A special thanks to Richard Kondash for providing the below history!
The Story of Brown & Lynch American Legion Post No. 9
Construction of Community Center / Post Home
Post Transferred from City of Easton to Palmer Township, due to Fire on October 8, 1974
The Brown & Lynch American Legion Post No. 9 was named after the first two soldiers from the City of Easton, PA, to be killed in World War I. The Post was organized June 2, 1919, chartered August 1, 1920, and incorporated on May 13, 1981. It was located at several locations in downtown Easton.
The post was last located at 218-220 Northampton Street. At 7:01 AM, October 8, 1974, a fire alarm was reported and the building which contained the Brown & Lynch American Legion Post No. 9 was completely destroyed by fire. After that, the Post was comparatively dormant with only a few meetings a year. Some were held at the Rice Ebner American Legion Post No. 588 on South Side Easton.
During that time, the Citizens Advisory group of Palmer Township thought it would be a good idea to have a veterans organization located in Palmer Township. After much discussion and investigations, it was decided to ask Post 9 if they would consider moving to Palmer Township rather than our forming a new organization of veterans. After much negotiation, it was decided in 1978 to move Post 9 to Palmer Township. After that, Post meetings were held in Palmer Township Municipal Building at 3245 Freemansburg Ave. Later on, the meetings were moved across the parking lot to Fire Station No. 2. Later, they were moved back to the main meeting room in the Palmer Township Municipal Building. With our membership growing, we needed more space.
In 1978, the Post membership was 228. In the following few years it dropped as low as 186 in 1981. Then, the membership started to grow, and we are proud to say that in 1992, we went over the 400 mark.
After many months and ivestigations of many locations, it was decided the Post would purchase 4.2453 acres of land on Corriere Road from Heston G. Wolf and Minerva Benson; the sale was completed September 22, 1981. After lots of red tape, meetings, etc., a building permit was issued on April 29, 1982. Now the project was to start, with practically no capital, on the wish of a few to see an American Legion Community Center built on our newly-acquired lot on Corriere Road.
Our land was surveyed by Tom Sales and monuments were installed by Edward White and Reno O. Buss. Palmer Township approved the conditional use of the land for the erection of a building to be used as an American Legion Post on April 27, 1982. Request was approved by the Palmer Planning Commission, previously. The deed for the land was signed Septermber 22, 1981.
The topsoil was removed and fill trucked in from a nearby construction site. We located a 40' x 100' quonset hut that was being removed from the Binney & Smith Co. property a few miles from our land. We negotiated with Palmer Township and sold them the top soil they needed for a recreation park they were building on a dump site. We used the money from the sale of the topsoil to purchase the quonset hut. After the fill was installed, we dug for footings and foundations to put the quonset hut upon.
During and before the above, jobs were being worked on; an 18 foot sign was being installed at the intersection of Tatamy Road and Corriere Road. The sign was from a builder that built Roy Rogers, at Whale of a Wash on Northampton Street, across from Schaibles Bakery. Chrin Inc. removed the sign, put it on a flatbed, and hauled it to the Chrin garage for storage. Met Ed tried to drill holes for the sign but were unsuccessful because of too much rock. Pete Nicholson tried to dig holes with a back hoe but was unsuccessful because of rock. Chrin drilled and blasted with dynamite a hole about five feet deep. Chrin delivered the sign and William Gischel, with the use of his two men anchored the sign into place and poured about one yard of concrete around the legs of the sign. Concrete was donated by a builder of a large project building homes in the Township. Donald Campbell, with the Township loader, put two loads of topsoil at the base of the sign.
The permit for the sign at Tatamy Road & Corriere Road was issued on September 28, 1981, with approvals of William Corriere (the land owner), Palmer Zoning Hearing Board and the Palmer Township Board of Supervisors. Frank Ziolowski, with the help of the Township bucket truck, painted the black & white of the frame. Mickey Panuccio wired the sign and William Shupsky painted the faces of the sign. Tom Buss landscaped the base of the sign. William and Ford Corriere gave permission to install the sign on property of Keystone Food Inc., after permission was granted by Palmer Townshp Zoning Hearing Board to install on property not owned by Brown & Lynch American Legion Post 9. The Palmer Township Board of Supervisors granted permission to install this sign in the Township right-of-way along Tatamy Road.
After the Quonset hut was erected, the carpentry class from the Eastern Northampton County Vocational Technical School built on the front of the building so that doors could be installed where the large sliding doors had been removed. The sliding doors were large enough to accommodate an 18 wheel tractor trailer. Then the next school year the masonry class of the Vo-Tech School mentioned above came and built a stone front over the wooden front of the building. The stones came from the dung yard at a barn that had been destroyed by fire. The stone was loaded on trucks and brought to our site by a generous contractor from our area. The final glass doors that were installed we procured from the Palmer Park Mall because they were expanding the mall and the doors were no longer needed. Tons of donated stone was installed and concrete poured to make the floor for the 40' x 100' main hall. The rear sliding doors were removed and doors like in the front of the building were installed at the rear of the building. A local producer of plastic conduit pipe donated enough conduit to wire the building. At the same time, another large factory was being built, and when the temporary wiring was no longer needed, the wire was removed and donated to our project.
About that time, we were ready to put an addition onto the quonset hut to house our bar room, kitchen, toilets, cloak room, electric room, office, and hallway from the parking lot. After searching for a price for a 25' x 100' metal building, a local contractor came forward. During our negotiations with him, and after he heard of our plight, and after some thought on his part, he announed he was going to donate the addition. He fabricated the I-beams and ordered the building from the Stran Building Co. of LaGrange, Georgia. When the building arrived on the site, he sent a crew of men and erected the building. During the time between the ordering and delivery of the building, we excavated and installed concrete footings and foundation, thus obtaining a full cellar under the addition. One ready-mix concrete dealer donated 30 yards of concrete, another 25, and another 20 yeards of concrete. All this goes to prove there are many good people out there.
The permit for the sign on the front lawn was issued January 14, 1985. The permit for the erection of the quonset hut was issued April 29, 1982.
Now we were ready to put a floor and partitions into the addition with just about all-volunteer labor. Next came the wiring and plumbing, much of which was done with the purchase of some material and more volunteer labor. We had to purchase drywall and it too was installed by volunteers (mostly members of the Post). We had a heat pump and air conditioner, donated by one of our members, installed to heat and air condition the bar room and the men's and ladies' rooms. A local contractor prepared the duct work and with help from a few volunteers, the system was installed. Another local heat and air contractor wired the unit and got everything running. Once again, he donated all his labor costs. While this was being done, we poured a concrete floor in the cellar.
The Hotel Easton in downtown Easton was going through some rebuilding and we procured three quarters of our bar from them, as well as four large chandeliers for our main hall. We also got sixteen bar stools that we refurbished to look like new. Our local Moose Lodge No. 45 sold their building in downtown Easton and rebuilt in Palmer Township. We received from the Moose a beer tap system and cabinet, as well as three large vulcan ranges for our kitchen. The local Marine Corps League also donated a used bottle beer cooler. The sink was purchased at auction from a local bar that went out of business.
The J.T. Baker Chemical Company of Phillipsburg, NJ, installed new toilets and the plumber gave us all the sinks, toilets, and urinals. They were all cleaned up and then installed in our Men's and Ladies' rooms. The local plant of Harvel Plastic Pipe donated all the plastic pipe and fittings needed to do the plumbing. A local plumber donated all the time needed to complete the plumbing in the building, as well as all the piping for the septic system. The digging for the septic system was done as a donation by another local contractor. Another local contractor went out of the building business to open a pizza store, and he donated enough ceramic title to do our toilets with four-feet-high tile on the walls. One of our members is a contractor, and he installed the tile free-of-charge for us.
In our Kitchen, all the work tables, dishwasher, deep freezer, refrigerator, ice-cube maker, sandwich-making bar, exhaust fan, and hood over the ranges, as well as the fire suppression system, are all used, and were refurbished before they were installed. R. S. Hahn Inc., with a machine shop, made all our stainless steel connecting work areas between our dishwasher, sink, etc. as well as many other parts needed to install our kitchen as it is today. Even the kitchen cabinet doors were donated from a kitchen that ws rebuilt in a private home. The deep freeze was donated by a local church and repainted by one of our members. The chopping block table was donated by Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge No. 45 and the table top was refurbished by a local cabinetmaker and mill. Even an 8' x 8' walk-in cooler was donated by a local market tat was being refurbished.
The permit for the 25' x 100' addition to the quonset hut was issued on August 16, 1988. The plumbing permit was issued September 12, 1988, to William Shellenberger, a member and plumber. The electrical permit was issued on September 12, 1988, to Mickey's Electric. The first set of plans for the building were approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety August 4, 1988. The revised prints were approved August 15, 1991, by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
All of our electrical work was done by Mickey's Electric, and our volunteers helped him wherever it was possible. A store in the 25th St. Shopping Center was refurbished, and we got two large electric panels and over one-hundred-eight-foot fluorescent light fixtures, as well as a six foot, double glass and aluminum doors which is in our vestibule by the parking lot.
Our local utility companies donated telephone poles on which we mounted street lights for our parking lot that is made for over one hundred cars. The lights at the entrance of the parking lot were at a gasoline station that was razed to make room for a Silo store. We have three aluminum flag poles on our front lawn. They were all light standards that had been damaged by auto accidents. They have been refurbished to like-new condition. We have vestibules at all entrances and they also were buit from doors, etc. from stores at different locations in the Lehigh Valley. Our latest project is the acquisition of a 25 ton M42 Duster Tank which will be located on our front lawn, as well as a concrete doughboy that will be erected by the flag poles.
Now, about the main hall. Much of the lumber used in this project was wood from jobs that were refurbishing stores, etc. in our area. The nails etc., were removed, and we reused as much of that material as possible because we had to work with a very low budget. When our Palmer Park Mall was built, some of the stores were not rented, yet, so the fronts of some of the spaces were closed up with drywall and lumber. As the stores were built and their, the lumber and drywall was removed and we hauled all that material to our job. Three walls of our forty by one hundred foot hall were drywalled with that used material. We finally had heat and air conditioning installed, and once again R. S. Hahn Inc. donated the labor of his employees as a memorial to his brother, who was one of our deceased members. We have insulated the building very well, and the outside of the quonset hut was screwed together very well. A coat of special silver paint was applied to make the building last for many more years. We intalled a drop ceiling with lights, emergency lighting, and dimmer-controlled chandeliers, plus side lights. Speakers are also installed for a sound system. The floor was tiled by our volunteers. We purchased 230 used chairs from Moose Lodge No. 45, and our Ladies Auxiliary cleaned them very well. We have purchased tables, and built a small platfrom for our BINGO machine and operator, so he can see the full hall while in operation. When not in use, that patform will have drapes suspended from the ceiling so that the BINGO machine, etc. will not be seen during wedding receptions, dances, and other ocasions. We even had a used BINGO machine and some cards donated to us by Moose Lodge No. 45.
This project has taken over twelve years. I am sure I will have forgotten something important, so I will say I am sorry for any omissions and to those aggrieved people, forgive me. The project was long and at times very irritating. Some tempers got very short, but we have accompished what many people have called mission impossible. But we did it! I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks a million to all who have given this project a helping hand.
To our four deceased comrades that were in the building group -Joseph Gaus, who headed the finance committee from the start, to my very good buddies Edward White, Francis E. Breidinger, our building leader/instructor, and Harry Hunsinger- I want to say, "Fellows, we did it! So rest in peace. your Mission was accomplished."
I am proud to have been a part of such a fine group of people, and that we have accomplished a milestone many through would never be completed.
To all who have volunteered and contributed to this worth[while] project. The Good Lord will reward you, I am sure.
~Reno O. Buss, Building Chairman
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