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The Mystery Box of Tamaqua's Odd Fellows Cemetery

In April of 1898, Mrs. Margaret Wyatt of Tamaqua passed away. A quiet, unremarkable woman with a quiet, unremarkable life, Mrs. Wyatt was prepared for burial without much fanfare. She was to be interred at the Odd Fellows Cemetery and the necessary preparations were made by Joseph Southem, the graveyard sexton.

However, as Mrs. Wyatt's grave was being dug, Mr. Southem made a curious discovery, leading to a mystery that has remained unsolved for over a century.

The following comes from the Shenandoah Evening Herald, on April 4, 1898:





Why on earth would anyone bury an empty box in a cemetery beneath a one ton boulder? Who would go through such trouble? Did the box once hold a valuable treasure that had somehow been unearthed before 1898? Or was somebody planning on returning to the spot later with the hopes of burying something that nobody would ever be able to find?

That, of course, is the mystery, and it's a mystery that boggles the mind the more you stop to think about it.
The s…
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Petrified Indian found in Clearfield County

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 30, 1898.


Notorious Pennsylvania Outlaws: The Sallada Brothers

Henry and Jacob Sallada, executed for the 1917 Coal Township murder of Charles Schleig, hold a dubious distinction in the annals of Northumberland County history-- of being the first criminals sent to the electric chair by a judge at the county courthouse in Sunbury.

Although the Sallada brothers resided in the Schuylkill County village of Sacramento, in Hubley Township, their criminal exploits often took place over the county line in neighboring Northumberland County, perhaps due to the fact that Northumberland County was known for imposing lenient sentences on hardened criminals.

Henry, the older of the Sallada brothers, was a notorious bandit who had  a lengthy criminal record long before he committed the murder that led to his execution. In May of 1915 he was arrested and sent to jail in Pottsville for stealing $2,000 in gold from an elderly resident of Sacramento, which he buried in a tin can beneath a chicken coop at his home. Police recovered most of the money, though $164 in go…

Stalked by a headless ghost on Christmas Eve

This is the sort of thing that will certainly ruin your holiday. From Dec. 25, 1884:








The Munro Tragedy: Death by Poisoned Candy, Suicide or Broken Heart?

Have you ever strolled through a cemetery, reading the inscriptions on the headstones? And, if so, has your imagination ever been ignited by a grave marker showing that a man and wife had shared the same date of death? Perhaps you pause in front of the marker and take a moment or two to think about the life the husband and wife had once shared together. You wonder about the peculiar circumstances that may have resulted in their simultaneous departures from the world of the living. An automobile accident, perhaps. Maybe a tragic house fire. Disease. Suicide. Possibly even murder.

Wildwood Cemetery in Williamsport is the idyllic final resting place of more than 30,000 people, each one with their own unique history. The histories of some of deceased are better known than others; Wildwood is the final resting place of five U.S. Congressman, including Elias Deemer and James Gamble. It is the final resting place of professional athletes like Bob Pellegrini, the football star who once grace…

Ancient Turkish coin found in Fayette County garden

With spring right around the corner, many Keystone State treasure hunters will soon be dusting off their metal detectors while daydreaming of rare and priceless relics and coins, such as the nifty coin found by one housewife in 1932 while working in her garden.

If you're a fellow treasure hunter like myself, the following story-- from the May 26, 1932 edition of The Daily Republican-- ought to get your juices flowing.


April 9, 1890: The Day of the Hangman

Wednesday, April 9, 1890 marked a strange day in Pennsylvania history, as four criminals in four different counties were hanged within hours of each other.


10:34 a.m.-- The Hanging of William Bartholomew

The first of the day's four executions occurred in Easton, Northampton County, when William Bartholomew was hanged for the murder of Aaron W. Dilliard.

The crime for which Bartholomew paid for with his life took place on Friday, Sept. 6, 1889, when he killed his friend, Aaron Dilliard, in order to steal his wife, whom was having an affair with Bartholomew. He had tried, unsuccessfully, to get Dilliard's wife to assist him in the killing for several weeks, until she finally agreed to help. On the Wednesday night before the murder Bartholomew went to the Dilliard home while Aaron was at work. After sending the victim's 13-year-old son on an errand, Mrs. Dilliard helped Bartholomew devise the cunning plot.

Bartholomew took Dilliard's gun and removed the firing pin, render…