Historical Society’s “Road Show” series continues
MONTGOMERY – The Montgomery Area Historical Society hosted its most recent “Road Show” on Tuesday, November 15th in the Montgomery Borough Building. The “Road Show” is an ongoing series that shares the history of how local roads were given their names. At the past meeting they focused on the names of roads in Clinton Township.
The first speaker of the evening was Carol Sones Shetler, who talked about Bastian Road. The road was named after Bill Bastian, Sr., who was originally from Alvira. As a young man he ran his father’s farm as his father’s heart condition limited his ability to do heavy labor. This situation got Bastian deferred from serving in the First World War. Bastian eventually married a woman named Grace who was a German immigrant. After her family left Germany when she was seven, they settled in Coudersport and she eventually came to Williamsport to attend business school. After graduating she got a job with the Montgomery Water Authority, but gave up her career to marry Bastian and become a farmer’s wife. The two were involved in the Stone Church in White Deer Valley until 1942 when the area was seized by the government to create a munitions plant. After being evicted from their home, they bought another farm property between Montgomery and Muncy. They raised two sons, Bob and Bill Jr.
Genevieve Voneida talked about Armstrong Road, which was named after James Armstrong. He was originally born in Milton and became a tanner. He was later appointed to the State Senate.
Voneida also talked about Davis Lane, which was named after John Frederick Davis. He was born in 1886 and was known to local residents as Fred Davis. He was remembered as a nice person who enjoyed gardening and owned goats, geese, dogs, and a Siamese cat. Davis taught at the Davis School for one year in 1909, and eventually got a job with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He married very late in life at the age of 72. He and his wife Nellie enjoyed fourteen years of marriage until his death in 1972.
Harry and Carol Riddell spoke about Riddell Road which was named after Riddell’s father. He was in the third grade when his parents, Harry, Sr. and Sarah bought a house and land on the road that would eventually carry their name. The purchase was made in February of 1952 and he recalled that the lower fields were flooded and icy. His father eventually rented some of the land for campgrounds and boat docks in the summer. He didn’t charge much, just enough to cover the taxes. In 1998, when all local rural roads were given names for the 911 Enhanced Project, Harry, Sr. had been on the road the longest so he had the honor of having the road named after him. Sadly, Sarah passed in 1990 and she didn’t get to see the road renamed. Harry, Sr. passed in 2005.
Another program on roads in Brady, Clinton and Washington Townships is anticipated for the fall of 2017. Meanwhile residents are encouraged to submit any information to the Montgomery Historical Society.