Monday, July 30, 2018

Ambridge memorabilia: Ambridge Savings and Loan Association passbook

Ambridge Savings and Loan Assoc. passbook
savings account of Eddie Dzubak, Sr. and Marie Dzubak
courtesy of Lesabeth Trzcianka and Eddie Dzubak, Jr.

Once upon a time, customers of banks and similar businesses kept track of their deposits, interest earnings, and withdrawals with a passbook like the one above. This Ambridge Savings and Loan passbook belonged to the late Eddie Dzubak Sr. and his wife, Marie Dzubak, also deceased.

Ambridge Savings and Loan: the answer to that frequently asked question: What was between Davidson's and Economy Bank?

Ambridge Savings & Loan
506 Merchant St.
Beaver County Times
March 4, 1970

The former Ambridge Savings & Loan building is now the location of WesBanco Bank.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The first Ambridge High School

Ambridge High School
740 Park Road
Daily Citizen supplement
August 10, 1929
courtesy Laughlin Memorial Library archives

The first Ambridge High School was built on Park Rd. in 1913-14, back-to-back with Second Ward School (later the Ambridge Recreation Center) which faced Maplewood. The High School opened in September 1914.

Before the first high school was built, high school students shared grade school buildings with younger students.*

Both junior and senior high students attended school in the Park Rd. building until a new Jr. High School was built on Duss Ave. in 1925. After the Jr. High opened, only Senior High students continued to attend school in the Park Rd. building until a new Senior High School annex was added to the Duss Ave. Jr. High School building. That addition opened in 1938.

Ambridge High School
740 Park Rd.

After the Senior High students moved to Duss Ave., the Park Rd. building became an elementary school called Park Road School.  In 1972, the Ambridge School Board closed Park Road School, and the building became the Ambridge Area School District Central Administrative Offices. In 2011, it became the location of the Center for Hope.

First Ambridge High School building,
later Park Road School,740 Park Rd.
November 20, 2013
copyright Nancy Knisley

At one time, Ambridge had eight school buildings crowded with students: First Ward, Second Ward, Fourth Ward, Harmony, Liberty, the first Ambridge High School (later Park Road School), Ambridge Jr. High School (later Ambridge Jr. - Sr. High School), and Anthony Wayne Elementary. Only two of those school buildings are still standing--the first High School/Park Road building and Anthony Wayne (although much altered from the original structure). Neither building is still used as a school by the Ambridge Area School District.

* Information on the different Ambridge school buildings where high school students once attended classes is somewhat conflicting. As I continue to gather more information about the history of the Ambridge schools, I hope to accurately resolve the conflicts.

The 1955 Ambridge Golden Jubilee Program gave these dates:
  • 1904 - 1912: Fourth Ward School;
  • 1912 - 1913: First Ward School;
  • 1913 - 1914: Harmony School.

The 1944 Bridger yearbook provided this information:
  • 1904 - 1911: Fourth Ward School;
  • 1911 - 1914: First Ward and Harmony buildings.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Women walking south on 400 block of Merchant St., circa 1905

Women walking south on west side of 400 block Merchant St.
circa 1905
courtesy Ambridge Borough

This early Ambridge photo shows two unidentified women walking south on the 400 block of Merchant St., still unpaved. The photo is undated, but based on the buildings already constructed on Merchant, I'd put the year around 1905.

On the right, behind the group of three men, are the buildings that I believe were 454, 458, and 462 Merchant St., now razed. According to a 1905 Sanborn Insurance map, those buildings were then occupied by a grocery, "news" (perhaps Jacob Henrici's book store?), and drug store respectively.

In the background, you can see the 5th St. side of the original Ambridge Savings and Trust Co. building. It's the building behind the two women's hats. It also was razed and is now the location of the drive-through of WesBanco bank.

For more vintage views of the 400 block of Merchant, check out the blog post, "400 block of Merchant Street: vintage views," from October 30, 2014.

When I posted the photo, I wondered where these women might be going to or coming from.

My first thought was "church." The three men across Merchant from the women are wearing suits. And so many churches held services in the Ambridge Savings Trust Co. building early in their history.

There doesn't seem to be much activity on Merchant. There may be a carriage or wagon peeking out between the two women. There are a few other walkers: in addition to the two women and three men that are easy to see, there's another man in front of the buildings on the right. And there are more people on the sidewalk in the far background.

But I don't really have anything else to go on right now.

I also wonder if this photo was taken the same day as the one of two men at the top of the October 31, 2017, blog post, "400 block of Merchant St., 1904, 1909, 1910, and 1915." That photo is dated 1904. Some of the same buildings are in both photos and the street is unpaved in both.

On the other hand, the street and sidewalk look cleaner in today's photo. Plus the west side of the street looks somewhat more developed, since I can see the fronts of the buildings that once had balconies.