Ray Banks Barbershop Then & Now

Ray Banks Barbershop, c.1940

We get a lot of requests for information about the history of a property, who lived there when, and business records, but every once in a while someone just drops something in our laps.

The latest to do so is Rich Rosmando, nephew of Ray Banks, who checked in on our CONTACT TAB and offered to send in some pix of his uncle’s barbershop circa 1940. Rich explains:

Orange Blossom, 2-1-2017

Thanks for the pics of Klipple’s and the ad. Awesome. My Uncle Ray died in 1981 and probably closed the shop in the mid-late 70’s as I remember.  I can see in the Klipple’s pictures that his shop is gone, and by the cars it looks like the 80’s. 

My Uncle Ray’s Barber Shop is now the auxiliary dining room at the “Orange Blossom.” I snapped a picture this morning (Feb. 1) from the same vantage point as the photo from the 40’s.  I only know the picture was pre-1949 because that’s when my uncle went with three chairs. 

Business directory, The New Era, Nov. 2, 1939

Jill and Hank Croft supplied the long sought after photos of Klipple’s Bakery to which Rich refers for a November post.

According to reader requests, still needed are vintage photos of Palmyra Bowling Alley, the Mary Lou Shop, and the Sharon Shop.

The November 1939 New Era ad for Ray Banks Barber that Rich mentions came from our Newspaper Digitalization Project. This larger full-page 1939 business directory shows dozens of local establishments from that era. Can you see the one that still stands today, almost eight decades later?

Add to the conversation here any time. What else would you like to see on these pages? – JMc

HSR Preservation Awards Night 7pm Feb. 16 at the Porch Club

Join us as five recipients of the 2017 Dan Campbell Preservation Award explain their home improvement projects with a Power Point presentation and we recognize the service of long-time Board members Aggie Kennedy and Elsie Showell Waters.

Then and Now screenshots

We will also feature Michael Cattell’s intriguing area video display “Then and Now” which morphs vintage photos of local landmarks into present-day views of the same places.

Then, enjoy refreshment while viewing the HSR’s classic 1926 video, “The Romance of Riverton.” Copies will be available for $20.

It promises to be a most entertaining evening!  Hope to see you there.

Phyllis Rodgers, President

Riverton’s most familiar icon captured in extraordinary photo

But not by me.

In case you are not one of her 100 Instagram followers, just had to show you Deb Lengyel’s perfect pic of Riverton Yacht Club captured during last week’s snowfall. Thanks, Deb!

First real snow in tiny town. #delawareriver #shotoniphone7

A photo posted by fly2pluto (@fly2pluto) on

Taken with an iPhone7, no less.

I am scrapping my digital camera in the morning. – JMc

Need a last minute gift for a local history fan?

A few people have contacted us to ask if they could still buy historically themed gifts if they missed seeing our mini-museum during the Candlelight House Tour on Dec. 3.

I will be at Riverton Free Library from pm tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 20. We have several dozen mugs on hand, Romance of Riverton DVDs, note cards, flags, HSR gift memberships, as well as photo reproductions of many of the vintage images your see on our website. See the DVD and examples of mugs in the HSR Store.

If you missed our display on Dec. 3 this is a last chance to look around for a while.If you can’t make it Tuesday, phone 609-220-8040, and I can come back Weds. or Thurs. The Library closes at 8:30 pm those nights. – John McCormick, newsletter and website editor


RFL’s Candlelight House Tour Sat., Dec. 3 plus HSR’s Museum for a Day


candlelight-house-tour-2016-ticket-copyThis cherished Riverton holiday tradition returns after a cancellation in 2015.

The weather forecast for this Saturday’s Candlelight House Tour in Riverton calls for 51 degrees and partly sunny skies. A tenth home has just been added to the tour.

Extra tickets have just been printed and are still available at the Library, The New Leaf, Orange Blossom Cafe, and Fresh Produce of Palmyra for $15 in advance or $20 day of the tour.

During your rounds of the decorated homes stop by The New Leaf for refreshment and entertainment.

HSR archives entrance
HSR archives entrance

After a two-year absence, the Historical Society of Riverton’s Museum-for-a-Day returns, this time to the Library’s basement.

Maybe we should call it Mini-Museum-for-a-Day since the space is small. Still, if you can venture downstairs, it’s worth the price of admission, which is free for this one day. Who knows when we can do it again?

HSR Board members have prepared a number of exhibits of materials from our seldom seen archives.


A remarkable highlight is Society member Dorothy Talavera’s own collection called A Family of Brides containing bridal gowns, photos, invitations, love letters, and mementos representing almost two centuries of brides in the same family.


romance-of-riverton-new-2016-copyUpstairs, in the Library’s meeting room, we will screen the 43-minute DVD Romance of Riverton, filmed in 1926. It is available again for $20 after a sellout in 2015.

Also available for sale upstairs will be reproduction prints of many of the postcards, photos, and maps plus historically themed mugs seen on our website. See more information about the DVD and the mugs here.  – JMc

2016-candlelight-house-tour-booklet-coverRev. 12/1/2016: This bulletin from Deb Lengyel  – Here is a link to the 8-page tour booklet for a sneak preview of the homes this year.  It includes a list of businesses and shops open for the event, a map, and provides descriptive information filled with architectural and local history details for the places on the tour. A history lesson in itself! Thanks to Deb and Idea Patio Creative Services for again generously donating her design expertise and a part of the printing costs to the project.

Trish Chambers explains Christmas traditions and symbolism

caldecott-old-christmas-copyIn a program co-sponsored by the Historical Society of Riverton and the Riverton Free Library on November 17, Trish Chambers colorfully described many Victorian era Christmas traditions.

Trish Chambers

Using illustrations by renowned British illustrator Randolph Caldecott from the charming volume of old English Christmas traditions by famed American author Washington Irving, Ms. Chambers brought to life what a Christmas holiday looked like, smelled like, tasted like, and sounded like.

‘Christmas Tree at Windsor Castle’, from a Supplement to the Illustrated London News, Dec. 1848

Rosemary, holly, and ivy decorated the homes representing friendship, love, commitment, and togetherness. The greenery symbolized resiliency in the coldness and darkness of winter.

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert from Germany, he brought the German tradition of the Christmas tree.

caldecott-christmas-feastBayberry candles lit the manor houses adding light to ward off the winter grey.  The celebration lasted for twelve days since guests traveled long distances to the manor houses in the countryside.  Food and drink were plentiful, lavish meals were served accompanied by music and dramatic performances. titlepageVillagers sang outside the manor houses to entertain the guests.  Children took an active part and were included in the celebrations.

See an online version of the 1886 edition of the entire Washington Irving classic here.  – Susan Dechnik