Pow Wow On Mantawny Creek Celebrates Pottstown’s Native American Heritage

Pottstown, PA - In 1859, workers clearing a mound in an area on the south side of the borough unearthed skeletal remains and artifacts of an ancestor of the Lenni-Lenape people.  Over the next twelve years many more remains and artifacts were unearthed in this area.  Many of the remains and items were initially exhibited locally, but over time they have been lost.

memorial

memorial.jpg an image of the memorial on Industrial Highway

In 2000, then mayor Anne Jones headed up a campaign that resulted in the Memorial currently located at the intersection of South Franklin Street and Industrial Highway. The site sits on land generously donated by the family of Mr. Tim O’Conner, owner of Humphrey Flag Company.

The memorial, which was originally dedicated on May 5, 2000, is an acknowledgement and a recognition of the people whose spirits inhabit those grounds.  Unfortunately, in recent years, the memorial has been neglected. In an effort to bring new life and attention to this memorial, Ron Williams and Clanmother Star Harbach have organized a re-dedication of the memorial on May 3 and a pow wow on May 3 and 4. Williams says: “The Memorial is my primary objective.  The Pow Wow is a way of creating interest. I am hopeful that in time we can do more to make this memorial a local landmark that we can be proud of. It should be a place of cultural awareness.  Future plans will include warm weather monthly story-telling circles, new plants representing the indigenous  features of the pre-colonial period, a medicine wheel, lighting and a sculpture representing the culture of the Native Americans, for starters.”

The rededication ceremony will begin at 9am on Saturday, May 3 at the site, which is at the corner of Franklin St. and Industrial Highway near the river. Frankie and Johnnie’s has generously offered the use of their parking lot for those who want to attend. Afterwards the festivities will switch to Memorial Park.

The pow wow will take place from 10am-6pm on Saturday and from 10am-5pm on Sunday at the Veteran’s Memorial in Memorial Park. Visitors will be treated to dances from many different tribes. In between the dances, a storyteller will entertain and educate with traditional tales. Guests will be able to shop at different Native American vendors, who will be selling leather crafts, jewelry, beadwork, instruments, wood sculptures, herbal teas and more. Author Gretchen Hardy will be selling signed copies of her book. Buttons & Beads: Lenape Princess Wynonah and the Future President, an historical fiction book illustrated by Zoungy Kligge, takes what is known of these intrepid ancestors and weaves them into one Lenape woman, Wynonah, who becomes their collective voiceA portion of the sales of her book will be donated to the Memorial fundraiser.  There will also be an interactive education tent run by Laura and Ron Buckwalter where visitors can learn more about the Lenape people. Outside of the main pow wow site, other local groups including ArtFusion 19464 will be set up.

SpritWing.jpg the group giving a free concert at the pow wow on Saturday night

SpritWing.jpg the group giving a free concert at the pow wow on Saturday night

The event will begin with a Grand Entrance and opening ceremony at 12pm on Saturday. Following the opening ceremony, there will be a Veteran’s Dance, where military veterans and those currently serving are invited to participate to honor their service. The dancing will continue until 6pm. At 7pm, group Spirit Wing entertain the community with a free concert open to the public. The pow wow on Sunday will also begin with a Grand Entrance at 12pm. The events that day will end at 5pm.

Clanmother Star will MC the event and Joe Camaho will be whip man for the event, a ceremonial position responsible for lining up the dancers for the Grand Entrance. Medicine Horse Singers will drum for the dancers.

The entrance fee for the pow wow is $5, cash only. Children 6 and under are free. Visitors can park in the Memorial Park lot and at the lot by the Carousel building on King Street. There will be a free trolley running from the Carousel parking lot up to Pottsgrove Manor, where the annual May Day festivities will also be taking place on Saturday.

Please note that the back gate at the Veteran’s Memorial in the park will be closed to the public. All events will run rain or shine.

The organizers and dancers ask that visitors only take pictures when they are told it is allowed, as a matter of respect. Those who do not follow these rules will be escorted from the event. This is a pet friendly event. Well-behaved pets on a leash are welcome, and owners are asked to be courteous and clean up after their pets.

All funds raised during this weekend will go toward establishing an annual celebration and the maintenance and improvement of the monument. The site will be updated to make it a place of learning, with a regular schedule of storytelling and other events that will take place on site. The pow wow will be an annual event, in an effort to continue the recognition of what was lost.

In conjunction with this effort to create the awareness of the Native American contribution to the history of this nation, Representative Mark Painter will also be presenting a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 2, to recognize this year as the 90th anniversary since Native Americans were granted full United States citizenship.  Until 1924, Native Americans were not citizens of the United States, but on June 2, 1924 Congress granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. under the Indian Citizenship Act.

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$1.4M Grant Will Aid Colebrookdale Railroad Effort

The Colebrookdale Railroad will benefit from $1.4 million in funding made possible by a PennDOT grant aimed at repairing and upgrading the line’s rails, equipment and infrastructure.

The 8.6-mile line between Pottstown and Boyertown recently began carrying freight again and will also be home to The Secret Valley Line historic excursion railroad, opening in the fall.

“Seventy percent of the funding was provided by the state and we had to raise the other 30 percent,” said Nathaniel Guest, president of the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Restoration Trust, which oversees the line.

The non-profit group has a for-profit subsidiary, Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad, which oversees the freight traffic and was the recipient of the grant.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140309/14m-grant-will-aid-colebrookdale-railroad-effort

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Pottstown Keystone Chapter 565 Vietnam Veterans Of America Receives Donation

482571_233140803532454_34686239_nOur thanks go out to VVA Chester County Chapter 436 for their donation of $1,000.00 to the Memorial Fund for the Pottstown Chapter.  Everyone was very surprised and very grateful. Frank Strunk, Pottstown Chapter president (left) is receiving the check from Ken Schweitzer, Chester County Chapter (right).

The funds will go to help with the upkeep of the memorial and also help with all the services scheduled to start in the spring.

Thanks again guys for the support!!

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Parks Director Loss Mourned In Pottstown

POTTSTOWN — When New Year’s Day revelers gather this morning in Riverfront Park and take a moment to mourn the unexpected passing of borough Parks and Recreation Director Eileen Schlegel, they will become part of a much larger group of people who have expressed shock and sadness at her passing.

Schlegel died unexpectedly Saturday at her home in the borough.

She was 65.

“This is truly a loss to the Pottstown community,” Crystal Williams, former director at the Ricketts Community Center, posted on The Mercury Facebook page.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131231/parks-director-loss-mourned-in-pottstown

State of the Borough Address To Be Given By Mark Flanders And Erica Weekley At TCN Monthly Meeting

State of the Borough Address

Receive new and exciting updates on:

Community Collaborative Initiatives

Pottstown Area Rapid Transit

Pottstown Municipal Airport

Infrastructure Projects

Manatawny Gateway & Mini Golf Complex

TCN Membership Meeting

Tuesday, October 15th, 8am-10am

Montgomery County Community College, West Campus

101 College Drive, Pottstown

Community Room

You’re invited to join a TCN Committee and help address community issues.  Committees will meet during the second hour.
Caregivers Support – Community Partners Against Abuse – Environmental Health & Safety – Homeless Services – Workforce Development – Youth Development 

The Fundraising Gala Committee will meet 10am-10:30am. 

Registration required.  Click here to register or call 610-705-3301, Ext. 2.

Pottstown NAACP Leaders Question Spending Priorities

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I question a lot more than the spending priorities in Pottstown.  The municipal government is corrupt, dysfunctional and has a spending addiction.  Taxpayers are overburdened and get very little in return for their hard-earned money.  There is no leadership, no vision, no commitment to improving the quality of life in the borough and the list goes on and on.  The overpaid manager doesn’t even live in Pottstown along with most of the municipal employees in borough hall.  The state needs to take over before it’s too late.

POTTSTOWN — The president and vice president of the Pottstown chapter of the NAACP told borough council Monday that if the borough and school district can find $5 million to fix sidewalks and install bike lanes, they should also be able to find similar amounts to build a pool in Pottstown and help the Ricketts Community Center.

“I went by Memorial Park the other day and I saw kids swimming in the Manatawny (Creek),” NAACP Vice President Johnny Corson told council.

“I know I wouldn’t let my children swim in that creek. Who knows what’s in it, animal feces and the like,” Corson said. “If we had a pool, we wouldn’t have to worry about that.”

Pottstown did have a pool, Gruber Pool, but it closed in 2000 when it was discovered that long-deferred maintenance on the electrical system posed a safety hazard to swimmers.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130815/NEWS01/130819644/pottstown-naacp-leaders-question-spending-priorities#full_story

Pottstown Rumble Final Day Ends With Familiar Champions

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — As twilight fell, two pairs who’d battled through two full days of Men’s Open play at the Pottstown Rumble battled in an evenly-matched final for $5,000 before a crowd of hundreds.

When it was over, Hudson Bates and Mark Berik, the 2011 Rumble Men’s Open Champions, added the 2013 crown to their resumes.

“Honestly, the Rumble is the best grass tournament in the country, I think,” said Bates, from Richmond, Va. “They stepped it up big-time this year.  Great organizers, great sponsors, it’s just a fun, fun tournament.  It’s awesome.”

By winning two games 11-6 and 11-9 in the best of three final, Bates and Berik, from Queens, N.Y., beat a pair from Ellicott City, Md., whom the courtside announcer dubbed the “Maryland Marauders,” Aaron Russell and Eric Lucas.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130624/NEWS01/130629684/pottstown-rumble-final-day-ends-with-familiar-champions#full_story

Pottstown Rumble: Juniors Tournament Starts Weekend Of Volleyball

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — The neatly manicured grass courts and multicolored neon nets in Memorial Park got more use Friday during the Dream in Gold Juniors Tournament.

Nearly 100 doubles teams signed up to play in the first juniors tournament at the Rumble, according to Rick Hanson, the director of project management for the Pottstown Rumble.

Hanson said the largest age group was the 18-and-under girls.

Supporters camped out to watch their children play under umbrellas, tents and canopies that sprayed water periodically. There were folding chairs, blankets and battery powered fans to keep the players and their family members cool between matches.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130622/NEWS01/130629831/pottstown-rumble-juniors-tournament-starts-weekend-of-volleyball#full_story

Olympian Misty May-Treanor Hosts Clinic, Excited To See Pottstown Rumble In Full Swing

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Nearly 240 sweaty, tired participants filed into a tent to get a picture and an autograph with Misty May-Treanor after the Dream in Gold clinic Thursday.

And the Olympic beach volleyball legend wasn’t about to disappoint any of her fans.

Despite a long day of walking from clinic group to clinic group helping players improve their skills, May-Treanor signed autographs and took pictures with each participant in front of the large inflatable volleyball that now sits in the middle of Memorial Park.

She even turned the cameras around and took selfies with the fans and one of her Olympic gold medals.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130620/NEWS01/130629902/olympian-misty-may-treanor-hosts-clinic-excited-to-see-rumble-in-full-swing#full_story

Pottstown Rumble Deserves Local Support

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We agree!!!

If there was ever a time to come out and support the Pottstown Rumble, this is it.

The Rumble is an annual grass tournament in Pottstown started more than 20 years ago by a group of volleyball enthusiasts.

The group, led by by Ken Kaas, worked tirelessly to grow the tournament, starting with some nets in Memorial Park to become the largest grass tournament on the East Coast.

Kaas and his cadre of volunteers got business sponsors to make the pot of prize money attractive to some of the best volleyball players in the country, some from other countries as well.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130618/OPINION01/130619259/pottstown-rumble-deserves-local-support-#full_story

Pottstown Residents Want Fireworks For Fourth Of July Celebration

images

POTTSTOWN — Historic re-enactments, a mini balloon festival, cook-offs, a beer tent, local musicians and, of course, fireworks.

Lots and lots of fireworks.
Memorial Day has arrived and thus, the unofficial arrival of the summer season.

Thoughts turn to barbecues, swimming pools and, of course, the Fourth of July.

Last month, we asked people for their thoughts on ways to improve, enhance and better fund Pottstown’s signature summer event and we thought the first unofficial day of summer would be a good day to let everyone know what suggestions we received.

Chief among them was a desire for the return of the fireworks.

Lights Go Out On Pottstown July 4th Fireworks

Editor’s note:  This day has been coming for a while now, but it makes the reality no less sad.  

The ax has finally fallen on the Pottstown Fourth of July celebration.

The committee that plans the annual event announced last week that the fireworks have been canceled for this year.  The parade will go on, but most events in Memorial Park including the popular evening fireworks display will not be held.  The decision was made in December because a $30,000 three-year contract with the fireworks company requires early notification and a sizeable deposit of $23,000.

Marcia Levengood and Chip Smale, co-chairs of the planning committee, said the group is hoping to raise $20,000 to stage the parade.  If they can get more, an expanded celebration will be resurrected in 2014.

The news comes after several years of struggle to raise the $60,000 needed for a two-day celebration including a parade and fireworks that has become a tradition in Pottstown since it started 34 years ago.  The celebration has always been funded entirely through community donations, with no tax dollars allocated for the event. In recent years, donations have been hard to come by and slow to come in, creating a last-minute plea each year to keep the celebration afloat.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130225/OPINION01/130229704/lights-go-out-on-pottstown-july-4th-fireworks#full_story

Pottstown’s Fourth Of July Event Schedule

This year the 4th of July activities span three days starting Monday evening, July 2nd and culminating with the fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4th at 10:00pm!

Click here to see the entire three day schedule of events:http://pottstown4th.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/july-4th-2012-schedule.pdf

Rumble Draws Crowds From All Over To Pottstown

POTTSTOWN, PA — For those who love volleyball, it just doesn’t get any bigger or better than the annual Pottstown Rumble.

Players and fans from across the country and beyond have been flocking to Memorial Park for two decades to play against the best or watch the best battling it out in the Pottstown Volleyball Rumble.

The Rumble in late June has become as much a Pottstown tradition as the spectacular fireworks exploding above Memorial Park on the Fourth of July.

And this year will be no different. Except it will truly be even bigger and better yet with newly added attractions.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120621/ENTERTAINMENT01/120629946/rumble-draws-crowds-from-all-over-to-pottstown

Pottstown Rumble website: http://pottstownrumble.com/

Pottstown Council Gives Carousel Project Top Funding Priority

Editor’s note:  I am glad to see that this project may soon be completed and start bringing in money!

POTTSTOWN — Borough Council has selected the Carousel at Pottstown and surrounding entrance to town as its top priority in its annual funding request to the Montgomery County Revitalization Fund.

The unanimous council vote followed the recommendation of Borough Manager Jason Bobst and grants coordinator Erica Weekley, both of whom said the funding could complete the long-running Carousel project and allow it to open to the public.

Key to that recommendation was the news that the Carousel organization had been issued a challenge by a donor, who pledged to match any funding raised. Council made its recommendation and the ultimate awarding of the funding contingent upon that pledge being realized.

Jim Arms, who acts as the liaison between council and the Carousel board of directors, told council Monday that, he is “99.9 percent sure” of the funding. “It was put to me as a challenge,” he said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120115/NEWS01/120119804/pottstown-council-gives-carousel-project-top-funding-priority

Merry-Go-Round At The Pottstown Carousel With Santa

Noon Until 6:00pm – December 11, 2011

At the Carousel Building

King and Manatawny Streets, across from Memorial Park

Photo’s with Santa are $10.00 for one child and $15.00 for two or more!

Donations are tax deductible – proceeds benefit the Carousel at Pottstown

Gift Baskets Raffles * 50/50 Drawings * Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider

Food and fun for all ages!

www.carouselatpottstown.org

Memorial Park In Pottstown Is Closed Due To Flooding

The Mighty Manatawny has flooded Memorial Park in Pottstown.  Memorial Park is closed and police are asking residents to stay clear of the park as conditions are dangerous.

The bridge between the island and the rest of the park is in danger of being destroyed by pressure from high water and trapped debris.