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 restooring 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.
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.
“He said, ‘This is just like England,’ ” recalled Wagner, who described Jones as someone you’d run into at the post office — a contrast from the years when, as former bandmate Michael Nesmith told Rolling Stone magazine this week, the Monkees regularly fled adoring fans “like rabbits.”
The Beavertown event is the brainchild of Altoona resident Mike Shoenfelt, who said he thought he was Jones’ No. 1 fan until he looked online.
Shoenfelt and the mayor decided on a two-part tribute: a “jam fest” on the Firemen’s Carnival Grounds at noon, followed by a 3 p.m. service at the church Jones was rehabbing.
A site on Facebook spread the word. Shoenfelt said in an email that after he plugged in a date, things took off. Suddenly, more than 800 people from as far away as Texas and Ontario were vowing to trek to Beavertown.
One fan wrote that she’d named her daughter for the girl called “Sleepy Jean” in “Daydream Believer” and made her son’s middle name “David” for Jones.
Neither Jones’ old bandmates nor his widow and his four daughters from previous marriages plans to attend, but Wagner said they are sending remarks to be read aloud.