Company Outing

The Pittsburgh Limestone Corporation picnic

The Pittsburgh Limestone Corporation operated the quarry in Ganister that eventually became the Blue Hole. Every year, the quarrymen were treated to an outing. This photo, taken at some point prior to 1937, is from one of those outings.

I’ve made a version of the photo where I’ve labelled the individuals by number and listed the person’s name at the bottom.

I have not identified most people, but I’ve listed a few. And thanks to you readers, I’ve been able to add some more names. This includes Ed Guerin, Mike Wapner, Wasil Youchison, Mitro Karol, John Homyack, John Skvir, John Fitzingo (or Fecenko), and possibly Angelo Calderone.

Click the image for the full-size graphic if you can’t read it.

15 thoughts on “Company Outing”

    1. Tom, unfortunately I do not know where the photo was taken. A pure guess would be somewhere near the quarries, but I cannot say with any certainty.

  1. I have looked closely at this image and only can identify my maternal grandfather, Ed Guerin. But at that time there would have been other family members that worked in the quarry, could have been there and not in the photo: Fred Levi Guerin ( son of Ed Guerin), Emmett Guerin ( brother of Ed Guerin), Scott Graham ( son-in-law of Ed Guerin , married to Mertie Guerin, Ed’s daughter) . About 1925, my parents lived in Ganister with Grandpa Ed Guerin and my dad, Norman Hickey, worked in the quarry for a year. He was married to Effie Guerin, Ed’s daughter.

    1. It’s fascinating because my Ganister relative ended up marrying a Hickey, but she was from Philadelphia.

      1. Hi, Brendan,
        The Guerins came from Erie County, PA. Grandpap Ed Guerin started working in a quarry there. He next moved to near Cambridge Springs, PA and worked in a quarry there. The company decided to open quarries in Ganister, sometime between 189o and 1895. They sent Grandpap Ed to open the quarries and be superintendent. Within a year or two, his brother, Emmett Guerin joined him and worked in the quarry. The quarry “office” is still standing and I think is being used as a storage building owned by a nearby house, over in St. Clair. My dad, Norman Hickey was from Erie. He was a second cousin to my mother, through Ed’s wife, Anna Sophia “Annie” Feasler. Mama, Effie Belle Guerin was born in one of the four white frame houses along the railroad tracks. Later they moved to the big brick house….Emmett lived in the brown frame double house…made from the railroad freight station. Scott Graham and Mertie Guerin Graham lived there, too. Later Fred Guerin and Paul Ross lived there. It is now a rest station for the rails to trails bike path. Anyway, Mama, Effie, met dad on a trip back to Erie to visit Annie’s family. Norman Hickey was from an Irish Hickey family from Erie and before that Buffalo, NY and Peterborogh Ontario Canada…originally Co. Cork, Ireland. More history for Ganister….About 1900, Ed Guerin’s parents ( Levi Guerin and Mary Jane Himebaugh) came to Ganister to live with Ed and Annie. Levi had been in the Civil War and used to put on his old uniform and march in parades on Fourth of July in Williamsburg. Ed, Annie, , Levi and Mary Jane are all buried in Presbyterian Cemetery in Williamsburg. About 1899, there was an epidemic of diphtheria in Ganister. Many got sick and some died. Ed and Annie Guerin lost two daughters: Ora Belle and Jannet Marie, age four and six, on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There was great fear in the community about the disease and funeral director etc in Williamsburg would not come to help. Ed borrowed a wagon from a neighbor and went to Willaimsburg, bought two little caskets and drove home. They laid the little girls in the caskets and put them to the front window of the white frame house and neighbors filed by on the porch to pay respects. Then Ed drove the caskets to Williamsburg, dug two little graves in Methodist Cemetery and buried them, while Annie stayed home with children: Mertie, Elsie, Martha “Dot” and baby Fred. That house burned down after Guerins moved to the brick house. Mr. Skvir ( I am not sure of spelling) bought the brick house from the Guerins. He told me that later when he was a child there was another epidemic of diphtheria, but by then they knew what caused it. The doctor advised the whole town to boil drinking water and no one died. While Annie Guerin was not trained as a midwife, she would be called to all the quarry worker’s houses when a baby was to be born or someone was sick. She was there for the birth of most of the Ganister births in early days. She and Ed felt very close to the quarry worker’s families and felt responsible for their being there. Grandma Annie used to love receiving the beautiful Easter breads from St. Mary’s Easter celebration and shared with her by quarry worker’s wives. Ed Guerin and with the help of his daughter, Edna, was also the Postmaster for Ganister and St. Clair. Later others took over. There was a little white building in St. Clair that was the “post office “. This reminds me that Ed Guerin’s children grew up with the worker’s families and while the new immigrants were learning English, the Guerin kids learned the Slovic language of the immigrants! I remember going for mail with my mother, Effie, one time and she greeted and conversed fluently with her old friends who were there to get mail, too. Also, I went with her one time to visit an old lady who lived in one of the “Stone Row” houses. Mama spoke fluently with her and she enjoyed visiting this old friend who was the mother of children Mama went to school with. I have some photos of Ganister residents and buildings and the quarry that I need to scan and send to you, Brendan . Sorry for the long-winded ramblings, but now an old woman, memories come back to me.

    2. Elsie! I believe I am the Great, Great Granddaughter of Scott and Mertie…..Ethel Graham was my Great Grandmother. Can you tell me anything about them?? My Grandfather was Ethels only son, Raymond Creamer JR.

  2. First row squatting, ? Angelo Calderone ? Sure bears a strong family resemblance. Immigrant pre WW1!. Along with brother Mario Calderone, and wife Irene bore 2 sons and 2 daughters. Bertina, Arura, Carlo, Fernando. Moved to Boyers, Pa, Butler County, after WW1. Carlo passed in Gannister at a young age, buried in St Mary’s Cemetary. Actually !looking for Carlos plot to place a marker.
    Any help with this is appreciated. Paul Banjak, grandson of Mario, son of Bertina.

  3. I am fairly certain that the man standing in the center with a dark vest and pants is my grandfather, John Skvir.

  4. That’s my grandfather John Fitzingo (Fecenko) with the bowtie. Tanya Johnson (Schwall) daughter of Mary Barrett.

    1. Tanya Johnson! I remember you when we were kids, but I never saw much of you. I just remember that I had a crush on you from just a few brief meetings. Cute girl! I grew up across the river in Saint Clair, Ganister.

  5. Hi Brendan Barry

    Thanks for a picture of my uncle, Joseph Homsey Sr. I think the person in the picture is too young to be my grandfather, Joseph Homsey, wife of Annie Horanich.

    Per comments about pulling cars out of the Ganister Blue Hole, the Hollidaysburg police called me last week that they were pulling another car out. My grandparents brought the Ganister Blue Hole Quarry property in 1928 and the family still owns the property. Grandparents lived on the property before they brought it. I get a few dozen offers a year to sell the property, but I have to many fond memories and vacations with my father and mother camping out on the old homestead — the house my grandparents owned (before it burned down) didn’t have electric and other modern amenities like an in-house bathroom.

    * How are your related to the people of Ganister? Are you a relative?

    In reference to the Ganister church, I’m very intrigued. For example: The caption on the St. Mary’s Church and congregation taken in 1927 that Ron Skvir has is different from the caption on the picture I have. Because of that difference, I have come across possibly four (4) different Eastern Europe religions of people attending that church. If you are interested, I can provide you images of both 1927 church pictures.
    My grandparents (Annie and Joseph Homsey-Pedani) are buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery under the Pedani surname. If interest, I have a list of most of the people buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery. The initial list came from a cousin (Pauline S.) and I went though her list by checking it against grave markers. The list may miss people buried over the last few years.

    I can contest that the surname that Joseph Homsey-Pedani used in the old country was Pedani, although the spelling for Pedani might have been a little different (Pidani or Pidanij). I’m not a Slovakia/Hungarian linguist and translating the document is outside my expertise. I have Annie and Joseph Homsey-Pedani marriage document from the old county.

    Michael

    1. Michael,

      I descend from the Wapners, Youchisons, Feks, and Jackanins who all lived up there. I’m actually headed up to the area today to spend the weekend. I hope to take some more photographs for myself and the site. I’ll reach out by e-mail and we can compare notes.

  6. I am intrigued by all this information, I had know idea that anyone owned the blue hole property, my old swimming ground.
    I miss Ganister and the interesting people I grew up with there.
    I graduated with Kathryn Pedandi

    Btw Hi Brendan Barry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *