Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keystone was central to their lives

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In this second column, we are speaking to members of the Drauch family, who presented a piece of folk art to the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in memory of their father and brother, dedicated cement workers at the Keystone Cement Company.

The Drauchs resided in Salisbury Township while their father and brother worked at Keystone. In those days, there was no Salisbury High School, so they attended and graduated from — do you remember? — Fountain Hill High School.

Cement history: Family memories, folk art painting recall the past

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Recently, the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum hosted some very interesting visitors. Sisters Alice, Joan, Dee and Marcia Drauch presented a piece of folk art remembering their father, William Drauch Sr., and their brother, William Drauch Jr., who were dedicated cement workers at the Whitehall and Keystone cement companies.

William Sr. was born in Cementon and resided in a Whitehall Cement Company home in Homepark. Do our loyal readers know where it is? It is between Cementon and Egypt, off Route 329. The sisters have fond memories of their village home.

A final look: Chapman today

Thursday, November 17, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In 2002, when I researched the history of the Borough of Chapman, I attended both services at the Methodist church and a borough council meeting to better understand the community.

The council meetings are held in a building dating back to 1909 when a bond for $1,000 was issued to pay for the building. The stove for the new hall cost $37. The borough had a balance of $177.44 in its ledger. The structure even had a jail to house any law breakers. In those years, the population peaked at 700. Presently, the population is estimated at 200 residents.

Living in Chapman when business was booming

Thursday, October 20, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In today’s column, I am recalling when I visited Mr. and Mrs. Lakey, who resided in a former company home of the Chapman Slate Company. Many of these homes still grace the small Northampton County borough. Mrs. Betty James Lakey remembered when the slate quarries attracted hundreds of slaters to the community. Chapman’s peak population reached 700 in the early 1900s. Today, the borough is home to about 200 residents.

In the boom days, slaters boarded at many homes.

Cement worker of the month: Ron Koch, Lafarge, Cementon

Thursday, October 13, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

Mr. Ron Koch was raised in Northampton, graduating from Northampton High School in 1982. He wrestled four years in over 100 matches under coach Gordon Bartholomew.

“I admired Gordy,” he says. “He kept me on the straight and narrow path of life and always stressed respect in teamwork.”

After graduation, he worked for his father, Ron, at their popular Pennsville market. He later was employed by ITT, installing business telephones and servicing them. It proved to be a valuable learning experience. Ron started his cement career at Lafarge in 1994.

Joseph George recalls life as a slater in Chapman

Thursday, October 6, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In this fourth column on the history of Chapman Borough, I am recalling an interview with the late Mr. Joseph George, who was a highly respected resident of the borough and an expert on the Chapman Slate Quarry.

The George family, like many of Chapman’s early residents, had its roots in the quarry district of Cornwall, England, where quarries were productive for 400 years. Over the generations, seven men have carried the name Joseph George.

Roberts family: A tradition of quarry work

Thursday, September 22, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In today’s column, we continue to “remember” life in the Borough of Chapman, when the slate industry prospered in the small Northampton County community. I was fortunate to gain a vivid picture of Chapman a number of years ago when I interviewed lifelong residents; unfortunately, most of these fine people are no longer with us.

Chapman first populated with English, Welsh, Pa. Germans

Thursday, September 8, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

In this second column, I am visiting a very unique community, the Borough of Chapman. William Chapman, a native slater of Cornwall, England, came to America in 1842 and organized the Chapman Slate Company in the community that bears his name. After extensive research, he purchased an area in Northampton County containing prime slate deposits. Thus was born the Chapman Slate Company. The quarry began operations in 1850.

Cement worker of the month: Don Levonian, Essroc, Nazareth

Thursday, September 1, 2016 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Mr. Don Levonian was raised in Wynnewood and graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1972, where he was on the track team and was a school photographer. Kobe Bryant, NBA star, was also a graduate.

“I had a keen interest in chemistry. The school had excellent teachers and resources and gave me a great education,” Don says.