Fall Quarterly explores origins of Sayre's mascot

SAYRE - The unveiling of the Sayre High School mascot more than 70 years ago is highlighted in the Fall issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly. The Quarterly is mailed to members as part of their membership benefits four times a year. Individual copies are available by calling the museum at (570) 882-8221 or by email at sayrehistorial@yahoo.com.

CAPTION: Former standout athlete, coach and educator Robert B. Redman is profiled in the Fall 2020 issue of the Sayre Historical Society's Quarterly magazine. Ten years before the "Redskin" was adopted as the school mascot, Coach Redman's football teams were sometimes called "The Redmen." (Sayre Historical Society Photograph)

The Redskin mascot was officially introduced to a sell-out crowd of 3,000 for the season-opening game on September 19, 1947.

"With the field in darkness except for flares surrounding a huge kettle, a band of Indians swarmed on the field and staged a dance around the flares to the rhythmic beat of drums from members of the band," according to the September 20, 1947 Sayre Evening Times. "The Indians, all bedecked in regalia, kept whooping it up until finally they reached into the kettle and brought out a large streamer bearing the name "Redskins." Then they marched about the field so the thousands of spectators could see it."

The "Indians" were portrayed by Sayre students including Ramsey Cook and the event was supervised by Miss Virginia Loop, a member of the faculty.

The Redskin name was "selected by school authorities following a year-long campaign for suggestions," stated the September 18, 1947 Sayre Times. Before the adoption of a school mascot, Sayre's sports teams were known as the Red and Blue and even the "Redmen" during the era of Sayre coach Bob Redman. An account of the legendary coach and educator is featured as the cover story which includes a photograph of Redman in his late 1920's high school football uniform. He was a Sayre native and a member of the legendary Sayre football squads during the 1924 through 1926 season when the team won 29 straight games.

A high school valedictorian, Redman played football and baseball at Swarthmore College and was a member of the college's national honor society. He received a master's degree from Duke University in 1941 and was planning to take his final examination for his doctorate at New York University before his death at age 51, according to the obituary in the June 9, 1960 Evening Times.

A second story highlights the April 14, 1977 removal of the Lehigh Valley Railroad power house stacks. Included with the story are pictures from the collection of Ed Nagle.

"There was a loud scraping when the cable tightened up on the stack, and dirt and debris started to fall away. The huge stack started teetering and swaying and it looked very much like it was going to fall toward the crane which was parked towards the former (freight) station," according to the April 15, 1977 Evening Times.

The 1933 Sayre football team is pictured in the center section of the booklet in a classic photograph taken at Howard Elmer Park. The park bandstand and the new Robert Packer Hospital, under construction following the May 3, 1933 fire, can be seen rising up in the background portion of the photo.

Ford Wolcott, a carpenter for the Lehigh Valley Railroad is also profiled in the fall issue. Wolcott, the father of Mrs. Nellie Bunn of Athens, is pictured in the window of LV inspection engine No. 6 which was "rebuilt" in the Sayre Shops in 1913. A rare photograph of the engine is included with the story. Wolcott was a World War I veteran and served at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. He was a grandson of Bradford County pioneer Samuel P. Wolcott of Litchfield.

There is also a story on the Sayre Post Office which was recently mentioned in a magazine article by Trish Gannon of Idaho. She discovered that four post office buildings, including the one in Sayre, were designed by W.D. Lovell who was employed in the office of the Supervising Architect to the Secretary of the Treasury.

The article includes the cover of the Sandpoint magazine and a view of the Sayre post office from 1969. The two other identical post office buildings are located in Bellows Falls, Vt. and Maria, Tx.

An article by Jim Nobles with an illustration by Dana Twigg, recalls the row of brick houses on N. Elmer Avenue that were reinforced with star-shaped metal rods following a damaging wind storm.

"Today, those star-shaped caps identify that row of houses built during Sayre's boomtown decade of the 1880," said Nobles.

James P. Campbell of Sayre is pictured in a campaign poster from 1915 when he was a candidate for Bradford County treasurer.

The Sayre Historical Society is a non-profit historic preservation organization staffed entirely by volunteers. The membership-supported organization receives funding from the United Way of Bradford County and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.

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