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Pen Argyl

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Smaller than nearby Bangor, Pen Argyl was also named for a Welsh mining town. It bloomed with the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s, and its architectural character is of a late Victorian industrial vernacular. Perhaps its most arresting feature is the pair of matching three-story red brick schoolhouses on its main street, Pennsylvania Avenue. Their history is unusual. In 1892, with more than 600 pupils overflowing Pen Argyl's Lincoln School, a second school was built and named after the recently assassinated President Garfield. When yet a third school was needed in 1907, it was named for the late President McKinley, prompting the town's dubious boast that its three schools were each named for America's three assassinated presidents. The twin school buildings are now apartments. Also of note is Weona Park, at the intersection of E. and S. Main streets, which contains the famous Dentzel Carousel (1917–1923). Made by William Dentzel of Philadelphia's Dentzel Company, it comprises forty-four hand-carved and hand-painted animals, including horses (no two are alike), reindeer with real antlers, goats, giraffes, and a lone zebra. It is one of only two surviving Dentzel carousels with original paint. The enclosing wood frame polygonal structure is also original.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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