Colin Cattell contributes his eBay auction win to the Society

Every artifact, photo, ephemera item, old newspaper clipping, etc. we get helps add another stitch to the fabric of Riverton history.

colin-cattell-slide-back-animationRecently, Colin Cattell, a Palmyra High School student who loves history, saw this single Kodachrome slide up for auction on eBay, bought it, then went to Phyllis Rodgers’ home and gave it to her for the Society. The HSR President reports that Colin was so proud of his find and would not take anything for it.

Classy, Colin.

colin-cattell-slide-edit-copy
Collective Federal Savings fire 1979 scanned photo-edited slide image

According to the date stamp on the cardboard slide mount, photographer Bucky Reeves documented this 1979 Riverton fire that destroyed the Collective Federal Savings building that once stood next to Freddy’s Shoe Repair on Main Street.

008_1979-07-27 Huge Riverton Fire Trenton Evening Times p4
008_1979-07-27 Huge Riverton Fire Trenton Evening Times p4

This dovetails nicely with a number of photos posted here in 2011 from Mary Yearly Flanagan’s family album. Among them was this newspaper clipping that summarized the event.

Can a firefighter or resident add any further context for that incident?

You may know Colin’s dad, Mike Cattell, as the author of those cool Then and Now videos that show a vintage image of a local landmark morphing into a modern scene, matching sizes and perspectives perfectly.

Here’s one he did for Riverton and Palmyra.

Find Mike’s Riverside clip here.

We thank Colin for his generous donation of this slide and appreciate the fresh perspective his dad, Mike Cattell has given to some vintage local images. – JMc

9/24/2016: Friend of the Society, John Hartnett, sends in these 3 pix of the 1979 fire mentioned above. He writes, “This photo was taken by George Mathis who, at the time, lived in the apartment above what is now Milanese Pizza.”

!979 Riverton fire photo by George Mathis
1979 Riverton fire
photo by George Mathis
!979 Riverton fire photo by George Mathis
1979 Riverton fire
photo by George Mathis
!979 Riverton fire photo by George Mathis
1979 Riverton fire
photo by George Mathis

History Repeats Itself as Ice Jams the Delaware River

As last night’s (Jan. 9) Action News segment explains, the sight of recent ice jams on the Delaware brought out spectators with cameras to record the “once in a lifetime” event. However, for our friend William Hall this makes at least twice, as regular readers of our newsletter will recall (“Adrift on the Icy Delaware,” Gaslight News, January 2013).

IMG_6279 [1024x768 PPt]
ice jam RYC pier 1920
This stereoview of ice shards clustered up over the pier by the Riverton Yacht Club in January 1920 comes from Elsie Waters. There is another view on a Feb. 2011 post along with a few other images from this rare collection.

Say, doesn’t that pumper in the Feb. 2011 post look like the same one depicted in the photo I bought on eBay, mentioned here Dec. 22? But, I am off topic.

March 8, 1934 Courier Post ice-bound RYC
March 8, 1934 Courier Post ice-bound RYC

Back to the ice conversation.

Here is mention of a close call for some ice skaters rescued from an ice floe in 1900 by Charles Biddle.

Mary Flanagan’s scrapbook continues to be a goldmine of source material for this blog. This newspaper clipping provides another example of the uncommon phenomenon.

Or is it?

Can any reader recall another occurrence of glacial blockage on the Delaware?

If you have an old one or a new one, please send us a scan or donate it for our archives.

River Ice, undated, from Bill & Nancy Hall's family photos
River Ice, undated

Please appreciate the view from a safe distance.

NYT, Feb 11, 1917 Charles Durbonard, possibly Durborow
NYT, Feb 11, 1917 Charles Durbonard, possibly Durborow

This is NOT to suggest that anyone should  actually risk going out on to ice.

Or in it, as evidenced by this clipping from a Feb. 11, 1917 New York Times showing Riverton’s Charles Durbonard taking his usual morning dip in the Delaware prior to going to his office in a Philadelphia bank.

I believe this is the same Charles Durborow referenced in news articles of the 1910s-1920s as being a champion long-distance swimmer associated with the Riverton Yacht Club.

Again, I digress. – John McCormick