Old Chester, PA: What's New on the Web Site

January - December 2003 Archives

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Date What's New...
12/20/2003 Two new recent pictures added today of some memorable Chester landmarks - Calvary Baptist Church on W. 2nd St., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended and ministered during his days as a student at Crozer Seminary. Also, the former Chester Day Nursery on the south side of E. 5th St. near Madison.
12/20/2003 A holiday that provided lessons for life, another gift to us from Dave Komarnicki's pen, has arrived just in time for our holiday celebrations. Many thanks once again to Dave and his wife Leslie for sharing his writing talents and recollections of growing up in Chester with us over the past two years!
12/8/2003 Often mentioned on our pages but not seen in many years until now... thanks to Bill Webster, New York, NY we now have a picture of the interior of Birney's Birch Beer & Pool Room.
12/6/2003 Today we welcome yet another of Dave Komarnicki's wonderful writings about his boyhood days in Chester - For Everything a Time - If Not a Reason. Incidentally, Dave and Leslie's home will be included again on this year's Annual Holiday Open House Tour so you'll have a chance to meet and chat with them in person next Sunday afternoon (12/14).
12/6/2003 News just in today from Loretta Boden Rodgers ND '75, about an All-Inclusive, All-Classes, Notre Dame High School Reunion scheduled for November 14, 2004, Noon to 4 p.m. at the school.
11/29/2003 Many thanks to Dr. & Mrs. M. J. Blocklyn, Swarthmore, PA for sharing with us several articles and a number of pictures of Chester Hospital, including the Nursing School 1932 Graduation Class. Our visitors born after 1971 might enjoy seeing these scenes of the property where the present-day Chester High School stands. Dr. & Mrs. Blocklyn also provided an article entitled The Armitage Family of Physicians (c. 1964) from The Pennsylvania Medical Journal.
11/29/2003 Many thanks to Herby Grubb, Niceville, FL, for spending the time to key in and share with us the lists of faculty and graduates from Chester High Class of 1957.
11/29/2003 As our thoughts turn to Christmases past in Chester, there's one institution that still remains today - May's Christmas Trees at 2nd & Parker. Many thanks to Caroline for sharing with us some pictures that she took there last year.
11/22/2003 For quite some time my "to-do" list has included beginning a collection of Chester streets and how they got their names. David Andrews, Drexel Hill, PA, recently shared with us an article from the proceedings of the Delaware County Historical Society, a paper presented by Chester historian Henry Graham Ashmead on March 4, 1897 entitled "Chester Street Nomenclature". I have spent today getting this article keyed in for the website and fully indexed so that you can either read through the entire paper or, if you prefer, just click on the streets you'd like to know more about. Did you realize there was once a "Wall St." and a "Love Lane" in Chester?

To help illustrate some of the early streets, I have also posted a map of Chester as William Penn knew it in 1701.

11/22/2003 Just in time for the holiday season, there are now pages set up where you can share your Chester Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas recollections.
11/17/2003 Many stories and recollections have been shared about the Chester-Bridgeport Ferry. Recently I received a rather unique story from Kevin Regan who would like to know if anyone else remembers the event and can shed any more light on this piece of his family lore...
11/3/2003 Many of us have been enjoying the World War II era discussions recently on the Guest Book at "The Newsstand". Today Bud Haynes has shard some scans of World War II Ration Cards
10/29/2003 - 11/3/2003 On one of my recent visits to Chester, Nancy Crossman shared with me a photo album found at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The album had belonged to Beatrice A. Thompson and had a number of Chester pictures from around 1917. Posted today are: Oak Grove School (24th St.) and the Oyster & Produce Wharf. I'll be getting more posted asap.

Added 11/1/2003: PMC Cadets Marching along a Chester street c. 1917

Added 11/3/2003:
Hope's Anchor Tavern, later the Swan Hotel
Steamboat Hotel
Johnson Tavern

10/26/2003 Added tonight - Chester High - Class of 1940 and Class of February 1941.

The only lists of faculty and Chester High graduates we don't have listed between 1875 - 1955 are: 1927 & February 1928, 1928 & February 1929, 1931 & February 1932, 1934 & February 1935. If you have any of those yearbooks available, please let me know.

10/25/2003 Many thanks to David W. Traub, Elverson, PA, for making his 1941 Chester High yearbook available to us. Last night I got the Class of 1941 posted. This evening the Class of February 1942 is also added. A few additions to our business pages also thanks to ads in this book!
10/16/2003 Many thanks to Martha & Larry Wood, Chester, PA, for making Chester High yearbooks available for me to list the graduates for 1955 and 1959!
10/8/2003 During my trip to Chester last week for our annual Reunion, I received several emails with additional histories of some long-time Chester businesses and also a new church added to our directory. These are posted today:
Scallan's Florist (courtesy of Joseph F. Scallan II)
Nelson's Surgical Appliances (courtesy of Bob Shields, CHS '49)
Christ Tabernacle Church (courtesy of the pastor, The Rev. Eric Nichols)
9/6/2003 More pictures added this afternoon courtesy of Barbara (Usavage) Montello:
View on E. 9th St.
View on W. 9th St.

View on Potter St. near 13th

Third Street Bridge
9/6/2003 Thanks to Joe Walker, Philadelphia, PA for a picture of the Fulton Hotel, Front & Fulton Sts. Joe tells me that there is a machine shop there now.
9/6/2003 Recently Barbara (Usavage) Montello contributed a number of Chester pictures from post cards that we don't have yet on the website. I'll be getting these posted as soon as possible - so far we have a View of W 8th St. (Holy City), Park Place and Highland Ave. looking toward 9th St. Thanks very much Barbara for making these available for all to enjoy!
9/4/2003 Many thanks to Deaconess Linda Davison, First Faith Missionary Baptist Church Secretary/Clerk for sharing a picture of the founders of the church and one of their current pastor, Robert A. Johnson.
8/22/2003 Many thanks to Calvary Baptist Church and its current pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bayard S. Taylor, Jr., for providing some additional historical information about the church as well as current information about their ministries and regularly scheduled services. Calvary Baptist was organized in 1879 and is often remembered as the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught Sunday School and preached on occasion during the three years he studied at Crozer Theological Seminary.
8/14/2003 Many thanks to Betty Ledbetter-James for providing an excellent biography of Mr. Harold Tilghman Smith, Chester-Upland's first African-American Superintendent of Schools (1982-1991).
8/9/2003 Gina Andreoli is the niece of the man shot by Officer Rocco Urella at the Rainbow Diner, 4th & Morton Ave. in 1943. She would be interested in learning anything more about her uncle. Click here to read her note.
8/9/2003 If anyone has been looking for Baldwin Locomotive Works pictures or other items, Herbert L. Broadbelt has provided some helpful information on our Baldwin page.
8/9/2003 Reunion plans are announced today for the Chester High Class of June 1943. Congratulations on your 60th!
7/25/2003 Thanks to Chris Gibson, Philadelphia, PA, we now know a little more about the Ranger Joe Cereal Company and about his uncle, Charles Haskell, company co-founder. Chris has also very generously shared a pictured of his uncle for the page.
7/14/2003 Frank Bramble has shared an obituary for Mr. Richard F. Gownley, Sr., also known as "Chester Dick". The obituary mentions that Mr. Gownley was a retired cafe owner. Judging from his picture, he must have been quite a memorable character around town. Can anyone enlighten us as to which cafe he owned?
7/5/2003 Lisa Kereszi, granddaughter, has sent along more pictures of Joe's Junkyard. Included is a group picture of some of the employees. - Can you help us to identify any of these gentlemen?

Also a picture of G.K. Auto Sales' tow truck.

7/4/2003 Many thanks to Lisa Kereszi, granddaughter of Joe Kereszi, for some pictures from her grandfather's business, Joe's Junkyard. The business closed just last week after 54 years!
7/4/2003 What better day than July 4th to announce the opening of a long-overdue addition to the website. - World War II Veterans. If you are a WWII veteran from Chester or you have one in your family, I hope that you'll stop by that page and sign them in so that we can record and honor the tremendous service of these men and women! If you'd like a picture to display on their page, just email it to me and I'll get it posted as soon as possible.
7/2/2003 Frank C. Bramble has shared a Chester Baseball picture from his father's collection. Unfortunately, we don't know the location or any of the people. Frank says that it may have been taken at Lloyd Field. If you can help us to identify more about the picture, please email me.
7/1/2003 Thanks to Gene "Zac" Zacniewski for a picture that I'm betting lots of folks will enjoy seeing - the rocks along side of the stone arch bridge in Chester Park, a favorite swimming and diving location for many!
7/1/2003 Thanks to Bill Crystle's collection of newspaper clippings, I've been able to add a number of specific dates and fires to our Tragedies page. Included are some memorable things that folks have asked about before, such as the Hanley Hose Co. & Moyamensing Fire Co. Pumper Collision.
6/23/2003 Many thanks once again to Joan Guzek for making her Chester High Annuals available to us, and to Caroline for scanning the pictures and keying in the lists of names. This evening I have added a number of pictures including 1953-54: Football Team, Baseball Team, Coaches, Cheerleaders, Band, Majorettes, Flag Twirlers, and National Honor Society.
6/23/2003 Thanks to Carmela Straccione for sharing a picture of a group from the Second Ward, and a Second Ward Baseball Team. Can you help us to identify any of these men? Also, an obituary for Anthony "Tony" Straccione, and a picture of the 1954 Kindergarten Class at Jeffries School. Any help identifying the rest of the class members? Let me know...
6/23/2003 Thanks to Janet Andrews Moulder for two pictures of the members of the Liberty Club, a group who played basketball at the old YMCA when the club was formed in 1913. Also a picture of Homes & Businesses on Edgmont Ave. between 10th & 12th St. prior to demolition for the Deshong Urban Renewal Project.
6/23/2003 Many thanks to Michele Denesowicz Williams for sharing two pictures of Morianni's Bar when it first opened in 1965, a picture of a Red Arrow/SEPTA bus at 9th & Hyatt taken in a flood in 1973, and a 1949 picture of a Sun Ray Drug Store Pharmacist. If you can identify the pharmacist or the lady in the picture, let me know.
6/14/2003 Thanks to Janet Andrews Moulder for a 1942 picture of the Order of Independent Americans, Council #36. Fortunately, each member is identified! - Can anyone tell us more about this lodge?
6/3/2003 Many thanks to Caroline for keying in the list of 1958 St. James Administration, Faculty and Graduates and also for scanning and sharing a picture of the Kitchen Staff. Also a listing of 1963 Notre Dame Administration, Faculty and Graduates.
5/31/2003 More Chester High Classes added today! - February 1937, 1937, February 1938, 1938, February 1939 (Many thanks to Helen Stauffer Hess, Swarthmore, PA, for making her 1938 / February 1939 Yearbook available for us!)
5/29/2003 More Chester High Classes added today! -February 1925, 1936, 1944
5/18/2003 Another wonderful photograph added today courtesy of Delaware County Historical Society. The west side of Market St. between 5th & 6th - Lots of familiar businesses!
5/17/2003 Dedication of the Soldier & Sailor Walk Memorial at St. Martin's Cemetery will be held on Saturday May 24, 2003. Congratulations to Helen M. (Webber) Imburgia upon the completing of this project which she first presented to the Board of the  Marcus Hook Development Corporation in September 1999!
5/17/2003 From Joe Cirilli, Executive Director, Delco Athletes Hall of Fame, 484-487-0121: The Delco Athletes Hall of Fame is proud to co-sponsor the Mickey Vernon Statue which will be dedicated in the fall of 2003 at the Marcus Hook Memorial Field, where Mickey first played baseball. (Follow the link to learn how you can help to defray the cost of this tribute.)
5/17/2003 Many thanks to Paul Crowther for sharing a picture of Horace Walker.
5/9/2003 Thanks to Richard C. Collachi for sharing a picture of the St. Anthony's Class of 1959.
4/29/2003 Many thanks to an anonymous contributor for two recent aerial pictures taken from 14th & Walnut St. A good view of some of the Widener University Campus and also looking toward the river.
4/29/2003 Announcing an expanded and now interactive Obituaries section! Over the years folks have often offered to contribute obituaries for the website - a wonderfully rich source of information for people working on genealogy. However, copyright concerns as well as the volume of the task have made this impossible to consider until now.

I recently obtained permission from the Delaware County Daily Times to post their obituaries provided that they are one year or older! There is now a form here where you can key in obituaries yourself! Email me to let me know you have added one and I'll set up the link to it from our main Obituaries page. If you'd like a picture of the individual to appear on the page, just attach a *.jpg to your email and I'll set it up as well.

Click here for an example of how our new obituary page looks.

You can key in more recent obituaries, but they will not appear on the website until they are at least one year old.

Thanks once again for your continued help in making OldChesterPa.com such a great resource for the rich history of the city of Chester!

4/10/2003 Thanks to Mark Hager for a picture of his great grandfather, John J. Hager and other officers in Sergeant Buscher's Motorcycle Squad c. 1922 - 1923
4/6/2003 Many thanks to Andrew Atkinson for sharing several pictures from his Great Grandmother, Rae Hopman's collection. There are two pictures taken c. 1947 in the aftermath of the Southern Penn Bus Barn fire and another taken at the same time of Lee's Confectionery Store across from the bus barn on Edgmont Ave.
3/27/2003 Thanks to Lew Jones for sharing a picture of the Smedley Jr. High Boys Basketball Team c. 1954-55. Everyone is identified so stop by and see if you recognize someone - anybody remember who won the game?
3/25/2003 Announcing a major addition to the website! - I have had a number of requests for information about interments at additional Chester and Chester-area cemeteries. There are now pages on the site where you can share information about interments at the following cemeteries:
Brookhaven Cemetery
Greenlawn Cemetery
Haven Memorial Cemetery
Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery
Lawn Croft Cemetery
Mt. Hope Cemetery
SS Peter & Paul Cemetery
St. Michael's Cemetery
Upland Baptist Cemetery
At the top and bottom of each page are links where our visitors can add a listing to the cemetery.
3/22/2003 Thanks to Dave Babicki, Havelock, NC for a picture of his uncle's grocery store, Babicki Grocery Store, 3rd & Townsend St., taken on Good Friday 1944.
3/13/2003 Thanks to Frank DeMaio for sharing several photographs from the September 1939 Delaware County Advocate. Included are:
Grand Opening of the "New" State Theatre (including pictures of Mayor Clifford Peoples, Mrs. Sally Aiken, 13-year-old Joseph Zomick, and Edith Hefflefinger. Also visible in the picture is Royal Billiards.
Grand Opening of the Penn Recreation Center including Bob Vandever, one of the three owners
Weaver Building - Hollywood Shop & Cooley Lilley
The Yellow Bowl
Grand Opening of The Clover-Leaf at Black Horse (Rt. 1 & 352)
3/13/2003 Thanks also to Fran DiDomenicis for a picture of his maternal grandfather's grocery store, Pappano's Grocery at 3rd & Fulton St.
3/6/2003 Thanks to Jim Constantino for sharing a picture of the S.B.M.A. Little League Team, taken at the playground at 10th & Fulton St. c. 1960's - 1970's. Unfortunately, Jim is the only person identified. Let me know if you can help us to identify the other players or the coaches.
2/26/2003 Many thanks to Mike Majeski for getting in touch with famed Great Leopard Organist, Shirley McFadden and to Shirley for sharing a picture of herself taken at the console at the Grand Opening around 1953-54.
2/19/2003 News just in about the Notre Dame "55 Plus 1 Year" reunion for the class of 1947. If you're a member of that class, stop by your page and get signed in!
2/7/2003 Many thanks to Harvey Martin for capturing a Sun Village landmark building already in the process of demolition yesterday. Many happy shopping recollections about it have been mentioned on these pages.

Jane Boyle & Patty Boyle have contributed over 50 biographical sketches of Police Officers from their grandfather, John C. "Snakes" Boyle's Collection. These short bios were "Know Your Police" articles from the Chester Times from around 1953-1954 and each one includes a picture of the officer. If you haven't checked lately, stop by our "Police" page and look for [Biography] links.


2/3/2003 Another of the pictures courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Society (DCHS) makes its debut today - the Stanley Theatre. (Trivia question... What was this theatre first called, and when did it become the Stanley?)
1/28/2003 Preliminary news is now in for the following class reunions this year: Chester High 1953, Chester High 1958, and Chester High 1983.
1/26/2003 Many thanks to LaMonte Rawlings, Chairman-Board of Trustees of Temple Baptist Church for providing a current picture of the church as well as pictures of the current pastor and his predecessor.
1/23/2003 Recently the Delaware County Historical Society (DCHS) made some of their photo archives available to me for the website. If you are in the area or planning a visit, I encourage you to visit their research library. Their hours are somewhat limited, so be sure to check our "Links" page before you plan your visit. The first two pictures to appear on the website, Miller-Flounders Dairy, were provided by Mr. Charles L. Flounders to my uncle, Joe Jeffries, back in 1954 for the DCHS collection. I have included the accompanying note on that page. Thanks also to Mike Majeski for sharing a scan of Mr. James Brennan's business card for the page.
1/23/2003 An important announcement from the Delaware County Daily Times:
"We have decided to once again start posting some of our familiar columnists, including Ed Gebhart, on our Web site. You will once again find Ed's column displayed on the site on Friday and Sunday.
"As I have said many times, we value our readers, both of the print edition and online, especially those who have been faithful followers of the paper since the days of the Chester Times. It is my pleasure to let the readers know of this change in our policy.
Keep reading!
Philip E. Heron
1/19/2003 A few months ago there was quite a bit of discussion about the Buckman Airport. I'm pleased to report that we have some first-hand information about the airport's history thanks to Sheri Brown, daughter of Albert W. Brown "Brownie", and great great granddaughter of the original owners of the land, the Boyds.
1/15/2003 Many thanks to Dorothy Collman, Concordville, PA, for keying in and sharing with us the Chester High Class of 1921.

Other classes added today include 1920, February 1922, 1922, and February 1923. My thanks to Dene & Marvin Bloom, PA for sharing with me his father's (Herman Bloom's) annuals for these lists.

1/14/2003 Once again, you, our collective community of Chester experts, has come through for us - All of the officers in the 1960's Police photos are now identified! - Many thanks to all who assisted in that effort!
1/14/2003 In our continuing effort to compile a complete listing of all graduates of Chester High, we now have the Class of 1933 and the Class of February 1934. Many thanks to Rose Marie (Della Monica) Holodick, Wilmington, DE, for making her father's (Frank Della Monica's) 1933 annual available to me.

Rose Marie also provided a beautiful black and white picture of the interior of St. Anthony's church, two pictures of the staff of the Green Shutters Restaurant, and an article about her uncle, Lt. Col. Anthony S. Della Monica who, along with her father Frank, operated the newsstand at 6th & Market from 1930-1941.

1/13/2003 Many thanks to Vi Burkhard, Vero Beach, FL, for sharing with us a newspaper clipping with a photo of her Mother, Catherine (Miller) Everson and the other graduates of Chester Hospital's First Nurses Training School class on their 20th anniversary. Also, a picture of her Mother's diploma. Congratulations and an early Happy Birthday to Mrs. Everson who will be 92 next month!
1/10/2003 Bob Felix has provided two excellent pictures, one from the Baldwin Tank Shop, 1943 and the other from the Baldwin Propeller Shop, 1951. Let me know if you can help us to identify any of the other folks pictured.
1/10/2003 While we're on the subject of helping to identify people in photographs, Jane Boyle has sent along 2 pictures of Chester Police Officers from her grandfather's (John "Snakes" Boyle's) collection. Let me know if you can help us to identify any of the officers pictured.
1/6/2003 The Gift of a Lifetime is the title of the latest gift from Dave Komarnicki's pen that he has so generously shared with us. Like they say, I could tell you about it, but you'd never believe me so you better read it for yourself - another almost unbelievable collection of Dave's experiences from his boyhood days in Chester!
1/3/2003 Many thanks to Deborah L. Reaves Gueye for sharing with us a 1950's picture of a Murphy AME Church Nursery School Class.
On the Murphy AME Church main page I have also added a picture and a "Brief History of Murphy's A. M. E. Church" taken from the Home Directory of the Colored People of Chester, 1906 compiled by Lawrence L. Barrett & C. I. Wilson. This reference is available at the DCHS research library.
1/3/2003 Many thanks to Patty Boyle and Jane Boyle for sharing a picture of their grandfather, John C. "Snakes" Boyle and Sam D'Amato, mounted Chester police officers. There is also a third officer in the picture - Can anyone identify the third man?

For earlier additions to the site, check the "What's New" Archives:
2000, 2001, 2002


2004 John A. Bullock III.

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