Mystery (partially) solved

August 17, 2014
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The intersection of School Street and Cherry Way in Muse in 1966 or 1967
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Park Burroughs / Observer-Reporter
The intersection in Muse as it appears today Order a Print

One morning in the autumn of either 1966 or 1967, neighbors gathered at the intersection of Cherry Way and School Street in the village of Muse. Just down the street, in the direction of Muse-Bishop Road, was a large brick building housing the Union Supply Company Store. Just up School Street was Muse Elementary School, built 30 years earlier in 1936.

Dozens of Observer-Reporter readers emailed us, called us and posted comments on our Facebook page identifying the location of the photo.

“This house in the picture is where I grew up, and my mom lives there!” wrote Jennifer Wasuchno Williams on Facebook.

It’s no wonder the location rang a bell with so many readers. Little has changed in almost half a century. “The company store closed and later opened as Santoni’s Salvage Store,” explained Dennis Bell, a Muse resident. B.C. Coleman said the building, whose windows are now boarded, is used by a printing company.

The school is still in use, although Canon-McMillan School District plans to vacate it when a new elementary school is built nearby to house students from the First Street, Muse and Cecil schools.

There was considerable speculation about who the people are in the picture. The name of Patty Salandra was mentioned by a couple of callers, but which face is hers is not clear. Connie Henovich and her husband think the woman standing alone on the right with the big smile is her husband’s mother, Hazel Henovich. However, two other readers – Sharon Browning and Christie Barton – think the woman is Ann Pozonsky.

None of those who contacted us knows why the people were gathered. Browning guessed the group might have been waiting for the kids to come down from the school to parade in their Halloween costumes. The direction of the shadows shows the sun was low in the sky to the southeast, which indicates a morning late in the year – perhaps late October. But the collection contains no other images of the same location or photos of children in costumes. Others guessed there might have been an accident at the intersection, or the crowd was preventing a teacher with an infectious illness from reaching the school.

But, we’ll have to chalk up this one as a mystery only half solved.

Look for another Mystery Photo in next Monday’s Observer-Reporter.

Park Burroughs has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1972. He is the winner of numerous state and regional awards for feature, column and editorial writing. He is the author of two books, “Enter, With Torches: Recollections of a Grumpy Old Editor,” and "Washington County Murder and Mayhem." He retired in September 2012 but continues to contribute to the O-R’s news pages.

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