dined upon at his folks’ table. (Haven’t had any since either!) Jimmy’s books were the beginning of a liberal education for me: Rover Boys, Rocky Mountain Boys, Motorboat Boys, mentioning just a few.

Of course “Boozer” (Lester Charles) Bobb* of Valley St. and I used to hide the contraband books such as Jesse James, Liberty Boys of ’76, A-One Books of Hobo Life, etc., in the barn and read them where Nammie [pet name for his grandmother Rachel Barbara Reed Ramer] wouldn’t catch us. And we got them all from old “Al” Nale*, Civil War veteran, Milroy’s last member of the GAR.

If Jim Young, my Reedsville pal*, is around, tell him I remember his dad’s bakery with its luscious pastries. Also how I almost broke my hip, slamming into a tree on Young’s Hills and how his mother massaged my bruised hip. And was I ever embarrassed at the age of ten!

Frank Barr would remember the time when he advanced threateningly to the front of Reedsville seventh grade room where the teacher, Mr. Manwiller, was chasing his girl friend, Hazel Shupe*.
At the instant Frank arrived up front, with clenched fists, Charles Hilbish*, principal, stepped in. Now wasn’t that a tableau! And we were all so disappointed, for we thought it would be a feast of fists---Barr vs. Manwiller.  But it all vanished into nothing.
Lynne O. Ramer, left, in his first long pants at age 15
purchased by his Uncle Charles Smithers in 1919
Stories and Sagas

Stories and sagas about the Rev. A. H. Spangler*, Lutheran divine of Yeagertown-Reedsville-Alfarata in the first decades of the present century, are legion and probably growing in numbers.
Thus, like Lincoln, if Mr. Spangler lived all the events he is reputed to have experienced, he’d have to be living still. And in the memories of many former parishioners, he probably is.

It’s well known that he outlived two wives and was married to a third. His jovial companions oft queried, “When will you make it a home run,” that is, “outlive a third and a fourth wife?”

This story about the Rev. Mr. Spangler comes from Mrs. Maude Ramer*, 7 Linn St., Harrisburg.  [Editor’s note: LOR wrote “Lives in Drexel Hill, PA (1965)”]

It seems the clergyman and Harry W. Ramer*, first principal of the now absorbed Burnham High School, were very good friends. At one time Dr. Spangler was sick and his family doctor prescribed pills and whiskey. At some banquet which Harry attended Dr. Spangler spoke thus: “I am glad to be here. I have been sick, in fact, sick enough to die. If I had died it would have been too bad because Mrs. Spangler here (seated beside him) waited so long and wanted to make home rum.

“But now I have recovered due, I believe, to the fact that when the doctor inquired about my progress in taking the prescribed medicines, I was able to tell him, ‘Although I might be a day or two behind on the pills, I’m several days ahead on the whiskey!”

This apparently was said at a public gathering and is typical Spanglersque. I would not detract one whit or one iota from his revered memory, but thought you’d like to hear this bit of folklore.

I sat in the pews of Dr. Spangler’s church in Reedsville during 1913-15 and preached my very first sermon (a horrible thing, if I must say so) in the pulpits he once graced—Yeagertown and Alfarata.  That was back in 1925 when I was still a seminarian at Susquehanna University.

The time draweth nigh when a bus load of 50 PA Dutchmen invade the Motor City en route to the famed Wisconsin “Dells” from the Harrisburg-York-Hanover area. John L. Getz*, now of York’s Hannah-Penn Junior High School faculty, will be the leader. He’s my former fellow teacher-neighbor from Kane. A Michigander spots a Pennsylvanian for the latter always refers to his home state as PA.

     Lynne O. Ramer
     514 Gardenia Ave.,
     Royal Oak, Mich.

[Editor’s note: LOR wrote: “Dr. Spangler was once president of the “S.U.’s board” and “Lottie: I wrote this right after a trip ‘home.’ This is the last year I met you and Kep! (No! 1962!)” My grandfather often sent the articles to friends, who returned them. This clipping must have been forwarded it to Lottie to read.]

* Hyman Julius Cohen (b. 1878 in Lithuania, d. 1952) appears on the census with his wife Lena and their children Harold, Miriam, Wilton, Miles, Isabella, Solomon and Samuel. In 1910 and 1920 he owned a clothing store. In 1940 his occupation was listed as Real Estate. The 1930 census shows his son Harold D. was a theater manager. The City Directory of 1929 shows the family owned the Embassy Theater at 380 S. Main in Lewistown.

* Jimmy Mann appears in the records as James Hutchinson Mann (b. 1900) to Walter Mann and
Mary A. The 1920 Brown Twsp, Mifflin Co. Census shows Walter manufactured lumber. Lynne's grand-father Joseph S. Ramer had operated a saw mill. In 1930 James was an office clerk living with his uncle Percy G. Mann.

*Lester Charles Bobb (1895-1981)was Lynne's cousin, the son of his mother's sister Carrie Viola Ramer Bobb. After the death of Lynne's mother Esther Mae Ramer, he and "Boozer" were staying with their grandmother Barbara Rachel Reed Ramer when she died. Lynne then lived with his Aunt Carrie or Aunt Annie Ramer Smithers.

* Albert Weidman Nale (1844-1932) See more at Find A Grave here.

*The James Youngs I found, of which there are several generations by that name in a Reedsville
family, did not have an occupation of running a bakery on the census.

*The 1910 Brown Twsp, Armagh County, PA census shows Hazel Shupe/Shoop 9b 29015, d 1998) was the daughter of William P. Shupe and Edith G. She had siblings Andrew C., and Rebecca. William was an axe polisher in an axe factory. The 1920 census shows Hazel was a department store clerk.

*Charles Edgar Hilbush was a 1909 Bucknell University graduate from Northumberland. The 1910 Census in Northumberland shows him living at home, working with his father in real estate at age 25, with parents John and Melissa and siblings John and Sara. A WWII draft card show Charles, age 57, was the Sunbury County Superintendent.

*The Reverend Alexander Hamilton Spangler appears on the 1900 Derry Township Census with his wife Cynthia and their sons Thaddeus and Luther who both worked in the steel mill.
Find A Grave has his obituary of Feb. 21, 1924 published in the Lewistown Sentinel:

Rev. Spangler was born near Shanksville, a son of Daniel & Sophia (Myers) Spangler. After being educated in the local public schools he attended Wooster University in Ohio, graduating in 1873.
He began the study of law in New Bloomfield, Perry Co. and was admitted to the bar at Johnstown. In 1885 he entered Union Theological Seminary and graduated three years later. He served as pastor of the Lutheran congregations at New Bloomfield, Middleburg, Port Royal, Braddock, Yeagertown, Reedsville & Alfarata.

He was married to Cynthis Penrod in 1874. They had three sons, H. Kelly, L. Stoy & Thaddeus S., all of whom survive. [In 1920 the census shows his second wife Catherine.]

Rev. Spangler was vice president of the Saxton Coal Co., director of Saxton Vitrified Brick Co., Russell National Bank, Burnside YMCA (also 1st vice president), Gettysburg College Theological Seminary & Burnham Medicine Co., member of the board of trustees of Susquehanna University & Tressler Orphans' Home (president of the board), member of the State Democratic Committee, Masonic Lodge at Mifflintown and the Harrisburg Consistory, grand chaplain of the Masonic Order of Pennsylvania, etc.

*Harry Webster Ramer was a distant cousin of my grandfather. His wife and gramp's pen pal was Maude Shannon Ramer. Their son George Henry Ramer died in the Korean War.

*Teacher John Lewis Getz (1898-1970) appears on the 1930 Kane, PA Census and the York, PA 1940 Census with his family: wife Goldie and children John, Donald, and Richard.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dust by Mark Thompson: A Loving Portrait of Boyhood Friendship

"Early in life, my grandfather told me that only three things were certain: birth, death and time. And time only ticked one way: it went forward and never back. It came to be a recurring wish with me, the desire to turn back the clock, to undo what I had done." from Dust by Mark Thompson
For as long as I can remember, part of me has faced backward, tied to the past by nostalgia and longing. When I read Maria Rainer Rilke's advice in his Letters to a Young Poet that one's childhood "treasure house of memories"* offers the creative artist a wealth of inspiration I knew it was true.

I share this to explain why I so enjoy writing that is turned backwards, considering a childhood's treasure house. The newness, the first contact, the adventure of life--and its sorrows and disappointments and questions--always has a poignancy for me.

Mark Thompson's slim debut novel Dust  is about the friendship and adventures of two eleven-year-old boys growing up in New Jersey in the late 1960s. It is full of lyrical nostalgia as J. J. Walsh recounts his last summer with his best friend Tony 'El Greco' Papadakis.

The boys still imagine sticks are swords, but they also sneak Kent cigarettes and drink coffee black. They imagine the larger world, planning a trip to see the Pacific Ocean. In a freedom rarely allowed today, the boys get into trouble and have misadventures, and they come to terms with death and pursue knowledge of sex. Details of American life offer a deep sense of time and place.

Near the end of summer, Mr. Walsh takes the boys to see his hometown of Savannah, GA, whose exotic beauty enchants JJ. During their travels, the boys experience the Jim Crow South with its poverty and division.

Dust is a love song to the endurance of love, love of a boyhood friend, a wife, a son.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Mark Thompson
RedDoor Publishing
ISBN: 9781910453223

*"For the creative artist there is no poverty—nothing is insignificant or unimportant. Even if you were in a prison whose walls would shut out from your senses the sounds of the outer world, would you not then still have your childhood, this precious wealth, this treasure house of memories? Direct your attention to that. Attempt to resurrect these sunken sensations of a distant past." 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

CAMEO Quilters Guild Hosts Award Winning Jan Berg-Rezmer

The local quilt guild hosted Michigan quilter Jan Berg-Rezmer this month. Jan's quilt odessy started in 2007. She quickly catapulted to being on the 2017 AQS quilt calender!

I first saw Jan's quilts in the West Branch Quilt Walk shows (read about it here and here).

Jan's quilt in the West Branch Quilt Walk

After a career as an Oakland County, MI police officer, Jan gained a ground in art through adult education classes before turning to fabric. She has studied with well known art quilters including Jean Wells, whose book Intuitive Color and Design I will soon be reviewing on this blog,  Katie Pasquini Masopust, who I saw speak years ago at the Capital City Quilt Guild, and Laura Heine, who I wrote about on my blog after seeing her booth at the Grand Rapids AQS show.

Jan's art quilts incorporate many methods including photos printed on fabric, thread painting, painting with fabric dye, hand dying, and confetti, raw edge, and turned applique. I think she has tried every new method and surface design method out there!

Confetti are small fabric pieces that are not fused. A tulle overlayer and machine quilting holds them in place
The quilts were  smaller scale, from wall hangings to framed pieces.

Jan led a class in thread painting for the guild. Here is her class sample. She printed a photo on fabric at Spoonflower and used cotton threads to thread paint.

Back side of the quilt showing the thread painting
 Here is another sample of her thread painting of photos on fabric, in which she also used fabric dye.

She finds inspiration everywhere. These quilts were inspired by photos.

I was inspired! I need to return to making more art quilts!
Jan Berg-Rezmer at the 2015 West Branch, MI Quilt Walk

I was so pleased to hear Jan talk and to see her amazing quilts. And I thank the CAMEO Quilters Guild for bringing her to our community.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter by Mimi Matthews

She was a prim vicar's daughter. He was a notorious rake. They were ill-suited by societal standards, but the attraction between them was too strong to ignore.

Valentine's beautiful society mother was pregnant and alone when the vicar married her to save her. Val grew up understanding her mother was a fallen woman, a sinner, and her father endeavored to ensure that Val did not follow her mother's path.

The death of her father brings Val to be the companion of a vain and shallow beauty who forces Val to wear dowdy clothes and glasses. Val dreams of escape by going into missionary work abroad.

Unaware, Val is brought to a gathering of dissolutes, ensembled for a drunken and adulterous spree. There she meets Viscount St. Ashton, the devilishly handsome rake with a score of conquests behind him, an heir to fortune who has made nothing of his life. St. Ashton is attracted to the girl and when he makes advances he is not repulsed. He proposes to Val, but she believes he is motivated only by societal expectations, expiating for a drunken and unwise moment of passion. A time apart is forced upon them.

As St. Ashton tries to prove he is a changed man, both to his father and to Val, she discovers her true heritage and is offered other options. Misunderstandings arise as St. Ashton constrains his desire. The road to love is rarely smooth. And in Victorian society it is fraught with concerns that have little to do with the human heart.

Mimi Matthews employs her deep understanding of the Victorian world of 1861 in this romance.

Learn more about Matthews books and blog at

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter: A Victorian Romance
by Mimi Matthews
Perfectly Proper Press
Publication January 23, 2018
Ebook: $2.99
ISBN: 9780999036426

Sunday, January 21, 2018

No Time To Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin

Subtitled, Thinking About What Matters, Ursula K. Le Guin's newest book No Time To Spare is a collection of writing from her blog begun in 2010 when she was age 81. Le Guin addresses a variety of subjects, from her rescue cat Pard to the feminist movement and The Great American Novel.

I was struck by her strong voice and in the early sections was very drawn in, enjoying my reading. In the first essay she reacts to a questionnaire that asked what she did in her 'spare time.' She remarks that retired people have nothing but 'spare time', yet she has always been 'occupied'--by living, reading, writing, embroidering, socializing, traveling... She ends by writing,

"None of this is spare time. I can't spare it. What is Harvard thinking of? I am going to be eight-one next week. I have no time to spare."

I so related to this insight! I hate polls where I have the choice of checking 'retired' or 'housewife.' I am 'retired' because I collect Social Security, and I am a housewife because I do most, but not all of the cleaning and cooking and bill paying. But I have no spare time. I read, I write book reviews, I design and make quilts, I do research on genealogy. I am not paid for any of it, unless you call free e-books, ARCs, galleys and giveaway books 'payment.'

I was like, "You go, girl!"

The first essay I read was "Would You Please F******* Stop?" I had received the book in the mail the day of my family Christmas gathering, the Thursday before Christmas Day. I opened the book to this chapter and read it out loud. Perhaps not the best choice, but my brother laughed. Le Guin attacks the abysmal decay of American English that peppers the f-word throughout every sentence uttered. Le Guin writes that the word has taken on overtones of "dominance, of abuse, of contempt, of hatred." She ends with, "God is dead, at least as a swear word, but hate and feces keep going strong."

My favorite essay It Doesn't Have to Be the Way it Is, which concerns imaginative literature and the nature of fantasy, and why fundamentalists find it objectionable.

The later essays did not all resonate with me, perhaps showing the generation gap between Le Guin and myself. I have no WWII idealization of service uniforms, even if my Uncle Dave's Navy whites are a fond memory. She talks about the economy, politics, the feminist movement, but many times I felt dissatisfied and even bristled, while still a little unsure of what she meant. I was not comfortable with references to slapping children or her striking the cat.

In Lying it All Away Le Guin attacks political lying. In one paragraph she mentions Hitler, Nixon, Reagen, and Obama. The essay is dated October 2012, written shortly after the Obama-Romney debate. Le Guin remarks, "What was appalling to me about Obama's false figures and false promises in the first debate was they were unnecessary." I went to the Pulitzer Prize winning PoliticFact to see their fact checking of the debate claims by both Obama and Romney. Romney and Obama both made false statements and told half-truths, which tallied up come out about even. There is a bias in Le Guin's essay in that she only mentions one candidate.

That bothers me.

Le Guin is influential, a literary light and icon. But readers, I remind you to always consider that every artist and every work of art is personal, reflecting their own experience and perceptions. We must use critical thinking every time we open a book or watch a movie or listen to a song and not assume our icon's version of the world without thought.

I will say that Le Guin never shys away from saying her piece, even when she also remarks on her incompetence in an area.

The essays were entertaining, humorous, and thought provoking.

I received a free book from the publisher through a giveaway.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China,1949 by Kevin Peraino

In 1949 Mao's People Liberation Army was taking over mainland China while Madame Chaing Ka-shek endeavored to gain more funding for her husband's Nationalist army.

America considered China a minor power. Europe after WWII garnered most of American attention. President Truman was assailed with conflicting views on how to deal with China. There was the domino theory and its fear of Communist take-over of Southeast Asia. For all the help that Chaing Ka-shek had received, the Nationalists were losing the war. Was their cause a 'rate hole' not worth throwing more money into? Britain was considering recognizing Mao as the new head of China. Should America follow suit?

Kevin Peraino's narrative history A Force So Swift was fascinating to read. The complicated history of the time comes to life, especially the machinations of Truman's White House and the people who sought to influence his policy. Names I heard growing up were brought to life. After reading The Accidental President by A. J. Baimie about Truman's first four months in the presidency it was interesting to see how he handled issues in his second term.

"......Truman and his N.S.C. filtered into the Cabinet Room at the White House....From an oil painting at the front of the room, the face of Woodrow Wilson stared down, judging them. For his entire adult life, Truman had sought to emulate Wilson, to continue the twenty-eighth president's quest to develop a "collective conscience" and a "common will of mankind" that might replace the chaos of conflicting interests that had defined the first half of the twentieth century."

Instead of consolidating a way to universal peace, Truman signed the policy paper to halt support to "non-Communist elements in China." America would no longer support Chaing Ka-shek, now isolated on Taiwan. Money would instead go to covert operations. America was to give "particular attention" to the French and Vietnamese conflict in Indochina. Meanwhile, Mao was celebrating his victory and had turned his attention to Korea. The choices made in 1949 led to the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War and have implications that reverberate to this day.

I received a free book from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Drawing on Chinese and Russian sources, as well as recently declassified CIA documents, Kevin Peraino tells the story of this remarkable year through the eyes of the key players, including Mao Zedong, President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Minnesota congressman Walter Judd, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the influential first lady of the Republic of China. from the publisher

Lynne O. Ramer on Stables, Barns, Shantys, and Sheds

Today I am sharing my grandfather Lynne O. Ramer's articles about barns and sheds of his childhood in Milroy, PA in the early 1900s. Gramps sent his articles to Ben Meyer who shared them in his We Notice That column in the Lewistown Sentinel in the 1960s.
Joseph Sylvester Ramer and his second wife Barbara Rachel Reed Ramer were Lynne O. Ramer's grandparents.
The photo shows the Milroy, PA farm he lived on as a child.

Lots of Work and Fun-Making When Barns Flourished

Up in the Haymow
Being a Blue Hollow lad back in the days, when every famer had its great big and roomy barn, filling it was a lot of hard work. But there was something to compensate for it. There was lots of fun-making, too.

Up in the haymow there were also sheaves of wheat, oats, and corn stalks. The mow's floor consisted of scant, open-face planks where the food for the livestock had to be handled with tender care or it would be ruined.

To prevent spontaneous combustion and heatings and excess molds, causing fire to break out and perhaps burn the building to the ground, there had to be proper ventilation.

So the kids had to keep the hays and straws and sheaves in the most intricate manner. After these things began to settle down, the puzzle of getting out of it would have challenged the skill of an escape artist like Houdini. The kids had a job trying to untangle the mess.

It was hard on the kids, too, on a smotheringly hot day. In the haymows the harried youths dragged and tramped the hays until they actually dropped from sheer fatigue.

Remember, it was 108 degrees up there beneath the tin roof. Then the kids sweated, but in the winter time they almost froze up there, chutting the feeds down through the mow hole, down to the ever hungry horses and cows.

Yet, despite all this, it was like a paradise up there next to the cool tin roof on a rainy day. It was pleasant and relaxing, listening to the pitter-patter of the rain. Or the clank-clank of hail stones in sweet music as they descended on the corrugated galvanized roof.

'Twas no place to linger on sub-zero days, dragging the food supply to the mow holes. It was fully a 50-foot drop from the top of the mows to the barn floor below.
Early 1900s, John O'Dell on his farm near Capac, MI

 Knocked Out Cold

So the muscle-power of the cows and horses had to be called on to help. A one-inch hemp rope around the neck of Old Daisy, Old Bessy, or Old Dobbin, or Old Mary would pull the pitchfork holding sheaves up to the top.
Farm horses early 1900s. John O'Dell farm in Brown City, MI
This arrangement worked real well. But then one day Mary's colt whinnied at an unguarded moment. The rope was tightened as Mary tired to go to her baby and it caught the farm boy, who was tossed through the air "with the greatest of ease."

When he hit bottom he bounced off a heap of limestone. Result: The lad was knocked out cold. It was a long sleep for him before he woke up with the help of old Doctor Boyer*. Unconscious he was from 2 pm to 8 am the next day. The youngster had the "ride of his life," nearly the last ride.

When the thunder rumbled and the lightning flashed and the rain and hail pummeled the galvanized roof, nobody had to worry about being up in the haymow. They felt perfectly sage. There were four lightning rods. Ben Franklin proved a point with his kite.

If a lad got careless when the mows were being filled he ight disappear in the heap, falling through an unfloored section of the floor, reappearing again in the stable below--scaring a horse or cow half out of its wits.
Threshing in 1920. John O'Dell farm near Capac, MI

Thresher Comes Around

The time came when Homer Cressman** bought his throwing rig to separate the chaff from the grain. The thresher was set up. And soon the barn floors were littered with dust and chaff and the wheat and oats sheaves did fly.
Hay stack in early 1900s. Photo of the John Kuhn farm in Tonawanda NY
The cone-capped stack grew bigger and even bigger in height and width. There the livestock could munch later, but meanwhile the chickens followed the sifting chaff and grains away out into the meadows and fields.

Yes, the kids had lots of useful things to fill their lives. Unlike the youths today, they didn't need thrills such as some do nowadays--pulling over mail boxes, prowling rural lanes, scaring the people by the noise of their motorcycles.

Gone are the days and gone also are many of the old-fashioned barns which furnished so much work and play, not only for kids, but for all the family.
Barn raising and barn. John O'Dell farm near Capac, MI early 1900s.

Here’s What Goes Into the Barn and What Comes Out

Chicken Thief Surprised

Come, if you will, with us and we’ll take a look at the most important of all the farm buildings next to the farmer’s house. Namely, the barn. Let’s think of what goes on in them, what goes into them, and what comes out of them.
"tilling the soil" around 1920 involved a team of horses.
John O'Dell fam, Capac, MI

Lined up side by side are the various stables, three of them. First on the left come the horse (and colt) stables; next, in the center, come the bulls’ and calves’ stables, and on the right are the milk cow’s stables.

There are entries or runways between the rows, whence the brans, chops, grains, corns, hays fodders are dispensed into the mangers, troughs, racks, etc., from bins and haymows.

Stalls for the animals may be solid walled planks to prevent Old Dobbin from kicking Old Daisy. If there is nothing as substantial as the walls between the livestock, then merely a long chained to the ceiling, is poked though the hay and racks.  The log, swinging freely, gently touches the flanks or rumps of the horses, poking them and reminding them to stay in the middle of their domain.

The story is told of two young scamps who had stealthily come into the horse stables one night, seeking to get some roasting chickens for a dough bake at Potlicker Flat. {Note: Potlicker Flat was a real place!] The horses, let out to munch and sleep in the nearby meadows, had made room for the fowls to come in to roost for the night.

The kids had to work in the dark. One of them accidentally knocked against the log hanging from the ceiling. Like a pendulum, the big heavy log began to swing back and forth, finally sticking against the rump of one kid.

The one who was hit started to run away as fast as he could, yelling, “Charlie! Run! He got me!” He thought it was the framer, Andy Swartzell***, who hit him with a club.  Both of the lads, indeed all actors in the little episode, are now long gone.
Bringing in the hay early 1900s. Photo of John Kuhn on his farm in Tonawanda, NY

A Fall From Mow

Across the entire rear end of these runways we mentioned is a narrower runway for dragging feed to the animals. Across holes to the mows above are made, each one having a ladder to crawl up and down as one wishes.

A fall or jump from the haymow above or the straw mow or fodder mow to the heaped up pile below was a breath-taking thrill or a breath-taking thump, depending on whether it was intended or accidental. Many a farmer’s boy or even the farmer himself or a hired hand has been seriously hurt in one of these falls.

These horse stables and cow stables are cleansed daily (huh, well, maybe every day) but the colts and calves’ stables offal are allowed to accumulate on the floor.  That makes it easier for their shorter legs to reach the mangers and hay-fodder ricks.

Some accumulations remain all winter. Hence the spring cleaning is a task detested by the teen and pre-teen farm lads. When the oldsters aren’t watching some kids curl up in a wheelbarrow and read such smuggled literature as the Alger Books, the American Boy, Youth’s Home Companion, Jesse James, Liberty Boys of ’76. This is done between barrowsful.

Outside in the barnyard, too, are the straw stacks. There the munching, lunching cows and horses chomp away, but only as high as they can reach, say six to eight feet.  As a result the stack assumes a mushroom shape.

Roosters Lose Dignity

On occasions, tunnels are eaten straight through the stack and on rare occasions the pile tumbles over onto the cattle, sending them scampering and snorting.

Under the barn’s overshoot a clay-gravel path, an all-season access from the outside can be made to all stables. Two or three rock-salt boxes are handy. Also the water trough is under the overshot, so the feeders and drinkers can be out of the weather altogether.

In the troughs are horny chubs that tickle the noses of the cattle and tease the Rhode Island Red roosters which mostly fall in when pecking at a surfacing chub.  Lose all their fowlish dignity as they get a through dunking.

This is just a compressed resume of what goes on, into and out of stables in barns.  To which you can add your own imagination.  How about it?
John O'Dell barn near Capac, MI around 1920


Some Farmers Still Have A Shanty House Left

City folks are familiar with the vacation homes, which we recently described.  But there are still left county people having many different houses. They include at each farm the following: the shanty, the barn, the milk shed, the wood shed, the implement shed, the smoke house, the outhouse, and not forgetting the corn crib and granary, also the silo.

Now the shanty is most used of all.  Most of these are attached to the main dwelling, but some stand off by themselves.

So what is it used for?  Well, the shanty is merely a lean-to at rear of the farm house, used as a supplementary kitchen.  Or laundry. 

In a sense the shanty is an air-conditioned annex, to keep the boiling clothing on wash day from steaming up the kitchen, as well as eliminate the heat of canning, preserving, baking, etc. out of the summer kitchen. By air-conditioning we mean it’s cooler there than in the kitchen due to the opened and unscreened windows, during the summer time.

The shanty provides a means of preparing butchering dinners or holiday dinners or when the “city relatives” pile in on the farmer’s family unexpectedly.

In the winter it is not quite as warm as the kitchen, so that grandma, in her woolen shawl, can scrape the hog’s small intestines clean for the sausage-making. And all this without freezing her nimble fingers. 

If you ever tried to preserve jams, vegetables, and pickles all on the same stove, you can readily see how useful is that “extra stove” in the shanty.

We must not overlook the privacy of a shanty for a bath, either in a 12-inch basin or in a full-sized galvanized laundry tub. For both of these versions the bath must be taken in a stand-up position.

And when the soft (lye) soap skids across the floor, have no fear.  he soap can’t hurt the bare, splintery floor. So just gingerly trace the soap and retrieve it.

If you are fortunate enough to have like-minded cousins who want to take a scrubbing, you can exchange the scrub brush. Then both get a good going-over. While standing yet!

There really ain’t time, nor temperature, to play with sail boats or plastic toys else the water may begin to freeze before your toys float to the other side of the make-shift tub. You see, we can spare only one tea kettle full of hot water per person per week.  Rinsing is verboten.

Other functions of the shanty were for milk-seperatin’, butter churnin’, sausage grindin’, mush boilin’.
John O'Dell farm near Capac, MI around 1920
Snowbound in Barn
Now that all of these things are done for us, in national establishments, put up cartooned, canned, wrapped and shipped everywhere for immediate consumption, there is really no honest-to-goodness uses for a shanty.  (About as useless as a bath in a 21-day trip to the moon).

It was the custom to make all the different buildings inter-communicating in U or L formation so a person could walk from one end to the other without being exposed to the weather.
Why was this so? Because during a heavy snow the drifts might pile up 20 feet deep. Hence it was not a good idea to get snow-bound until the next spring in the barn. One might be marooned there and unable to separate the milk for a long time.

If the farmer and his family weren’t too finicky they could fetch the cows into the kitchen to milk, or the pigs to slop or the Rhode Island Reds to nest.
The fashion today is to have two homes or two places to live when the family is so minded where to have them located.  But that kind of life will never be as exciting as in the day when the shanty flourished! 

Sheds: Attached to Every Barn

Our story about the farm shanties naturally leads to another kind of building that always could be found nearby—the sheds. Let’s talk about a typical Blue Hollow shed located in one of the ravines in the east end of Kish Valley [Kishacoquillas Valley, known locally as both Kish Valley and Big Valle]. Here’s how it looked, say about the year 1915:

Like every barn, Blue Hollow’s has attached to it a shed, located at right angles to the higher barn roof. The shed generally becomes “all purpose,” for dozens of functions. In the back end of the shed are stored the harrows, the discer, the hay rakes, the tedder.

And in the forefront of the shed is the milk wagon, a light spring wagon, with no top to shield one from the weather. Then at the outer edge of the shed is a corn crib. Here are stored a few hundreds of bushels of corn.

The bottom and sides of the crib are lined with quarter-inch wire mesh to keep out the rats. But the mice find entrance and enough corn silk to make a dozen cozy nests, lined with chicken feathers and the fleece of sheep. But the mice consumption of corn kernels is not heavy due to the barn cat that keeps their number down.

Outside the crib door is a knotty old chopping block on which you cut corn-on-cobs into a dozen pieces with your trusty hatchet. There the barn fowls of all kinds can peck the kernels off the cob more easily and so the cobs will decompose in the nearby manure heap. Not only chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys gather for the feast, as do also the semi-wild guineas and semi-tame pigeons.

John O'Dell farm near Capac, MI around 1920
Implements Aplenty

To the other side of the shed is an assortment of things including a huge anvil mounted on a block, a few wooden horses to hold up any platform, a hand-operated forge and a boxful of coal.

Ranked against the stable side wall are these implements: Picks, hoes, rakes, grubbing pick, a 16-pound sledge hammer, a two-bitted axe, a crowbar or two, pieces of water pipe, iron stakes, etc.

Hanging of the wall are cross-cut saws, a crossback saw, regular woodsaws; a hacksaw, small hand axes, pip wrenches, monkey open- and closed-end wrenches, collars, hamess, fly netting, harnesses, whiffletrees, etc.---all of which need mending and re-riveting.

Oh, we forgot! There stands a 300-400 pound grindstone. And nearby is a stock of scythes, sickles, a cradle, cutter bars from mowers and reaper-binders, corn cutters, bush hooks---all needing tedious hours of turning and grinding and whetting.

Fastened to the wall are a 20-foot long, two-inch thick plank work benches side-by-side, with a few shelves, and drawers underneath for a grand assortment of boxes, cans, jars. The boxes once contained cut plug chewing tobacco. The cans were once full of paint.

As for the Mason glass jars, they were “stolen” from the missus’ cellar. In the receptacles were nails, screws, washers, cotter keys, nuts, bolts, glazier’s points, all sorts of rivets, hasps, hinges for small doors.

Busiest Spot on Farm

And in the large bins were hoops, hinges, clevises, snaps, open rings, closed rings, horseshoe nails, horseshoes, rasps, chisels, awls, punches.

There were barber-wire cutters, fence wire stretchers, also staples of all sizes. Ranked beyond the work bench were unused rolls of three different heights of fence and chicken fence and barbed wire, rolls of tar paper, and a parcel bundle of cedar shingles. There were shoe lasts for humans.

Over all was the layer of dust, mixed with chaff and chicken, pigeon and swallow offal.

On rainy days this was the busiest spot on the farm. Grinding edges of axes, scythes, cutter bars. This entailed the labor of chiseling off the rivets and installing new rivets, either by the anvil or on a handy length of rail from the Reichley**** Brother’s logging railroad, or from the Naginew***** or Shaeffer’s quarries. Yet, perhaps also from the Pennsy [Pennsylvania] Railroad.


* Old Doc Boyer appears on the 1910 census for Old Armgah Township  as  Dr. S. J. Boyer, age 53, with wife Emma E., age 42. On the 1920 Census Samuel J. Boyer is age 63 and lives with his wife Emma and their children Walter, age 13, and Roy, age 11. Samuel J. Boyer died in 1943 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Milroy, PA. His son Walter Wendell died of Typhoid fever at age 31; he was born Feb 3, 1857 and died in 1918. Walter worked as a telegraph operator for the Pennsylvania Rail Road.

**S. Homer Cressman appears on the Armagh Township census. He was born about 1859 and worked as a store clerk in 1880. He was widowed and a traveling salesman in 1920, living with his son Gilbert, daughter-in-law Minnie, and grandchildren George and Samuel, on Gilbert's farm. In 1930 he owned a saw mill.

*** According to his death certificate, Charles Andrew Swartzell was born Sept. 9, 1863 and died January 11, 1929. His parents were Andrew Szartzell and Mary Ann Aitkins. He married Ann C. Linthrust. His occupation was farmer. His death certificate was signed by Dr. S. J. Boyer.

****According to Lost Railroads, found at This railroad was built by Reichley Brothers to connect their operations with [the] tramroad Gotshall had constructed southwest from Poe Paddy, through Panther Hollow and past Dinkey Springs. It must have been built shortly after 1900, after they acquired the Monroe Kulp mill at Milroy and associated railroads and chose to abandon the original Reichley tramroad from Poe Paddy along Poe Creek.

According to a Armagh Township History from *****Naginey [city] was named for Charles Naginey and is the site of a vast limestone quarry. It was also a station on the Milroy Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad.