History Mystery

Each Tuesday, the Corry Journal will publish a picture from Corry’s past, courtesy of the Corry Area Historical Society Museum. The photo will be accompanied by questions or hints as to the origin, use or manufacturer of an item, people in the photo, or identification of a building or location.  https://www.thecorryjournal.com/hometown/ 


Question: What was this used for back in the day?



Question: What was this stand made of? Where was the company located in Corry?

Answer: This 1920s plant stand might be mistaken for wicker, but it is not. It is made of Fibre, which is stronger than wicker. It is one of many items made at Corry Fibre Furniture company. The company was started with $30,000 in 1916 and was located on West Bond Street. The company advertised home furniture repair of all kinds, promising to lock the door when done. In 1929, H. O. Kitner filed voluntary bankruptcy, with assets of $18,200 and debts of $16,345.98, leading to the end of the fiber furniture era in Corry.


Question: What war affected this man’s life? How did this war affect the local land survey? What is the name of the National organization founded on October 11, 1890, for proven bloodline descendants of these soldiers?

Answer: John Loomis served in the Revolutionary War and moved to Wayne Township in 1831. He is buried in Lawn Cemetery in Beaverdam. Donation land bounties were implemented to keep soldiers in service until the end of the Revolutionary War. David Watts surveyed the donation parcel north of Corry, which went up into New York, almost to Waterford, making a large rectangle. Soldiers were awarded bounty land warrants by service and rank parcels of 100 to 1,100 acres, then parcels were awarded by spinning a lottery wheel.

The Daughters of the American Revolution issued a local chapter organized in August 1919. It was known as the Brokenstraw Valley Chapter. This Corry Chapter has disbanded, but others still in Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties.


Question: What were these used for? Where was this one located? Photo By Jan Bemis 2015

Answer: These cement cylinders were installed to protect children from the weather. The kids had to walk a quarter to half a mile to the bus stop. This one is located on the corner of Whites Corners and Willow Road in Columbus Township. There may be more of these dotting the Corry area countryside.  The Corry Area Historical Society hopes people on Facebook will share more details on the history of these shelters for the Historical Society’s archive room.


Question: What was this metal container used for yearly? Hint: This container was used for a significant historical event that changed U.S. citizens' social lives in 1933. 

Answer: This metal container, manufactured by Buffalo Portable Steel House Co., was used as a ballot box for individuals to cast their votes. The company also manufactured other items such as steel cottages, schoolhouses and garbage cans. This ballot box is still housed at the Corry Area Historical Society, and inside were the delegates' ballots for repealing the 18th Amendment — prohibition. November 7, 1933, Pennsylvania residents voted to be a “wet” or “dry” state. The votes were cast siding with the “Repeal of Prohibition,” Amendment 21, which went into effect after Utah delegates ratified the repeal on December 5,1933. Red wax was used to seal the ballot's containers so as not to allow tampering with the voting results. 


Question: Who is this gentleman? What did he give to the community? Hint: It has a lake named after his mother, Alice. 

Answer: Attorney Glenn C. Mead of Philadelphia, a former Corry resident, was born in this area in 1870 to Eli Hatton and Alice Livingston Mead. On November 28, 1940, a parcel of land was given to form a community park. He later donated another parcel to make up the park, which is enjoyed today. It was first known as Mead Recreation Park, located on West Wayne Street. In January of 1949, it was suggested to change the street name to Mead Park Avenue, and was later named Mead Avenue. The prep and buildings in the park were mostly done by volunteers who shared Mr. Mead’s vision for a beautiful community gathering place for recreational and family enjoyment. 


Question: What is this and where would it be used? Hint: used on a cold winter's night.  

Answer: This vintage brooder kerosene heater was used to warm poultry coops and keep water from freezing. Moe’s Line of Poultry Supplies was out of Chicago, and manufactured by the Hoeft Company. These heaters would sell for about $1.50 in the 1920s. The lamp held enough kerosene to supply heat 24/7. They were sold at the local hardware stores. The CAHS Museum has a Moe’s Line Brood Heater on display. 


Question: Who is this gentleman? What did he do? What is named after him? Hint: a great place to spend a Friday night. https://www.thecorryjournal.com/hometown  

Answer: Last week's mystery answer: Howard “Pop” Sheen was the Corry Area High School principal from 1926 to 1960. He came to Corry in 1919 to teach science. In 1920 he worked to get football instated as a sport. Equipment was non-existent, with mothers sewing shoulder pads for the players. He organized the students to work on raising funds for the sports programs, introduced track and coached girls’ and boys' basketball. He was known as a teacher, friend, father figure and counselor, touching the lives of many students. In 1960, the football field was named the Howard Sheen Athletic Field. After Mr. and Mrs. Sheen’s passing, the Howard J. and Ruth H. Sheen Memorial Scholarship was set up, and is still given out to students seeking further education. 

Image of wrenches made in Corry PA


Question: What two companies were turning out monkey wrenches? Where in town were they located? 

Answer: Locee Wrench was located on 233 Eagle Street In Corry in the 1910 Directory. They manufactured the"Champion" wrench.  Then in the 1912 Directory, the company was listed as Corry Wrench Company operating out of the same building. This company manufactured the wrench in the journal photo. . Some of the local names associated with the company were E.L., W. J., C. A. Keppel, E. J. Rhinehart, and Charles Carroll among others. The company was last listed in the City Directories in the mid-1950s operating at 107 North Second Ave.