July 25, 1951:

Four-hundred people were on hand for the official opening of the Thaddeus Kosciusko School (No. 44) Playground on a pleasant evening in July.
The opening ceremony was held following the completion of improvements to the school and playground that included the paving of the playground. The Technical High School Band and 11-year-old guitarist John Margis entertained the crowd.


TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES Richard F. McNichols, center, standing, chairman of the Municipal Recreation Commission, addresses the 400 people gathered for the dedication of the Kosciusko School Playground on July 25, 1951, on the 400 block of Wilbur Street in North Scranton. Seated at right in front of the playground band are, from left: School Director Norman Halprin; Mayor James T. Hanlon, the principal speaker; and Superintendent of Recreation Robert “Pop” Jones.

Scranton Mayor James T. Hanlon delivered a speech to mark the opening of the playground that also featured a wading pool.
The playground was under the direction of Joan Green with assistance from Lou McIntrye.


Eleven-year old John Margis, 2807 Marvine Ave., standing at the microphone, scored a hit with his performance with the crowd at the opening ceremony of the Kosciusko Playground on July 25, 1951. Looking on, from left, are: Norman Halprin, Richard McNichols, James Gonan, Mrs. Leonard Ketz and Mrs. William Tomlin, members of the neighborhood committee; School Directors Doughlas Jenkins and Edward Popol and Dr. John Dyer, Superintendent of Schools. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Because of declining enrollment, the Scranton School Board voted in August 1960 to close the Kosciusko school. Only 16 children were enrolled at the four-room schoolhouse on Wilbur Street at the time of the vote. In May 1984, the school board agreed to sell the grounds of the Kosciusko school to Eugene and Joanne Foley for $5,100.
A native of Poland, Kosciusko moved to North America and played an integral role in the military campaigns of the American Revolution. He died in Switzerland on Oct. 15, 1817, at 72. A memorial to Kosciusko sits on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square.