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Fans to descend on Pa. hamlet that was Monkee’s hideaway

March 9, 2012 by  
Filed under davy, news feed

BEAVERTOWN, Pa. – In death, you could say, Monkees singer Davy Jones is on tour again.

His funeral was Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. Memorials are planned in Los Angeles, New York City, and his native England. But amid the global fanfare, legions of social-media-savvy fans are flocking to this rural Pennsylvania borough for a modest commemoration.

Tiny Beavertown, 160 miles northwest of Philadelphia, is honoring Jones on Saturday with a four-hour event to celebrate his music and pay tribute to a fondly remembered resident.

Jones, 66, who died Feb. 29 in Florida, bought a clapboard home in Beavertown two decades ago. Here, the 1960s teen idol could ride his horses, feed his cats, and live in anonymity.

Relative anonymity, that is. Neighbor Carol Wickard recalls how a decade or so ago, Jones would don a long-haired wig to trim his hedges even though fans only sporadically came by.

“I’d tell him, ‘Davy, I know it’s you.’ He’d say something and I’d say, ‘Just don’t open your mouth. You’re the only person around with an English accent.’ ”

Jones, immortalized by chart-topping hits such as “Daydream Believer,” spent recent winters in Florida but called Beavertown home. He hosted neighbors at his modest Colonial with peeling yellow paint. He was restoring a tumbledown church, hoping to create a Monkees museum and a theater. He rode his horses around town and paid his water bill, like the other 976 residents, at the borough hall.

Beavertown is in the Middle Creek Valley, sandwiched between Jack’s Mountain and Shade Mountain, their slopes dotted with sprawling chicken farms that serve Empire Kosher Poultry and organic chicken processor Bell & Evans. The area counts among its population many Amish and Mennonites who work in the building trades and on family farms.For years, the borough’s most famous resident was a car – the LuLu, a short-lived model made by the Kearns Motor Car Co. in 1914. Then Jones arrived.

He planted roots in this remote spot (“20 miles from anywhere,” as one resident puts it), buying 13 acres on the borough’s edge. The house was large but hardly fancy, with stables out back.

What drew the onetime international heartthrob here? Mayor Cloyd Wagner says Jones first visited with a former Monkees musical director who hailed from the borough, and he fell in love with the rolling landscape.

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