Stories in Stone: Pasquale Cimaglia

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PC - Portrait

A few weeks ago we received this photograph of a World War I soldier. The donor didn’t have any details on the man, but among the spare copies of the picture, they found a name: Pasquale Cimaglia.

. . . Yes, that was the sound of me breathing a sigh of relief! Unidentified photographs make me sad. I always feel like the person in the picture has been cut adrift; it makes me wonder who they were and what their story was.

But give me a name and I’m off to the races.

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Stories in Stone: John Gallagher, Jr.

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For all the inquiries about family history I get from visitors to the PA Room, I also field plenty of unusual questions about local history. One patron wondered where his uncle might have bought a Studebaker in Uniontown in the 1950s. (The Detweiler dealership, perhaps?) Another was trying to track down the name of the last man to be hanged for murder in the county. (Frank Wells, a century ago this year.)

Sometimes a single resource will cough up the answer you need. The Studebaker question, for example, was solved by a quick search through a Uniontown City Directory from 1950. But more often than not, you’ll have to do far more footwork.

That was the case with the most recent mystery to come across my desk, which arrived in the form of a photograph:

Credit: Uniontown Public Library.

Credit: Uniontown Public Library.

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Stories In Stone: Newell R. Allton

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My favorite part of working in the Pennsylvania Room is that each and every day, I’m surrounded by stories. They’re tucked into yearbook pages, scribbled in the margins of ancestry charts, and hidden away in old family letters. Whether I’m faced with tracing the history of a person, place, or event, I enjoy the challenge of piecing all the fragments together to form a single narrative.

For the Stories in Stone segment, I’d intended to pick a headstone and document my research on the person buried beneath it. But for this first “episode,” my curiosity was sparked not by a tomb, but by a photo from our collection. Specifically, this one:

Newell Allton. Credit: Uniontown Public Library.

Credit: Uniontown Public Library.

Sharp-looking guy, right? I spotted this picture while going through one of our many albums. When I took the photo out and flipped it over, I found “Newel Allton” written on the back. That was it. No date, no location — just a name.

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