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

January - December 2004 Archives

Back to the current What's New page
2000 Archives | 2001 Archives | 2002 Archives | 2003 Archives

Date What's New...
12/29/2004 Many thanks to Caroline for sharing a great deal of information about Chester's Neighborhoods from the 1936 Chester Times Yearbook. Some of the names have not been in use for many years so it might be interesting to browse through that page and learn what your part of town might have been called many years ago.
12/18/2004 Many thanks to Robert Swavely for sharing a scan of the newspaper article about the funeral for "Tippy", the Franklin Fire Co. mascot who was killed in the line of duty. We believe this happened some time in the 1940's. Funeral for "Tippy". John Swanson, Jr. & Tippy
11/28/2004 For some time I have wanted to do a little "housekeeping" on many of our Class Reunion pages. Now that all reunions scheduled for 2004 have been held, in the next few days I will be changing the exact URL (address) of many of the pages so that they will all be together in our "Reunions" directory. If you have set a "bookmark" or "favorite" link directly to your page, you will need to update it when the address changes. Just follow the links on the main page of the web site or on our main Guest Book at "The Newsstand" to the new address.
11/26/2004 Over the years many have recalled the Christmas Decorations above Chester's streets. Now, thanks to Twyla Simpkins and her Traveling Black History Museum, we have a picture of them from some time in the 1960's. While you're visiting that page, be sure to leave your Christmas recollections or visit our Hanukkah page and tell us about your memories!
11/24/2004 Our thanks to Mr. Monroe Hamlin, Wilmington, DE, for his generosity in sharing an album of pictures with us at this year's reunion. The album contained a number of pictures taken during the construction of both Lamokin Village (1941) and the Ruth L. Bennett Homes (1952). Unfortunately, we could not scan all of them but this morning I posted a slide show of about 35 pictures from this album.
11/8/2004 Many thanks to Janet Andrews Moulder for recently sharing with us some historic pictures taken of the Masonic Temple and the Knights of Columbus (also housed the Pep Boys Store) buildings both under construction in 1920. Janet also provided a copy of a history of Chester Lodge #236 F. & A. M. written and presented by Mr. Harry W. Cullis on February 6, 1969 on the occasion of the lodge's 120th year.
11/8/2004 Caroline was out and about again yesterday and has taken some wonderful pictures to share with us of Chester's newest gem, just dedicated on 10/22, the Barry Bridge Park. It's located at the foot of the Commodore Barry Bridge at Front & Flower streets. Looking at the beautiful greenways, paved courtyard and benches, it's hard to believe this is where many of us once boarded the ferry! This park adjoins the old generating station, now Rivertown.
11/6/2004 Our thanks once again to Caroline, our "roving photographer", for taking some time out of her busy schedule yesterday to visit "Penn Landing Park" and provide us with some pictures of the park and the original memorial stone. The Chester Historical Preservation Committee is currently involved in a petition effort to prevent the relocation of the park for redevelopment purposes. There are links on our page for the organization and for the petition that anyone interested can sign online. 
10/30/2004 Another recent picture added this evening that I took during my October visit to Chester. Walio's Frog Pond Cafe, 1601 Providence Ave. Walio's has been closed for over a year and I understand that the building may be razed and perhaps replaced by a national chain restaurant.
10/21/2004 Many thanks to TinaMarie Little for a picture of the former Italian-American Social Club at 4th & Crosby St.

This afternoon I have also added a number of pictures that I took while in Chester this past August:
Kyj's Bakery
John Spencer Inc. Printing
Islamic Center of Chester (formerly the State Theatre)
Chester Times
Russian Club
Eyre Park and the Memorial Monument
Rivertown (formerly the PECO Generating Station)

10/9/2004 Many thanks to our two resident reunion photographers, Caroline, and "Joker" Jack Chambers for recording and sharing with us some scenes of last week's "All-Chester Family Reunion". Follow the link for a slide show!
9/27/2004 Many thanks to the Trainer School reunion planning committee for making me an honorary "Trainerite" this past Saturday and inviting me to be a part of their first All-Classes reunion! Over 250 folks of all age groups had a fantastic time getting together at "The Lagoon" in Essington (formerly "Walbers on the Delaware"). As a part of the festivities they also held a benefit for OldChesterPa which is also certainly very much appreciated! For those who could not attend, I have posted a small Slide Show this afternoon.
9/21/2004 Caroline, our "roving reporter" from the "OldChesterPa Research Department" has done a fine job of supplying us with a report and quite a few Chester pictures from this past Sunday's first ever Riverfront Ramble. The event was sponsored by the Delaware County Tourism organization and involved communities along the Delaware River from Marcus Hook to Tinicum.
9/5/2004 I just learned yesterday of an amazing project that Kathleen Giuliano has been working on and sharing with us. Kathleen and her husband have been taking digital photographs of each of the monuments in St. Michael's Cemetery and she is transcribing the information and sharing it with us! - So far we now have about 200 records in our St. Michael's database and she will be adding more as time permits. If anyone would like pictures of the monuments, please email Kathleen and she will be happy to pass them along. Please be patient, though, Kathleen has also recently become a Mother for the first time so her hands are already pretty full! She says, "I am doing the transcription as a way of paying back the wonderful people who helped me with my family tree by taking the time out of their lives to transcribe cemeteries far away from my home."
9/2/2004 Many thanks to Professor Mitchell Rothman, Widener University, for providing a historical sketch of the Caleb Pusey House in nearby Upland, PA.
8/27/2004 Many thanks to everyone who responded. The responses have been unanimous that the picture Fran Farrar recently sent me is a 1970's picture of the Bridge Cafe on 9th St. at Chester Creek.
7/23/2004 Bob Page has shared a wonderful historic photo of his great grandfather, Maurice Stadtfeld, born in 1862, taken at Crozer Theological seminary.
7/22/2004 Many thanks to Rich Rycharski, Shooster Properties, for sharing with us a vintage picture of Shooster's Gas Station which was later replaced by Shooster's Drive-In that so many folks have recalled here on the website.
7/13/2004 A special treat today for our Sun Village neighbors! - a historic picture of the neighborhood thanks to an anonymous contributor.
7/12/2004 Thanks to an anonymous roving reporter and photographer, we have a report and pictures of today's heavy rains and flooding around Chester and Trainer.
6/29/2004 Many thanks once again to Dave Komarnicki for sharing his writing talents once again with us. A very timely addition today - "Independence Day, 1944". Remember, there's a place at the bottom of the page to share your comments with Dave. If you would like to chat with him, be sure to email him your phone number.
6/19/2004 Thanks to LaVerne (Paden) Herron for sharing a picture of the Larkin school Class of 1940-41 (4th Grade). Let me know if you can help us to identify others in the picture.
6/19/2004 Many thanks once again to Mrs. Anna Bomberger for sharing several pictures with us and to William H. Crystle, 3rd for scanning and passing them along. The first two posted today were taken in 1957 in front of the Good Will Fire house when Harry Bomberger became chief. The also include 1st Asst. Chief Lewis Harper, 2nd Asst. Chief Thomas McClelland, and the second picture includes Gary Boden, director of Public Safety. Picture #1 | Picture #2
6/8/2004 Many thanks to Father Joe & Helen Stauffer Hess for sharing some pictures with us from Helen's recent CHS Class of February 1939 reunion!
6/2/2004 A reminder that the Chester High Class of '59 Reunion will be held on Friday 6/18/2004 at the Concordville Inn. Reservations will still be accepted until June 11.
5/24/2004 Two more wonderful pictures arrived this afternoon along with some excellent first-hand information about Sloppy Joe's Restaurant, 3rd St. near Highland Ave. Many thanks to Alice Madzelan, daughter-in-law of Sloppy Joe for getting in touch and sharing these with us! Be sure to click on both thumbnails to see the full-size pics and get the full story.
5/24/2004 Many thanks to Rosa Sveinbjornsson Sniechoski, for sharing a Picture of the 1955-1956 Smedley Field Hockey Team and one of the Smedley Color Guard 1955-1956. Rosa is also still trying to locate Barbara Busby, CHS '59 or her sister. Please get in touch with her if you can help.
5/24/2004 Thanks also today to an anonymous donor for a picture of the Kindergarten Graduation 1968 and a First Communion Certificate, 1969 from Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church.
5/10/2004 Many thanks to Marie Constantini Larner, CHS '65, for taking and sharing with us pictures of two schools that we had been missing, Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass Jr. High Schools.
5/5/2004 Two new pictures added this morning:
Thanks to Joe Smagala for a picture of the St. James Catholic League High School Championship Baseball Game, June 13, 1971
Thanks also to Frank Wood for a picture of his collection of Chester Brewery Trays.
4/30/2004 Thanks to Bob Felix for a picture of the Holy Ghost First Holy Communion Class, Spring 1950. Quite a few identified now, can you identify the rest? - Let me know and I'll add the names. - John
4/26/2004 Harry J. Bomberger, Jr. and Bomberger's Pharmacy (3rd & Highland Ave.) have been mentioned many times and recalled fondly here on the website. Thanks to Harry's widow, Mrs. Anna Bomberger, we now have his picture in the store along with Mrs. Leary and Joy Barlow.
4/24/2004 Last Saturday, April 17, I had the privilege of being in Chester to join in the celebration of Chester Pride Day 2004 sponsored by Widener University Center for Social Work Education and Freeman Enterprises Gallery & Cultural Arts Center. The students from the Widener class which meets at the gallery, Delores Freeman, and others welcomed the Chester community to celebrate our rich heritage. There were numerous displays, performances, opportunities to see their Chester video, and I enjoyed meeting so many wonderful folks from Chester! The link above will take you to some pictures from the day and later I'll be adding more historical information to the website that folks there shared with me. Many thanks to everyone for your hospitality and for inviting me to share in the day!
3/31/2004 Thanks to Ron Crowther for a picture of Pulaski Jr. High from the 1963 yearbook and also a picture of Mrs. Eckler's 4th grade class (1958-1959) from William Penn Elementary School.
3/31/2004 Thanks to Harvey Martin for sharing a picture and some updated information about Christ United Methodist Church in Brookhaven. For those who may not know, it was the former South Chester Methodist Church and has also absorbed the congregations from the former Madison St. Methodist & Providence Ave. Methodist churches.
3/31/2004 Thanks to Caroline for scanning and sharing some pictures and information from the St. Hedwig's Golden Jubilee Anniversary (1902-1952) book:
- Military funeral of Walter Szymanski
- Polish American Eagle Citizens' Club
at 851 Elsinore Pl.
3/23/2004 Thanks to Ron Crowther for another post card view of Larkin School and also for a 1961 picture of Highland Gardens (Perkins & Lehman Streets).
3/10/2004 Thanks to Anthony Brida for sharing a picture and identifying the members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School Class of 1945.
3/9/2004 Many thanks to Deacon Sherman L. Lineberry, for providing some historical pictures as well as updated information about the history of Range Memorial Church of God in Christ.
3/9/2004 Thanks to David Chominski and St. Hedwig's Church for providing a copy of their 100th Anniversary book which gives us their more recent history (1978-2002).
3/8/2004 Coming soon... "Today in Chester's History". With your support, we'll soon be highlighting some specific event in Chester's history each day. When possible, the events will be linked to a picture or more information on the website. Sponsorships are just $5 per day - choose as many dates as you'd like! Your birthday? Your anniversary? Sponsor in honor of a loved one. See the link above for all the details.
3/3/2004 Many thanks to John T. Meli for sharing an excellent picture of St. James High School c. 1950. (Be sure to click on the small picture on the page to see the full-size version.)
Joe Smagala has spent some time over the weekend going through his photo albums and has taken the time to scan several pictures to share with us.
Two pictures of Joe's Market, owned and operated by his Mother and Dad, Joe & Cathy Smagala, at Rose & Walnut Sts. The former owners (before August 1961) were Troy & Laura Durham. Thanks to Fred Van Zandt for identifying them for us and to Paul Crowther for adding the name of an earlier owner, Burt Simmonds.
Also 3 pictures from the 1963 Pulaski Day Parade One of these is a "bonus" picture because it also gives us a view of the Loughead Pontiac dealership and the side of the A&P on Edgmont Ave!
Thanks very much Joe for sharing these!
2/28/2004 I suppose this comes under the category of "better late than never," but at long last we have a section to recognize more of Chester's Hometown Heroes, veterans of some of our nation's more recent conflicts (Vietnam, Persian Gulf War, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqui Freedom). Check the top right of the list for a link to add a veteran to this list so that we can honor their service.
2/25/2004 I'm sure that many will enjoy seeing a picture of the interior of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church taken in September 1956. Thank you very much Joe Smagala for sharing this with us!
2/14/2004 Many thanks to Al Lenny for sharing a very early picture of his uncle, Maurice Lenny, taken inside the American Store at 3rd & Highland Ave.
2/9/2004 Thanks to Lee Bennington for sharing a picture that he took c. 1959-1962 of Company B, 28th Division of the 111th Infantry as they marched at 15th & Walnut St. from the armory to PMC. Let me know if you can you help us to identify more of these men.
2/7/2004 Many thanks once again to Florence E O'Bryan for sharing with us another 32 Obituaries of Chester firefighters and police officers. In addition to the list on that page, each person's obituary is also linked from his/her name on our list of known Chester firefighters and police officers.

Obituaries are certainly a rich resource of information for future genealogy researchers so I'd like to take this chance to remind you that you can use this link to add to our obituaries archives. Just be sure to let me know that you have added some because I'll need to post them on our list and set up the links manually.

2/5/2004 13 is a Lucky Number, and we're in luck because this is Dave Komarnicki's latest story about his boyhood days in Chester. This time he takes us along on one of his nightly paper rounds as he hits every spot from the gates of the Ford plant back to downtown Chester. Thanks again, Dave, for sharing the adventure with us!
2/4/2004 Many thanks to "Eagle-Eye" Dave Komarnicki, our OldChester "writer in residence", who has been keeping an eye out for Chester High yearbooks so that we can fill in the missing classes. He recently copied and mailed me that information for the CHS Class of 1931 and Class of February 1932.
Incidentally, Dave also tells me that a new story will be here in the next day or so. This one should make everyone happy who has asked him for longer stories!
2/4/2004 Several new class reunions have been announced lately and more details have been posted about others:
Chester High February 1939
St. Michael's 1953 - Take a look and see if you can help them locate any of their "Missing" folks.
Trainer School - All Classes!
St. James - Who Let The Dogs Out - coming this Saturday, 2/7
1/25/2004 Many thanks to Merv Harris, Wallingford, PA, for making a copy of an 1887 Chester City Directory available to us.
1/18/2004 News of two school reunions is in today - be sure to check their pages for the announcements! - St. James annual "Who Let the Dogs Out" and Trainer School - All Classes.
1/17/2004 Many thanks to our faithful photographer, Caroline, for providing some pictures taken today of the interior of Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church. She has provided pictures of the altar and nativity on the main page and also some pictures of their Holubuchi and Cabbage Soup Sale which also continues tomorrow after both liturgies.
1/17/2004 St. Katharine Drexel School is considering the possibility of holding an All-Classes Reunion to coincide with their 10th Anniversary this year. No date or details have been announced yet but if you attended St. Katharine Drexel School you might like to stop by this page and sign in so that they can get in touch with you as plans progress. 
1/7/2004 Our thanks to Betty-Jane Bennett Smith for providing a picture of her father and the Chester High Basketball Team c. 1912. She also shared with me "Chemical Research at American Viscose", on the occasion of an Open House celebration commemorating the Chemical Research Department's 10th Anniversary, November 3, 1950. This booklet has enabled us to add nearly 200 names to our list of known Viscose employees and also gave us a good picture of the home of the Chemical Research Department in Marcus Hook.
1/3/2004 Many thanks to Bill Folger, Media, PA, for sharing with us some of his extensive collection of Chester-Bridgeport Ferry pictures taken in April 1973 while the Commodore Barry Bridge was still under construction. Bill, a member of the Delaware County Historical Society, is quite an expert on transportation around Delaware County. Note: There are 9 large pictures on this page so if you're using a dial-up connection it may take up to 2 minutes to completely load. I can assure you though - it is well worth the wait!
1/2/2004 Thanks to Duane Minshall for a picture of his father, Cliff Minshall, and grandfather, Steve Urban, taken inside of his grandfather's bar, Steve's Bar, on W. 3rd St. (now Stanley's).

For earlier additions to the site, check the "What's New" Archives:
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003


2007 John A. Bullock III.

GDPub2.JPG (7902 bytes)