Sayre Bottling Works featured in Winter Quarterly

SAYRE – The Winter Quarterly from the Sayre Historical Society features an account of the Sayre Bottling Works which was a successful beverage company until Prohibition in 1920. The illustrated booklet also has a story on former Sayre resident Peter Cacchione, who was elected a New York City Councilmen in the years following the Great Depression as well as a story on the 1916 wedding of Dr. Donald Guthrie to Emily Baker in New York City. A special feature of the Quarterly is a letter from the late President George W. Bush on the occasion of Sayre’s Centennial in 1991.

CAPTION: A horse-drawn delivery wagon from the Sayre Bottling Works from about 1916, pictured above, is the cover photograph of the Winter issue of the Sayre Historical Society’s Quarterly history magazine, now available.

The Quarterly is a benefit to members of the Sayre Historical Society and is delivered by mail to members four times per year. Individual copies are available from the Sayre Historical Society and Carl’s News Stand in Sayre.

The Sayre Bottling Works was located at 117 N. Lehigh Avenue (near the location of the late Mac Davenport’s Garage) in the years before Prohibition. The cover photograph shows the name “C.H. Honold” on the side of the wagon which is drawn by two white horses. Honold was born in Westfield, Pa. and worked for a time as a boiler inspector for a tannery in Powell, Pa. and later worked for Swift & Co. of Elmira. He passed away in 1949.

Honold was preceded as owner by Charles C. Wolfe who learned the trade of boilermaker and was employed as a boiler inspector in the roundhouse for the Lehigh Valley Railroad for 12 years. He passed away in 1909.

Wolfe was preceded at the Sayre Bottling Works by Eugene (Jud) Connelly who owned the popular Springs Corner Hotel and sponsored a well-known baseball team for many years. Connelly was involved in a tragic accident when the car he was driving was struck at a railroad crossing near Odessa, NY in 1913. Connelly was killed along with his daughters, Phoebe, age 22 and Carolyn, age 19. His wife was severely injured in the mishap.

According to the September 8, 1913 Wilkes-Barre Record, “Mr. Connelly was a prominent member of the Elks and in Sayre was regarded as one of the most progressive citizens of Bradford County. He was well-known throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and had resided in Sayre for many years.”

A photograph of the Springs Corner Hotel is included in the article as well as an advertisement for the Sayre Bottling Works.

Pete Cacchione was the subject of a book written in 1976 highlighting the rise of the former Sayre man and World War I veteran who became New York City’s first councilman elected as a Communist during the years following the Great Depression.

“One would think that the story of Pete should long ago have engaged the attention of the chroniclers of the time,” said author Simon Gerson. “Yet, except for a few writers of the left – and their accounts have been fragmentary – Pete has been largely ignored.”

Gerson said Cacchione, whose sister was the well-known Molly Cacchione and whose parents operated a bakery on Sayre’s East Side for many years, was “mourned by hundreds of thousands” when he passed away in 1947.

“Although his friendliness, zest for games and mischief had earned him wide popularity and lifelong friends, he was nevertheless the ‘Italian boy,’ marked as surely as through every day were Ash Wednesday,” Gerson said. “He was the first Italian American ever to graduate from Sayre High School and he would have made it in three years if he hadn’t fought the principal in the school basement for a remark the principal made which Pete interpreted as an insult to Italian-Americans. The impetuous Italian who had won his school letter in baseball and football soundly thrashed the school head and then won him as a friend for life.”

A photograph of the Wilbur Hook & Ladder Co. Band of Sayre is featured in the booklet centerfold section. The photograph was donated by Patricia Bostwick Eddy of Farmington, NY.

The Winter Quarterly also includes an advertisement from the Sayre Theater from 1940 featuring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine in the movie Rebecca as well as movies featuring George Raft, Edward G. Robinson and Shirley Temple. The program was donated by Ted Pinkard of Sayre.

The inside back cover features a list of “WATS Tuff 20” from 1970 highlighting popular songs of the early Seventies including “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles, “Hitching a Ride” by Vanity Fair and “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne. The Top “20” Records “surveyed by Sayre radio station WATS-960 were available at the W.T. Grants Record Department located in the Valley Shopping Plaza for “only 77 cents each.”

The Sayre Historical Society is a member-supported historic preservation organization staffed by volunteers. It is funded in part by the Bradford County United Way and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency. Visit www.sayrehistoricalsociety.org or Facebook for additional information.

The museum is presently closed for the winter and will reopen on Saturday, April 6 with a new exhibit titled “Working on the Railroad: Sayre and the Lehigh Valley Railroad.”

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