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Sunday, September 20, 2009

1943: WHO SAID "YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN?"

This guest book entry from Ms. Kathryn Lacy Wake was posted today. Kathryn is looking for fellow HHS '43 classmates with whom to re-establish contact. Kathryn, it is an unfortunate truth that your generation is sadly lacking in computer involvement. I just wrote about that very thing in my "Sentimental Journey" column in the Trenton Times. I hope you find a classmate who is into computing and reads this, but the chances are mighty slim.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

1869: Circa 1869 TRENTON RETROSPECTIVES

One of my favorite folders is the "TRENTON-RETROSPECTIVES" where old timers recall the area as they remember it in their younger years. A retrospective look back from a fellow who was interviewed in 1912 and recalls events of 80 plus years ago constitutes true first person history. The above is the first of what will be a number of those interesting articles which I will be posting.
AS TIME PERMITS, I WILL ADD A "GLOSSARY," IDENTIFYING SOME OF THE PLACES MENTIONED IN SPECIFIC ARTICLES. FOR INSTANCE, THE CEMETERY REFERRED TO ABOVE WOULD BE THE MERCER CEMETERY ON SOUTH CLINTON AVENUE.

1904: MOVING PICTURES

The next few posts will be dealing with movie theaters in the Trenton area. From the very primitive 1904 "moving pictures" exhibited by Lyman Howe at the State Street Theatre and up to the era of the 1920's with its highly flammable and dangerous nitrate film, and into the 1940's when "safety film" was the preferred makeup of motion picture film, Trenton area movie goers loved "moving pictures".

TRENTON THEATRE MISCELLANY



I frequently add material to the "THEATERS" digital folder in the library's Local History Collection. Here's are two interesting graphics
of the Majestic Theater along with news of various theatres of the past in Trenton. Even though there are only a few senior citizens who visit this site, I wonder if any of them can tell me where Chambersburg's Majestic Theatre was located? Don't miss the article on the left dealing with the Gaiety. Note that the huge building had a dance floor and was a popular venue back in the 1920's.

JOE AND RALPH:
YOU GUYS ARE WONDERFUL WITH YOUR EXPERIENCES AND YOUR ADDITIONS TO MY POSTS! PLEASE KEEP 'EM COMING.
YOUR INPUT IS WHAT THIS WEB BLOG IS ALL ABOUT.
WHEN I POST THE MATERIAL I ADD AS MUCH AS I CAN, AND "VINTAGE VETERANS" SUCH AS YOU, AND HOPEFULLY OTHERS WHO WERE THERE "WAY BACK WHEN," ADD YOUR COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. IT ALL ADDS TO THE RICH HISTORIC HERITAGE OF TRENTON, HAMILTON AND THE SURROUNDING AREA.

Thanks for these comments:

Hi Tom: Most of us know the Gaiety Theatre latter became known as the Olden Theatre. The dance floor on the upper level was turned into six bowling alleys. My brother and I ran the alleys before we built the Hamilton Bowling Lanes on Route 33 in 1955. In regards to the Majestic Theatre, could it be the building on West St. where I believe Landolfi's used to occupy?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

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Blogger JoeB said...

Tom:
I have been trying to make a list of all the City Theatres and have a note that a movie threatre was located at Chestnut and Morris Avenues, could this have been the Majestic?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Delete
Blogger Ralph Lucarella said...

JoeB: I remember the theatre you're referring to on Chestnut and Morris. My mother took me there to see Italian movies and I was very bored. I think the name of that theatre was the Pearl Theatre. I'm not sure of that.


Delete

1911:THE BROAD STREET THEATRE


This long forgotten theatre started out as the "BROAD STREET THEATRE," and was ultimately taken over by RKO Radio and re-named the RKO PALACE THEATRE. Please don't correct my spelling on the word "Theatre." For some reason, theaters were always written up as theatres, with a juxtapositioning of the "re -er". During my years of visiting local theaters, the Palace was considered off the beaten path. I do recall going there one time back in the 1940's, and going across the street to a great little store that sold all kinds of novelties. In fact, I remember buying one of those water squirting things that you put in your lapel and squirted on an unsuspecting buddy....also one of those wind up gizmos that you placed in your hand and buzzed hell out of your buddy's left hand. Ahh, the memories do indeed linger!

1983: MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

Even though this column I wrote back in 1983 related to Hamilton High School, Kuser School and Kuser Annex played a major part in my 12 years of education. As you will see as you read my "Odyssey," the part my fellow "Kuser Kats" played in my grammar and high school career reached a climax on the warm and rainy June night in 1951. Even in this year of 2009, I still feel a very close kinship with all my wonderful alumni from both Kuser and HHS.

Tom Glover’s

Hamilton High School Odyssey

************************

I drove by the place the other day. Something made me go around the block and drive by a second time. As I rounded the corner of Park Avenue and South Clinton, I decided to stop and take a closer look. I pulled over to the curb, parked, and for a minute or two, just stood on the sidewalk, closed my eyes and savored the moment.

One of my favorite movies of all time is the 20th Century Fox production of "Twelve O’clock High." You may remember the opening minutes of the film, as an aging Dean Jagger journeys back, alone in time, to the very spot where he spent a very memorable period of his life, with very memorable people. The background music, the prop wash from the B-17s readying themselves for another mission, the almost ethereal sound of male voices coming from out of the past in song:

Bless them all, bless them all The long and the short and the tall…”

Dean Jagger was on a nostalgia trip; a mental journey, if you will, into the past. Such a journey may be taken by anyone who has pleasant memories, just sitting there; awaiting recall. As I stood in front of Hamilton High School, thinking about "Twelve O’clock High," I became aware of the warm spring breezes rustling through those familiar Sycamore trees on the front lawn of Hamilton High School. I took a seat on the settee at the base of the equally familiar Hamilton High flagpole. My thoughts of the movie vanished, and were replaced by pangs of bittersweet nostalgia ... sort of a melancholy feeling that I had been here before ... right here, on this settee ... with a lovely girl ... the girl I would ultimately fall in love with and marry. It was spring. It was 1951. I was a senior at Hamilton High.

A strange, almost supernatural sound came to my ears as the breezes whispered through the trees. "Good morning... Hamilton High School ... Yes, this is Miss Gropp. Yes, Mr. Hesser is in ... he's in a meeting. Mr. Coursen? Yes, one moment please.

Six or seven cream-colored Trenton Transit busses pull up to the curb; their doors open and busloads of 1950's type teenagers jump to the sidewalk. Over on the Park Avenue side, Joe Layton pulls up with the "Blue Goose"... repeat­ing the same ritual his competitor is doing on South Clinton Avenue. The "Blue Goose!" What a bus ...beautiful velour seats, a roof-top luggage rack ...a remnant of the depression. Still another Layton bus pulls to the curb. It's "Red." He does have a last name, but we don't know it; all we know is he is a nice guy. He still doesn't have any teeth, he still needs a shave, and his cigarette has a one inch ash hanging from it. How vivid everything is in my mind!

"Richard, Did you read chapter two of "David Copperfield?" "Yes, Miss Cornwell."

"If you read it, Richard, which is highly doubtful, I would think you would have gotten at least one question correct."

"Yes, m’aam," came the plaintive reply.

I pass Miss Cornwell's English class...pausing at the entrance way to Mr. Bird's history class: "Listen, you birds, tomorrow we will have a quiz on chapter 14. Be sure you study."

"Mr. Bird, these shoes are too small."

"It doesn't matter. I can get you any size you want."

"OK. Get me 8-D's in brown." Mr. Bird is moonlights as a shoe salesman for Mason Shoe Company.

As if on a magic carpet, I am standing outside the Park Avenue door of Hamilton High. It's a very cold winter day; too cold to go out past the third telephone pole for a cigarette. I have one cupped in my right hand; my hand is in my pocket.

"Thomas, put that cigarette out and come with me." It's Wendell Phillips. One of his assignments as a teacher is to police the "first," "second," and "third" lunch periods for those of us who choose to break the rules of the school. Mr. Phillips is a small, slight, man. He is very soft-spoken, and at the same time, a strict disciplinarian. He wears rimless glasses, and is impeccably dressed. He has a super white, stiffly-starched white shirt, and shoes so shiny, one's reflection can be seen. His uncanny ability as a faculty detective con­stantly takes us by surprise. He leads me into the office, and matter-of-factly tells Mr. Miss Gropp to write me up for "five hours" of detention. Detention; How we despise it! We miss the bus, and it's a long walk home; especially in the rainy weather.

And now I'm out in the athletic field. It's Friday afternoon, and the end of another week. Don Devine, Kip Breese, and Joe Bartlett are super­vising intramural sports. We're playing softball. My team is batting ...I'm up. At home, when we play softball at Plaag's Grove, I smack the ball a country mile. Why is it when I'm playing high school sports, I can't get a hit? For that matter, I can't field too, either. I don't understand. I'm fac­ing Buddy Rick. Rick is good at all sports. He looks in at Art Perry and winks…..a windup, a sting­ing underarm fastball….. another….. then a third. I'm called out on the third strike...I'm embar­rassed. I didn't even swing at one of them. I'm such a wimp!

Gene Grauer's up next. As I hand him the bat, I hear somebody say something about a barn and a snow shovel. I mumble something about a sore shoulder. I have to have some kind of excuse ...I mean ...three straight strikes...not only that they all saw me miss that fly ball out in right field ...hell, I would have one-handed that if we were playing over at Plaag's...how come? I'm confused.

Now I'm off the athletic field. I seem to be in a shop ...yes..."Hamilton Job Press"...print shop! Who's the teacher?..."Remember boys, FFI and FFL are called ligatures. They are next to each other in the California Job Case. You must learn where each and every letter is stored. Spaces are called "quads "...there are "em" quads and "en" quads.

That Charles Dickens accent! It can only be "Pop" Mitchell ...It is! He sits at his desk with a green celluloid visor over his forehead. It contrasts with what is left of his silver hair. He stops his dis­course on ligatures long enough to rebuke one of his talkative students:

"Mr. Wilson! I shall recite a poem just for you. You would do well to listen to every word. I shall be happy to explain it should you not understand the meaning. Are you ready?

Charlie Wilson is a happy-go-lucky guy. He likes Pop, and Pop likes him. Charlie is a good print shop student. He tells Pop he is ready. "Very well, here it is:

A WISE OLD OWL LIVED IN AN OAK.

THE MORE HE SAW, THE LESS HE SPOKE.

THE LESS HE SPOKE, THE MORE HE HEARD.

WHY CAN'T WE BE LIKE THAT OLD BIRD?

Do you understand the poem, Mr. Wilson?" "Yeah, I do, Mr. Mitchell."

"Very well, if you try to be like that old bird you will have very little trouble understanding ligatures. FFI, FFL..."

The voice trails off, along with the hum of the Hamilton Job Presses. And suddenly, I'm seated in the third row, front section of the Hamilton High School auditorium. It's operetta time. We're hav­ing rehearsals for the 1951 production of "Tulip Time". Louise Baird is playing the piano, accom­panying Bill Baggott. Bill's lovely tenor voice obviously pleases Miss Baird as she plays the piano with a smile of satisfaction. Bill's solo ends and the chorus called to the stage. For the umpteenth time we will go over the one song which seems to need work.

"All right, choir, listen to me." It's Miss Louise Baird. Petite is stature, but with the uncanny ability to demand, and get, attention, and then perfection. "The last time we did this song, some of you basses were growling around off pitch. Was it you, Keith Kauffman?"

"No Miss Baird, it was probably Clark Perry." Clark is a tenor. We laugh at Keith's always­ present sense of humor.

Miss Baird's glasses are tilted on the top of her head, aviator style, as she calls Saundra Smith in to provide the accompaniment. Miss Baird takes up a position at the front of the stage so she can hear the offending voice, or voices. She taps her pencil for attention, and Sandy begins to play. We wait for the introduction, which by now is more familiar than out national anthem, then we sing:

“..TULIP TIME IN HOLLAND IS A TIME FOR MERRY FUN.

MARKET PLACE IS CROWDED, AND THE JOY HAS JUST BEGUN,

WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE, AND WHEN THE DAY IS DONE,

WE WILL NOT FORGET THE HAPPY HOURS...”

Again, the voices fade, and just as suddenly, I'm out of the auditorium. It's a warm June night. School will soon end. It's the last canteen of the year. It's such a delightful evening; almost as if God mandated soft moonlight, rustling leaves, and the heady smell of romance.

"Let's go outside and get some air, Jude."

We hold hands and walk out into the delightful spring evening. I can't explain the vibrant elec­tricity I feel between my hand and hers. I wonder to myself if I'm trembling. She looks fresh and clean as the spring. I'm in love. We face each other ...holding each other's hand. We look at each other and wonder at the strange and beautiful happening. I kiss her. She's soft and fresh, and beautiful. She is becoming a woman ...I'm becom­ing a man.

And now there's a clap of thunder, followed by a brilliant flash of lightning. It's still June, but it's our big day. Graduation! My brother drops me off at the side entrance to the War Memorial Building. Many of the guys are standing on the sidewalk. All of us feign confidence and com­posure. Inside, we're all experiencing butterflies. I walk up to Larry McGlynn. "Hi Stony ! ... `be glad when this is over, won't you?" Joe Kasian saunters over; always ready with that smile. Geez! I've gone through 12 years of school with Joe; from kindergarten to senior. I've grown up with him ...and George Morley, Joan Tart, Karen Peterson, Shirley VanMarter, Charlotte Wilson, Ronnie Tarr, Tony Gies, Elaine Globus, Jess Anderson, Don Slabicki…..all those "Kuser Kids"...I silen­tly wonder to myself if I'll ever see them again after tonight. What an unsettling thought. There's uneasiness about this graduation business. The lightning flashes and it rains….hard. We rush for the protective shelter of the huge awning at the side of the War Memorial. My Uncle Charlie Gaudette comes out in his short sleeves and unlocks the doors. He's the superintendent here, and I'm kinda proud that my uncle has such an important position.

"Hi ya Tommy…. 'Ya all ready for the big night? Tell your Mom and Pop we'll be over Saturday". Almost as an afterthought, he reaches into his wallet and hands me a five dollar bill ...then wishes me well.

And suddenly, we're all on the huge War Memorial building stage. We're sitting on bleachers. The kids in the back row are way up there ...I mean way up...near the roof. The pro­gram begins. A minister delivers a stirring invocation. Reverend John Oman delivers a short, relevant prayer. The minutes tick away. Feet rustle and throats clear, more out of nervousness than necessity. On cue, the choir takes a place in the front of the graduates, center stage. We look down beyond the footlights and see the friendly and familiar face of Miss Baird, as she begins to lead us in song ...her smile is reassuring:

Our harmony is superb. All of a sudden, I realize the beauty of these lyrics. We've been singing this song for 3 years, and I never understood the full beauty of the thing.

“Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh,

Shadows of the evening, steal across the sky.

Jesus gives the weary, calm and sweet repose,

With thy tenderest blessing, may my eyelids close..”

As I ponder the lyrics, I am strangely choked up; my eyes are glistening ...the end is in view. I cast a furtive glance at some classmates...am I the only one with this intense emotional feeling? There's Judy Britton, Shirley Whiteb­read, Phyllis Booz, Joan Delowise, Karen Peter­son, Charlotte Wilson...all crying. Most of the girls are crying ...what about the guys? ...Geez! I have this lump in my throat ...I feel the tears welling up to overflowing. The song ends. Miss Baird looks up at us, a smile of complete satisfaction on her face. She nods and silently sounds the word "good". We assume our places with the graduates. My nose is running ...I need a tissue, and don't have one. Who would have thought I would have needed one? ...I sniff and swallow.

And now, Mr. Hesser is presenting the class to Mr. Howard D. Morrison. We're on our way! They're handing out the diplomas. The applause, as each name is called, seems to emphasize the popularity, or lack thereof, of the recipient. And suddenly, they're all distributed ...there are no more ...this is the end. Twelve years of school ..this is really the end! Am I glad or am I sad? Mr. Morrison speaks the final words:

"And so, to the class of Hamilton High School, 1951, good luck, and may God Bless each and every one of you."

Suddenly the scene changes. I'm out of the War Memorial. It's September ...I don't know what year...yes I do...it's 1983...a school bus rumbles up to the curb on the Park Avenue side of Hamilton High School. Now they call it "Hamilton High School West". Here comes another bus, and another. They're not Trenton Transit ...not Joe Layton...they're all bright yellow and black. 1983-­type school kids hop, skip, and jump to the curb and head toward those familiar old doorways. I'm standing in their midst but they don't seem to see me. Strange! How I envy them! I remember Vic­tor Herbert's song, "Toyland"...how does it go...let's see...

"Toyland, toyland, dear little girl and boy land,

While you are within it, you are ever happy there,

Childhood joy land, dear little girl and boy land,

Once you've passed its portals, you may never return again..."

How true! Look at those Freshmen! Four years of high school still ahead of them! Oh, please enjoy it...Learn! Live every golden minute of it...someone please tell them it's all over so soon ...it ends so fast!

The bell rings; a bell much louder than the bell we had, and they are all in class. The breeze rus­tles through the trees, and ethereal voices, clear and bell-like, echo through the grand old building and a song mingles with the rustle of those big Hamilton High Sycamore trees….

“The New Years Eve, we did the town, the day we tore the goal post down,

We will have these moments to remember.

The quiet walks, the noisy fun,the ballroom prize we almost won,

We will have these moments to remember..."

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2009 11:55 AM
Subject: Permission

Tom-
I sent a copy of an item from your blog to some of my classmates as a suggestion of what we could present as entertainment at our next annual class meeting. It was your piece about "day dreaming" of going back to HHS and recalling pleasant memories of those days.
My question is this- Can we have your permission to quote some (or maybe all ) of that article in our presentation at our luncheon in June? We would of course acknowledge that the words are yours.
Don Whiteley

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1946: THE NEW HAMILTON THEATRE

This was RKO's Christmas gift to Hamilton Township way back on Christmas Eve, 1946. The Hamilton was a favorite of my mom and dad. Unfortunately, it went the way of the Passenger Pigeon after a very short time in existance, and today serves as a church,

1910: SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST TENTED CITY

There are certain aspects of historic research which pose identification problems. This is one of them. The article states that the encampment was on Highland Avenue without further information. There is a Highland Avenue in the Cadwalader-West End area of Trenton, and another in Yardville Heights. Looking at maps of both locations suggests that the encampment was at Yardville Heights. The reason being that the area shown in the photo is very expansive and Trenton's Highland Avenue is very short. Don Wright, do you have any information on the possibility that the Adventists set up a tent city in the Heights? My Aunt, Uncle and cousins were Seventh Day Adventists but unfortunately they are no longer with us.

Circa 1950's Midway of the N.J. State Fair AKA "The Interstate Fair"

This is an excellent photo from "Pro Photo Service," an organization which I am unfamiliar with. However, the photographer had an expert eye for composition as can be seen in the photo of the midway at the late and much lamented New Jersey State Fair. I have a HUGE collection of clippings relating to the fair. I also have an onscreen "ASTOUND!" presentation dedicated to that wonderful Hamilton Township venue dating back to the 1880's. The above photo is a 150 dot per inch scan. I also scanned it in 400 dpi, and when viewed using the "actual pixels" feature, you feel like you are walking amid the crowd!

1938: LUCKY TETER AT THE INTERSTATE FAIR

It tookan extra fifteen minutes to cut, copy, paste, color and enhance this interesting graphic. The lower right "LUCKY TETER AND HIS HELL DRIVERS" yellow graphic was placed next to the Trenton Times photo, and the grandstand graphic at the top of the image was imported from my "N.J. STATE FAIR" folder. I'm sure you will agree the final product is quite acceptable as a piece of historical interest.

1907: TRENTON REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENTS

The page from this 1907 newspaper is badly "foxed;" or in layman terms "brown with age." It was nearly impossible to bring this article back to pristine condition, but you will still be able to grasp the content, which tells of the numerous new developments springing up throughout the area.

1887: TRENTON'S GARFIELD, CLEVELAND, SO. LOGAN AVENUE DEVELOPMENT

Right now I am going through my "NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT" folder; scanning,
cutting, copying, pasting, and tweaking images so you can see how the city of Trenton expanded into what were then the suburbs. Time has taken its toll on many of these neighborhoods. Most of the families of the original folks who availed themselves of the bargain lots as offered in the above 1887 ad subsequently moved out of the area to newer suburban developments. Time marches on.

1924: INTRODUCING THE NEW FRANKLIN PARK, TRENTON, NJ

Once again I am cutting and pasting a small portion of a 1905 map of the Franklin Park area in order to enhance the information in the the 1924 article wherein Franklin Park was formally dedicated by Trenton town fathers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1905 (Ca. 1905) FRANKLIN PARK AREA

This is an un-dated plat map showing the layout of what would become the neighborhood of Franklin Park. I have given it an arbitrary circa 1905 date, but I believe it was developed earlier. I will continue my search for more definitive info as to the date the development was established.

1903: NEW WILBUR; NEXT TO HOMEDELL

Journalists and real estate agents had a tough time distinguishing the line from the borough of Wilbur in the city of Trenton, and eastward to Hamilton Township. This little glitch can be seen by the real estate transactions in the graphic above. The article is from 1903 and the map has been lifted from my 1905 atlas. For some strange reason, Bromley, "New Wilbur" and "Oldenhurst" always seemed to be included in the Wilbur section of Trenton. The aforementioned neighborhoods were the beginning of the easterly development of "suburbia."

1948: MERCERVILLE SCHOOL CLASS OF '48

Many thanks to Ms. Lois Marriott Lawrence, Mercerville class of 1948 for this pristine photo of her class. It is always nice when the students are identified.

From Tom: Apologies if I mis-spelled any names, as I superimposed the class names at the bottom of the photo. And to you Lois Marriott Lawrence, many thanks for this welcome addition to the Hamilton history website!

1916: POLISH-AMERICANS: POLONIA IN TRENTON


I spent the first 2 decades of my life with my best friend to this day, Don Slabicki. We actually grew from boyhood to manhood together. I have very pleasant memories of Don and his wonderful family. Memories of summer Polish cookouts at Don's Sylvan Avenue home will remain forever etched in my memory, as will the countless Polish picnics we neighborhood kids enjoyed at nearby Plaag's Grove. The fascinating article above tells of the heritage of these wonderful Americans who have gone a long way to make their mark in Trenton area history.

2009: THIS WAS PLAAG'S GROVE


Many people have asked me about the location of Trenton's late, great, summer picnic ground, Plaag's Grove. This "BING" bird's eye view of the area bounded by Sylvan, Atkins, and Edwin Avenue shows the area which was the site of Plaag's Grove. The back yards of the homes on Newkirk Avenue included the 4th boundary line. As can be seen in the photo, the area has been developed and become a pretty residential area.

2009: HAMILTON LIBRARY AT COMMUNITY DAY


We had a very nice day at Sunday's Annual Community Day (AKA Septemberfest.) It would have been better had we been in closer proximity to the main Hamilton Township center which was many yards away from our location, That's Library Director George Conwell, Tom Glover, Sandy DiPierro, and in the front, Stacy Lytle. Message for the day? People LOVE the library; we're proud of that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009: LOCAL MATCHBOOK ADVERTISERS


"Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile. While you've a LUCIFER* to light your FAG*, smile boys, that's the style, What's the use of worrying, it never was worthwhile, so, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile. smile..."

Herewith a graphic showing the LUCIFERS* that WWI "Doughboys: used to light their FAGS*

AS YOU HAVE NOW LEARNED IF YOU DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW, TO THE "DOUBOYS" OF WWI, A LUCIFER WAS A MATCH,
AND FAG WAS A CIGARETTE.


1916: BROMLEY AND THE BROMLEY CIVIC ASSOCIATION

This page has been extracted from a weekly Trenton Times feature under the byline, "WILBUR AND EAST TRENTON." Bromley began to seriously during the first decade of the 20th century. However, the proximity of the new suburb to Trenton' Wilbur section on the west, and East Trenton to the north, the editor failed to change the byline and as a result, news from Wilbur and Bromley were grouped into the Wilbur portion of the feature. I have highlighted the main article dealing with Bromley's early Civic Association.

1929: WHO REMEMBERS BONDERCHUK CHEVROLET?


Brother Bud bought his 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952 Chevy's from Fred Bonderchuk; a local Hamilton Township auto dealer who shared the auto dealership spotlight with nearby auto dealers Hudler (Ford), O'Keefe Motors (Crossley), and Tiefenbach and Yetter (Kaiser-Frazer), all in the South Broad - Chambers Street area of Hamilton Township. The graphic is from that generation of offset photos which were very poor in reproduction quality. I have tried in vain to enhance the dark exposure, but in doing so, the entire photo deteriorates. This is early Bonderchuk

Mack said...
I remember seeing the name Bonderchuk on cars but did not know where the ole place was until years later:)
Ralph Lucarella said...
Hi Tom: When we had the Hamilton Bowling Lanes, we got the idea to give a new Chevy to the winner of a summer tournament we ran. This was in 1957, we asked Bonderchuck's and Patterson Chevy on Route 33 if they were interested. Of course, Patterson, which were right across the street from the Bowling Lanes, liked the idea better. It was a huge sucess and the winner was George Laird. I believe Bonderchuck's had hoped we would have considered them. Regards, Ralph.
Gary Lippincott said...
I bought the first Chevrolet Chevelle that Bonderchuk sold, it was a 1964 White Covertible, 283, 4spd. Blue Interior, "Kit" Carson was the salsman. Claire Dwier and I covered a lot of ground in that car.
JoeZ said...
Tom: My first car came from Bonderchuk's. It was located on Nottingham Way at the intersection of Klockner Road.
Anonymous said...
Got my first car at Bonderchuk's used car lot next to the new car dealership at Klockner Rd. and Route 33/Nottingham Way. It was a 1963 Corvair Monza convertible - silver blue with blue interior and a white top. Auto. trans. with a lever on the dash to change gears. Loved that little car!
Jim C said...
Bonderchuk's automobile storage lot was located on the corner of Adeline and Stanton Streets where St. Vladimir's Educational-Social building now stands. It was fenced-in and the new year cars were usually parked along the back fence along the alley. I remember riding down the alley with Dad to sneak a peek at the new cars before they hit the showroom.
Anonymous said...
I am a granddaughter of Fred Bonderchuk and I just found this site on the internet with the "Who
remembers Bonderchuk Chevrolet" piece. Loved the 1929 picture. Thank you.

1929: THE NEW CRESCENT TEMPLE

This engraving is scanned from a six page feature from the September 7, 1929 edition of the Trenton Times. I have encapsulated the pages and stitched them together into booklet form. Back in the 1980's I was one of the tour guides for the Contemporary Club's annual "Four Views of Trenton" program. One of our stops was for lunch at this incredible place. A walk through the huge edifice seems to take one back to genuine antiquity. As I stood in the main hall and looked up, minarets and parapets, and other vestiges from what I perceived as middle eastern culture came to mind. On a trip to the balcony of the main auditorium, I noted that the rows of seats were very steep; not far from a 40 degree angle. What an incredible building, and a true treasure of Trenton architecture. Perhaps someone familiar with the building can bring us up to speed on the current status of the place. The last I heard, it became too expensive for the local lodges to maintain.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1855: DR. CHARLES SKELTON HISTORY OF TRENTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The early years of public education constitute an interesting study. Where was that "Jefferson Street Public School" which was located somewhere on today's Liberty street located? The 1855 article is accompanied by a portrait of Dr. Skelton from my "NOTABLE PERSONS" and "SCHOOLS, MISCELLANEOUS" folders.
My apologies for the blurry text in the article;
it was a black and white scan rather than grayscale.

1866: TRENTON POTTERY INDUSTRY

This fascinating article from post Civil War Trenton really spurred my imagination. Could it be that the clay that was shipped to a Michigan pottery be from Hamilton's historic Clay Pits? The fact that the clay was shipped out of state begs the question: Was the clay from the Hamilton Clay Pits also sent to Steubenville Ohio, which was also a pottery center? Perhaps there will be another article on the subject. I will keep searching.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

1931: NEW LAWRENCE TOWN HALL

According to the article, the old Conover House was converted for use as a town hall for Lawrence residence back during the Great Depression era.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

1921: THE COCA COLA BUILDING IN CHAMBERSBURG

Were it not for Coca Cola, I would be sporting a 34 inch waist instead of the 40 incher I now carry around. I am a "teetotaler" when it comes to beer and other forms of yucky tasting alcoholic beverages. But Coke? High test, please, not that diet junk that all true Cola lovers find distasteful. However, back to more mundane subjects. Here's a very elusive photo of the Coca Cola building on Chestnut Avenue in the Burg. Do any of my visitors remember when their competitor, Royal Crown Cola, had a bottling plant on Hamilton Avenue in the 12 or 1300 block? I sure do. We used to stand in front of their big picture windows and watch the bottles slide by on the conveyor, the employees all dressed in white from white caps to white socks.Ahh, the memories!

THANKS FOR THIS COMMENT FROM BEN TABARINI RECEIVED 9/13:

The recent comment and photo of the Coka Cola factory was a great reminder. I received the message from Art recchi. It brought back memories of my walking past the facility from 1936 to 1939 on my daily walking to Junior 4.

Art's mesage was to inquire as to what was across the street. Just happened to be the elementary school for Immaculate conception.
Ben Tabarini

1921: A KITCHEN COAL AND WOOD BURNING STOVE

Ours was a "Wincroft," but much the same as the "Baron" in the engraving above. You have piled on the years if you remember this beast with cast iron legs and body. Our Wincroft didn't always burn coal as it was built to do. During the Glover years of poverty, we had the dead wood from Kuser Farm to substitute for our normal ton of chestnut coal from Henry Liedtka. To those of my visitors who are not familiar with that old relic, you will notice that there are circular lines on the top of the stove. They were lifted off with a special tool and the coal or wood was dropped into the furnace. I remember lifting one of the lids, putting a fork on a piece of bread and toasting it over the fire. Our mothers and grandmothers had to be very ingenious to learn how much time to leave that turkey or bread, or other oven-baked meals in that oven on the lower right. There were not electronic timers back then. What is not shown in the engraving is the galvanized chimney pipe which was fitted on the back of the stove and vented into the house's chimney. Right up to the 1940's I remember coming home from school on a cold winter day, sit at the kitchen table and smell the delightful aroma of a pot of Mom Glover's home made chicken soup.

1921: FATHER BERNRADINE LUDWIG OBIT

As can be seen by the obit above, Father Ludwig was one of those who were instrumental in the development of Immaculate Conception Parish in Chambersburg. The engraving of the church which I imported into the article shows the church when it had two steeples. That is either an architect's rendering, or the church actually appeared that way and over the years, lightning took its toll. Any Immaculate Conception historian who is familiar with the history of this great parish might be able to clear this up for us.

1945: TRENTON CATHOLIC'S DAN CHASE REMEMBERS

Many thanks to Dan Chase for visiting my website and leaving the interesting guest book entry which is inset above. Dan is a contemporary of my brother Bud who was in Hamilton High's class of '45. I don't recall the canal before it was filled in by the freeway, Dan, but my brothers do. Your guest book entry is very interesting. Thanks for visiting. I hope you return often.