Community invited to take “A Step Back in Time”

Photo from the St. Marys Historical Society collection – Louis Leuschel is shown with his delivery horse, one of the town’s last. This is the only photo of the Leuschel Curry Avenue Grocery Store known to exist.
Staff Writer

The Slovene National Benefit Society (SNPJ) Lodge 581 and the Historical Society of St. Marys and Benzinger Township are set to present “A Step Back in Time” on March 4.
When Marcia Klancer Bleggi, president of St. Marys SNPJ Lodge 581, and her husband Don visited Slovenia this past year, they had the unique opportunity to make a presentation in the Mirna Library for approximately 50 people.
The talk focused on the Slovenian immigrant families who found comfort from one another by living on the same street – Curry Avenue in St. Marys. Life was not very easy in those days, and Bleggi shared the tragedies that took place, the hard work, the frugality, and the strong will of the people. She spoke of the SNPJ Lodge 581 group that offered support to the people, about the gatherings they held, the financial help they offered, and about the music and cultural traditions that they shared.
Bleggi spent the last 14 years gathering information about the Slovenians who came to the St. Marys area and shared stories with the audience. One of the stories was about the Bon family in St. Marys. Ivan Bon from Zabrdje, Slovenia sent a letter in 1993 addressed “Any Bon Family” in St. Marys. The letter found Ludwig and Dorothy Bon. Because of this letter, Bleggi and many other families were able to find their relatives.

For more on this, see today's print edition of The Daily Press.