First Posted: 5/26/2014
The ringing of a bell. The dedication of a clock. These were just a couple of ways the borough of Clarks Green celebrated turning 100 this past weekend.
Special events were planned around town by The Clarks Green Centennial Committee.
Residents and Clarks Green borough members gathered to celebrate in Borough Park at the intersection of Abington Road and Glenburn Road. Veterans of Foreign Wars and members of Waverly Lodge #301 saluted in front of the Clarks Green Borough Building to show their support.
The opening ceremony began with lodge member Charles Wirth ringing the refurbished, historic bell . Mayor Bill Thorburn, who also chaired the centennial committee, introduced council president Dave Rinaldi, who was the first to speak at the ceremony.
“We celebrate today the life of William Clark and the Clark family, the history of our area, and the incorporation of our borough in 1914,” he said. “We’re also privileged to have with us today a few of the descendants of William Clark (who settled in the area in 1799).”
Next to speak was Senator John Blake, who read a citation from the Senate.
“We as the Senate are always pleased to recognize those esteemed communities, which through observance of significant events and their history contribute to preserving the continuity of Pennsylvania’s great heritage,” he said.
Other proclamations were made by State Representative Marty Flynn, Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley and Ed Knittel, senior director of education and sustainability from the Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs.
Gail Rees, chairman of the Clarks Green clock committee, recognized the efforts of the committee and the community, who raised money to install a Victorian-era clock in the middle of Borough Park
Residents raised funds by purchasing engraved paving stones near the clock.
“We couldn’t do it without the support of the community,” she said. “We had close to a hundred donors. It is a credit to the community for your belief and something like this as leaving a legacy to the town.”
Descendants of Deacon William Clark were present at the ceremony. Carol Evans James, Clark’s great-great-granddaughter; Patty Deininger, granddaughter of descendant Louis Clark, and Patty’s mother Barbara Gavitt Donovan.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Deininger said. “We were enjoying ourselves today.”
One of the descendants Charmaine Cave came from her hometown of Albany, New York to visit her relatives.
“It was fun to meet some old relatives,” she said. “It was nice to be part of the historical event in the community because the Clarks are my family.”
The ceremony concluded with a performance by the Abington Heights Marching Band.
Pack 251 of Clarks Green United Methodist Church displayed crafts made of popsicle sticks and sign-up sheets to promote the cub scouts.
At the Waverly Lodge, Sherman and Cindy Wooden from The Center of Anti-Slavery Studies, located in Montrose, spoke to visitors about the Underground Railroad and had displays of the history of abolitionists in the Abington area, including William Clark.
Free hot dogs and pork sandwiches were provided by Sunrise Café. . Singer Tom Rogo provided entertainment.
Mary Ann Rodeghiero, a member of Queen Victoria’s Court (a group of women who promote the 1800’s) gave historic tours of Coon’s Hardware Store, which is currently Summit Frameworks, and Merritt Coon’s old house, which was next to Summit Frameworks. Old photos of Clarks Green were displayed in front of Summit Frameworks. Rodeghiero was dressed in an authentic Victorian attire while giving the tours.
“It’s good for the community to get together and celebrate,” she said. “It’s a sign of respect for Clarks Green.”
Festivities continued May 25 with an ice cream social and old-fashioned games such as a pie-eating contest and sack races. Entertainment included Ron Leas’ Big Band, Tyler Asay and John Domenico, and Coal Town Rounders.