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Way Back When

August 18, 2013

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
July 14, 1897

Royal Arcanum Picnic
Remember the Royal Arcanum picnic at Clearfield, Pa., July 22nd.
All members are expected to turn out and bring their friends along. A special train will leave the B. R. & P. station, Punxsutawney, at 7:30 a.m. and return the same evening. Fare for the round trip only 75 cents. Bring your baskets to the train no later than 7 a.m. Tickets can be procured on Wednesday, July 21st, at Davis' & Work's store, also at B. R. & P. station the morning of the 22nd.

The Bicycle Tax
The borough of Punxsutawney has imposed a tax of 50 cents a year on bicycles. Many other boroughs have done likewise. It is very doubtful whether or not boroughs have any authority to do this, as the only vehicles upon which councils are authorized by law to levy a tax are such as carry persons and property for pay.

But nobody who rides a wheel will object to paying the tax provided the money is devoted to keeping the streets in good condition. They should be kept clean, and free from all obstacles calculated to puncture a tire or cause a rider to take a "header."

Besides, a wheelman who has paid taxes in the town in which he resides, should not be liable to arrest when he rides into another town having a bicycle ordinance. The tax is alright and is not likely to be resisted unless it is abused.

But if wheelman come to the conclusion that their tax is not being devoted to keeping the streets clean or putting them in better condition, or if they are annoyed by officers when they ride into another town, these ordinances will be resisted, and very likely declared illegal by the courts.

July 24, 1897
Not Sure About It.
The first of August was set as the day for the iron works to start but it is not absolutely certain that the fires will be lighted on that day. The managers think it would not be wise to set the works in motion so long as there is a possibility of a strike at the mines because they might be left without coke, which would occasion great loss and
inconvenience.

Of course there is no guarantee against strikes at any time, but it would be pretty safe betting that the mines of this region will not join the present strike. There is absolutely no thought of it so far as we can discover, and we have inquired diligently concerning it.

(Editor’s note: This piece is one in a series of “Familiar Faces Friday” features to be written by Spirit reporter...
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