Carbondale, Pa. West Side Mine Fire Area


Below are links to pictures I have of the West Side homes lost because of the mine fire. Naturally, most are of my own family members, but I am willing to add others if shared with me.


In addition to those, my prized possession is an aerial shot taken by a cousin (Fiore Cerra of Bridgeport, Ct). I had erroneously concluded that this aerial was taken between 1960 and 1964, but Jim Kelly of Carbondale noted that Hornbeck's was missing and did some research that suggested this aerial was taken circa 1948.


I’m in the process of trying to identify the streets that used to be in that area (input from viewers is appreciated). I have identified the homes of my grandparents and their brothers and sisters and noted a few landmarks.



Thank you Jim Kelly for the following research:

I did some research on the Hornbeck property. According to the Polk Registry that was available in the library. In 1943 there was a Hudson coal pocket on the property. That would have been a large elevated structure that held coal. In 1948 the property was owned by the Hudson Coal Co. but was vacant.
In 1950 the Hornbeck Chevrolet building was on the property.  It was probably built in 49 or early 50. Also Arco Ave had 6 properties in 1943. In 1948 the street did not exist. The 1 house that was left was not listed in the directory. Could have been changed to rear S. Hospital.  
I am also trying to talk to members of the Moxie club to see when the building on Hospital Street was built. I think it was in the 50's so that is why it doesn't show up on your photo.



West Side Aerial


Legend: – Every effort has been made to identify the house numbers and residents, but this was not always easy as memories differed and folks moved about.


1. Grandparents – Nicholas and Catherine Molinaro Bonacci, 69 S. Hospital St.


2. Frank and Filomena Cerra Scalzo, 75 S. Hospital St.


3. Uncle Tony and Aunt Fernata Bonacci Molinaro, 65 S. Hospital St.


4. Uncle John and Aunt Maggie Molinaro Cerra, 48 S. Hospital St.


5. Uncle Frank and Aunt Mary Angel Bonacci Sirianni, 51 Leo. St.


6. Uncle Sam and Aunt Theresa Bonacci Cerra, (52) Leo St.

Their son Dominic and his wife Genevieve Andidora Cerra later lived in this house.


7. Uncle Pete and Aunt Yol Guzzi Bonacci and Uncle Tom and Aunt Angie Bonacci DePeep, 9 Shell Ave.


8. Uncle Louis and Aunt Rose Molinaro Scavo, 8 Arco Ave. The house has already been torn down.


9. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church


10. #10 Columbus School, 68 Hospital St., corner of Brown St.


11. Moxie Club - the building was not yet erected.


12. William Cooper (owner) 57 S. Hospital St. Living with him was his sister and brother-in-law with their children:

Joseph and Madeline Cooper Purcell, Children – Mary, William, and Kathleen.


13. Two families, 53 Leo St.

Joseph and Philomena Leo Cerra and Philomena’s brother Felix and Mary Solomon Leo. These are the two families whose four sons were killed in WWII; the Cerra-Leo Park is dedicated to those four sons – Joseph Leo, Samuel Leo, Felix Cerra and Joseph Cerra.


14. Ralph and Rose Cerra Sirianni, 26 Vine St. Children – Anthony, Kathryn, Joseph, Ralph, Louis, Mary Jo and Eugene.


15. James and Concetta/Catherine Leo Martine (Martino), 79 S. Hospital St. (1st house on right after bridge)


16. Joseph and Rose DeFazio Mazzei/Motsay, 84 S. Hospital St. (1st house on left after bridge) - Children (Surname changed to Motsay) - Philip, Joseph, Dominic, Rose, Leonard, Gerard, Russell, Florence, Raymond, Richard, Marie, Robert, Francis, William.


17. Joseph and Maria Grande Tomaine/Tomaino, 10 Arco Ave. The house has already been torn down.

Children and spouses – Bruno (Maria Sirianni), Bernard (Teresa Bevilacqua), Rose (Frank Comeno), Carmine (Stella Lidaka), Theresa, Mary (? Chandler).


18. Gilia, ?? Arco Ave. The house has already been torn down.


19. unknown, ?? Arco Ave. The house has already been torn down.


20. Joseph and Mary Scarpino Molinaro, ?? Leo St.


21. Joseph and Mary Durso Molinaro, 63 Leo St.

Children – Margaret, Antoinette, Palma, George, Sam, John, Basil, and Joseph.

This house later owned by a Fortuner family.


22. Russell and Betty Ross Galati, 61 Leo St.

Children – Mary Ann and Joseph


23. Dominick and Elizabeth Bruno Durso, 59 Leo St.

Dominick was 1st married to Rose Molinaro and had Jackson, Gabriel and Mary Durso.

Elizabeth Bruno was 1st married to Russell Marasco and had Victoria Marasco.

Dominick and Elizabeth then had Natale, Alexander, Antoinette, Samuel, and Joseph Durso.


24. Lovito – Aiello (Aileo) families, 55 Leo St.

Mary Molinaro was 1st married to Antonio Aiello (who built this house between 1910-1914) and they had John Joseph, Jackson, Frank, and Edward Aileo (the spelling had been changed).

Mary Molinaro then married James Lovito and they had James Lovito.


25. John “Bedge” and Jenny Molinaro Cerra, 54 Leo St. Children – Mary, Joseph, John, Patrick, and Anna.


26. Joseph and Antoinette Galati, 34 Vine St.


27. Carmine and Stella Lidaka Tomaine, 37 Vine St.

Children - Joseph, Teresa, Louis, Thomas, James, and Robert


28. Moro, ?? Vine St.


29. A 4 car garage, Vine St.,

Belonged to James Craparo (husband of Teresa Cerra) who lived on Shell Ave.


30. Owned by Ralph and Rose Cerra Sirianni (see #14 above), 24 Vine St.

Two tenants:

Richard and Mary Leo Chellino with son Bruno.

Patrick “Twee” and Cecilia Cerra Levite and children Louis and Josephine “Joey”


31. Falbo, ?? Vine St.


32. Gregory Angotti's family, ?? Vine St.


33. Craparo’s Grocery Store and Hall (upstairs), 18 Shell Ave.

Owned by Charles and son James Craparo.


34. Charles and Josephine Angello Craparo, 17 Shell Ave.

Children James, Joseph, Josephine, Thomas, Mary, Salvatore and Philip.

Son James married Teresa Cerra and are parents of Josephine, Carmel and Mary Lou.


35. Vincenzo “James” and Dorotea DeRosa Burgio, 19 Shell Ave.

Related to the Craparo family (see #34)

Children Charles, John, Vito, Angelo, Caroline, Mary, Louise Ann, James Jr., and Joseph.


Houses behind 19 Shell Ave.

36. Garage

37. Mrs. Creto’s mother

38. Mrs. Creto and sons Tony and Frank


39. Touch Family, 21 Shell Ave.

Per 1930 census, this would be the family:

Joseph and Angelina and children Dominick, Mary, Carmella, and Anthony


40. Salvatore and Mary Mongelia Buonomo, 36 Shell Ave.

Children – Madeline, Samuel, Marion, Rose, Anna Mae, Patrick, Ralph, and Rosemary


41. 25 Brown St. – this house was not lost in the mine fire


42. 27 Brown St. – this house was not lost in the mine fire


43. 41 rear Shell Ave. - Gerard and Agnes Flynn Flannery with children Gerard Jr., Thomas, William, and Mary Loretta.


44. 37 Shell Ave. – John and Helen Doyle Moran with children John Jay, Judy, Jimmy, Jerry, Joel and Janet. This house was owned by Joseph Tige (see 48)


45. Shell Ave. - Basil and Mary Craparo Cerra with children Joseph and Mary Jo.


46. Shell Ave – owned by Basil Cerra (see 45). Rented by Connie Leo.


47. 35 Shell Ave

1st floor owner  Mr. Grecco and wife Mary with daughters Dorothy and Carmalita.

2nd floor renter Nick Conigliaro; he had a barbershop on Main St. over Kelly’s Drug Store.


48. 39 Shell Ave. – Joseph Tige, wife and son Joe, Jr.


49. Shell Ave. – owned by John Milanti (see 50)


50. Shell Ave.  – John Milanti


51. – shed owned by John Milanti were he parked his Model-T Ford.


52. Shell Ave.

Mike and Joe Bell.

Dr. Thomas Craparo’s grandmother.


53. 47 Shell Ave. – Mr. and Mrs. Carol with children Richard and Donald.


54. Shell Ave. – Tony Cino and wife Elenor with children Bobby and Justine.

Tony had a photography store and taught guitar lessons across from Dr. Kauffman’s office on N. Church St.


55. S. Hospital St. - Uncle Gene Bonacci and wife Rose Scavo/Ciance with son Tom Bonacci. Aunt Rose’s maternal grandmother, Antoinette Caperulo Ciance, lived with them. Rose was adopted by her grandparents.



Pictures of the lost houses

Arco Ave from the rear


Aunt Fernata's House


Grandpa's house


S Hospital St houses


S Hospital St


Esposito houses


Finlon's house


I have no idea whose house this was or where it was located. If anyone knows, please contact me.

unknown house

I had two simultaneous emails from Mary Grazanti Sweder/Sweeder who wrote:

1. This picture is Miller's House.  This was taken on North Hospital Street

2. Miller’s house on N. Scott St.

I wrote back asking for details about the Miller family and for clarification of the street, but did not get an answer.


Other Pictures

Aunt Vera's lot


Aunt Vera's steps


Behind Aunt Vera's


D & H at O & W


Bill Connor has graciously shared his pictures with me and answered my scores of questions for details about them. Thank you Bill!












Brooklyn St


7th Ave crossing


Carbondale PA mine fire dig







Jim Bonacci sent a couple of pictures of his family home. Thank You Jim.

14 Delaware St Carbondale.jpg


14 Delaware St.jpg


Contact me, Mary Jo Loyd or


Return to my home page