Fernwood is a small Gulich Township community, adjacent to Janesville. Fernwood Road, today, winds its way from Route 253, through the Mine No. 28 community and on to Route 153, near Ginter.
Fernwood was also the last westerly stop of the old Alley Popper (Philipsburg Branch of the Altoona and Pittsburgh Railroad) line that began in Philpsburg, in 1894, and eventually made its way to Fernwood.
The Alley Popper’s cars carried coal from the local mines to market, connecting with the larger Pennsylvania Railroad lines.
For a few decades, it also did a brisk business by hauling passengers to and from Ramey, Houtzdale, Osceola Mills and Philipsburg.
Fernwood Park, shown in the early 20th century photo, was a clearing at the end of the rail line, on which a large wooden pavilion once stood. It was a gathering site for family and church picnics, and perhaps wedding receptions as well as dances.
Those shown in the photo seem be dressed in their Sunday best. The women and girls are wearing their long white summer dresses and big hats.
The leaves are on the trees, so the gathering was likely a summer event. Men still wore their woolen suits, wrap around neck collars and hats.
It was common, then, for people to “dress for the occasion,” which meant being covered with clothes. It would have been tough to deal with summer heat in the days before tee shirts and shorts were common summer picnic attire.
A stump, remaining from the original logging days, is also shown. Today, the park site has a pathway and looks to be overgrown with trees.