When Tom Obruzut helped a friend haul recycling to the West Wyoming recycling center, he noticed history was being thrown in the bins. Things such as photo albums and ledgers from old businesses were mixed in with the heaps of newspaper and cardboard.
Obruzut, an officer of the West Pittston Historical Society, hoped to prevent, or at least slow, the throwing away of history in West Pittston by organizing a West Pittston History Day.
The inaugural West Pittston History Day is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at the West Pittston Library on Exeter Avenue.
Residents are asked to bring old photos and ephemera such as posters, tickets, game and event programs, report cards, or anything related to West Pittston history.
Obruzut said there is probably West Pittston history hidden in the closets, basements and attics of West Pittston homes and he hopes to see many examples on Sunday.
Bob Price, who has worked similar events in Duryea, Dupont and Pittston, will have scanners set up at the library so items can be scanned and returned. The scanners can handle items up to 11½-by-17 inches.
Items from the society’s existing collection also will be on display.
West Pittston Historical Society President Mary Portelli said even family photos can reveal hidden aspects of the borough’s history, such as showing neighboring homes or businesses.
Maybe a relative worked at one of the borough’s iconic businesses such as the Hitchner Bakery or “The Shops” at Finch manufacturing, and photos, paystubs, or ledgers survived in a box in a closet.
As Portelli explained it, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Obruzut’s family history is a significant piece of West Pittston history. His grandfather, Edward, and father, Tom, ran an old fashioned pharmacy, replete with a soda fountain, on Wyoming Avenue, between Luzerne Avenue and Linden Street.
Not much has survived from the pharmacy.
“I have three or four photos and one or two bottles,” Obruzut said.
Who knows, maybe history day will reveal some pharmacy memorabilia or help some other family preserve their piece of West Pittston history.
The West Pittston Historical Society welcomes new members. For membership information, email email@example.com or visit its Facebook page.