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Tahawus moved to Newcomb 50 years ago

Former Tahawus resident Leonard Gereau shows Newcomb Supervisor George Canon a Post-Star article his son, John Gereau, wrote in 2001 about the 1963 Tahawus move to Newcomb. Leonard is writing on a book about life in the National Lead mining community of Tahawus in the 1940s and 1950s. John is now managing editor of Denton Publications.

Former Tahawus resident Leonard Gereau shows Newcomb Supervisor George Canon a Post-Star article his son, John Gereau, wrote in 2001 about the 1963 Tahawus move to Newcomb. Leonard is writing on a book about life in the National Lead mining community of Tahawus in the 1940s and 1950s. John is now managing editor of Denton Publications. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Asked if they had street names in Tahawus like they do in Winebrook Hills, Rockwood said yes. Both women lived down the street from each other on Lakeside Drive.

“Sanford Lake,” Strothenke said. “We were right on the lake ... right near the sewer plant. I can’t believe we played at that damn place. And it was great fishing right there, the sewer plant.”

“I wonder why,” Rockwood said.

The video showed an image of the YMCA, which opened in 1948. It wasn’t moved to Newcomb. Instead, it was re-purposed for other mining operations after the residents left.

“That was probably one of the biggest disappointments or disadvantages for the kids here that moved here,” Strothenke said.

“Not just the kids because the Y was the center of everything for adults and children,” Rockwood said. “There was always something going on, whether it was a mother-daughter banquet or a kids’ basketball game or movies for 10 cents.”

“We didn’t have a television, so if you wanted to watch TV, you went to the Y,” Strothenke said. “And we didn’t have a phone. We never had a phone. We had a phone when I was 16 when we moved to North Hudson.”

“You never had a phone in Tahawus?” Rockwood asked.

“No, never had a phone,” Strothenke said. “And if you wanted to see a movie, the Y was where you saw it. Friday nights, 10 cents a movie. And you grabbed your chair and set it up in the gym. It was wonderful.”

With the YMCA lost for good, former Tahawus residents were left with a void in their social activities at Winebrook Hills.

“There was kind of an empty hole there,” Rockwood said. “The school filled in quite a bit of it because we had quite a few good teams.”

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