It was a S.R.O. crowd at Riverton Library for the Campbell’s Soup show

ACT I: “Campbell’s… more than just soup” slideshow

capacity crowd at the RFL PHOTO : JM
The audience needed every available space PHOTO: JMc

We sincerely thank the 80 or so hardy history buffs and lovers of Campbell’s Soup nostalgia who sat in chairs, sat on the floor, and stood (some with obstructed views), to hear Marisa Bozarth as she chronicled the history and development of Campbell’s Soup Company.

Even Jan DeVries, our reception hostess, stands PHOTO: JM
People spilled over to the next room PHOTO: SD

The turnout for Tuesday night’s program sponsored by the Historical Society of Riverton took us off-guard, so we apologize to several folks who looked at the overflow crowd and left.

ACT II: Reception at the former Campbell home

Some really good sports are sitting on the floor PHOTO: JM
Entryway PHOTO: JM

After the engrossing slide show, the meeting carried over next door to the home of Jan and Dennis DeVries who graciously showed us the former home of Joseph Campbell.

 

 

Pat Brunker cuts Susan Dechnik‘s Tomato Soup Cake PHOTO: SD
How serendipitous was it that the former Campbell is next to the Library? PHOTO: SD

A splendid dining room table centerpiece of carnelian-red and white flowers in a vase surrounded by cans of tomato soup reinforced the theme of the evening.

 

 

Mmmm…good! PHOTO: SD

The delicious desserts and confections arrayed there  fueled animated conversations about how much folks enjoyed the well-researched topic and Marisa’s buoyant delivery.

Framed Campbell’s embellish the pantry wall PHOTO: SD

Our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. DeVries, doubled-down on the evening’s refrain and carried out the Campbell’s Soup motif by hanging a portrait of the home’s early owner in the kitchen area next to a framed print of a soup can and an illustration of a Campbell’s Kid.

PHOTO: SD

A soup tureen filled with fresh tomatoes, a Campbell’s coffee table book, a Campbell’s recipe book (doesn’t everyone have at least one in their kitchen?) and actual cans of tomato soup consummated the theme.

 

HSR President Bill Brown presented Jan and Dennis with mugs that depict their home and information about Joseph Campbell PHOTO: SD

Marisa wrote later, “It was wonderful! Everyone was so welcoming and I loved getting the opportunity, not only share the Campbell’s story with everyone, but also to talk to so many people afterwards!”

She is so right.

This important aspect of our meeting helps to carry out the Society’s several-fold mission to bring together those people interested in history, to increase awareness of our heritage, and to continue to expand our knowledge of the history of the area.

Our current membership of fewer than 100 households is at a historic low. We need your support in the form of membership dues and donations to underwrite our efforts to bring such programs to the public. 

ACT III: History is the topic of conversation

Marisa also has a Campbell themed mug as a memento of the evening PHOTO: SD
Bill Brown and Alice Smith, President of the Riverside Historical Society discuss cooperating on a future presentation PHOTO: SD

Another side benefit to having people with a common interest in history assemble together is the networking, or sharing of information, that often happens.

Given the thousands of local people over the years whose farm products supplied the plant or whose labor produced soup, it comes as no surprise that a few in the group either worked there themselves or had a family member employed.

One woman volunteered that she has photos of the old Campbell Experimental Farm in Cinnaminson I can scan.

Bill Hall once worked on Taylor’s Farm and delivered tomatoes to the Camden plant PHOTO: JM

It turns out that one of our members had first-hand experience with working on local farms growing and delivering tomatoes, and another worked for a time in the Camden plant. Look for more about their anecdotes in another post if I can twist their arms to be interviewed.

 

Tomato Soup Cake – Don’t say no until you try it PHOTO: SD

Maybe we can get Susan Dechnik to reveal the recipe for her Campbell’s Tomato Soup Cake.

 

Epilogue: Please tell your Campbell’s story

Roger Prichard will have two more historic signs ready for Bank Avenue properties this spring PHOTO: JM

If you have another memory of Campbell’s from back in the day, please contact us through the form below so that we may add your voice to this collaborative effort that is rivertonhistory.com.

Marisa may have to add another slide or two to that PowerPoint. – JMc

PHOTOS BY SUSAN DECHNIK AND JOHN McCORMICK

Stay tuned for the sequel

A Campbell’s presentation tonight with a side of nostalgia

Interest on social media in historian Marisa Bozarth’s Campbell Soup presentation tonight at Riverton Library at 7 o’clock has been high.

Just writing about it brought back a flood of memories for me about Campbell’s. Sure, everybody has a favorite. Mine is tomato soup made like my mom, Phyllis McCormick, made it with a half can of water and a half can of milk.

Congowall by Congoleum

The height of gourmet eating was sitting at our Formica table in our Congowalled kitchen slurping tomato soup topped with a layer of crumbled Ritz crackers and, as a second course, a buttery grilled cheese sandwich.

You’d think I would be sick of the stuff. My mother brought home mass quantities of those dented silver cans with no labels, tied up with string that she bought from the employee store at Campbell’s Camden plant where she worked. It fell to me to write “TOM” on top of each can with a stub of a black grease marker she kept in a kitchen drawer.

When she was feeling really flush on payday, she sometimes brought home bags of my favorite Pepperidge Farm cookies and cans of Swanson’s Chicken à la King, products made by two companies Campbell’s acquired. At Christmas, my teachers always got the best presents from me – a small golden box of Godiva chocolates, available for half-price to Campbell’s employees.

Workers strike outside the Camden plant in 1952. PHOTO: Courier Post

I often waited for her at the Beideman Avenue bus stop, and when I was old enough, I drove to downtown Camden to pick her up when she worked night-shift, so I got to hear a lot about how her day went.

Tomato season brought longer hours and sweatshop conditions – literally – during the heat of many South Jersey summers. She knew all the recipes for those colossal cauldrons you’ll see in Marisa’s slide show. More than a few times she told me how a batch would be scuttled because it got double salt or worse.

She started out on the line sorting tomatoes and worked her way up to production, then quality control. The time/motion efficiency experts hired by Mr. Dorrance scrutinized and analyzed every task and dictated changes. She schooled the newly hired management “college boys” in soup making and they became her bosses.

The end of an era: Campbell’s Soup Plant Implosion, Camden, N.J. – November 3, 1991 PHOTO: Langan.com

She saw the end coming as layoffs of production staff followed opening new plants elsewhere – was it South Carolina?

But she hung on because now she was an executive secretary for one of the big shots and therefore part of management.

She was proud of her achievements at the Camden plant and thankful for the job that enabled her to raise two kids in the 1950s and ’60s. When she retired from Campbell’s we attributed the closing of the Camden plant to her leaving.

I wish I had listened better  because I am sure she’d  know plenty about soup production if she were here.

Please leave a comment if you have a Campbell’s memory. -JMc

Explore the Campbell Soup/Riverton connection in 7 days

Susan Dechnik posts notice of our next meeting at Riverton Free Library.

Here we find HSR Board Member and publicity specialist Susan Dechnik posting our flyer at Riverton Free Library announcing Marisa Bozarth’s “Campbell’s: More Than Just Soup” presentation that takes place there in one week.

See our Upcoming Events link on the Main Page for more particulars on this special lecture about Joseph Campbell, founder of Campbell’s Soup and a past inhabitant of Riverton.

Summer Work at Beach Haven’s once lavish Hotel Baldwin in 1954

Despite the name, rivertonhistory.com, one realizes real fast that there is much more to this website than just Riverton history. A person across the miles who googles for Long Beach Island or Medford’s Camp Lenape may find that we rank as one of the top results for that topic simply because we display so many vintage images.

The Images/Stone Harbor page, for example, has collected an amazing (for us, anyway) 54 comments from folks who often leave a mini-memoir of their decades-old stay there.

If only a post about Riverton history would arouse such engagement from visitors.

New Hotel Baldwin, Beach Haven, NJ

When Mary Wallis Gutmann sent in this vivid account of her college summer job working at Beach Haven’s long-gone Hotel Baldwin in 1954, I knew it deserved special mention.

Summer Work in 1954
The Baldwin Hotel

Design school was intense. I saw summer jobs as a respite from college work—not work themselves. Getting away from the pressure that was constant at Pratt was necessary. Surviving on my own was important. A live-in job was sometimes the answer: for summer at least.

I left the city between my second and third year at Pratt to work at the Baldwin Hotel on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. The Baldwin was a once grand, now run-down shingle affair with one hundred and fifty-five rooms, some with sweeping beach views. I ran the elevator: a four-sides-open, wrought-iron cage, with a velvet-pillowed bench across the back and a huge spring hidden underneath in case the operator forgot to stop. That was me a few distracted times, to the consternation of guests on board as we were vigorously jounced up and down.

The staircase trailed around the elevator to the top. The owner, Chuck Yokum, and his wife had an apartment in a turret on the top of the hotel. Guests stayed on the second floor, higher-up staff on the floor above, waitresses and other (mostly college) female employees such as me in a wing off the first floor; young male employees lived in another such wing. It was hot and sandy and perfect for summer.

Chuck Yokum loved to cook (or, think he cooked). He carried his ubiquitous can of beer around to sip while he sampled sauces and soups warming in the steam tables. Then he’d invariably add a big splash of his drink to each pot. Diners came from all over. They loved the food: they raved about his chef’s secret ingredient (a spurious name for beer made up by Chuck). They asked for the chef’s name, but Chuck told them that was a secret, too. “I don’t want him to leave…” he’d say.

Philadelphia Inquirer 31 Aug 1954, p16

We were given free room, board, and uniforms. My dress was a sort of liverish color, (ghastly on someone with a tan), a removable-for-washing white collar, and Peter Pan sleeves that were unflattering on a thin girl with scrawny arms. There was no regular pay, just a little weekly pocket money. Chuck kept our wages (he said) in a special Escrow Account so we would stay all summer and not “skip out.” We’d be paid at the end of August (he said).

Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept 11, 1954, p1, 12

On Labor Day, (the hotel closed the next day until the following Spring), Chuck and wife drove off to Mexico in the early hours with suitcases packed full of hundreds. Hundreds of dollars of our money. A major hurricane, I think it was called Edna, blew in immediately after they left. There had been a general evacuation called by the Coast Guard but we (the summer hotel staff) elected to stay. We averaged no more than nineteen years in age and believed we were impervious to injury. We had no place to go and no money to get there if we did. We sat up all night in the lobby, feeding driftwood and then broken bits of the porch furniture into the huge fireplace, drinking all the beer and eating all the food that was left. We had an uproarious time.

The next morning, after the hurricane had roared across the island and smashed windows and banged shutters and blown the wood shingles off the hotel roof all night, we went out to the beach to survey the damage. It was not yet light: the sea was still dark and the white, tumultuous surf was full of brilliantly-colored sparkles from iridescent plankton brought in by the storm. They glowed exquisitely against the white foam and the black water. As the sun rose, some sections of boardwalk, a pavilion, and several small houses appeared, floating gently beyond the surf line on a calm sea. We heard later that at the height of the storm, a rowdy teenager went for a walk and rode a section of boardwalk around the point and into the bay. They said he survived.

Chuck Yokum and his wife and the car and the money (our money), were nowhere to be seen. The police came to tell us where they suspected the Yokums were—or as near as the Police knew: the clues were Mexico vacation flyers in their apartment. Chuck’s car was gone and so was our all summers’ pay.

The policeman had the local bank president with him who was obviously concerned about being sued. Sue? We hadn’t any money to sue. Today I might feel differently. After all, the banker had given Chuck the wads of cash Chuck took with him. We reminded him they were our wads of cash.

Hotel Baldwin, Beach Haven, NJ 1948

The Baldwin Hotel was sold and six months later I got a check for $80 with a note saying the money was my share of the Escrow account for my summer-long elevator operator work (after the lawyers took their cut). I was happy with the unexpected loot and bought a used camera: a Rolleiflex with a pre-war, hand-ground lens. I never hear the term, ‘pre-war,’ today. I took sharp pictures with that camera for years—sometimes almost too sharp.

Copyright © Mary Wallis Gutmann 2019  Ms. Gutman has authored several books ready for consideration by a publisher – a youthful memoir, science fiction novel, light mystery and a murder mystery. We can forward any queries to her.

For more details about the Hotel Baldwin, see these two illustrated google books entries, or click on the covers to purchase at Barnes & Noble. -JMc

Beach Haven by Gretchen F. Coyle, Deborah C. Whitcraft 

Long Beach Island by George C. Hartnett, Kevin Hughes

 

Are you up for a polar bear plunge?

Chas. B. Durborow, New York Tribune, Feb 29, 1920

If the caption for this February 29, 1920 newspaper photo can be believed, Charles Durborow (also spelled, Durborrow, Durboro,  and even Durbonard) took a plunge every day!

The caption for this photo reads:

Charlie Durborrow, Philadelphia’s famous bank clerk long distance swimmer, just has to have his daily dip in the Delaware at Riverton, N.J., regardless of where the mercury happens to be. Here he is playing the new game of ice polo all by his lonesome.

For much more on this intrepid Riverton character, see this 2014 post. -JMc

Tagging people in the 1938 PHS class trip photo

Following up on the last post with the 1938 Palmyra High School class trip to Mt. Vernon…

PHS Class of 1938 Mt Vernon ID numbers

If you can ID anyone, send me the corresponding number and color for that person’s position, along with anything else you wish to add, and I will post a list. -JMc

 

rev. 3/2/2019: Thank you, Shirley, Amy, and Kristin. A special thank-you to Cheryl Smekal who loaned us her dad’s photo. We will add more when we get more names.

rev. 3/18/2019: Added one more – Domenique D***’s grandmom

Who do you know in this PHS Class of ’38 photo?

PHS Class of 1938, Mt-Vernon Class Trip, PHOTO COURTESY OF CHERYL JOHNSON SMEKAL, DAUGHTER OF ELWOOD C. JOHNSON

The young men and women in this May 3, 1938 photo of a Palmyra High School class trip to Mt. Vernon belong to that generation that grew up during the deprivation of the Great Depression.

As these mostly 17 and 18-year-old seniors moved closer to the end of their high school careers, Action Comics #1, dated June 1938, featured the first appearance of  Superman—and sold for a dime. (A mint copy of Action Comics No. 1 sold for $3,207,852 on an eBay auction in 2014.)

However, faraway events already in motion would soon crush their innocence and abruptly thrust these youngsters into adulthood.

Around the world the seeds of World War II had already been sown some time before.

The causes of the war – the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, Japanese territorial expansion, and Germany’s military aggression – coalesced as America, still mired in the Great Depression, tried to stay neutral from the European conflict.

WWII Honor Roll Veterans List from The New Era, Sept 14, 1944

Pearl Harbor was still 3-1/2 years away.

The PHS Class of ’38 came of age in the United States during World War II, and its graduates would either fight in the war or strive on the home front to help win it.

Television journalist and author Tom Brokaw first coined the term “The Greatest Generation” to describe those who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America. The people in this photo and in the Honor Roll at right were among that Greatest Generation.

Who do you know in this eight decade old photo? -JMc

 

 

There is nothing new…

…under the sun

I had to laugh when read this in the latest upload I made of another back issue of the Gaslight News.

This excerpt from one of Betty Hahle’s “Yesterday” columns in our September 1984 newsletter is 35 years old and references a time 100 years before that.

Just a century ago… elections, then as now, filled much of the newspaper space. Citizens actively supported the candidate of their choice, with torch-light parades, fiery meetings (no pun intended), charges and counter-charges.

Newspapers left no question about which candidate they supported, and one has the feeling that too much enthusiasm, rather than passivity, was typical of the day.

1884 Presidential Campaign
L -R, Grover Cleveland, James G. Blaine

One ardent Blain supporter bought 40 new brooms, with which to “sweep the country clean” in the anticipated victory parade–one wonders what he did with them, when Cleveland won.

By the end of November election tales were finally dying down, and a comment was made that “it is a pity all parties can’t come before the public with a platform without resorting to trickery, falsehoods, and deceit.” A sentiment that could be echoed today….

Fun Facts:

During the 1880s, journalistic sensationalism brought new drama to American election politics and raised nastiness to a whole new level.

1884 Republican Poster
American Memory – Library of Congress

Notorious mudslinging, including a bachelor Grover Cleveland paternity scandal marked the 1884 presidential campaign, considered one of the dirtiest ever. You could google that.

Voters had to decide between “Slippery Jim” Blaine, a profiteering congressman blamed for taking bribes from railroad interests and lying about them, and Cleveland, accused of fathering an illegitimate 9-year-old child and paying the mother to keep her quiet. When a friend asked him how to reply to the scandal, he said. “Whatever you do, tell the truth.”

Cleveland prevailed, served a term in the White House, but lost in his bid for reelection in 1888. He ran again in 1892 and was elected, thus becoming the only president to serve two terms that were not consecutive.

 

I am scanning and uploading back issues of the Gaslight News as I work back to the first one we have, #009 December 1977. There are a few gaps where issues are missing, notably #001 through #008, #120, and #124. If you come across one of these in your travels, please let us know.

Let us know what news you find in the Gaslight News back-issue archive of the historical Society of Riverton. -JMc, Editor

 

Who likes a puzzle?

Click on this to fill in the pieces

I love it when the pieces fall into place… even if it takes over 30 years.

In the March 2007 Gaslight News  we acknowledged a donation from Mrs. Lorraine Gambone. She literally trash-picked a cabinet card from a Riverton curbside that seemed to show some blacksmiths. (Cabinet cards are photographs mounted on stiff pieces of cardboard, popular in the late 1800s)

(Don’t even get me started on how much of our history people have discarded.)

Resolving the true identity of that enterprise led to news accounts of a blaze that not only totally destroyed the building, it resulted in discussions about the equipment, operations, protocols, and resources of Riverton Fire Company that ultimately made it more efficient.

Woolston Carriage Works, Riverton, NJ cabinet card photo

The cabinet card remained misidentified as a photo of Main  Street’s long-gone J.T. Evans Lumberyard for a while until historian Paul Schopp determined that it actually shows Woolston Carriage Works.

Where was it?

Riverton’s 1919 Sanborn Insurance Map (sheets 3 and 12 seen merged here) shows the location of C.T. WOOLSTON WAGON M’F’Y. 

1919 Sanborn Insurance Map composite of sheets 3 and 12 WOOLSTON CARRIAGE M’F’Y 7th & Lippincott

The wood-framed manufactory (so called, because it named a place where workers made things by hand) housed a blacksmith shop, wheelwright shop, power wood working machines, and rooms for painting and varnishing.

Occupied recently with scanning and uploading to this website back-issues of the Society’s newsletter, the Gaslight News, I am struck with how often in them I find information about a topic that has somehow eluded me for so long.

Exhibit A: a selection from Betty Hahle’s “Yesterday” column in the February 1987 Gaslight News

In June of 1921 Riverton had a fierce fire. The former Carriage Factory of Mr. Woolston, along 7th street below Main, caught fire, and the flames were so intense that several nearby houses were also damaged.

Seventeen pieces of equipment were on hand, as neighboring towns responded to the call for assistance, and in the days following the fire, both Riverton and Palmyra companies seriously re-evaluated their own equipment and organization, which resulted in improved safety procedures for the communities.

Automobile Trade Journal, Volume 25, Part 1, Chilton Company, 1920

The former factory had been rented for about two years by a Philadelphia company that made automotive and truck bodies. For about a year it also manufactured, at this place, the Hilton, a coupe with wire wheels and a large rear deck. The car was named for Hilton W. Sofield, founder of the company, and the fire ended its production.

Wait – what?

A builder of horse-drawn carriages in Riverton sold out to an automobile manufacturer? And then the place burned down with no trace of it left today?

The New Era, June 17, 1921, p2

Searching for a Riverton fire in June, 1921 led to a contemporary account of the conflagration in the June 17, 1921 issue of The New Era.

The spectacular fire quickly engulfed the wooden structure and “…defied the attempts of fire departments from eight towns to quench it.” Equipment malfunctions and weak water pressure plagued the Riverton force. Embers ignited roofs a block away and residents snuffed out the sparks with “brooms, buckets, and garden hose.”

Although the fire consumed the building and its tools and machinery along with sixteen trucks and two Hilton automobiles, fire crews saved several nearby homes.

A gracious Penn Motors President Hilton W. Scofield thanked the fire companies and, in an interview, he expressed interest in building a new factory within six weeks.

What often follows a ruinous fire at a business?

A Fire Sale.

Well, they didn’t call it that, but ads placed within days of the event mentioned “Sacrifice sale” and a 50% reduction on the price of Penn Motors trucks.

Automotive Industries, The Automobile, Vol XLVI, No. 26, June 29, 1922, p 1446

A year after the fire a small article in an automobile trade publication announced the merger of Penn Motors Corp. and the Belmont Motor Co. of Lewistown, PA.

 

Further, four years later, the 1925 Sanborn Insurance Map shows four homes occupying the place where the factory stood.

Homes occupy former Woolston/Penn Motors site 1925 Sanborn Insurance Map, 7th & Lippincott

Thank you, Mrs. Hahle

More than any other single person, Mrs. Betty B. Hahle’s work has contributed to the understanding of Riverton history we have today.

From the mid-1970 through 2000, Mrs. Hahle wrote 100 of her signature “Yesterday” columns for Gaslight News, typing most of the masters herself. She would have loved knowing that today’s history lovers could learn from the embellished versions we offer today.

More to come

Let us know what topics you would like to see further explored here.

You know that saying, “When in doubt, throw it out”? Well, don’t do that with something that might help us fill in more pieces to the Riverton history puzzle.

More about the specs for the short-lived Hilton automobile and how the fire led to serious upgrades in the Riverton Fire Department will follow in another installment.  -JMc

A little help…

This is one of several 1950s era color slides that former mayor, Bruce Gunn gave us in 2015. We revisit this one because we could use a hand with tracking down some more information about the brick building in the background.

Businesses, Main Street, Riverton, PHOTO: google maps July 2018

Show your age and tell us the name of the building. It sure has changed a lot in 60+ years (haven’t we all?).

Quite a few local businesses have set up shop there over the years. Jason Cioci of Riverton Health & Fitness asked if we could tell him more about the history of the building.

So let’s crowdsource this project – kinda like GoFundMe, but send information and photos, not money.

What recollection do you have about business from back in the day?

Please add your comments (see the link at the very bottom of this post) or contact us if you have a scan, photo, or document we can post.


Thank you to Christine Jones-Williams, James Lockhart, Bill Moore, Rob Gusky, and Christopher Ford who checked in and told about a memory they have of the Collins Building.

We shall add pictures of the Collins Building to our TTATA (things that aren’t there anymore) Wish List.

Christine Jones-Williams: I remember Mary Lou’s. She sold just about everything, but what she was most famous for was the penny candy.
I remember Marylou sitting behind the counter waiting for customers to come in her store. She would sit and count your candy and then put all of the candy in a little brown bag. Great memories. February 1, 2019 at 12:04 pm

James Lockhart: I remember this as the Collins building. Used to go by there a couple times a day on my way to and from school during the mid-1960s until about 1971. I remember there being a couple of shops between the Collins entrance and a barber shop on the opposite (Harrison St.) corner. There was also a print shop in the cellar that was accessible from Harrison St. The husband of our music teacher at RPS, Mrs. Horn, worked for Collins, IIRC. February 1, 2019 at 9:51 am

Bill Moore: It’s funny. It wasn’t until you posted this that I started thinking about the business on the far right. I can’t even remember what it was…a hardware store? But there was a LONG entryway…to a long counter on the left. I’ll be curious to hear what others remember because I have distinct memories of being taken in there but no memory of what it was. The store next to it was the deli. I remember that “The Elm Street Store” or whatever the official name was moved there in the 70s from their house/store on Elm Street and it became Deckards?…Deckers?…and later Bosch’s…and whatever it is now. The next store was the infamous Mary Lou Shop. While she had greeting cards, gifts, notions, etc. No one ever touched them and they probably had a layer of dust on them because everyone made a beeline for the candy…and I don’t think she ever got out of her chair to dust. On my list of things I wish I could recreate in Riverton…that would be in the top 3. I have no recollection what was in the shop next to that. Freddy’s Barber Shop was next door. My dad patronized it but my brother and I hated going there so my mother gave us our trademark bowl cuts. I seem to remember a couple of old school barbers in addition to Freddy working there. February 1, 2019 at 9:19 am

Rob Gusky: Anyone who attended Riverton School in the 70’s surely remembers the Mary Lou shop located in this brick building. It was an amazing place where you could fill a small paper bag full of candy for a quarter or less. In 1975 I was in 7th grade and got interested in collecting stamps. One day I discovered that Mary Lou, the proprietor of the shop, had a bunch of stamps behind the counter that she would sell for postage. These weren’t just ordinary stamps to me but were colorful stamps from the 60’s and beyond. Over time I bought a number of them and they were added to my stamp collection. Great memories – she was a very nice lady. February 1, 2019 at 8:32 am

Christopher Ford: Although I have vague memories of a lumber store in the upstairs (and a lift?) where my father would take me when I was very young, my clearest early memories were of Mary Lou’s Shop, where I would go spend my allowance on bowls of candy. I’d then dump the candy on the “counting counter,” where Mary Lou would add up the total cost and put it in a small brown paper bag.
After Mary Lou retired and closed her long-running store, I got my first real job at Barbara Drumheiser’s Victorian Thymes, where I could still get my candy fix, and where I got my lifelong love of coffee and fine food. During work I’d get my lunch next door at Beverly’s D&D Deli.
I love the stories this will bring. February 1, 2019 at 7:13 am

Mary Lou’s Shop sure left an indelible impression on some folks! Also mentioned were Deckards?…Deckers?…and later Bosch’sFreddy’s Barber Shop, and my personal favorite – Victorian Thymes. What was that Oscar Wilde quote that owner Barbara Drumheiser displayed over the entrance?

An earlier generation might recall Karl Frank’s Meat Store, Hullings & Son Plumbing and Heating, The Jersey Fruit Cooperative, The Riverton Meat MarketThe Christian Science Reading Room, or the J.S. Collins & Son Coal and Lumber. What other businesses have resided there over the years?

Whether your “good ol’ days” are 25, 50, or 75 years old, it’s all still Riverton history.

Thank you for adding your voice to rivertonhistory.com.

Look for more information here as we develop this story on the Collins Building. And don’t take any wooden nickels.