Major Milestone for Country Day Nursery School

Country Day School

Country Day Nursery School, a private preschool for three, four and five year old children, celebrated its 45th anniversary in September of 2017. Country Day was founded by Lois O’Neill Kelly and her late sister Margaret O’Neill McGrath.

The current director is Lois’ daughter, Patrice Bonin. Mrs. Bonin became the director in 1999. She is the certified teacher and has an assistant teacher and two aides.

Country Day operates in the home founded by the Dolph family, early settlers of Moosic Lake and ultimately Dunmore. The home was built in what was originally then Luzerne County. Lackawanna County was formed later. The home is currently occupied by Lois Kelly as well as her daughter and son-in-law, Patrice and Tom Bonin, and their five children. It is much busier than it was 100 years ago.

The Dolph family owned from the 1100 block of Quincy to the 1100 block of Prescott. The main house was located at 1205 Clay Ave. When one of the Dolphs married a Robertson, they built a house on 1204 Quincey Ave. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson had five children.

During World War I it was a meeting place for woman to knit hats and socks for the soldiers. In the 1920s, one of the sons, Charles and his wife Mary Ellen purchased the home and reinvented it.

Mrs. Robertson died in the 30s and Mr. Robertson lived in the home until his sisters, Florence and Anna moved in. Florence Dolph was pictured in the Scranton Times riding down the banister on her 100th birthday.

Country Day Nursery Patrice Bonin

Patrice Bonin is the current director of the Country Day Nursery school.

In 1949, the home on Quincey Ave and several other homes were sold to the Diocese of Scranton. The Diocese then formed Christ the King Parish. Mass was held on the 1100 block of Clay. The diocese then redesigned the home, the rectory and Parish were adjacent. The Church was sadly closed in the early 2000s.

The property and buildings were sold to Paul Woelkers. They updated the rectory and now it is the “Archangel,”, an adult day care. In 1971, Paul and Lois O’Neill Kelly purchased the home and moved from the O’Neill family homestead at 1235 Clay Ave to 1205 Clay Ave.

Country Day Nursery School was founded in 1972. The motto of “A child learns through play and work” stays the same. Classes were originally held Monday through Thursday from 9-11:30 a.m. and an afternoon class from 12:30 to 3 p.m. from September to May. Currently the hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children are taken outdoors, including the wintertime, in the playground.

The original Country Day Nursery School was located on the entire 1100 block of Quincey and Clay Avenue, along from Poplar Street to the Dolph property. It was a beautiful one-story building with living quarters for the teachers on the second floor. The property was enclosed with an eight-foot fence. The front entrance was, and is, dedicated to a young boy who passed away while attending the school. The original entrance still stands. The Country Day was opened from 1926 to 1939. Growing up, I would watch the cars drive the children to and from school. The most prominent families would send their children.

When the original school closed, the board members were very lenient with letting the neighborhood children play on the playground. Occasionally the public schools would use the auditorium for plays. The building was later bought by Howard Duckstwein and his wife, who made it into the Scranton Garment Factory. This was great for the area and employed many people.

Like most jobs, the garments jobs slowly went overseas. Mr. Duckstein then created the Country Day Apartments. Currently the property is occupied by two buildings.


Longo Authors New Book on Italian-American History

Stephanie Longo bookThe Saint Ubaldo Society, a regional non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the culture and traditions of La Festa dei Ceri in Jessup, will host author Stephanie Longo for an event celebrating the release of her forthcoming book, “The Italians of Lackawanna County,” on Saturday, March 10, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Saint Ubaldo Society Cultural Center, located at 310 Third Avenue in Jessup.

“The Italians of Lackawanna County” focuses on the county’s modern Italian-American history and includes photos and stories from the area’s main Italian ethnic enclaves, as well as anecdotes from families. Linda Anelli, the Saint Ubaldo Society’s corresponding secretary and public relations director, supplied most of the photos of La Corsa dei Ceri, as well as the book’s front cover photo.

Stephanie Longo is known locally as an expert on the Italian American history of northeastern Pennsylvania and has authored previous works on the subject, including “Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania” and “Dunmore.”

Stephanie LongoThe founder of SIAMO, the Italian American Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, she has made it her mission to continue to preserve the history that her ancestors brought to the United States from Guardia dei Lombardi, Italy.

Through her work, the City of Scranton, the Borough of Dunmore, and Guardia have been named sister cities. A dual citizen of the United States and Italy, she resides in Dunmore and is presently the director of marketing and communications at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.


Small Business Spotlight: The Honky Tonk

Honky Tonk Restaurant Small Business Spotlight Pix

The Honky Tonk Restaurant of Dunmore was the small business spotlighted at the February Lackawanna County Commissioners Meeting.  This “Old West”- themed bar and grill is well-known for its homemade food and friendly staff. The restaurant, located at 763 East Drinker St., is open seven days a week with entertainment every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Honky Tonk features take-out service, daily specials, and smoking and non-smoking areas. Owners Debbie and Tony Lupia, who have been in the hospitality business for 32 years, employ 20 people.

Shown from left: Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings, Tony Lupia, owner, and Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.  



Artist of the Month: Marilyn Hope

Artist Marilyn Hope

Marilyn Hope is shown with two of her favorite paintings of a boat and a cat.

Marilyn Hope of Clarks Summit is the March Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Mrs. Hope, who started coming to the art class approximately seven years ago, explains that she was looking for a hobby and saw an article about the class in the newspaper.

“I thought I would try painting, although I had no previous experience,” she recalls.

Mrs. Hope gets her ideas mostly from pictures and searching magazines. Her two featured pieces this month include a cat painting, which reminds her of her cat who passed away a few years ago.

“My cat was huge and this picture resembles him quite a bit,” she says.

Her boat painting was inspired by her favorite place to visit in Portugal.

“That is Nazare, which is a fishing village, and in the summer, a tourist attraction,” she explains. “My late husband and I always visited in the off-season when there were not many people there. I wish I could have captured the view from the mountain above looking down–it was spectacular!”

Marilyn enjoys coming to art class each week. “Our instructor, Jill Swierse, always demonstrates new ideas in these classes, and shows us how to obtain our goals. I’ve also made new friends, which has made the class very enjoyable.

The artist reveals that the center is a nice place to visit every week. “There are many activities that can be explored and the staff is very helpful,” she notes. “And Allison, the director, is one of the center’s assets!”