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Thursday, February 21, 2013


Recent changes in the demographic makeup of the Chambersburg area has become a very important part of my historical research for the Hamilton Local History Collection. The history of that section of Trenton is a fascinating chronology of the immigration experience. From what was once an area of orchards and cornfields, and eventually evolved into English and German residents, then the Italian incursion in the late 19th and early 20th century and up to today when the area has again undergone a sea change with an increasing Hispanic incursion. What a fascinating history! I remember when my brother Len was courting his wife to be back in the 1940's going with him one day to the Bucca home and as we drove the quaint steets of the "Burg" we would pass an occasional man or woman washing the front steps of their row home, or sweeping out the gutters and front sidewalks. How great it would be if today such diligence in cleanliness was the rule. The above graphic fascinates me in a personal way. Way back in the early part of the 20th century, Dr. Raphael Pantaleone was recognized as one of the most prominent and respected members of what was then known as "the Italian Colony." Dr. Pantaleone's boys in the above graphic went on to become very talented musicians. Back in the 1980's my son Tom, Joe Kildea, Joe Bogner and an incredibly talented Eddie Pantaleone formed the very talented group known as "Valhalla." These guys were destined for fame, but unfortunately they didn't know the right people and didn't have the financial ability to make the "big time." Young Eddie Pantaleone was a standout as the group's bass guitar player; indeed, Valhalla was an incredibly talented group of guys. Eddie's dad lived on Greenwood Avenue near South Olden and he too was a talented musician and guitar teacher.

1 comment:

Kimberly Norton said...

The whole family of Pantaleone boys are outstanding musicians. I remember going over there and it didnt matter what instrument it was, one of the boys could pick it up or sit down and play it.