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The Lamont, PA Area Where Peter and Rose Settled



Photos taken on the old farm during a picnic held when Anthony, Nora, and family were visiting Peter Jr.'s family.  (Taken around 1946)

One of the two chicken coops at the farm


A panoramic view of the farm as it was in June, 1999.  With the exception of the large maple trees that line the driveway, it bears little resemblance to what it was in Peter and Rose's days.  It is now the country estate of Cy Emer and is no longer farmed.  No traces of the old buildings remain, and a large pond (right side) has been created on what was pasture land.  

Grandfather (around 1920) with son Anthony on horse (right).  Others not yet identified.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

Formal wedding photo of Mary Chubon and Adam Piersa.  Rose is behind the flower girl.  Mary Weritz is to the right of the flower girl.  Peter Chubon, Jr. is behind Rose.  Anton Weritz is the fourth person from the left side of the back row (with mustache).  Peter was probably outside smoking a cigar, which was a passion of his. (Click on photo to enlarge)

James City During the American Plate Glass Era

James City was founded in 1906 by the two of the eight sons of William James, a Welsh immigrant.  It is actually the second James City.  A small cluster of houses around a nearby sawmill owned by the Jameses had used the name prior to 1906.  The James brothers, who had developed several sawmills and wood products factories in the area, directed their entrepreneurial efforts to the glass manufacturing industry because of the abundance of natural gas and high quality sandstone discovered there.  The brothers planned and developed the "City" around the glass factory, which was operated under the name "American Plate Glass Company."  It was the ultimate "company town," in that the James brothers built and owned everything: the factory, houses, store, post office, school, gas and water supplies, and even the churches.   

The community has been described as a "little America, the proverbial  melting pot," because the residents were of many different ethnic backgrounds, including Swedes, Pols, Slavs, and African-Americans.  Each ethnic group had its own cluster within the community, attributed to the fact that there was no common language among the largely immigrant population.  The available information does not reveal how many houses there were in the early days, but it was reported that some had as many as three families living in them.  Many of the residents owned cows and other animals, which were not fenced in and roamed the area.  There currently are about 120 houses in the community, now owned by the residents.  

The original factory burned down in 1909, and immediately was rebuilt bigger and better.  It has been reported that during World War I, the factory made a high quality plate glass approximately one inch thick for use in ship portholes, search light lenses, and other military uses.  Four to six hundred workers were employed by the factory, including women, and children who were as young as fourteen.  This later fact came from Eva Weritz-Udovich, who worked at the factory hauling broken glass in a wheelbarrow.  In 1923 the factory was purchased by the Durant Motor Car Company, and at that time, James City became known as "Durant City."  During the depression, both the car company and glass factory folded.  The factory subsequently was purchased by others but it did not survive the difficult financial times in the early 1930s.  Eventually, the machinery was sold off and the buildings torn down.  The community's name has since reverted back to "James City."  (Sketch and information, courtesy of the Elk County Historical Society, Ridgway, PA.)

Artist's Sketch of the James City School

Peter and Rose's children, Mary and Peter, Jr., started school in James City, but they and the other children attended the Lamont School beginning in 1919 when they moved to the farm.  Eventually, Peter Jr.'s children attended the school, which operated into the 1980s.  Peter Jr. told of the difficulties that stemmed from not being able to speak English when he started.  (Sketch, courtesy of the Elk County Historical Society, Ridgway, PA.)

The building that was once the two-room school the children of Peter and Rose attended is still standing.  It has been serving as the Lamont Community Center since the school was closed in the late 1930s.  The children from the Lamont area were then bussed to the Wilcox School about 12 miles away.  At the time it was a school, a second building existed that housed grades 8-10.  The few students who went beyond the 10th grade, went to the Kane High School by special arrangement.  One of those, Eva Weritz Udovich, told of enrolling in algebra class at the High School, thinking it to be a foreign language like Latin. When she began attending class and discovered it was math, her self-image as an outstanding student acquired at the Lamont School was totally shattered!  (Photo, June, 1999)