Summer solstice brings temps in the 90s as Riverton looks to the Fourth

Cover - 2016 July 4th Program
Cover – 2016 July 4th Program

In just two weeks, months of planning, prep, and fundraising by the tireless volunteers of the Riverton July 4th Committee will culminate with the arrival of the 119th Children’s Parade.

Part summer picnic, part homecoming, part testimony to patriotic pride, who doesn’t look forward to Riverton’s Glorious Fourth?

By now, Riverton households have received their July 4th Programs.

We hope you will frequent the many business and professional donors and appreciate the many patrons whose generous contributions continue to make this treasured tradition possible.

Even our own Society placed this ad with a not-so-subtle invitation to join.

Jack Hutton (left) and Clyde Hutton owned Hutton Chevrolet in Riverside, 1949-1969
Jack Hutton (left) and Clyde Hutton owned Hutton Chevrolet in Riverside, 1949-1969

We highlighted Mary Honeyford’s family photo used on the July 4th Program cover in our Nov. 2014 Gaslight News along with an ad we found in the April 7, 1949 edition of Riverton’s now defunct hometown newspaper, The New Era.

Hutton Chevrolet, New Era, April 7, 1949, p9
Hutton Chevrolet, New Era, April 7, 1949, p9

How many of you remember any of the car dealerships that once made their home in Riverton?

Here are two to get you started.

Oakland car ad, New Era, Jan 24, 1929
Oakland car ad, New Era, Jan 24, 1929
Olds ad, New Era, Nov 24, 1949, pg3
Olds Community ad, New Era, Nov 24, 1949, pg3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community-Olds-Riverton-NJ-1966
Community-Olds-Riverton-NJ-1966

Finally, can you tell which 4th of July Showcase sponsor now occupies the site depicted in the postcard below?

During the recent Garden Tour and the Historic Riverton Criterium folks stopped by our table to check out the historically themed mugs.

Inevitably, conversation turned to a listing of TTATA, or things that aren’t there anymore, like the train station, bicycle track, Wolfschmitt’s Barbershop, etc.

More than a few times people have wished to see photos of Riverton’s long-gone lunchtime eatery, The Sharon Shop, Klipple’s Bakery at Main&Broad , and Reynold’s Gas Station at the point.

If a reader can favor us with a donation of a photo or a high-resolution scan of these spots (or any other favorite of yours), please contact us. – JMc

A century old postcard is a visual treat on the eve of our Glorious Fourth

Welcome Pyne Poynt, Camden, NJ 1910When my friend sent me a scan of his latest eBay auction win I had to agree with him.

It doesn’t hardly get any better than this! This vintage real photo post card shows an early 20th century Camden neighborhood putting on an enthusiastic patriotic display.

You have to click on this, fill your screen, and take a virtual walk down Fifth Street, circa 1910.

A large banner flanked by huge American flags spans the street proclaiming, “Welcome To Pyne Poynt.” Numerous festive paper lanterns and more 48-star American Flags frame the entire street.

Is that a Sullivan’s storefront or a political campaign office?

The boys with their knee-length knickers, white shirts and ties, the girls with their lovely short-sleeve summer dresses and bows in their hair, and of course, the young men with their bow ties, hats, and skimmers all elicit an involuntary smile from the appreciative viewer.

Catch the brave character in the jeff cap at the roof line. Has he just completed attaching flags above that first second-floor window and tying off the line suspending the banner?

Perhaps the occasion recorded here was July 4, 1910. This mailed divided-back post card bears a Camden, N.J. postmark, stamped SEP 9, 1910. The message addressed to a recipient living on River Avenue in Camden reads, “Best Wishes from Edith.”

Photographer Wm. B. Cooper of Medford, N.J. captured this amazing moment a neighborhood’s history over a century ago.

Capture some amazing moments of your own this Glorious Fourth 2013, wherever you are. – John McCormick

Anticipation builds toward Riverton’s 115th Glorious July 4th

Bouquets of patriotic red, white, and blue decorations have burst into bloom this past week as Riverton readies for its 115th “Glorious Fourth.”

Patriotic displays have sprouted up all over town – Jim McQuaide, manager of Tristate HVAC, has decked out the landmark building for its first Independence Day under new ownership.
Now if the predicted thunderstorms will just hold off, the shoreline (shown above on July 2) should be awash in a flood of spectators viewing the Sixth Annual Great Riverton Raft Race at about 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

2012 July 4th Program – Click on image to download PDF file of entire booklet
You can see the entire schedule of events in the 2012 July 4th Program found here. Click here for the official website of the July 4th Committee.

The cover illustration from this year’s July Fourth Program shows an image of the famous “Riverton Nine” baseball team of 1872 taken from the baseball memorabilia collection of Bob Beishline of Palmyra.

 

 

Bob Beishline’s original photo of 1872 Riverton baseball team
In  2002, Bob, Mike Robinson, Betty Hahle and a few others were among the first to help me start what has eventually grown into a huge virtual online collection of vintage images by kindly letting me scan their postcard collections.  

 

Bill Hall’s Sporting Life clipping
Later, Bill Hall provided me with a Sporting Life magazine clipping showing the same team. When I showed the photos during a presentation at a Society meeting, it was William Harris who explained the caption in the photo. FREDERICK K. MOORE CENTER simply meant that Moore was in the center.

 

“Frannie” Cole, 1938 Riverton Athletic Assn. baseball team

All of this concern about baseball is because Mr. Fran Cole, HSR member and lifetime resident of Riverton, who is Parade Marshall this year, used to be quite a baseball athlete and remains among the most fanatic of Phillies fans. He was even inducted into the Palmyra High School Sports Hall of Fame.

As a result of interviewing Mr. Cole about his memories as a young man working for his grandparents’ Cole Dairy during the 1930s, I had several photos of Fran from his baseball playing days. (See related 2010 Gaslight News story here and his oral history interview in three segments here:  Mr. Francis Cole Remembers Cole Dairy Part 1Part 2Part 3. )

Fran Cole – photo by Bennett Landsman

 

So by an extraordinary amount of luck and best laid plans we here at the Society just happened to be able to help out July Fourth Committee Chairperson, Mrs. Tracy Hansen Foedisch, when she asked for a hand with supplying some images for this year’s program booklet. It’s nice when we can help reveal some part of Riverton’s past with what we have collected. In a past post I compared the task to completing a jigsaw puzzle.

It is an extraordinary privilege, and no small responsibility, to be able to curate the archives of the Historical Society of Riverton for the use of Rivertonians.  As family and friends congregate during this July Fourth celebration, may I interrupt for a commercial message?

Please help preserve Riverton history by donating your Riverton related photos, collectibles, documents, and memorabilia, or at least send us a scan or photo. If you can help us in this endeavor, please contact us.

2012 July 4th Palm Card – both sides

During the parade HSR members Paul Daly, Gerald Weaber, and myself will be distributing this year’s edition of the Historical Society’s July 4th Palm Cards. The earliest one I have of these is from 1987. Former HSR President Dan Campbell may have started the tradition which  seems to have continued through 2004 when it apparently stopped.

We resumed the tradition again last year when HSR Treasurer Paul Daly wondered out loud, ” How come we don’t give out those cards on July Fourth anymore?”  (See more July 4th Palm Cards here.) If you have any cards for years not shown in this list, please send us a scan of both sides. July 4th Palm Cards: 1987-1990, 1993-1995, 1997, 1999, 2000-2004.

Tristate HVAC, a former post office, decked out for Independence Day
If you have some time to kill, type “July 4” or “July Fourth” in the search box at the top right of the home page. That should result in many hits for earlier posts and images related to the holiday.

Have a Glorious and Safe Fourth of July wherever you find yourself. Check back here later for more July Fourth posts.  – John McCormick, Gaslight News editor

Happy New Year…almost

So I’m a bit behind the times.

There’s something about the end of a year and the start of another that gets us in a reflective mood.

When I get my hair cut, the topic of “What’s new with the Historical Society?” usually accounts for at least a portion of the conversation during bi-monthly visits to my favorite tonsorial artist.   Jeff, who cuts my hair, can trace his family tree back several generations and track their moves from Palmyra, to Riverton, and finally to Riverside.

Jack Ford and Friends: Jack Laverty, Dick Laverty, Tom Laffey, Joe Gropp, Ron Meyers

He showed me this photo of his father and some friends taken many years ago on Cinnaminson Street in Riverton.  An arrow on the photo and caption on the back identifies Jack, Jeff’s dad, but with both of Jeff’s parents now passed away, which of the others is which is unclear. I’m taking suggestions since Jeff is expecting that someone may know of his dad’s childhood chums.

Perhaps while kids are still off from school and as friends and family gather over this holiday break, conversations may drift to stories of long ago when the kids were little and parents and grandparents were young. Younger ones inevitably inquire about what life was like when you were their age.

You might want to try a virtual family visit to our recent  Museum for a Day to show youngsters about earlier times in Riverton  and to help the adults with some visual aids to accompany their “Good Ol’ Days” soliloquies.

Mrs. Mary Yearly Flanagan again shares here some of her grandfather’s photos which not only chronicle the progress of the Yearly Clan, but also help illustrate some aspects of everyday life in early 20th century Riverton.

 

Consider recording some of those moments with that new camera, smartphone, iPhone, iPad, a Fisher-Price camera, anything really, but capture them while you can because you sure can’t go back and get them later. You’ll look back on them years from now and wonder where all the time went. I can’t be the only senior for whom it seems that time has actually accelerated exponentially with each passing decade.

This website has plenty of images, text, and even some video clips which might help show the current generation how former generations lived, worked, played, and helped make Riverton the town that they have today.  Photos from a previous Joseph Yearly Photo Gallery, your own family album, other vintage images, or a screening of Glimpses of Palmyra and Riverton in the 1930s or The Romance of Riverton, will also serve the purpose to  illustrate the times of earlier generations.

The result of such an epic Riverton Retrospective may just leave everyone thinking, “You know what? These are the good old days.”

Mark them well, as we warp-speed into 2012. Please pause and comment on your own good old days, whenever they may be.  – John McCormick, Gaslight News editor