A rare item’s roundabout journey ends in Riverton

framed 1920 July 4th Program donation – Gerald Blaney

As reported in the Dec 2020 Gaslight News, Riverton resident Jerry Blaney generously donated to the Society a box containing his ten-year collection of historical collectibles. Jerry knew that we’d really appreciate his gift because I had been outbid by him on eBay for one item in particular – a rare 1920 July Fourth Program.

For a century-old publication, this one sure took a circuitous route to get to us.

It once belonged to Mrs. Mary Jane Mento, widow of Mr. Dante Mento, a popular local musician. When she passed away, her daughter living in the South inherited it, and she placed it on an eBay auction.

In 2010, Gerald Blaney moved from Palmyra (PHS Class of ’64) to the marvelous converted carriage house at 109 Penn Street. Later, in 2014, he prevailed as the high bidder for the 1920 July Fourth Program and he generously allowed the use of the image seen here.

It was indispensable in writing a 2013 website post that cross-referenced old New Era newspaper articles and archival photos to describe Riverton’s 1920 Independence Day celebration. Too often, when ownership of such items changes the information contained within is lost for public use.

Finally, in December 2020, because Jerry was downsizing and hopscotching to yet another Riverton address, he emailed us and offered to give the 1920 July 4th Program and other items to us.

I really must commend Mr. Blaney and thank him for ensuring that this unique piece of Riverton history wound up with the Historical Society of Riverton rather than being offered for sale on eBay, only to land who knows where?

What irreplaceable bit of Riverton history do you have that would help fill in another page of Riverton history? More to come in another post about the interesting items that Jerry donated. -JMc

Published by

John McCormick

Former teacher at Riverton School, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member, website and newsletter editor

One thought on “A rare item’s roundabout journey ends in Riverton”

  1. Hi, I have a Burlington Co. Times dated Nov.4 1967 (a page ) when
    Sacred Heart Church transferred to new church .(shows a photo of the old church). Not tec savy. I can donate or let u scan it. Let me know Thanks, Susan Griffith Clayton

Leave a Reply to Susan Griffith Clayton Cancel reply