Sunday, January 14, 2018

Joseph Spagnolo Fruits and Vegetables circa 1920

Joe Spagnolo & Co.
501 Merchant St.
circa 1920s
courtesy Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation

The only information identifying the photo above that I found in the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation's archives was "Joe Spagnolo, 501 Merchant." I'd love to know who the three people in the photo are.

Joe Spagolo & Co. ad
Economy of Old and Ambridge of Today

Joe Spagnolo was in business for many years, but he didn't start his fruit and vegetable business at 501 Merchant St., and he didn't end up there either. Like many early Ambridge merchants, he moved his business several times.

I don't know where Spagnolo's business was located in 1903, or over a decade after that. The earliest address I could connect to a date was 514 Merchant, published in the Telephone Directory of the Central District Telephone Co., Jan. 10, 1914.

However, in 1914, 514 Merchant was an address on the west side of Merchant. In 1917, building numbers on Merchant were changed, with the odd and even numbers switching sides of the street. After that, buildings on the west side of Merchant had odd numbers. The building that had been numbered 514 Merchant became 523 Merchant.

By the 1920s, Spagnolo had moved his business to 501 Merchant. The 1922 Beaver County Mercantile Appraiser's List shows his business there.

Joe Spagnolo & Co. ad
St. Stanislaus Church dedication book
Good Samaritan Church archives

In the 1930s, Spagnolo had moved again, to 659 Merchant St.

Joe Spagnolo Company ad
United Polish Societies commemorative book
Good Samaritan Church Archives

By 1949, Spagnolo was again at a different location, 4th and Maplewood. Does anyone know which corner?

J. Spagnolo & Co. Fruit Market ad
"Minstrel Varieties" program
Ushers Club of St. Veronica's Church
Good Samaritan Church archives

The 4th and Maplewood address for Spagnolo's fruit market is the last I have found. I don't know if the market moved again, or closed. If anyone can provide that information, please let me know.

People who grew up in Ambridge in the 1940s - 70s, may remember 501 Merchant as the location of the Penn Sweet Shop.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, I actually owned the scale that was at Penn Sweet Shop: (it went to Broadway for the new (at the time)off Broadway show Letter to Harvey Milk: