Friday, July 31, 2015

McCauley's Market

While I work on the next Golden Jubilee post, here's a vintage photo of McCauley's Market, 1693 Merchant St. The market was owned by Clarence and Caroline McCauley and was taken by Mrs. McCauley's son, Edmund Silla. Edmund's son, Jay Silla, provided the photo. The young girl in the photo is Carolyn Samangy, Jay's aunt. Edmund Silla died in 2012.

Carolyn Samangy
McCauley's Market
1693 Merchant St.
1941
credit: Edmund Silla
photo courtesy Jay Silla
used with permission

The store's building survived the realignment of the north end of Merchant St. when the Old Economy Shopping Center was built in 1978, and the re-realignment after the center was later razed, and is still there. But you probably wouldn't recognize it, as it's been extensively renovated. Here's a photo from earlier this year:

1693 Merchant St.
credit: Nancy Knisley
May 2, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Golden Jubilee: Old Fashioned Bargain Days ads

I included some Ambridge Golden Jubilee's Old Fashioned Bargain Days ads in my last post. Here are more. Everyone who lived in the Ambridge area in the 1950s will remember Davidson's, Murphy's, Penney's, and Sears, but how many of the others had you forgotten about?


The AmBee Shoppe
517 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Ambridge Furniture Co.
722 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

The Bridal Lane
468 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Central Radio & TV
1194 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Darcel's
466 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Davidson's
510 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955


The Home Supply
568 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Jackson Shoe Store
543 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Katcher's
694 Merchant St., 2503 Duss Ave.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Krauss'
546 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Leo's Pharmacy
700 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Magura's Factory Salesroom
658 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Maynard Jewelry
623 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

G. C. Murphy Co.
561-565 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

J. C. Penney Co.
601 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Sacks
533-535 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Sears Roebuck and Co.
653-655 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955


Singer Sewing Machine Co.
611 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Modern Furniture Co.
434 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Sherwin-Williams
648 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Sun Drug Store
625 Merchant St.
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

More Golden Jubilee memories coming, including some photos of the huge parade.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Golden Jubilee: Old Fashioned Bargain Days

Ambridge's Old Fashioned Bargain Days were scheduled for June 30 through July 2, with a kickoff chicken dinner attended by about 300 people on June 22 at the Melody Ballroom.*

Most business dinners aren't very exciting, but the kickoff dinner's program started with a bang. Literally.

Men at Old Fashioned Bargain Days kickoff dinner
Daily Citizen
June 23, 1955

Original text:
SOME OF THE PRINCIPALS who aided in making the kick-off dinner last night to inaugurate "Old Fashioned Bargain Days" by Ambridge stores June 30 through July 2: Front left to right: Charles T. Wise, Joe DePasquale, Lawrence LaSpada. Rear: William J. Fedoryk, Al Stevens, David Apple, Eugene Williams, Jack Sterrett, William Curphey, William Merz, Phil Krauss.
  
After the dinner, Eugene Williams, president of the Ambridge Chamber of Commerce was speaking to the diners, when the police burst into the room and, according to the Daily Citizen, felled Williams, "with a fusillade of cop pistols." Keystone Kop pistols actually. Then stretcher bearers quickly arrived and carried the "wounded" Williams away. The Citizen described the diners as "startled and considerably amused" by the mayhem.

Old Fashioned Bargain Days sales began with a Merchant St. parade of costumed store clerks, led by Burgess Panek.

Burgess Panek and store clerks
Old Fashioned Bargain Days parade
Daily Citizen
June 30, 1955

Original text:
BURGESS PANEK LEADS the Old Fashioned Bargain Days parade in a rig that harks back to the pre-automobile stage. Surrounded by clerks from Ambridge stores, attired in 50-years-old styles, the line of march was along Merchant St. when the business places opened for the feast of bargains."

Hurdy-Gurdy
Old Fashioned Bargain Days parade
Daily Citizen
June 30, 1955

Original text:
EVEN AN ANCIENT HURDY-GURDY was in the Old Fashioned Bargain Days Parade this morning which started from the Borough Building. Left to right: Gene Williams, Sears; Charles Wise, Murphys; in rear of Wise is Dave Apple while at Apple's right is Andrew Hammer, of Krauss Jewelry.

The Jubilee wooden nickels could be used as currency in Ambridge stores during the celebration, but I suspect that they all were kept as memorabilia or scooped up by collectors. The front of the nickel says, "One Wooden Nickel, Face Value 5¢." The back says, "This wooden nickel is redeemable in cash at the Mellon National and the Economy Banks of Ambridge, PA. on or before June 30, 1955."

Golden Jubilee wooden nickles
Daily Citizen
June 22, 1955

Original text:
THE FABLED WOODEN NICKEL has become a reality. They are in current circulation about Ambridge in connection with the Golden Jubilee celebration. Round and about the size of a silver dollar, many local people will send them to friends. Distribution will continue today as business places are receiving their allotment. Letters are being received from coin collectors who want one or more for their possession. 

Store employees and business people wore their old-fashioned costumes. And some stores had old-fashioned displays or special events to bring customers into the store.

Rare GWK car
Daily Citizen
June 30, 1955

Original text:
A RARE AUTO ON DISPLAY -- A 1919 GWK two cylinder car, the only one in America is on display all this week during Old Fashioned Bargain Days at the Davidson's Store, Shoe Department. It was revealed that only two other model cars remain in the world and they are located in Daker, Morocco and Johannesburg, South Africa. Edgar Davidson is behind the wheel while others pictured left to right include Mrs. Ann Vorce, Ann Maravich, Mike Vito, Carol Carrerra and Dorothea Russin.

Cowboy George Boyle, Ambridge Theatre manager
Daily Citizen
June 30, 1955

Original text:
COWBOY DESERTS HORSE, GOES MODERN--George Boyle, manager of the Ambridge Theatre, deserted the horse in favor of a modern auto Thursday as he took part in the Old Fashioned Bargain Days parade.

These two amigos posing in the 300 block of Merchant St. are unidentified. If you know who they are, please leave a comment.

Two amigos
300 block of Merchant St.
July 1955
photo courtesy of Bob Mikush
used with permission


Here are some Old Fashioned Bargain Days ads, I'll post more in the next blog article. How many of these businesses do you remember?


Ambridge Chamber of Commerce
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

The David Shop
704 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955


Economy Furniture
440 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver County Times
June 29, 1955

Fishers
562 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Goorin & Harris
651 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Steiner's
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
564 Merchant St.
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Stork's Nest
652 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955

Tamers
547 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955


Taylor's Ice Cream
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Corner Duss Ave. and Merchant St.
Beaver Valley Times
June 29,  1955


Terner's
654 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955


The Venger Shop
545 Merchant St.
Old Fashioned Bargain Days ad
Beaver Valley Times
June 29, 1955


More Old Fashioned Bargain Days ads coming!
_____

* The Melody Ballroom was located at 472 Merchant St.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dean's Dining Car

I'm still working on the next installment of the Ambridge Golden Jubilee posts, but in the meantime, here's a vintage restaurant photo for you to look at.

Dean's Dining Car ad
288 Fifth St.
1929
courtesy of Good Samaritan Church archives

All I know about Dean's Dining Car is the little information that's in the ad and that it was on 5th St. in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The later Fifth Street Diner had an address of 286 Fifth St., and that part of 5th St. is only a short half-block, so I'm guessing that both diners were in the same location at different times. Butch O'Keefe says that he believes that the diners actually occupied the same building.

That part of 5th St. is now the parking lot for The Maple Restaurant.

I don't know where the ad was originally published.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Golden Jubilee: Let the celebration begin!


Official Ambridge Golden Jubilee Banner
photo credit: Brian L Carter
used with permission

Ambridge Golden Jubilee seal
photo credit: Brian L Carter
used with permission


While the two main events planned for Ambridge's official Golden Jubilee celebration were the big, big, big parade on July 2 and the presentation of the Ambridge historical pageant extravaganza "Frontiers of Freedom," June 29 through July 4, there was plenty going on every day from Sunday June 26 through July 4.

On June 24, "Freedom of Religion Day," the American Slovak Association held their picnic at Firemen's Park, and the Ambridge Eagles dedicated a Ten Commandments monument at what was then known simply as "11th Street Park".*


Ten Commandments Dedication
Daily Citizen
July 27, 1955

Original text:
UNVEIL MONUMENT -- The monument bearing the Ten Commandments was unveiled Sunday afternoon near the Ambridge War Memorial Honor Roll. The stone tablet was the gift from the Ambridge Order of Eagles to the borough in commemoration of the Ambridge Golden Jubilee. George A. Strine, York, Pa., a representative for the Grand Aerie dedicated the tablet. He is shown unveiling the monument with Burgess Walter Panek as Felix Rykaczewski, district deputy looks on. Burgess Panek accepted on behalf of the local residents.

Ten Commandments tablet
Daily Citizen
July 27, 1955

Original text:
PRESENTED TO BOROUGH OF AMBRIDGE -- This huge stone tablet bearing the Ten Commandments were dedicated Sunday afternoon in the opening event of the Ambridge Golden Jubilee near the War Memorial Honor roll. The presentation by the Fraternal Order of Eagles was made by Felix Rykaczewski to Burgess Walter Panek.

Monday, June 27 was "Golden Jubilee Day" and an official opening ceremony marked the occasion.


Golden Jubilee opening ceremony
Daily Citizen
June 28, 1955

Original text:
OFFICIAL OPENING OF GOLDEN JUBILEE -- The official opening of the Ambridge Golden Jubilee took place shortly after the noon hour Monday at Sixth and Merchant Sts., General Chairman Jack Bauder opened the affair by reading the program of events for the Jubilee. Other speakers included Burgess Walter Panek, Frank McDaniel and Genevieve Kokoski, who will reign as Queen of the Golden Jubilee. Miss Kokoski expressed her thanks to the committee and all contestants for her selection and then cut a birthday cake, donated for the occasion by Gutowski's Bakery. The Ambridge High School band played several popular numbers. Pictured left to right front row: Burgess Walter Panek, Virginia Skapik, Paul Vochko, Miss Kokoski, Jack Bauder, Dr. H. G. Squires. Second row: Mrs. Grace Martin, George Kisiday and Frank McDaniel.

Tuesday, June 28 was "Firemen's Day," highlighted by a Firemen's Parade. Twenty-eight fire companies driving 44 firetrucks and other vehicles participated.

Rochester Volunteer Fire Dept. truck
Daily Citizen
June 29, 1955

Original text:
FIREMEN'S PARADE -- One of the newest Rochester Volunteer Fire Department's truck is pictured in the Ambridge Golden Jubilee parade as it passes 4th and Merchant St., Tuesday evening.

And there was a firefighting demonstration after the Firemen's Parade. Here the Aliquippa Fire Department showed their rescue skills at Peter Pan Cleaners, 431 Merchant St. next to The Globe Men's and Boy's Wear, 429 Merchant St.

Firefighting demonstration
Daily Citizen
June 29, 1955

Original text:
FIRE FIGHTERS IN DEMONSTRATION -- Members of the Aliquippa Fire Department gave an hour long demonstration in how to fight fires in the 400 block of Merchant St., Ambridge, Tuesday evening following the Firemen's Parade. Over 30 different types of fighting methods were shown to a large audience.

There was also a "long" children's talent show at the First Ward playground.

Children's talent show
Daily Citizen
June 29, 1955

Original text:
TALENT SHOW -- A talent show among the children using the First Ward Playground was held Tuesday evening. Over 40 youngsters participated and they received great ovation from the some 200 persons that were on hand for the long program. The singers left to right are: Anna Marie Antonini, Mary Hnesduck and Anna Marie Kardash. 

Wednesday, June 29 didn't have a special "day" name, but it featured a children's pet and costume parade with marchers from Ambridge's summer playground program. The marchers in the photo below are on Merchant St. nearing 8th St. The buildings on their left are Caplan Wholesale Grocery, 798 Merchant and the Ambridge Pharmacy, 752 Merchant. Both stores were razed and their former locations are now part of the CVS pharmacy parking lot.

Children's Pet Parade
Daily Citizen
June 30, 1955

Original Caption:
CHILDREN'S PET PARADE -- One of the best children's pet and costume parades in Ambridge was held Wednesday evening in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee Celebration. The Ambridge High School band led the large contingent of youngsters from the various playgrounds. 

Later in the evening, "Frontiers of Freedom" premiered at the high school stadium, followed by fireworks.

More Golden Jubilee memories coming up including "Frontiers of Freedom," "Old Fashioned Bargain Days" which started with a real bang, the big parade, and the final events.
_____

* The name of the 11th Street Park was changed to Caul Memorial Park in honor of P. J. Caul, former Ambridge police chief, burgess, and council member in December 1958, a month after Caul died.