Volume Three  Issue Eleven  November 2018
The History Center on Main Street
 83 and 61 North Main Street
Mansfield, PA
The Museum of Us
The History Center on Main Street
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Deb Talbot Bastian: V.P - Amy Welch
Mansfield Is Home of Northern Tier's First McDonald's
By Steve McCloskey

In case you haven’t noticed, Mansfield has been suffering from Big Mac withdrawal as of late.

Three months ago, on August 11, Mansfield’s most successful business closed its doors to start a complete renovation and it is scheduled to reopen in early December. The new Mansfield McDonald’s will be in the same location, but nothing of the original building will remain.

Although it doesn’t seem that long ago, and hence may not seem quite historic to some, the grand opening of Mansfield McDonald’s on May 1, 1979 ranks among the top business and social milestones in borough history.

On that spring day 39 years ago, Mansfield became the most envied community in the whole entire Northern Tier when it became McDonald’s first location in the vast expanse of territory between Corning, NY and Williamsport from North to South and Scranton and Erie from East to West to host the Golden Arches.

History Center Volunteer Loses Home in Paradise
The History Center pages of our website have been created and maintained by Joyce's best friend of fifty years, Louise Tompkins Casey. We met when we were both teaching English in Binghamton in 1968. Louise and her husband, Carl Cheney, moved to Paradise in 2000, and they loved it. The community provided many opportunities for enrichment and activities. They lived on the rim of the beautiful Feather River Canyon looking down on the Feather River below.

They fled from the Camp Fire at Paradise on jammed roads with fire all around and made their way north to a family member in Vancouver. They took the cat, the computer and a few other things believing they would sit it out and come back as they had in previous evacuations. Not this time.

Can we even begin to sense the loss, not only of everything we ever had, but the entire community that surrounds us. Just try to imagine if your town and all the resources you rely on disappeared in eight hours. It's unthinkable to go from a comfortable home to being a homeless refugee in a matter of hours.

Best wishes to Louise and Carl in their new community. And let the rest of us be grateful for our homes and communities as we approach this Thanksgiving.
Connections: From Mansfield to Paradise
As we grieve for the horror and the tragedy in Paradise, California over the past weeks, it may seem very far away. It makes us grateful for the comfort of our own safe homes and makes us aware that the things we take for granted can disappear in a flash.

As it turns out, Paradise is not as distant as we might expect. Mansfield has multiple connections that we know of. We even have four booklets on Paradise history that were donated from a Canton person several years ago. I never have figured that out, but we are glad to have them.

The Maidu Indians inhabited this northern California mountain area before European settlers came hunting gold in the 1850s. An early name is Poverty Ridge. The Feather River in its deep canyon flows through.
Hannah McConnell
Our part of the world sent many migrants off to the west during the nineteenth century, and some of their descendants contact us to find out about their ancestors and this place where they lived. 

Hannah McConnell, born in Sullivan Township in 1867, migrated to Nebraska in 1879 with her parents, Ephriam McConnell and Esther Squires. Her daughter migrated to Wyoming, and Hannah's great granddaughter, Judy Wood, ended up in Oroville, California which is in Butte County, as is Paradise.

The next two generations lived in Paradise in the 1980s and 1990S. We do not know if the family was still there when the town burned.
Hannah McConnell and Guy Stone in 1890
The next connection is more direct.

Rexford Ackley graduated from Mansfield High School in 1929. He was the son of Wilford Ackley who was the high school's second principal succeeding William Longstreet in 1927 and preceding Warren L. Miller. Rexford ended up in California and died in Paradise in 2007 at the age of 93.

It is a small world, and events everyplace spread their fingers back to our own home town.
Rexford Ackley
Upcoming Events
Glass Class Coming
The History Center on Main Street in Mansfield will be hosting a glass jewelry workshop December 9th in the Museum Of Us. Local artist Barb Sargent, who has been working in glass design for 15 years will be providing instruction to attendees on creating their own Christmas tree pin or pendant. You will learn basics of working with glass, including how to cut and stack glass into a design as well as basics about time and temperature to create a finished piece of jewelry. The workshop will be held Sunday December 9 th, 2pm-4pm at the Museum of Us (1849 church) at 61 N. Main Street in Mansfield. $25 covers the cost of the workshop including all supplies. Examples of Barb’s designs can be found on her website, http://www.glassjewelryshack.com. Barb’s creations can also be found in many local stores including Bearly Enough in Mansfield, Settlement House in Sylvania and Emerge in Wellsboro. For additional information and to register, please call Deb Bastian at 570-662-2955.
Is it important to collect and preserve Mansfield's history? At the History Center and the Museum of Us, we believe it is. We are starting our eighth year, and we want to be doing what we do for a long time. You can help make that possible by membership or donation. How about a gift membership for Christmas or a memorial donation? Thanks.
The History Center, its board of directors and volunteer workers are thankful for the support of our members and donors for making our work possible. We are particularly grateful for the help we received in matching our façade improvement grant this past year that enabled us to turn our somewhat shabby historically important museum building into a showpiece for the community.
Comments From Our Readers
Bob Lynch Responded to our World War One issue earlier this month.

Hello Joyce,
I enjoyed this release. In particular, I have good memories of my childhood on South Main, including adventures with next door neighbor Scott Johnson. Bruce Dart grew up on St. James, and I worked with him at the A&P super market. 

My father, Dr. Raymond James Lynch, had 4 brothers and 2 sisters and grew up on the family farm in Luthers Mills, Bradford County. He was born in Luthers Mills in 1900 and passed in 1995 in Mansfield. During WW1, he and his brothers, Dr Walter, Philip, Francis and Edward, decided they wanted to leave the family farm and 'see the world,' so they walked together from Luthers Mills to Towanda to a military recruiting office to enlist, with the request that they serve together. They were completing the paper work when the recruiter asked about their occupation. When they responded that they were farmers, the recruiter mentioned that he had received a recent government telegram requiring that farm boys not be recruited, due to a fear that domestic farm production was dropping. My dad later realized how fortunate they had been when a Towanda boy returned from the war, blinded by a German gas attack. Dr. Walter Lynch (Towanda) later served state side as a veterinarian during the war. 

My dad was behind a team of work horses working the field on the family farm when the Armistice was announced, and church bells rang at the various churches. The echo of the bells across the hills and valleys spooked the horses and my dad had a runaway team to deal with, before eventually bringing them under control.
My father soon commenced his veterinary studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and his roommate was a WW1 veteran, who kept a hand gun under his pillow. He would have flashbacks at night on occasion, and walk the floors, gun in hand. 

My dad spent most of his years in Mansfield, serving as a veterinarian.
Bob Lynch   (MHS 1967) 
If you have family stories or anecdotes or comments, we'd like to hear from you. Our purpose is to collect and preserve Mansfield's stories and commemorate its people.
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Annual memberships are an important part of keeping us operating. Please consider a new or renewed membership for the upcoming 2019 year.
The History Center on Main Street
The History Center on Main Street provided no goods or services in exchange for your contribution. Your contribution is deductible to the extent provided by law. The official registration and financial information of The History Center on Main Street, may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement