May 2011 Annual Meet Convenes at The Bank on Main

The Bank on Main - open for business once again

The Historical Society of Riverton held its Annual Meeting June 9, 2011, at The Bank on Main, courtesy of the Antonucci Family of Riverton. First constructed for the Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company in 1928, its new owners have transformed the building’s interior into an attractive venue for business and social events.

In the business portion of the annual meeting members approved a slate of new or returning directors, including Pat Brunker, Donald Dietz, William McDermott, J. Edward Gilmore, Nancy Hall, John McCormick, Phyllis Rodgers, Mary Lou Smith, Michael Spinelli, and Cheryl Smekal.  A number of By-Law proposals received approval with one change, suggested by Mr. Paul Schopp. Members approved his motion to change the quorum for a Board meeting to nine.  Click here find the full text of the By-Laws to passed June 9, 2011.

The massive original vault remains the focal point of the room. Round linen-covered banquet exhibit tables flanked the carpeted part of the room and chairs arranged in rows on a magnificent marble dance floor in the center of the space faced the vault. The high ceiling, large windows, and sparkling chandelier hanging from the center of a huge, ornately carved medallion that dominates the ceiling all served to create an elegant setting befitting the main portion of the meeting; to celebrate the life of Mrs. Betty B. Hahle, Town Historian, who passed away on April 17, 2011. A large photo collage poster of Mrs. Hahle placed next to the vault represented some of her many accomplishments and provided a backdrop for the remarks and accolades of the speakers.

President of the Historical Society of Riverton, Gerald Weaber, started by reviewing the life of Mrs. Hahle, highlighting her contributions to virtually every Riverton organization and stressing her dedication and commitment to preserving Riverton’s history and character.  Her meticulous investigating and record keeping, pursued with passion, earned her a place in Riverton’s history.  Mayor Robert Martin then presented a proclamation to the daughters of Mrs. Hahle, Donna Hahle Kirkland and Marilyn R. Hahle.

Several members of the audience shared memories of Betty Hahle by illustrating examples of her generosity in sharing her extensive knowledge of Riverton while others cited her success in raising her three daughters.

A four-part a capella group called Three Good Men smoothly segued into the entertainment part of the meeting by appropriately choosing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” as their opening number. They continued the historical theme by serving up an eclectic mix of songs from classic barbershop to Rock & Roll and Doo-Wop, freely seasoned with jokes and puns. The inclusion of “God Bless America” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on the same set list indicates the versatility of this talented quartet. We even learned history trivia; “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” (1942) was the first ever gold record. Clearly, the foursome achieved their website’s description of “the essence of Barbershop” by liberally “ringing chords” off those stately old bank walls for the entire performance.

Even a mid-meeting power outage which left only dimmed emergency lights to illuminate the chamber failed to dampen anyone’s spirit or curtail the marvelous entertainment from our a capella quartet, which fortunately required no electricity.  At the conclusion, HSR President Gerald Weaber invited participants to enjoy refreshments.  Three Good Men continued their convivial exhibition by harmonizing “Happy Birthday” for two HSR Geminis, Mrs. Linda McCormick and Mrs. Phyllis Rogers and serenading bride-to-be, Keri Antonucci with a song .

We sincerely thank the Antonucci Family for so generously extending to the Historical Society the use of this splendid facility for our Annual Meeting. Find out more about this new multi-purpose banquet hall and event facility at the Antonucci Ventures LLC website.

That was our last meeting for the summer, but check back often for more additions to this website. Our expanded HSR Board will be busy planning for the next 2011-2012 season. Please consider donating items to the Society as you de-clutter or downsize belongings. We also welcome your submissions of recollections, comments, photos, scans, etc. for possible publication in the Gaslight News or on this website.  – Co-written and photographed by: Mrs. Susan Dechnik and John McCormick


What’s Old is New Again at the Bank on Main

Cinnaminson Bank - c. 1930s
The Bank on Main - 2011

In Riverton’s latest example of “What’s old is new again,” the newly transformed bank building at the corner of Main and Harrison Streets will be the scene for the next HSR general membership meeting on June 9, 2011 (See the May 2011 Gaslight News for details).


Long a Main Street landmark, the building has been home to a number of financial institutions since it was constructed. But, how many and when?

Fellow HSR member and professional historian Paul W. Schopp refreshes our memory as he relates below the history of the decades-old bank building, now called The Bank on Main, which has been re-purposed as a new private venue for social and business events.  – JMcC, Ed.

The Cinnaminson National Bank of Riverton incorporated in the fall of 1906 and acquired a lot on the east side of Main Street in November 1906. The new banking firm immediately began erecting the brick building and frame wagon sheds on the lot located between Freddie’s Shoe Repair and the former Riverton Post Office. In 1928, the Cinnaminson National Bank received permission to offer Trust services to its customers. As a result of this action, the bank reincorporated as the Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company and then constructed a new building at 604 Main Street. The bank retained the architectural design services of Davis, Dunlap & Barney of Philadelphia. This partnership dissolved in circa 1928, so the bank building in Riverton can be numbered among the firm’s last commissions.

The Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company continued to operate under that name until at least 1966, with a branch in Palmyra and in Cinnaminson, when it may have changed its name to Garden State Bank. In the late 1960s Camden Trust Company requested permission to merge the Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company into itself. In 1969, Camden Trust restyled itself as The Bank of New Jersey. The following year, The Bank of New Jersey did receive permission to proceed with the merger and the Cinnaminson Bank and Trust Company/Garden State Bank entered the realm of banking history. In 1982, Princeton Bank received permission to merge The Bank of New Jersey into itself with Princeton Bank being the successor firm. Chemical Bank New Jersey and Princeton Bank merged in 1990. Chemical Bank New Jersey became part of PNC Bank New Jersey in 1995 and the Riverton Bank operated as a PNC Bank for just over a year. In the second-half of 1996, Farmers & Mechanics Bank took over operations at 604 Main Street, although it is unclear whether they owned or leased the building. Farmers & Mechanics merged into Beneficial Savings Bank of Philadelphia in July 2007. In a cost-cutting move, Beneficial closed its Riverton branch and the building remained empty until The Bank on Main acquired the former bank for a catering hall.  – PAUL W. SCHOPP

The images in the picture gallery above show some items from the HSR archives. We welcome comments about the bank which has served generations of Rivertonians and would like to post scans or photos of any mementos that readers may have. – JMcC, Ed.

P.S. Also posted today were a number of postcard scans; 24 additional Avalon, NJ images, 7 Ocean City, NJ images, 6 Collingswood, NJ images, and 4 Sea Isle City which were cataloged in with the Miscellaneous grouping.