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The Wilkes-Barre Glass Negatives - Part 4

Knowing that the glass negatives in Paul Holbrook's collection were mostly from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, was a significant help in identifying scenic photos and landmarks from the area. As I searched for the identity of the people in the photographs, I also looked to identify places.


The images below are all from Paul Holbrook's glass negative collection, unless otherwise noted. Although Paul has named it the "Wilkes-Barre Glass Negatives," I have found that the images are of places throughout Luzerne County with only a portion being of Wilkes-Barre itself.


Paul's photographs in this post were identified by followers on his Facebook page. He has many who enjoy sleuthing like I do and were able to discover the locations of these beautiful images taken in the early 20th century:



Image owned and restored by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.



The image above was identified as Tilbury Knob in West Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Tilbury Knob has a distinct shape and rock formation. This image shows the point where Harvey's Creek flows beneath the railroad bridge near where Rt. 29 meets Rt. 11.



Image from a 1946 postcard. Accessed on eBay.


It was sometimes called Tilsbury's Knob, but locals today know it as Tilbury Knob. In the 1940s it was the only remaining land in Pennsylvania that was still owned by descendants of William Penn, under his original grant.


Tilbury Knob over 100 years later:


Photo by Jon YonKondy of Harvey's Creek with Tilbury Knob in the distance. Accessed at instagram.com



The Wilkes-Barre glass negatives included other recognized spots.

My sister-in-law, Valerie, has been my help in history detective mysteries in the past. She uncovered the location of the following images. These are waterfalls from the Seven Tubs Recreation Area:



Image from the collection owned by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


Image from the collection owned by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.



Another natural landmark that was identified by Paul Holbrook's followers was this lake scene:



Image owned and restored by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


Someone recognized it as Harvey's Lake. My research showed that they were probably correct, as a similar view can be seen from Lakeside Drive, which runs along Harvey's Lake.


Other lake scenes appear in this glass negative collection, such as this photograph of two men in a boat, below:


(This is the original glass negative scan)


Image from the collection owned by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


And this is the same image, with Paul Holbrook's restoration edits:



Image owned and restored by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


I worked hard to identify which lake it is that these young men are boating on. The building in the background behind the young men in the canoe is not the Oneonta Hotel from Harvey's Lake. The Oneonta's gables were much closer together and these were not.



Picture accessed at cardcow.com


The only clue was the building that can be seen in the background. No other home with those gable window features was known to exist on Harvey's Lake. I believed it may be Lake Carey, another lake in nearby Lemon Township.


Lake Carey had some beautiful cottages and homes built on its shores, including this gingerbread-style home built by Dr. Thomas Jefferson Wheaton:



Photo from the Fellows Collection as published in 'Lake Carey' by Walter Broughton, Acadia Publishing, 2008.


Dr. Wheaton built the cottage after he purchased the land from Asa Stephens in 1880. The cottage still stands today:


Drone photography by Mark Manning, used with permission.


But I knew that the beautiful gingerbread cottage at Lake Carey wasn't a match to the picture in the glass negative collection. The gables were different than what I saw in the picture I was trying to identify.


Then I went on the Friends of Lake Carey Facebook page and found this image:



Picture accessed on Facebook, posted by Blair Davis. Used with permission.


The picture was from a scrapbook of Lake Carey. There it was! The same building in the background!







I posted on the Friends of Lake Carey Facebook page and many believed the building to be the Fern Cliff Hotel.


I reached out to Linda, a woman whose great-uncle, Eugene Marvin, owned the hotel. She put me in touch with Dick Daniels who gave me permission to use his image here:



Photo owned by Richard Daniels. Used with permission.


The Fern Cliff Hotel was built by Eugene Martin, a man from New York who had been in the newspaper business. Fern Cliff opened in the summer of 1894 on the east shore of Lake Carey. Martin was mentioned in the newspapers of the time as a businessman who went back and forth to Wilkes-Barre. He also took part in identifying fake silver dollars that were spread by counterfeiters in 1897.



Published in the Carbondale Daily News, August 31, 1897, p2 accessed at newspapers.com


In my research, I found the name of the hotel to be spelled Fern Cliff, Fern Cliffe, Ferncliff, and Ferncliffe.


Some believed Martin's hotel was too large with 100 rooms. There were also issues with the locals, as many reported rowdy behavior from the hotel bar. There was a dispute over liquor licenses and financial problems. Within 10 years of opening, Fern Cliff closed. Two years after closing, Fern Cliff burned to the ground. Years later, Methodists used the property as a camp.


Lake Carey had the Spring Grove Hotel and other cottages and campgrounds that drew people to its shores. The train stopped right near the lake and many residents of the Wilkes-Barre area visited.


The following pictures may be of Lake Carey as well or nearby Harvey's Lake.


Image owned and restored by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


These early 20th-century lake guests enjoy rest and relaxation on the lake shore. This image below shows a picnic in progress which I believe may be at Wrigley's Grove at Lake Carey.


Image from the collection owned by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


Paul Holbrook's restored/edited image:


Image owned and restored by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


This view below is still unidentified. It may be of the Susquehanna River, Lake Carey, or possibly from the area of Wordon's Landing at Harvey's Lake or about where the sand beach is now:


Image owned and restored by Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


I love to imagine life back then and time spent at the creek, on the lake or on a hike to waterfalls. Simpler times, before technology distracted us, before developments and buildings took over the landscape, and when life's joys were experienced with a horse-drawn ride on a lakeside road, green hills in the background, or the cold wind in your hair as you skated across frozen bodies of water.


More revelations on this wonderful collection. To read my next post in this series, click here:









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