Frank Gisondi - I remember the lot that you're talking about being full of 1959 Fords that year. We use to play football and wiffle ball in the yard of the large house on the corner of Logan and Elwood. We called it McMannis's. Nice people to let us play there, they never chased us. The lot with the John B. White cars was at the back of their yard. Once in a while somebody would hit a ball into the lot and we'd have to climb the fence to get it. I too got my haircut at Cirelli's (also by Joe). By the way Billy Campbell, two of the guys that I played with in McMannis's yard were Jimmy Deacon and Georgie Rowan. They both lived across the street from me on Stenton Ave.
Robert Daley, 58 [08-30-2007]
Does anyone have any recipes for my religious cult that left Germantown in the 60's before it went bad? (Only kidding) Glad it's lightened up here. This site is only as good as the posts, and isn't about controversy, so thanks to all for the fond memories that warm so many people's hearts.
Bruce Marshall, 55, still in G-town [08-30-2007]
I grew up on the 500 block of Penn St near Germantown Hospital, but my cousin lived on Chew St. 5386 to be exact. Knabs Bakery had the best crumb buns. I do remember Hartleys and Pullmans. I haven't heard those names in a long time.
Judy, Lambertville NJ, 60 [08-30-2007]
Wilma,I do remember all them places,the Walton Movies my boyfriend at that time worked their he also lived on Woodlawn Ave near Chew his name was Joe Caroluzzi and I think you mean Richie Di Flice he lived on Woodlawn also did you know Janet Hartley from Woodlawn Ave she was my friend back then an we still are friends we all have great memories from when we were young Sandy Cipriano
I grew up at Chew & Woodlawn. Is there anyone out there that remembers my neighborhood. Things I remember were Jaggers corner store, Knabs bakery, Pullmans produce, Hartleys butcher, Shauns (spelling) variety store, Chanes drug store (Marvin & Kenny), The Walton before it became an adult movie theater? I lived on Chew near Woodlawn. About the comment on religion, I was protestant Irish, a rarity for sure, but we went to every May procession at Immaculate and so did our whole block. I would say religion was extremely important in the every day life in Germantown. All of my cousins were Catholic and belonged to Immaculate and 3 of my grandparents were buried out of that Church. The families on Woodlawn were Carluccis, Reilly (spelling?), Lynch, Felice, .Hope to hear from someone I knew. Great site and brings back a lot of memories. Thanks
Wilma, Bucks Co., 64 [08-29-2007]
bob i am looking for that class picture too i believe i was on the left side of that picture ... ha rosemarie
rosemarie malageri [08-29-2007]
erda. what a nice thing to say .. thank you and guess what so were you and you still are ... rosemarie
rosemarie malageri [08-29-2007]
Frank Gisondi - sorry I don't remember you but I remember your Mom's store at Shedaker and Baynton - always had great Italian Water Ice and soft pretzels. Always stopped in there on our way up to Wister playground. I do remember some of the guys who used to play football up there - Jimmy Deacon, Jimmy Conners, Michael Higgins, David Dingwall, Frank Chatter, George Rowan, and Johnny Bird. Sometimes we had this older guy play steady quaterback - his name was Johnny Kleminger. This guy could really throw a football and we thought of him as the Johnny Unitas of Wister playground. Drove past the playground last year with my brothers and it certainly looked a lot smaller.I remember by brother Bobby hitting a baseball from the cage near Shedaker over to the basketball courts and thinking he was Johnny Callison.
Billy Campbell [08-29-2007]
Beloned to gtn. boys club from 1938 till 1944. belonged to a club with-in called the Crusaders. boxed and wresteld there. Was a boy scout and Charlie Gottsebend was scoutmaster Knew Mr. Riggs, been to his house. Bill Cagno lived on the first floor
Bill Leonardo [08-29-2007]
B. Campbell--your comment about Father McGarrity SURE brought back a lot of memories. joe taylor
joe taylor, Athens, GA [08-29-2007]
Frang G: Enjoyed your msg about Shedaker Street. Remember the lot but don't recall any cars ever being there. Also remember sleding Baynton/Shedaker. What years did you live there?? I graduated NC in '61 & never looked back altho my parents brother--Jimmy-- & sister--Rita--stayed on until my brother graduated from North. I don't remember you. Maybe I had departed by then or you were there earlier than me. Joe Taylor
joe taylor [08-29-2007]
Joanne, I understand how you feel, but we can't deny the fact that religion played a significant role in the establishment of Germantown. Religion has always been an important element in Germantown's rich cultural heritage. So long as no one foists their religious views on anyone, I don't have a problem with it. I interpreted the original message to be that the folks from the "good old days" knew what respect meant. They realized that they couldn't have respect without religion because the two went hand in hand, for the mostpart. Many from that generation went to church on a consistent basis and their stores were always kept closed on Sunday. I can remember when it was difficult to buy a loaf of bread or a quart of milk on a Sunday, until 7/11 and WaWa came along. The supermarkets decided to remain open on Sunday in order to keep up. Another post said that there are many churches still in Germantown to this day which is also true. That comment doesn't offend me either because that's a fact. My point is this: religion played an important role in the founding of Germantown. The shrine on Chelten avenue is still magnificent and is even more beautiful on Mondays. People from the old neghborhood return to Germantown every Monday because of that shrine.
I remember getting metal "cleats" or "taps" put on my shoes at Frank the Shoemakers (can't remember his last name, Garafola?). That was supposed to be cool. You had to walk very gingerly in school however or the nuns would make you have them taken off. I knew Cookie Ginini(sp) and Billy. I used to get my hair cut by Joe, not his father, at Cirelli's near or next to the shoemaker on Gtn Ave. Joe would never give you a "box" haircut. You had to go uo the avenue for that. I lived next to "The Ford Lot" on Shedaker St. John B. White stored their surplus of cars there. We used to build forts in the lot from what we called "stink weed" (which I later found to be sumac, I believe). Used to knock off all the leaves and make whips out of the branches then had whip fights. My parents owned Jen's" on the corner of Baynton and Shedaker and I worked in that store from 1960 (10 yrs old) until we sold it in 1966 to Doris Carmody. Childhood friends were Frankie Chatary, Tommy Carmody and Dobbie Wagner. In the winter we used to sled down the "back hill" (Sheldon St). Still see Dobbie, heard Tommy passed away, would love to here from Frankie. Billy Campbell ... I remember us sharing a paticularly scarey halloween.
Frank Gisondi, b & s [08-28-2007]
I am not sure of the Toddle House on Pauiski Ave.. Do you remember the counter next to Leedom and Wislers on Chelten. It was just a counter long and dark on the inside.. Also the store across Chelten Ave that was run by the two women.. they sold groceries on one side and had the lunch counter and boother on the other side of the store.. They made the best Mike Shakes..
Erda (Armstrong) Graham [08-28-2007]
Bob, Rosemarie was a blonde, real thin and one of the nices girls in our class..
Duke Garvin did you have a sister named Denise, I sat two years at North catholic With Ross Carfagno
JC, ne philly [08-27-2007]
My Germantown blog is back up! It was under construction for awhlie..sorry for the inconvienence. thanks and enjoy..!
I am collecting any info on the Germantown Boys Club and the Indian Club and Robert Riggs. If you have any stories or info please email me.... wish this site allowed downloading of pics I have thousands.
jane bender [08-27-2007]
Rosemarie I am looking for that 8th grade graduation picture we all took in front of the rectory.I know I have it somewhere... it may help to place some of the names...
Bob Smith [08-27-2007]
Erda, Bill from Darrows used to make the best ice cream sodas and bergers. I getting hungry just writing this. Remember the Toddle House on Paliski Av?
Bob Smith [08-27-2007]
Hi Ginny - I remember Father McGarrity of St. Francis of Assisi - remember how no one would dare go to him for confession ? He was a terror who liked to scream through the confessional screen at whoever was brave enough to see him. As a former altar boy at St. Francis, he roamed the church grounds and we all quickly scattered when he approached !
B. Campbell [08-27-2007]
The internet has always been about expressing yourself freely in an uninhibited environment, from what I have read recently this site appears to be no different then all of the others. “Germantown Your Thoughts” seems to imply a wide open discussion agenda, with not too many restrictions other then taste I guess. I for one am happy to have stumbled upon the site because It has opened up a lot of old memories and friends I had all but lost hope of ever connecting with again. Keep those memories coming LOL
Bob Smith [08-27-2007]
Hey Bill, yeah it was a great mixed neighborhood of all ethnic backgrounds, but when the redevolopemen authority came along and moved good people and put a low housing project in on Baynton street that is when it went down the tubes. Don;t forget that part of it. We would have stayed, but my sisters and mother could no longer sit on our porch because of the thugs and foul language.
Lets get this site back to what it wasa intended for. Lately all people have been doing is arguing, enough already. Religion is not a subject to be discussed here, that is a personal thing. people have been complaining that some people want to remain anonymous, so what? sharing recipies is fine and finding old friends is great, I've found a few myself. Lets stop all this arguing and get back to what this site is for, To remember the good times in gtn.and some of our good memories and stop saying how bad it is now, we all know that, it is a shame but it is a different time now and unfortunately things do change. Joanne
joanne posimo [08-27-2007]
To B.Campbell (Big Brother) - I too remember Chick's - standing in front of that massive (it seemed massive when we were young) glass candy display and trying to decide how to spend my ten cents. Always go for the items that you got more than one of for a penny - Mike and Ike's etc. I also remember traveling further up Gtn. Ave and going in Jane's between Clapier and Seymore. If you really wanted to stretch your legs you could go all the way up to Young's and get some rock candy. I also remember playin ball at these places - the top of Logan Park, the upper field at Fern Hill, and of course our "Home" field of Wister Playground. Oh, and lets not forget the beautiful field of the Lang McCann Post at Wakefield and Bayton the we called "the Lot". Things in Germantown may not be what they once were but we will always have cherished memories of growing up in a great neighborhood.
LiL Brother in N.C. [08-27-2007]
Look, it doesn't matter to me if people who contribute to this site are religious or not. This is America and if you want to behave in the American way, live and let live. There is no law saying that anybody has to believe or not believe. If anybody has a recipe they want to share, that's ok with me. I have more important things going on in my life than to worry about a 5 line post giving out a recipe. When I see people reunited through this site, I am happy for them. And whether we've moved or stayed in Gtn., shouldn't be an issue. It is true that Germantown is noted for historically being integrated, so please don't think that anybody's move was racially motivated. There are good and bad in both races, and the bad drove the good away, of both races. Our families had a lot invested in money and memories in their homes, and moving was the last thing they wanted to do. The most they got from the move was freedom to leave their house at night.
It's really very sad that Germantown is not the Great place we remember it to be.However that's why were on this sight, to keep "GREAT" memories alive! Let's keep it that way!On another note can anyone remember Tino's drug store across from Holy Rosery ? The fathers name was Sal,his son was Joe & his wife was Pat. I spent every lunch time in that store good memories !
JoAnn (Palmieri)Benton, 54 yrs.young,from gnt now in boca raton fl. [08-27-2007]
To Sheila (8-24-07) post and others of the opinion that whites moved from Germantown because of crime and violence, I submit that you are wrong. We moved from Germantown in the early 60's and the reason we moved was the "percieved" devaluation of our home due to the many others moving out because of blacks moving in. Understand, most of us were blue collar workers and the only asset we had was our home and the thought of that depreciating rather than appreciating was very scary. Crime was not the issue then and I believe that during the 60's was the start of the downturn of the neighborhoods. And yes, there were blacks in the neighborhood when we lived there, but panic took hold and the rest is history
FOR UNLIKE OTHERS: Here's a site for you. Please read it. http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/antislve.htm You mentioned religion as it relates to Germantown right? People like the Krefelders, Rittenhaus, and Pastorius had a strong religious influence in old Germantown (Philadelphia) Pa. Regarding this site, it's turning into a circus. I agree with Sara's and B. Campbell's remarks about ignoring rude or offensive posts. Some condescending big mouthes have no right making remarks anyway. They have piles in their backyard and don't have the right to bash anyone. Just ignore them from now on and they will go away.
As kids we use to play Army in fortress Germantown. The battles were fought on Mechanic, Haines, Magnolia, and High Streets. We had our bombed out buildings (empty lots) and canals (alleys) to conduct warfare. The abandoned car served as Sherman Tanks and hitting soda cans with sticks were the mortars and artillery. There were actual commanders designated on both sides of the battle front. The only injuries may have been from a fall when one was shot in the gut. This was early to mid 1960s and included black and white kids playing with toy guns. Eventually what we saw develop were more violent non-integrated gangs like the Haines Street Gang, Somerville, and Brickyard.
Ed Farrar, Chester, VA [08-27-2007]
Ok - now that we have the political and personal viewpoints of Germantown voiced, let's lighten up and return to the great memories of growing up in that tight friendly community. By the way, Chestnut Hill still has the spirit and charm of good "old" Germantown.
B. Campbell [08-24-2007]
Dear Unlike Others, NEWS FLASH Germantown was an intigrated neighborhood in the 1920's.So you had better find another reason for why so many people moved away. Do you think that just maybe it was because the jobs were leaving the city? If people want to know about the historical houses all they need do it look at the other sections of this web site. The "Your Thoughts" section is not a history class, it is for the people who lived and live in Germantown to talk about what they knew, and what and who they grew up with. And just to let you know I was a tour guide for 6 years in Germantown. Have a nice day
Maggie: Just learned that Kane--who you asked me about--died a way back. Was only 42. joe taylor
joe taylor [08-24-2007]
To the mouth that still lives in Gtown . We had blacks in town since my parents were born that lived on our street and played with us so dont go there with that one. If your so upset about who owned what store or people trying to reestablish friendships dont read the entries. You do have other alternatives. As far as wanting to get the historic feel of the neighborhood go sit in Vernon Park on Friday night at dark like we could do and tell us about the experiance here on Saturday morning.
Hey Bruce, thanks for th info. I was sure it was my grandfather's to be shared with my father and my uncle Tony. My fathere did not last in the barber trade, although he got his license later on in life. But thanks again. I'd find out about that mirror. Might be worth something.
Sara, You are right. Everyone means well on here, and we shouldn't "make war". There is too much of that.
Yeah, well numerous people looking for other people they haven't seen in almost half a century without putting an email address to their posts is making me not want to visit the site anymore, but no one has a problem with that. Isn't it too bad that people with differing points of view, who aren't turned to mush about stories they can't remotely relate to and are looking for real information say something about it? Welcome to the world of free speech. It's always inconvenient.
Sara, you said it all. To each their own. As I see it, nobody is being verbally abusive and unless they are, there's no reason for anybody to get their blood pressure high. Let's just let everybody do their thing. We all have one thing in common and that's our love for our our old neighborhood. We didn't run away from blacks either. Germantown was integrated long before any white people moved away. What drove us away was crime and concern for the safety of our familes.
For unlike others...I agree with what you wrote EXCEPT for this statement: "And I don't think it's right for those of us who don't subscribe to a religion to hear about the subject." Religion offends you and the graffiti doesn't? I suggest that you avoid driving down any street in Germantown where there's a church, as not to be offended. By the way, Germantown, good or bad, happens to be loaded with all kinds of churchs these days. p.s What happened to all the Germans of Germantown? They all took off too when the Irish and Italians came didn't they? I hope that you remain very happy living in modern day Germantown.
OK Martha you started it! Remember Darrow's at Morris and Chelten?? If I remember the owner was Dr. Ames and the Snack bar was run by Bill..
to: unlike others i'm still here.... my family roots in gnt go back to the late 1800's, and as recent as the middle 90's. we had plenty of people who were black that were our friends, best freinds, freinds myself and my siblings knew all our lives. we moved because of the violent crimes and not being able to feel safe. by the early 90's we were afraid to let our kids play outside because of drug dealing and shootings at both ends of the block!. do you think that if the people who were commiting these violent crimes were white my family would of stayed?!?! it had nothing to do with black people it was about not being safe.
How about you all just ignore the posts that you find rude or offensive. So many of you are getting angry because of others peoples feelings or point of view. Others are annoyed at food receipes and such. Ignore it if you don't like it. I am so tired of coming on here and reading battles back and forth. Just enjoy the good stories, memories and old times. Who cares about the other stuff. The bickering is making me and others not want to visit this site anymore.
So people are not allowed to anonymously post their views because that view makes you uncomfortable? That's mighty democratic. These neighborhood stories may be "pleasurable" to read for the people who lived in Germantown in its heyday, but it offers absolutely nothing of value to out-of-towners looking for information on the neighborhood (e.g. the tons of historical houses and the wonderful historical society that are barely hanging on by a thread) as well as people who lived in other parts of the city and want to know more information about the neighborhood. Talking about who owned what store and if anyone knows their families numerous times is only *part* of Germantown's history. It’s simply not the entire picture. And the city's the way it is because of my non-religious views? This city is the way it is because of an incompetent local government, people who “panic” for no reason at all, and the Section 8 trash that moves in courtesy of slumlords (and/or “investors,” who overwhelmingly live in the suburbs and out-of-state). Last time I checked, holding prayer groups in the middle of a bad neighborhood didn't help anyone (I used to live in West Philly, so I’m more than schooled on that subject!). And those monasteries and churches are in bad neighborhoods, sure, but you conveniently forget to mention how the clergy and parishioners alike are constantly intimidated by the bad elements (been there, done that). And I don't think it's right for those of us who don't subscribe to a religion to hear about the subject. I'm sure a person expressing a non-religious point of view would be attacked mercilessly on this page. Right and left people cry about how the city used to be back in the “glory days” of the 40’s and 50’s, but you all ran for the hills the moment you saw a (whoa!) black person instead of fighting back and telling the government to get bent (after all, you were homeowners and the people coming in were, for the most part, renters). And I get the part about some people here who had no say in the process because their parents sold and moved out. I feel sorry that those people had to suffer, but they are to be commended for standing their ground for so long. There’s much more I expected from a forum dealing with Germantown. Sure, the little aspects make up the history of the neighborhood, but there are tons of other places to ask about whether this person knows that person. If people want to talk about families, churches, and who lived on what block in 1956, they can take it to private email because it gets boring after ten messages over half a year. Sorry to bring discomfort into your gated communities in the middle of nowhereyou’re your ivory towers because I’m not politically correct (god, the flag, and American pie). A differing point of view always hits that sensitive nerve. Well, it’s nice to know those people moved on a “better life” in the suburbs and the boondocks (where drug use and crime never happen, that’s for sure).
Unlike others, I'm still here in G-town [08-23-2007]
Maggie - I'm sure you're right about Cookie and her family. I never really knew her personally, some friends of mine did though. I mistakenly thought her father was Frank the shoemaker out on Germantown Ave. Thanks for setting me straight. By the way, my mom once sent me to Frank's to get new souls and heels on my shoes (the only ones that I had at the time). I was probably around 10. She told me to tell him that I had to wait while he did them. Frank didn't seem to think it as unusual as I did. He told me to sit down and take my shoes off, and he did them while I watched. Try that one nowadays. Ginny - That little post office at Clapier St was called the Negley's Hill Post Office. If I remember correctly, they closed it when they built the new one over on Greene Street behind the Acme.
Fran, 58 [08-23-2007]
hi bob smith .. i doubt you remember me but i remember you from st. vincents rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [08-23-2007]
Grew up near Belfield Rec Centerwith my "little " sister Judy. Hung out at Penn and Magnolia with Vic Wright,Joe Larkin, Ross Carfagno, Moose Herrmann, Fran Dean, Frankie Heiler, Bob Markley, Tommy Milligan and The Jank. Went to Pennell, Wagner and Central.
Duke Garvin, Upper Gwynedd PA [08-23-2007]
For Mike Horn....Great response! I couldn't have said it better myself. God bless you and try to make some more posts.
not relevant [08-23-2007]
To Anthony - you're right. I had breakfast at the Urban Cafe today, and asked Tom the owner about it. He bought the place from your uncle, Tony Giordano, in the early 80's, when he was simplifying his life. That's why he sold me the mirror in the 70's (yes, it's a Civil War era piece, but in very funky condition, but it might be worth a few bucks). So your uncle had the business there for 50 years or so according to Tom, but maybe that was shared with your Grandfather originally. He was renting back from Tom towards the end. I highly recommend the restaurant (Urban Cafe, 5815 Wayne) to all locals and visitors, and I'm not on commission! About the Dairy Maid at Gtn and Maplewood: when I lived on Maplewood in the 70's (between Greene and Wayne), I read that Charlie Chaplin did a personal appearance there during his heyday. Don't know how to verify that at this point, but GHS may have material about it. Also, it may be of interest that W.C. Fields and family lived in G-town before his stardom (and anti-Philly quote). My aunt told me that they lived on Fernhill Road behind her Morris Street house across from the park.
Bruce Marshall, 55, still in G-town [08-23-2007]
Not Relevant: You're right..everybody did use a parish to say which neighborhood they lived in. It didn't matter if you were Catholic or not, you knew the parish. I always wonder if people in other city's did the same or if it was a Philadelphia thing.
Tommy C. Hi Tommy. It's great hearing from you. I didn't know anything about the GTN. reunion. Maybe next time. Sounds like you all had a great time. Bob Smith, Yes, I lived up the street, across from Paul. He's married to Sally and lives in NJ. I know Erda has been looking for you for years. Also Carol P. was trying to find you for a neighborhood reunion. Sheila, I remember the bus tickets. The kids in my neighborhood had to take the PTC bus from Morris and Coulter to Mifflin, on Midvale Ave.in East Falls because we were out of the area for Fitler. Since we were only in second grade our parents would have to pin the ticket for the ride home to the inside of our schoolbags. Mike Horn, Your response to anonymous regarding the cultural history of GTN was well said. The people who live in a particular neighborhood are the main reason that there even is a cultural history in that neighborhood. There are many books and websites that can give you information on the past history of Germantown but this website is giving you accurate, first hand information about real people and places over a 60 year timespan. How incredibly interesting.
OK, here's another one......who else remembers Moes' right next to Happy Hollow? Or the 5 & dime on Wayne Avenue at Clapier,,,,or the 5 & dime at Seymour & G'twn Ave?
To B. Campbell. I remember Chick's store. got all my school supplies there. Chick and his wife were nice people especially to the kids that went in there. Also, do you remember Betty's Hosiery Shop, Spence's Hardware, Scarpello's Drug Store, Jane Shop, and the post office on the corner of Clapier and Germantown Ave. There was a big white church right behind the post office on Clapier, does anyone know the name? St. Francis of Assisi school at Greene and Logan of Father McGarrity. It's nice to remember Germantown in those memories!
Ginny Clark [08-23-2007]
To B. Campbell. I remember Chick's Store on Germantown Ave. Used to get my copybooks for school there. He also had a back room in the store - remember.He and his wife were so nice to the kids who came in. I also remember Spence's Hardware, Betty's Hosiery, Jane Shop, Frank the Shoemaker, Scarpello's Drug Store and the old Post Office at Germantown and Clapier. Chick's is a happy memory for me.
Ginny Clark [08-22-2007]
To the anonymous post of 8/21. Your remarks are the exact reason why the city is the way it is. You write about your interest in "cultural history." How many different churches are in Germantown right now? Before, when a person was asked where they were from, they would always say the name of a parish first. Don't write in and say that prayer doesn't make a difference because it does. The country was founded on religious principles. When you write that prayer is ineffective you're also saying that there in no God and everyone knows how false that really is. God can't be blamed when bad people decided to commit crimes. There are churches and monasteries in some bad areas of Philadelphia that have been there forever under God's protection, and will continue to be there. Regarding your remark about not mentioning stores, just look at the post before your last post.
not relevant [08-22-2007]
Susan Houseal Saw your message on the Germantown site. How's thing in South Philly? I worked at the old depot on 20th st. from 1972 until 1984. I'm back in the Northeast at the Navel Supply Depot on Tabor Rd. I went in the Air Force after we got out of high school in 65. I thing you were still living on the Ave. when I left in 1966.No I don't married Muriel T, see went to Pa State and broke up with me shortly after. I'm married with 2 children 26 & 20, and living in South Jersey.I still see some of the guys and girls that hung on the Ave. There was a big reunion back in Oct of 2005, up in Warminster that was a Blast. They said they might run one again next year, will wait and see? Will if you like, drop me a e-mail and let me know how your doing. Your Old Friend Tommy C
Kay, Thank you for contacting Bob for me.. My email is attached I would love to hear from you and talk about the old the neighborhood and friends.. Erda
Erda (Armstrong) Graham [08-22-2007]
Fran:there was a family 2 doors down from the store named Jininni (sp)The dad's name was Al. His kids were Cookie, Billy, Rosie and Alfie. His wife was from Germany. I think they moved to Warminster, or maybe Roslyn. I remember him getting into a fight with his neighbor, Mr. Qualett that was a big deal!
Maggie Nicoletti, Wister and Wakefield streets [08-22-2007]
Please don't put up any more anonymous e-mails
Mike Bresnan, Belfield--Immaculate Conception--Germantown [08-22-2007]
To the anonymous posing dated 8/21/07. The religion that we practice, our memories of the pizza that we ate, the penny candy that we bought and who owned what store are all part of the rich cultural history of Germantown as we remember it. If by rich cultural history you are referring to the Revolution, well, it would be difficult to talk about that particular time with any real authority since none of us were around then and anything that we had to say would most certainly be the repeat of some historian. What you read on this site is the collective memory of Germantown as it was in the 50s, 60s etc. That is, real people with real memories. This is cultural history in the making. I don't often contribute but I read this site regulary. I also make it a point to collect every recipe that I see. In order to keep this web site going we need to keep doing what we're doing and contribute to the making of Germantown's cultural history. Regrds to all of you Mike Horn, CDHS 65; LaSalle 72, currently living in Andorra
Mike Horn, Born and raised in g-town on Wingohocking Terr then later 5800 Morris St. [08-22-2007]
Martha - I went to Gtn High School and rode the "J" Bus from Belfield & Logan to Gtn & Chelten, then transferred to the 23 trolley if one was in sight. If no trolley was close, I just walked up to school from there. On the way home, I usually walked down to G&C to get the bus in front of Rowells Dept Store. Sometimes a friend would be getting on the trolley, ask for a transfer (that he didn't need) and hand it out the window to me. Then I would use it for a free ride on the bus. In the winter when it was bitter cold, we would all stand inside the outer doors of Rowells waiting for the buses to come. The "J", "K", & "XH" all stopped there. By the way, I remember that Rowells still had an elevator with a real live operator at the controls in the 60's. Joe Taylor - No, I don't believe we know each other. I never really hung at Nickoletti's, just stopped there once in a while to buy something when I was over that way. I use to walk out Wister St to Gtn Ave sometimes on my way to the Boy's Club. B. Campbell - Yes, Chick's was across the Ave. from the cemetary. I remember buying those white pimple balls there.
Fran, 58 [08-22-2007]
hey old friends! here i am look no more. get back to me it will be fun. i hope this finds all of my old neighbors well and happy
JUDY (GARVIN) HAUSLER, now in edenton, n c [08-22-2007]
Hi Martha. I remember riding the trolley to Little Flower High School in the 60s. Either took the #23 at Germantown Avenue and Seymour Street and had to transfer (free paper transfer) at Broad and Erie or the #56 from Wayne Avenue and Seymour Street. The trolley barn for the #56 was right behind the school.
joyce radocaj ruggero [08-22-2007]
To Anonymous post of 8/21/07- If we take away stores, all places of business, churches of all religions, streets that we lived on, playgrounds, etc. we would not have a neighborhood. This is Germantown's history. A town would not exist without the people and places that are and were rooted there. I do not believe that this is the board to put down people who mention prayer. I have not read a post that is preaching a certain religion. If you lived in Germantown you would know that it was a very religious town as were the neighboring towns. I personally enjoy this site very much and hope to continue to read the interesting posts that everyone writes. These are all pleasant memories of a wonderful childhood for me and many others that post here. I hope to continue to get pleasure from this site.
Erda and Lynne you both used to live on Morris right? any word on Paul Ginty or Al Bradeley? Ed Brown, Jack Heagan, Gene Falcone?
Bob Smith [08-22-2007]
Bob Smith, I grew up on Morris Street at 5536.. How are you?? I have been trying to find you for years.. We had a St. Vincent reunion and it was not the same without my friend and neighbor. I will email you to catch up..
Hey Bruce, I bet that mirror is worth something today. I thought my grandfather ownned that building and passed it on to my Uncle. Maybe I'm wrong.
I lived in Germantown and went to Logan Elementary school. I had to take the J bus from as early as kindergarten. This was before school tokens, and we bought tickets. Anybody remember the PTC tickets? By the time the bus driver got them, they were crumpled soggy messes from being held in our hands. Later when I went to Roosevelt Jr High, we used tokens. We took the J bus to Gtn. & Chelten and used the transfer to get the H-1 bus that took us to Roosevelt.
How many of us rode the trolleys to school? Remember tokens & free paper transfers?
To anonymous post of August 7th: Prayer hasn't helped helped the murder in this city, so why not try something practical? And if people want to go that route, whose prayers are we using? I think it's fair to say that this board should have absolutly nothing to do with religion or who owned what store and who lived where. I'm not learning anything about Germantown's rich cultural history that way.
Hello to all my Germantown friends. Anyone remember "Chick's Store" on Germantown Ave. near Logan ? Big St. Francis of Assisi school kid stop for sodas, candy, ice cream and everything else they say we should not eat today !
Erda - Most of the train lines in Philadelphia were originally built at street level. I ran across a book about the history of the Reading Railroad in the library a number of years ago. It had many pictures of the railroad tracks running down streets in various sections of the city in the early 1900's. At some later point in time, the railroads decided that it made sense to eliminate the street level crossings, and a major program was undertaken to elevate most tracks throughout the city. Wayne junction is an example of where they elevated some of the tracks, and where some tracks were run beneath Gtn and Wayne Aves.
Used to live on Morris Street... 5534 to be exact.
Bob Smith, Currently live in Doylestown PA [08-21-2007]
Hello Lynne Dorf, didn't see you at the G-town reuione at Williamson. Sat with Harry H, Miki G, & my cousin Frankie. Hope all is well with you and your family? I'm still in touch with Jack Y, from time to time. How's you and Mike doing? Your Old Friend Tommy C.
To Edward Farrar: I used to put pennies on the tracks at the Queen Lane station of the Pennsy - one time, the Stationmaster chased and caught me, and my parents had to come down to get me out of trouble. To Anthony: I used to go to your uncle's barber shop: he was named Anthony also. Your uncle sold me an old wood-framed mirror that I still have. The guy who was his landlord, and still owns the building, is Tom Grabe, who is operating the Urban Cafe in what was the barber shop. I raved about it in an earlier post - I highly recommend the food, prices, and ambiance to any who are still in or visiting the area. It's 5815 Wayne, next to the car wash above Chelten.
Bruce Marshall, 55, still in G-town [08-21-2007]
Fran: Joe Taylor here. I also hung out @ Nickoletti's for a # of years. Do we know each other by chance?? You can write me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
joe taylor [08-21-2007]
The Chelten Train Station snack bar was next to the steps going down to the platform. It was just a little place with maybe only 6 stools if that many and a slide window so people can order from outside.. It was on the Del Mar Morris side of the train station, with only the driveway between the Del Mar and Tony’s.. The west side of Germantown had the Pennsylvania Rail Road.. You may be thinking about the Germantown Station near Bayton on the east side of Germantown Ave... That was the Reading Rail Road line. It had a upper. Years ago an old timer I worked with, who grew up on Rittenhouse behind St Vincent’s, told me that the Reading line use to be street level. The reason they built the bridges across Morton. Bayton, and Chelten was because a school was on fire, and the fire department could not get back there to put the fire out, because a train was passing thought the area.. Do not know what school or if it is true.. Thought I would put that story out there to see if anyone ever heard anything like that.. It would be interesting to find out if it is true, what school, and the story behind it.
Erda (Armstrong) Graham [08-19-2007]
I'm from West Oak Lane, but have lived out of Philly for 35 years. I go to Lee's at 19th & Cheltenham whenever I'm back. Today is one of those days...driving in from NYC to visit someone and then heading to the original Lee's for a few to bring home...a Lee's Italian for me and special orsers for other people. I ate at the original Lee's when I was 10 and they just opened and have never found a better hoagie anywhere. This afternoon - Lee and me --yum.
Diane Perry [08-19-2007]
Maggie Nicoletti - I remember your dad's store well. This is the first time on this website that I think anyone has mentioned it. It was right across from Abe's (Yankowitz) Food Store. Abe lived down on Stenton Ave near Sheldon St. I knew his kids Gary and Rosalie. I think that the shoemaker from out on the Avenue (Gtn) lived right down the block from you on Wakefield. Did he have a daughter named Cookie? The Tighe family lived on Wakefield also. I went to public school with Eddie Tighe.
Fran, Age 58 [08-19-2007]
Mike Garvey - I think that the "M&H" that you're remembering was M&H Sport Shop. It was on the north side of Chelten Ave between Greene St. and Wayne Ave. near the old Pep Boys store.
Fran, Age 58 [08-19-2007]
E&H was the hobby shop, on the same side of Chelten as Penny's, M&H was the sporting good store over on the Pep Boys side of the avenue. There were a lot of good store 'up the avenue'.
Bill James [08-19-2007]
Hey Bruce, I remember all those stores and places that you mentioned. How about the car wash at Wayne and Rittenhouse? My uncle had his barber shop right next to it. Maggie, living at Wister and Wakedfield how often did you go to Scalea's for their bread or pizza? We were always there.
I am one of the Carrolls from Woodlawn Avenue. We graduated from Immaculate from 1942 through 1948. The four of us live in different states - Mary in Virginia, Peggy in Maryland, Tom in California and I live in South Carolina. It would be nice to hear from anyone from that era. We all have nice memories of sledding in Awbury Park; the dances at Immaculate Hall on Chelten Avenue; the school picnics at Willow Grove Park, etc., etc. It would be nice to hear from someone from those years and share some nice memories.
Anne Camp, Age 78 [08-18-2007]
stick ball on stafford st, flipping cards on boyer st. always something going on.and all my sister eleanor's hot girl friends coming to our house on boyer st. the 5700 block boyer st consisted of the kettell's walker's hanselman's guldin's richino's definitly spelled that wrong, but i still love you judy !
BILL GULDIN, 52 [08-18-2007]
to margie ambrose .. i believe that you and i were classmates at st. vincents ...rosemarie
rosemarie malageri [08-18-2007]
to anthony diferdinando ... i think that our mothers were friends do you remember me ... from cow town rosemarie
rosemarie malageri [08-18-2007]
to joan and bob farrell .. are you related to linda .. i went to st. vincents with a linda farrell ... rosemarie
rosemarie malageri [08-18-2007]
Dan, thanks. Do you know if she still lives in Willow Grove? I'm often in that area, and would love to run into her.
To Martha. The name of the hobby shop was M&H HOBBY.
MIKE GARVEY [08-17-2007]
For Martha: The name of the hobby shop on Chelten Ave. was E&H hobby shop. I know because I bought so many model cars and airplanes from that place. What a collection I had! My father also bought me my own H.O. train set with racing cars in 1964. He spent most of his Christmas bonus on this set that was all assembled on its own platform, complete with moutains, lakes, tunnels, etc. It was some set-up. The racing cars would criss-cross the train track, just ahead of the oncoming train. The train set still works; the platform crumbled and cracked many years ago. A lot of people confused that store with M&H, which was a sporting goods store on the same side of the street(I think).
Bill Cupo, Chalfont, Pa. [08-17-2007]
I grew up in germantown, on the corner of wister and wakefield sts. my parens had a corner store from 1952 to 1972. i went to grade school at st.michael of the saints on germantown ave and then to little flower catholic for girls. always shopped at germantown and chelten ave. my aunts lived in chestnut hill - so i'd ride the 23 trolley all the way up to the barn. nice memories. if anyone knows where i can find a poster- it spelled out the word GERMANTOWN and each letter represented a part of germantown, mine was recently stolen and i would like to replace it. thanks so much. maggie nicoletti - email me at email@example.com
maggie nicoletti, 53 yrs old, native philadelphian [08-17-2007]
Martha, You probably mean "E&H Model Hobbies" - they were on the same side of the street as the Orpheum, but in the next block, between the Penney's and Woolworth's. There was a rotund Italian guy who worked there, Joe, who also worked at the State Store across the street. I used to get all my stuff there, especially car models. Also across the street was Imhof's restaurant, Koelle-Greenwood Ford, and the Pep Boys. Over at Wayne and Chelten where the Pickett School now is was a Pontiac agancy (can't remember the name) and Robert Hall's, where my dad took me to get suits off the pipe racks. The other corners had the Penn Fruit, Firestone, and Sears. To Don, I had a '55 Chevy, mostly white with red primer, and that Gulf is where I bought all my gas locally. I remember a guy who worked there named Moose, who was shell-shocked from the war and kind of slow, but a really nice guy. I remember the Duddy's from Schuyler - I'm pretty sure I hung out with Paul from time to time. Tell him that Mr. DeWitt still lives down at the foot of the street. He had a bunch of kids that we played with also.
Bruce Marshall, 55, SW G-town [08-17-2007]
The Chelten Train Station Snack Bar. Wonder if that was on the upper deck station waiting area. As a Child we use to walk the tracks down to Waterview recreation center. Remember putting the pennies on the track and the trains would flatten them. Walk the tracks and get off behind Our Lady of the Rosary Church on Haines and Belfield. Never forgot to kiss my hand and place on the engraving of the blessed mother behind the church. A note of tragedy, does anybody remember when several of the guys from the neighborhood got hit by a train walking the tracks. I heard all kinds of stories over that. This occurred not far from Waterview. It hit our part of the neighborhood (Mechanic and Magnolia) pretty hard. And then there was the "Bunk". That is another story for another day.
Edward Farrar, Chester, VA [08-17-2007]
To Sheila, my mother kept in touch with Little Bit for years after she moved from germantown. She moved to Willow Grove and worked for Upper Dublin township.
To Shiela, I remember Loretta, Josie and Donny Bonfiglio. Little Bit lived across the street. They were older than me. Ronnie and Lily Bonfiglio were my age. I don't know what happened to any of them. To Bruce, did you have a 66 or 67 chevelle around 70 or 71? I remember one coming into Rich's back then. I also see Paul Duddy a lot. He lived on schuyler st.
Sheila, Thanks for mentioning Little Bit - I had completely forgotten about her, and never knew her real name. For those who used to be down that way, the tiny store at the corner of Clapier and Little Schuyler was "Millie's" back in the 50's, then "Gene's", both great places to squander your allowance on pinball, potato chips, wax soda bottles / lips, popsicles, and finally "Edith's Variety" in the 60's, although we always called it "Pop's", because Edith's husband was always there and would BS with us, cook us steaks, and generally play host. It's now part of the residence above.
Bruce Marshall, 55, still in G-town [08-16-2007]
Bruce, Hello All, I had family on Copley Road between Manheim by the Germantown Cricket Club and I think Seymour. The Armstrong's they moved from King Street (King started at St Catherine's where Penn stopped between Morris and Wissahickon.) mid 60’s and lived there until both my aunt and uncle passed. It was a nice neighborhood. It was always a nice walk up Morris Street or Wissahickon. I also remember Manny’s a nice little store. Both my aunt and uncle worked at the Midvale steel mill. Boy did they all get screwed. My uncle worked for an apartment building near. Anthony and Martha, I think you may be remembering the second Horn and Hardart on Germantown Ave... There was one that was a counter type closer to Chelten on the west side of Germantown Ave and the other on the east side of the street between Maplewood & School Lane was a Automatic.. I think Asher’s used the one between Maplewood and School as there store until they moved out of Germantown in the late 90's. Remember the Pretzels store on the corner of Chelten and Germantown??
to the italian decendant ... do you know jim ryan ...
rosemarie malageri [08-16-2007]
hi does anybody remember going to camp hosinham ... i don't think this is the correct spelling but hopefully it is the correct sound! rosemarie
rosemarie malageri [08-16-2007]
That was it.....Dairy Maid! Who remembers the name of the hobby shop that was on Chelten Avenue, near the Orpheum Theatre (what a wonderful building)?
Dan, I went to school with Loretta Bonfiglio. I also knew Elizabeth Focht, also known as Little Bit. Do you ever hear about them?
To Dan: I live on Copley, two doors up from where the Pyles (Kenny and Kevin) lived - they've been gone for at least 30 years. Also knew Eddie Pascoe - his mother Mary played bridge with my mother every week. They're long gone also. Played with Dennis Bonfiglio, Larry Kelso, Vince Jurgaitis, all the Pio's, etc. from down your way. I only vaguely remember Walter Deangelo. Some of the Pio's (including the mother) are still around, and one or two of the Jurgaitis's, but all the rest have disappeared as far as I know. I remember Rich's Gulf well at Wissahickon and Manheim. Before that it was Bill Leinhauser's. There's a great shot of it from the 50's on the PhillyHistory.org site, along with one of Clapier and Wissahickon. And Manny's Stop and Shop was still operated by Manny and Carmen until about two years ago! To Jackie Constant - I think you're referring to Settlement Music School, in the big stone victorian on Germantown Ave. That one closed a while ago, but there are two others still operating in the city.
Bruce Marshall, 55, Born, raised, and living in SW G-town [08-15-2007]
hi martha could you be thinking of diary maid's on the corner of germantown ave and maplewood ave they had a ice cream counter in the store and had good ice cream and a lot of other goodies it was a great store sandy,cowtown
You pretty much covered it Erda. It is terrible what happened to our great neighborhood. We did not want to leave. We had no choice. Does anyone remember when the nun at St. Vincent's convent was attacked as she slept in her bed early one Sunday morning? I can still hear the screams. Her attacker was at a bar-b-que right next to the convent. They were new neighbors and were having a party.
Marth, was it Dairy Maid's you're thinking of. We used to hang at LInton's, all different age groups. Even went after class at GTN High. We by the school recently on High St. What a disaster area.
Anyone go to Ancilla Domini Academy mid-fifties to early sixties? Also do you remember the name of the music school on Germantown Ave. I think it was fairly large and well known.
Jackie Constant, Las Vegas [08-14-2007]
to bruce marshall. i grew up on clapier st. in the 60's and worked at rich's gulf on manheim and wissahickon. i knew the pyles that lived on copley rd.i lived next to the pascoes and two doors down from the bonfiglios. does the deangelo family (joe and walter) still live down there?
dan, 50 [08-14-2007]
Lynne. you mentioned the Chelten Train Station snack bar.. My grandfather worked there after her retired. Tony was the first name of the owner. It was small but the food and service was good. I almost forgot about that. What memeories.
Littons at Gtn & Chelten had the best bacon, egg & cheese sandwiches! Way before McDonalds. There was also the Horn & Hardart on Gtn Ave, but what was the name of the restaurant on the corner of Gtwn the next parallel street down from Chelten? It was sort of catty-corner from the 5 & 10?
Gotta love this site! Thanks to the Webmaster and all who post. Ever since I saw the now-ancient post about the Germantown Boys' Club, Duff Leavitt, Camp Indiandale, etc., I've been enjoying it, and it's brought so many people together. I was able to hook some people up off-line because of postings, and now I see that Carol Jones / Graber is here from 40 years ago also (I'll write to you separately, Carol - great to hear from you!). Thanks, Lynne, for the additional Fernhill Park comment. And to the anonymous poster about one of my earlier statements: I admit that the mention of theft at my house on the Main Line was not a good comparison to the crime in Germantown; I wanted to make the point that it's not a perfect world. I recognize that Germantown has enormous problems in that regard; I had my entire Halloween loot bag snatched by a kid on a bike around 1960, and that was only the beginning. I got jumped, stolen from, etc., and I also had my house on Maplewood Avenue cleaned out twice in the 70's. I realize the pain and loss that caused all of us who lived there and saw it change for the worst. I've been back for eleven years, and as I said, it seems to be improving. Again, my gratitude for all who are involved in this great site.
Bruce Marshall, 55, still in G-town [08-14-2007]
Dolores, I'm glad to see that you made a post. Your remarks are right on. I always enjoyed going to Germantown to visit with all of you back in the 60's before you guys moved to Roxborough. Rich always made us laugh. It's too bad that Germantown isn't what it once was, but we still have the memories of the old house on Woodlawn ave. and neighborhood. Do you remember Merlino's store on Woodlawn and Bloyd? I just finished some work for their daughter Kathy. My father-in-law's aunt Antoinette (Iannuzzi) Stabalito lived across the street from Grandmom and Grandpop on Woodlawn ave. Small world huh? I loved seeing all of you in Germantown and I remember, like it was yesterday, those Sunday visits to Woodlawn and Locust avenues when I was younger. Your parents were special people and always treated us very well. We were blessed to have a great family from a once great neighborhood. Depite all of our visits, I never thought that I would ever marry a girl from Germantown. Judy is from Haines and Magnolia. Take care. Love cousin Michael
Michael Fanelli [08-14-2007]
Dennis I remember the Howard Johnson's in the 60s it became the Red Roof Dinner.. My next door neighbor owned the Gas station on the V where Washington Lane split. There was also a bowling alley in the same area as the dinner.. Nice memory..
My cousin sent me this site. And I have enjoyed visiting ever since. I haven't posyed a message before this. I grew up on the 900 block of Woodlawn ave. I believe I had the greatest childhood imagined. I was sorround by may family members ad childhood friend of my parebt, who cared about me and my brothers and sister. I was able to walk three or four blocks in all directions and know that there was someone near who cared. Our family, along with many other resident of this area were driven out of Gtn by the city of Phila. In 1967, The city took almost 3 full block of homes, to build the new pastorious school. This was a close knit neighbor, none of the resident were ready to move. I have always felt that this was a major contributions to the demise of Gtn.
dolores, margate,nj [08-13-2007]
I came across a 1955 picture of a Howard Johnson's and an Acme Food Market at Stenton Lane & Washington Lane. These were before my time but no one I've spoken to so far remembers them being there. Does anyone recall these???
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-13-2007]
Lintons at Germantown & Chelten was our before and after school hangout.
Dianne: My Mother named her shop " The Rosemary Shop". She always liked the name and often said that she wished her mother had named he that, instead of Louise. She did have a nice shop and got a lot of pleasure, meeting all her nice neighbors and friends. It makes me feel so good to hear of all the people who remember her. I want to thank all of you who visited her shop. She was a very special lady. Thank you, Diane. Dorothy Hamilton
Kay, how are you??! Of course I remember you, we spent many a days together! How is your family doing?? I have been looking for Bobby for several years now.. We had a St Vincent reunion and it was not the same with out him.. I had some of the Morris Street neighbors to my house.. Chris, Jack, Paul and Sally.. We had a good time Bob and Albert where missing from our grade in the neighborhood. Albert could not make and we could not find Bob. Lynn how are you doing?? I am so glad to see some of the Morris and Chelten friends signing in.. By the way the best sleighing was Tommy’s Hill on Walnut Lane.. As you where going down the hill you felt like you where going to go right on Lincoln Drive. Contact me anytime my email is attached to this note.. Keep in touch everyone..
Hello All. As for Germantown being what it is today.. I lived on Morris Street until 1998. I lived there with my husband, mother, aunt and 3 children. I loved the house I grew up in and neighborhood.. Why did I leave?? Simple the crime.. When you are sitting in your living room, enjoying family then rocks flying through the window. The person sitting at the window was an eighty five year old woman. When my son could not get off the Chelten Ave train from school with out some hoods man handling him and stealing from him, it was always more then one ganging up on him.. When neighbors where walking down the street and gun fire shot out and they had to take cover on my porch, because the corner store was selling something illegal. Our older children left home as soon as they could because the condition of the neighborhood. When the youngest son was ready for high school we wanted him to have a safe and healthy teen life.. We wanted him to walk the halls of a school that he did not fear for his life, be harassed, or be afraid to come home after a night of doing normal teen things. When he was younger up we camped every weekend so he could roam and do normal kid things without fear.. Do things with kids of his age not confined to the house or yard. Now I am in a neighborhood that children play on the street and I love it.. My grandchildren can come to my house and I do not have to worry if someone is going to start shooting because a drug deal went bad.. Our older children live close by, which would not have been if I was still in Germantown. I am still a member of the Germantown Historical Society. I still love the memories and will always love the place I lived most of my 60 Years.. Now lets get back to good memories..
The reasonas are all well stated, why we left Germantown. Now look what is happening to the rest of the city. Lynee, I also hung at Gtn & Chelten, one of many spots. Maybe I know you.
To Dorothy Hamilton, Was the name of Mrs. Hamilton's Gift Shop 'The Rosemary Shop'? We always refered to it as Mrs. Hamiltons. I have such nice memories of that gift shop. I would walk to pick up meat that my mom ordered at Jack's and then walk over to the gift shop to look at all the pretty things she had on display. This was our routine several times a week. I remember Mrs. Hamilton had a daughter that was in the shop some of the time. Just thinking of these routine things that we did each day brings back such nice memories for me and my family. Dianne (lived on Rodney St.)
For information on Germantown history and culture join firstname.lastname@example.org Gene Stackhouse, group owner
Eugene G Stackhouse [08-10-2007]
My wife and I moved to Locust Ave. in 1980, 10 years after we were married. I was born and raised in Kensington. I am a volunteer at the Germantown Historical Society and a former board member of the Society. I wouldn't live anywhere else. We will never leave. This is a good neighborhood.
Eugene Stackhouse, Age: 68, residence: Locust Ave., East Germantown [08-10-2007]
To Bruce Marshall. I lived at Morris and Chelten, but I often walked to Newhall Street to pick up my cousin Sandy and we would head over to Fernhill Park to sled. The bumps made the ride spectacular. When we were pressed for time we would go over to Happy Hollow playground and slide on the ice, down "the hill",on cardboard. But the best sledding was at Alden Park Manor on Wissahickon Avenue. We would start on the grassy roof of the parking garage, go down the hill, through bushes and turn to the left over a narrow bridge. If you didn't quite get it right, you wound up hitting something or someone. It was great! Then we would head over to a little coffee shop in the Chelten Avenue train station for "real" hot chocolate.
At least we have the good memories of growing up in Gtn.. It is really a great thing to have this site so we can share those memories.
Rick: RICK The Gift shop you mentioned was my mother's It was known as the Rosemary Shop
A few folks expressed a little clearer what I was trying to say. Let's keep the memories coming,,,,,and I'm certainly not anti-recipe! All of this is part of our culture & our heritage in Germantown. I enjoy reading everyones thoughts, but for a while there, it was turning into a instant messaging type system. Thats' the stuff that can be taken to personal e-mail. Maybe part of the problem is that you must post your e-mail address in order for people to be able to respond directly to you. I know not everyone is comfortable with that. So let's get on with the show. My husbands carved our initials in a tree along side the expressway in 1971. And, I mastered sledding down the red brick hill all the way from the top! Nothing beat shopping "up the avenue". G'town is a wonderful place.
To Fran and Anonymous on your posts on why you and/or your parents moved out of Germantown sure hit home. My parents moved out in 1976 and sold for about $2,000 more than they paid for their home in 1953. I wouldn't quite say they abandoned Germantown. They bought there expecting to retire and die there. But, concern for the safety of their family was the deciding factor for their decision to leave. It was a sad move for them, and for us kids too. While we saw what Germantown had become, they and us still remembered what it was. But, my sisters were younger and their concern was a valid one. My brothers and I all served newspapers (the old Bulletin) at one time or another. We picked up our newspapers down at Wister & Devon. Can't even tell you how many times I got jumped on the way to or from picking up the papers from there. Collecting was a challenge, got jumped a few times there. I remember going out for Halloween for the last time. I was in 8th grade. On the last house on the 900 block of Stafford Street, I got jumped and dragged down the steps in an attempt to get my candy bag. Cuts and bruises aside, they did NOT get my bag, so I won out on that one. But, that ended going out for Halloween for me. My parents never knew any of this. Just accepted it as a fact of life living in Germantown at that time and you just dealt with it. Maybe if they knew, they might have moved sooner. Nobody needs to defend why they or their parents moved out of Germantown. All have their reasons and they are valid ones. Germantown did not become what it is now by people who left, but by the people who came in. If you want to lay blame for what is the Germantown of today, lay it at the feet of people who have so little personal pride, little value structure, little personal responsibility and who see nothing wrong with having a refrigerator or tires on their front lawn. While there was good and bad with the Germantown that I knew growing up, the good still far outweighed the bad. And it is that Germantown that I will always remember fondly.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-09-2007]
Anthony,I just email you again I hope it went through, if not you can get my email on this site thank you for all your trouble a new friend Sandy Cipriano
sandy cipriano, cowntown [08-08-2007]
Very well Said, Anonymous. You pretty much covered it. That's why we left. My sisters couldn't even sit on our front porch like they used to.
pattie/martha. i am just going to continue to use this site and wish everyone else does also. after all this is the site that was created for us by the webmaster and its working very nicely. thanks anyway and thank you webmaster and gtown historical.
bob lynch...hey rob how are you? jodi and i divorced in1998..are you still in the phila area?
dennis garvey [08-08-2007]
dorothy hamilton..are you related to the family that had the gift shop at wister & haines st behind leechies junk yard? i went in there many times to buy gifts as a boy for my mom..
Was born and raised in Germantown. Left in 1969. Had to. Couldn't go out after dark to the corner store, people were getting mugged. Towards the end couldn't even go for a walk in the day time. The "new" neighbors used to throw beer bottles over the fence at my little girls who were playing in the yard. Had to buy a guard dog so they wouldn't rob my house if I had to go somewhere. Day I moved, we had to go back to house and get a few things that were left,and didn't fit on the truck, needn't have bothered, while we were gone someone went in the house and stole everything that was left, including toliet paper that was on the roll in the bathroom. The new neighbors made life absolutely miserable for those of us that grew up in Germantown and tried to stick it out. You felt like you were under seige You couldn't even plant flowers, if you did, you would get up in the morning and they would be gone, pulled out and destroyed., that's what Germantown ended up to be. Having to leave broke my heart, it was my home, but the new neighbors made sure I wasn't going to stay after they moved in.
Dear WebMaster: I can't tell you how much I have been enjoying your GTN website. I am losing a lot of sleep over it. What a great time I am having. Thank you. I just found out about it at my computer class. It is bringing back so many memories. I love it. Forget about TV. There isn't anything worth watching anyhow. Some one in that class is from Gtn I'll find out Wednesday and thank him also.
Dorothy Hamilton, age 87 [08-07-2007]
Sandy, I still did not receive your e mail. I wrote to Bill and he said to give you his e mail. Try again.
Wow, just had some time to catch up on the site. First of all I am not the Jerry Murphy from CA. I loved everything about growing up there and all my good memories. Just had to place this disclaimer. There must be 2 of us and I still live here in the city, NOT on the "left coast"
Jerry Murphy [08-07-2007]
Martha, We ARE expressing our thoughts. You apparently do not agree with what is written here. These thoughts are our memories and bring enjoyment to many people from around the USA as posted. Why anyone would be aginst this is beyond me.
To Bruce Marshall, Your comparison to bikes being stolen in your previous neighborhood and the crime of inner city today (and even in the 70's and 80's) just really confuses me. The violence in Phila. is at the extreme level. All neighborhoods do not have these extreme crime problems.
I have created a Germantown Blog for all you who wish to post your thoughts. feel free to check it out. have a great day! http://www.germantownpafriends.myeweb.net
pattie morgan, 32 mom of 2 nc [08-07-2007]
dennis garvey, are you still married to jody?
bob lynch [08-07-2007]
I need a volunteer to help me do my family research from the Germantown Historical society. I need to find my grandmothers information.. mainly her maiden name, if she had any siblings and there name..and where she is buried in philadelphia. I will pay for the photocopying and any other essentials. I am in NC and have no way of getting to Germantown anytime soon. you can email me at email@example.com thankyou and god bless
pattie morgan, 31 mom of 2 nc [08-07-2007]
This is for the person who said that prayer cannot help the current condition of Germantown. How wrong you are! Authentic prayer can move mountains. The problem is that not everyone knows what real prayer is because they don't know how to pray or what to pray for. It's not just about mentioning a name, situation, or mouthing words to God. Prayer is also listening and making sacrifices. If everyone stayed together, like they did on September 12th, 2001, Germantown and other places in this country would do a 180 overnight. The reason why it's in it's current condition is because the people who live there now tolerate it. They don't have to put up with crime or drugs. The older folks sure didn't because they were tougher people....a better and stronger generation. The lack of prayer and reverence is the very reason WHY it's like it is today. It's become a city devoid of God, respect, and truth. My question is this: Why do things in this country have to reach a state of crisis before good people come together to put a stop to it? How many poor innocents have to die in Philly before it all ends? WE can't blame God for the mess that we're in and we can't wait on Him to fix it either. WE make our own beds and it's up to us to fix things if they aren't right. The result of authentic and sincere prayer is unity. The truth is that there is no unity anymore.....not in Germantown, Pa. and certainly not in Washington DC. If good people had the presence of mind to really pull together, then people and things in this country would be a lot better. The "bad eggs" of this world would be held in check where they belong. We can't rule out the fact that there's always hope for change because there is. It's up to us.
Two more recollections about Fernhill Park: In Winter, we'd sled down the hill from up above the lower clearing at the foot of Schuyler Street that's now overgrown, but used to have a nice field - we'd go between the trees and try to get as far as possible into the open area, basically paralleling Abottsford Avenue, which we also used to sled down when we were older, often piling onto another sled to double up. We also used the hill on the other side of what's now the expressway, that went down into the big area that still has a ball field, although the slope itself is totally full of vegetation now. I remember coming home exhausted, wet / soaked, frozen ears, nose, and extremities, and that soggy cloth smell, but very content. The other memory is of the expressway itself, technically the "Boulevard Extension", which opened in the early 60's. Before it was operational, we'd get on it with our bikes and ride all the way down to the twin bridges over the Schuylkill, which seemed like a big adventure. Of course, we had to peddle all the way back up that long grade to get home. After it opened, we'd run up the slope alongside the inbound lanes and try to get the big rigs to respond to our "pull the air horn" gestures; when we got a response, that was a big thrill, and we'd congratulate ourselves over this mystical power we had. Simple amusements, and great memories. I agree that the board is for thoughts related to Germantown, which could include recipes, (which will probably run its course), although doing some communicating off-line or on the blog is probably better for detailed issues that only concern one or two people. I offered my recipes off-line, and got a request, which took care of it without clogging the board. Also, people who post anonymously are taking the easy way out: have the courage of your convictions, even if it's controversial. Even a first name gives an identity to the remarks and thus more credibility. Lastly, Sheila is right: we like to simplify and make broad brush judgments, but what's happened to Germantown is a microcosm of social issues that have affected US society, and aren't unique to this one locality, and have complicated dynamics behind them which are outside the scope of this board. Blaming and Monday-morning quarterbacking are not very helpful.
Bruce Marshall, 55, Still in G-town [08-07-2007]
I have to side with Martha here. A few people have monopolized this site and made it their own personal messageboard. A moderate amount of that stuff is fine, but let's not go overboard with it. Just my opinion.
Erda - Would like to get in touch with you. I lived on School house lane, one of 14 children. You are looking for Bobby Smith so am I. Last heard he lives in Doylestown. Am getting in touch with Lynn Dwarf and Peggy Taylor. Lived in Germantown til '66. My parents moved because the neighborhood was getting bad.
Kay McMahon, 59 [08-07-2007]
To Bruce Marshall - This is Carol Graber (Jones). I went to Calvary Church in Germantown. I don't know if you remember me, but I remember you since the Calvary youth group was the cornerstone of my social life in my early teen years. Calvary dances were big events, and of course you were the king of that world. I actually think I still have some old pictures somewhere of your band playing at one of those dances (complete with Hoss and John Jule(?) singing backup and doing their Temps thing). I checked this site out because a friend at work told me about it. I was so amazed to see entries here from you. Hope you're doing well.
Carol Graber [08-07-2007]
Dennis - I didn't find out about uncle Mart until after the funeral. I manage an office and unfortunately was unable to take off work when aunt katherine died. I moved from gnt when I was young but was there every weekend until we eventually moved back to Heiskell St. in the early 80's. In 90 I bought a house in Rox-Wissahickon area. My mother moved back out of gnt after my father died in 96.
Sheila, I understand your point of who's partially to blame for the deterioration of Germantown neighborhoods. However, the encroachment that took place was just a matter of time. Like your's, my family stayed put until it became unbearable and downright unsafe. My parents got less for their house than what they had paid 12 years before. The people that "panicked" and moved out quickly were the only ones that got a good price for their houses. In all honesty, looking back at the situation now, I wish my parents had moved right away too. It would have been better for them in the end. It really served no purpose for them to stay. What was happening was unstoppable. I remember when the mass exodus was under way, you could stand at the end of our street and look down the block and see close to 15 For Sale signs at one time. At that point, it was all over but the shouting. The sad thing in my parents case, was that they moved to Olney and had the same thing happen to them again 25 years later. Times have changed, the city has changed. For a lot of reasons, it can never be what it once was. The good old days live on here on this website and in our memories only.
Looking for Tom Hassis- son of Hassis Bakery in Germantown
Bob Peoples, Brn Philly 1943, now in Florida, Fthr Judge & Villanova [08-07-2007]
Whoever said it is partially our fault that Germantown is in it's present condition is only partially right. I always say that if the house isn't for sale, it can't be bought. But I would direct that theory to the people who panicked and left first. Many of our families hung in there for as long as possible until it just became foolish to stay. Most of our parents had their Germantown homes paid for and the last thing they wanted was a new mortgage. Crime took over their neighborhoods, and the smart thing was to to move. By the time they left, they didn't get anything near what their houses were worth. So, it wasn't as simple as it seems.
denise..i thought you were older..dont know why...im surprised i didn't know you fron G-TOWN..were you at uncle marts or aunt katherine's viewings?
dennis garvey [08-02-2007]
Martha..Im confused about what the intent of this site is since its titled Your Thoughts. Thats what people are doing expressing their thoughts. The creation of all these other sites is very confusing and takes away from what the centralized Gtown site is doing, expressing ones thoughts. If the webmaster thought it was wrong to do it this way he would tell us.
I grew up at this location 87 years ago. 1385 Rittenhouse St. Germantown.
dorothy hamilton, Stenton Ave & wister St. [08-01-2007]
What's wrong with mentioning food and recipes on this site? The food items, which were previously mentioned, are reminiscent of the old days in Philly and in Germantown. As far as I'm concerned, I like it when someone mentions food and recipes as they relate to our ancestors from Germantown. It's also a good thing that most of our people left Germantown too. Who, in their right mind, would want to expose their family to all the negative things that transpired there in recent years? Standing ground would have been fruitless and pointless also. Most of the people who moved from there went on to a better life anyway.
another anonymous [08-01-2007]
Hi folks Some old business, since I had connection problems for a few weeks. The tomato pie place in South Philly mentioned by the Italian Descendant from Germantown is most likely Cascia’s at 1526 Ritner. I take a half pie (12 slices, which I freeze, then cook in the oven) out to my kids in Arizona every other month, along with a cheesesteak stromboli - it’s great; I can’t remember the taste of Scalea’s precisely, since that was too long ago, but it compares favorably. About Fernhill Park: I live just north of it in SW G-town in the rowhouse I grew up in. The park was where we went to play as kids. There used to be the remnants of the Army base on the Morris Street side, complete with the rotating radar transmitter. In that same area was where the old men would play cards in the shade every day. One of them got electrocuted when a thunderstorm rolled in and they took cover under the trees. I had my car worked on by Squeaky DiCondina at his place on Green Street across from the post office above Hansberry back in the 60’s (which before that was Curtiss Wright Auto Repair, operated by Henry Sivo, where my father took his car in the 50’s), and saw Squeaky’s recent post asking why folks moved away. This follows the controversy that has since died down about the changes to the neighborhood since “the good old days”. As some perspective, I married and moved to Narberth back in the 80’s, and was shocked that my kid’s little tricycle was stolen out of the front yard, and our garage in the back was hit also on another occasion, with my oldest son’s cross-country bike stolen. So yes, there’s crime and decay, but it’s not a perfect world anywhere. I don’t think it’s realistic to leave the doors unlocked, but my mother did for years until she died in ’ 02 her logic was that if people are going to come in, it will cause less damage if they don’t have to bust up the glass and wood. I’ve been back in G-town for 11 years, and believe that things have gotten better. It will always be inner city, with the problems that go with it, but it still has charm, the location is great, and the taxes are very affordable.
Bruce Marshall, 55, Born and raised in G-town [08-01-2007]
On the one hand, I like seeing these memories from former residents of both upper and lower Germantown (even though that's not the objective of this board, especially super long messages about recipies and if anyone knew their family), but, on the other hand, it saddens me because had people stood their ground, toughed it out, and fought against the crime and everything going on, Germantown wouldn't be in its current state. Am I blaming the residents? Partly. I also blame the trash who moved in and turned this neighborhood (and ultimately the entire city) into a war zone. And quite frankly, praying isn't helping anyone. This city's too far gone now (or is it?) and corruption is so embedded in the culture that it would, literally, take a miracle for something to work properly in this city. But, the American way is to run tail and move into the middle of nowhere instead of facing problems. Oh, well. It's nice to see the litany of who lived on what street in the 50s to early-60s on this site.
I was born and raised on the 400 block of Mechanic St. Went to Holy rosary School and then Little Flower for Girls. Do any of you remember John Petro's store on the corner of High and Magnolia? My brother Sammy use to work there when he was a little kid. I am trying to find an old friend of mine. She lived right next to the grocery store on High St. Her name is Eleanor Brett. The last I heard was that she moved to Mass.
annamarie mierson, rehoboth beach,De 68 years old [08-01-2007]
Anthony,I still didn;t received your emai i email you last Monday did you get it was about Bill Frith could you please email back an let me know what going on if you like you could sent him my email, please let me know one way or the other thank you Sandy Cipriano from Cowtown
hi joann I was at holy rosery from grade 1 to grade 3 I remember the nuns boy do I remember the nuns never in a good mood we had a lady teacher in grade 2 but the name I do not remember I still live in phila. and sometimes think about holy rosery and germantown and what a great place it was. hope you are doing well. you were just a little bad but mostly cute
pat sirianni, 55 in nw phila. [08-01-2007]
Is there any chance this message board will return to it's original purpose. I love reminiscing about G'town, but these personal messages should be sent via personal e-mail or the blog that was set up for that purpose.
dennis garvey, i remember a lot from years ago like it was yesterday, i guess thats why i like coming to this site. i am 42.
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