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Thursday, October 25, 2012

1950: HEY, THAT'S GRAVATT'S FROZEN CUSTARD!

It took me a little while to locate this location which R.C. Maxwell labeled as "UNTITLED." Those High tension wires, the dual lane highway, and the partially seen but very familiar vanilla frozen custard roof on the earliest known area frozen custard establishment verified that we are on South Broad Street just across the highway from today's Independence Mall shopping center.Can anyone identify that white building in the foreground? Can anyone associate that "GOLF" sign with Vic Rice's? Comments, please.

THANKS FOR CORRECTING ME AND MY SENILE MOMENT, MIKE. OF CURSE IT WAS GRAVATTS! SORRY FOR THE GOOF.

10 comments:

Ron Bound said...

Tom, wasn't Carvel's Soft Ice cream near there? I used the driving range there a few times. But the most exciting thing, was following a car there, and checking it out. A 1930s Duesenberg. Wow. What a crowd it created there at the driving range. Sure beat my first car, a 47 Plymouth.

JoeB said...

Tom:
I believe you are on the wrong side of the street. That was Vic Rice Driving range, he started that after the golf course was sold to build the
shopping center and homes in Yardville. I also believe that the frozen custard stand was kept while Vic had the driving range.

rayfromvillapark said...

Hi Tom, The Igloo frozen custard stand was on the corner of South Broad and Oldfield. then came Vic Rice's Golf Driving Range, The building in the foreground, in my teenage years, was Rick's Drive In restaurant. This is the same side of the street, as the Independence Mall. There was a White Castle across the street and Teffenbach and Yetter's Used Car Lot. Rick's was always crowded and was a major stop, for young guys with hot cars. If you were part of the local scene, you frequented Rick's, the Broken Drum on Prospect St, and Harney's Corner, in Lawrence. There were many traffic light to traffic light drag races on South Broad St., between Park Ave, and the Whitehorse Circle. This was the late fifties, a great time to be young and restless. rayfromvillapark

Michael said...

Tom:

The Igloo building housed not "Garrett's" but GRAVATTS Custard. That beautiful woman with the blue eyes that could stop traffic was behind the counter serving us drooling young bucks from Trenton.
The building in the forefront looks like the "Rayco" convertible top shop, and car seat covers. Later there was a "Blackston's restaurant there. As noted previously, Vic Rice was my wife's Uncle. He built the driving range after he sold his "Sonny Jim" golf course for land in Yardville upon which Dover Park was built. He bought what was the old Fire Company Carnival grounds, where we Trenton Guys would dance to the music of those great traveling dance bands.
Mrs. Gravatt passed away a few years ago. Her beauty and pleasant personality will always be remembered as part of my youth.

That 49 ford in the foreground, would be driving over what is now I-295. Seriff Harry & brother John Hartman's slaughterhouse was just south of this photo. A few more blocks south was Hunter Ave. where my cousin Arlene Marren grew up. She was a classmate of your's Tom in that "famous HHS class of 51" and I think you worked with her dad at one point in your career.

The Independence mall which took over the land, once housed a pizza shop whose owner's son now runs the only Trenton Style Tomatoe pie pizziaria in South East Virginia.
When he open up, I commented that his wares looked like they were made in Trenton. Turns out that's where it all began.
How can I send this photo along to his dad. He would get a big kick out of seeing his first spot when he came over years ago from Naples.

Mike Kuzma

rayfromvillapark said...

Hi Tom, Just a couple of additional thoughts regarding this photo. The building in the foreground, did become the Rayco Seat Cover and Top shop, probably in the 1960s or even later.
The Duesenberg that Ron Bound mentioned, in his comments, I believe, belonged to the owner of Kudra Furs. It was a Model SJ Convertible Sedan, fully restored, and in beautiful condition. There was a row of garages, behind the ESSO gas station, located next to the Furrier store. He kept it there. I saw this same car, a couple of times, at the ESSO station. This was on South Broad St. rayfromvillapark

Tom Glover said...

MIKE. OF CURSE IT WAS GRAVATTS! SORRY FOR THE GOOF. WHEN I TYPED IN THAT NAME, I KNEW DAMN WELL THAT IT WAS WRONG, BUT DO YOU THINK I COULD BRING UP THE NAME "GRAVATTS?" AN ULTRA SENILE EXERCISE. THANKS FOR CORRECTING ME.

THANKS RAY, RON AND MIKE FOR INTERESTING ASIDES TO THIS GRAPHIC, AND ALSO FOR PLACING LONG FORGOTTEN BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS THAT WERE ONCE LOCATED ON WHAT WE CALLED THE "BRINDY 500."..

TOM GLOVER

ron bound said...

Brindy 500. Love it. Never heard that. But that's what I thought the night I saw the big headlights in my mirror and shifted into second gear to give it a run up Broad St...thinking the Duesenberg was a Model A or something.

Anonymous said...

I believe 'Rick's' was originally called 'Jarick's'...I remember their orange frosties...mmmm.

Anonymous said...

Hey.. this picture is a TRIP. LOL... I went to Holy Angels in the 70's, and that custard place was a Black Angus meat store, I think... I was little, but our school bus passed it everyday. 1950. Wow... very cool pic.

franmiller said...

I worked at the ACME Market up the street a bit from Ricks as a kid. 1956 I started at age 16. I remember drag racing up and down Broad St. also going to Gravatts for ice cream. Memories
Fran Miller