Photo and story by Rick Hiduk
Wyoming County Commissioners (from left) Judy Mead, Tom Henry, and Ron Williams poked some fun at each other during their June 5 meeting relative to the recent taping of a television program highlighting historic courthouses.
A break in the daily routine of county business at the Wyoming County Courthouse provided a unique opportunity for the County Commissioners and put the historic courthouse in Tunkhannock in the spotlight.
“It was supposed to be historical, but sometimes it was hysterical,” said Ron Williams.
In their regular meeting on June 5, the commissioners joked about their brief encounter with a television crew from PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network). It was apparently unnerving to each of the three, but Tom Henry and Williams credited fellow Commissioner Judy Mead for being a natural in front of the camera, as she related county history in front of the 144-year-old courthouse.
“I’m the one that’s usually the ham, but I froze,” Henry admitted. “Judy did great.”
“I was a nervous wreck,” Mead responded with a laugh. “I have no idea what I said.”
In preparation for the taping, the commissioners first the Wyoming County Historical Society, where Mead guided the research and procurement of props that were used in the taping of the PCN segment. Each of the commissioners said that he or she learned something new about the county in the process..
“In trying to figure out the history, I dug up more questions,” Mead remarked.
Williams related that he learned that the extra-wide judge’s seat in the courtroom was created from a single piece of wood from a tree that was felled on courthouse square.
Henry was also fascinated by the history of the early Wyoming County Prison of which there were several versions before the new modern structure was built on Stark Street.
“We were a hang’m high county,” Henry said of the number of hangings in Tunkhannock in the 1800s. “It was a big deal in those days. They sold tickets.” The last hanging, he noted, was a double hanging and took the lives of the first two Jewish Americans to be executed in the country.
The commissioners are unsure of when PCN would air the segment but, according to the Wyoming County Press Examiner, a copy of the finished production will be given to the county to be viewed by visitors to the courthouse.
The Examiner article written by Mike Wintermute also earned Mead a new moniker – Vanna.
“I’ll get him for that,” she joked.