This is the page where old stories about Lake Silkworth will be posted.
If you have a story or memories you would like to share, please email it to me by cliking here.
Just a few memories of Lake Silkworth. I am 53 years old and I learned to swim at the lake around 1963-64. My aunt & uncle had a cottage there and we used to visit. There was a dock right at the end of the dance hall where we used to go to the end and jump in then swim to the ladder at the side. The further out the better so you wouldn't hurt your feet landing on the rocks. I remember you could look in the water and see the "sunnies" fish swimming hoping they wouldn't try to bite your leg while in the water. The further out the better so you wouldn't hurt your feet landing on the rocks.The juke box in the dance hall was great too, I remember some Beatles songs and The House of the Rising Sun we seemed to play alot. Even now when I hear a song on the Oldies station I remember it was one that was on that juke box. My dad showed me the place he carved his name into one of the wooden posts because he used to go to dances there when he was younger. I also remember the people who ran the concession stand last name was Lucas and they had a boy around my age so we played together. Also the one time late in the afternoon Mrs. Lucas asked us to help pick up the trash left by some litter bugs and she gave us a dollar. That's the first dollar I ever made.
MEMORIES OF THE DANCE HALL
Last week, I wrote about the Goodwin Pavilion at Lake Silkworth and asked if anybody knew where it was located.
Ron Hillman, who vacationed with his family at the lake in the 1950s, did recall and even sent a photo.
"I remember a dance hall located at a privately owned public lake access area," he wrote. He said this was located near the Goodwin property on Route 29, just north of the present day fire house.
"A dark private residence exits at the site at the present time which is next to the yellow Goodwin home that has been on the lake as long as I can remember."
Hillman shared his reminiscences of what Lake Silkworth was like in those days:
"The pavilion had a juke box that was used every night by the teens in the area. There were dances including square dances on Friday nights with real farmers from the local area. The restaurant had several pin ball machines," he wrote.
"There was a stand that sold Coke and other local bottled sodas, candy, ice cream, pizza (Nardone's and for a while Gingy's from the Center Inn in Sheatown), hot dogs, and hamburgers. A swimming area was available along with a dock with the only high dive at the lake."
Silkworth pavilion was epicenter of lake activity
Published: September 29, 2010
Elizabeth Skrapits writes about the Back Mountain. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is an exerpt from the Citizens Voice newspaper:
The official web site of the
SILKWORTH MEMORIES 8/29/12
I was a kid in the late 50's and early 60's when my family vacationed at Lake Silkworth. My Mom was from Nanticoke having grown up on Green Street.
My memory of the dance pavilion was that it was named DeLuca's. Joe Deluca was the proprietor. It was white with green trim as I recall. The DeLuca dock is where my cousin and I had our Red Cross swimming lessons. Once a week a man named Mr. Nagel would come to the lake to give lessons. The hall itself had a Seeburg jukebox. On Saturday night Joe Nardone and the All Stars would come up for some live music. There was also a small covered pavilion in front of the dance hall that I was told was used for clam bakes.
The house next door was Goodwin's. That is where one went for fishing licenses etc. At one point there was what looked like an oil well next to the Goodwin house - but I was told it was a natural gas well. I don't know how that worked out. My Mom said the dance pavilion in her day was indeed "Goodwin's". Whether DeLuca bought it or leased it from Goodwin I do not know.
We rented a house on the other side of the lake owned by Sophie and Joe Layou. He was a cop, but I am not sure in what jurisdiction. Al Reese (of Reese Buick in Nanticoke) had a house near us. Down the road from us was a food stand and public beach called "States" I believe. They had an old 1940's Wurlitzer jukebox out in front. My cousins and I played Ron Holden's "Love You So" to death on that one.
Up on the main road there was a wooden pizza stand. (There was also a small wooden food stand farther down toward the swamp called Pepper's stand.)
We kids were warned never to go into the swamp.
Anyway, back to the main road. Near the Catholic Church - but closer to the lake was Klansek's General Store. It had one Richfield Gas pump in front. I think it also served as the Post Office. Mrs. Klansek ran the place. On the lake there was a bar.
As you went on the main road toward Nanticoke there was a small barn/ gas station that had two Gulf pumps.
The kids in the area in those days loved to listen to WARM radio. It did not come in well at Silkworth so we had to listen to WILK instead. Many breakfasts were spent with Don Mac Neil and the Breakfast Club from the ABC network out of Chicago.
I learned to Water ski at Silkworth. Friends of the family, the Andrews (who lived in West Nanticoke but had a place at the lake) had an motor boat and we used that. Did quite a bit of fishing too.
I just bought a book about Back Mountain communities. Although they had a few pages with pictures of Lehman Township there were no pictures nor any mention of Silkworth. I was disappointed.
The following is an exerpt from the Citizens Voice newspaper:
Now quiet, Lake Silkworth was once the place to party
Published: February 5, 2014
Elizabeth Skrapits writes about the Back Mountain. She can be reached at email@example.com
Lake Silkworth changed its character from wild to mild in the years between the World Wars.
In the roaring '20s, the popular summer resort for people in the greater Nanticoke area was swimming in bootleg booze, and there was even a gambling raid on one-armed bandits in the summer of 1926.
The only thing that changed during the Depression was that liquor became legal and there was a lot less money.
"Some local parents are seriously thinking about appealing to the state police for assistance in quelling the especially boisterous parties at Lake Silkworth," the Sunday Independent stated on July 15, 1934. "The parties are sometimes not only boisterous but pretty spicy too."
The youth of the '30s apparently didn't have much time for more wholesome pursuits, according to a brief in the Independent two months later - Sept. 2, 1934, to be exact:
"The annual Lake Silkworth Water Carnival, scheduled for Labor Day for fourteen years in the past, has been called off by the Lake Silkworth Association this year because interest has fallen off to the vanishing point and the work and expense of the preparations are not considered worth while. Thus we see the passing of an enjoyable feature of Silkworth life."
But by the time World War II was well underway, the party was over and people were sobering up.
Interest was renewed in the carnival, the Independent announced on Aug. 25, 1940, and it would be held at Goodwin's Lakeside Park, which had been purchased by Phil Shepherd.
Shepherd "intends to make the carnival an annual affair with swimming, diving and canoe races taking the spotlight."
The Lake Silkworth Association met at Goodwin's Pavilion, as it was also known, on July 12, 1942 to make some wartime safety upgrades:
"The association is interested in improving police protection for cottagers and civil defense work. One of the aims is to eliminate high powered motor boats from the lake. Plans are also being made to purchase a siren to be used as an alarm in case of air raids, fires and accidents."
By the 1950s, the water carnival included a parade with floats on boats, among other features, The Independent reported on July 30, 1950:
The theme of the carnival, to be held Aug. 20, was "Story Land," with floats depicting scenes from popular books, and a dance at Vincent's Pavilion featuring music by Jack Melton's orchestra.