Small Town Memories

Exploring the history of SHENANGO VALLEY, PA, one story at a time.

Tag: Isaly’s Dairy

PETE JOYCE, Community Leader & Isaly’s Owner

by Ann Angel Eberhardt

One thing that always reminds me of Pete Joyce from the 1950s is chicken noodle soup.

“And what are we having for lunch today?” asked the tall waiter in a white apron as he advanced from behind the counter holding a receipt pad and pencil. “Chicken noodle soup, please!” answered one of the two children seated in the store’s red upholstered booth. It was the same question and the same answer each weekday for four months. 

[Peter Joyce, January 4, 1956. Excerpt from a photo in The Sharon (Pa.) Herald]

The waiter chose two small cans labeled Heinz’s Chicken Noodle Soup from a shelf, then heated and served this warm and savory lunch along with packets of crisp soda crackers. The children were my brother Mike and myself. (My nine-year-old reasoning was that if we tried any other soup, we may not like it and then go hungry for the rest of the afternoon.) We paid 15 cents for each bowl. The patient and accommodating waiter was Pete Joyce, owner of Isaly’s Dairy on the corner of Main and Third streets, Sharpsville, PA.

This daily routine was occurring in the fall of 1949, during a time when my family was preparing to move about six miles from Wheatland to Sharpsville. Because the remodeling of our new Second Street home and printshop wasn’t completed by September, my parents thought my brother and I should begin the 1949-1950 school year at Robison School in Sharpsville in any case. That meant that we had to commute by public bus (including transfer to a second bus on State Street in Sharon) to attend fourth (my brother) and fifth grades with a break for lunch, ours being at Isaly’s. After school we would meet my dad, who ran a printshop on Walnut Street, and the three of us would return to Wheatland. This commute lasted until we finally moved into our new residence just before Christmas. 

[“Isaly Dairy Co. 306 W. Main Street, Sharpsville, with manager Frank Porter holding grandson Larry Shannon, June 1939.” Photo courtesy of Sharpsville Area historical Society.]

There were a few other direct connections between my family and Mr. Joyce that I can recall. Approximately six years later, Pete Joyce, by then a former burgess and now councilman, swore in three new members of the Sharpsville Council. One of those members was August Angel, my dad. 

[Above: THREE NEW COUNCILMEN FOR SHARPSVILLE — Three men joined Sharpsville’s seven-member borough council last night, when Burgess Peter Joyce, second from left, administered the oath of office to G. Raymond Hittle, D., Clair Osborne, D., and August Angel, R. (hands upraised, left to right). They will serve four-year terms. Looking on at left is the new council president, Maurice Nelson, D. Source: The Sharon (Pa.) Herald, January 4, 1956, p. 12.]

In 1961, Pete Joyce and my dad, “two veteran Sharpsville political personalities,” according to a Sharon Herald article, were unopposed for their party’s nomination for burgess at the May primary elections. Pete Joyce, a Democrat, won the election in November, replacing the retiring Burgess George D. Mahaney.

Throughout our years in Sharpsville my family continued to shop at Isaly’s, purchasing such items as milk and cream and Isaly’s iconic skyscraper cones, chipped chopped ham, Klondikes and half-gallon brick-shaped ice cream in delicious flavors such as Neapolitan (layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) and White House Cherry (vanilla mixed with Maraschino cherries). Mr. Joyce wasn’t always the waiter since he hired young teens to help out.

My younger brother, Pat, recalls that the first hamburger he ever ate was at Isaly’s. Pat says he can still see Pete Joyce in a white waiter’s hat and apron serving him a sizzling patty of ground beef between slices of a round white bun with a dill pickle on the side and squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard for the taking. The cost of the hamburger was 25 cents.

[Above: This Canonsburg, PA, 1950 Isaly’s store-front looks very much like Sharpsville’s Isaly’s in the 1950s. Source: Brian Butko’s The Story of Isaly’s: Klondikes, Chipped Ham, & Skyscraper Cones, Stackpole Books, 2001.]

I seldom eat canned chicken noodle soup these days except as my comfort food when I have a bad cold. But the chicken-broth odor and salty taste of that soup still bring to mind Isaly’s and Pete Joyce, the man who was mayor of Sharpsville in the 1950s and 60s.

Pete Joyce: SERVICES AND HONORS

All the while that Pete Joyce owned and operated Isaly’s, an early type of convenience store that provided the community with deli and dairy products, magazines and comic books, and other everyday items, he also tirelessly served in a variety of political, governmental, civil and church endeavors. 

After graduation from Sharpsville High School in 1929, he attended the former Shenango Valley Commercial Institute in Sharon, PA. He first entered politics when serving on the Sharpsville Area School Board in 1940, while, according to the 1940 U.S. Census, he was an A&P store manager. 

His first and second terms on the board were interrupted by World War II. Joyce enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 28, 1942, and served four years as a captain of the Army Truck Company 3891 and was awarded the Bronze Star.

After his war years, Joyce was councilman and mayor of Sharpsville for numerous terms, ending his political career as Mercer County Commissioner. According to The Herald, March 22, 2001,

He followed [his military service] with 18 years as a borough official, including terms as burgess and then mayor from 1953 through 1957 and 1961 through 1969. Joyce also was elected in 1958 and again in 1976 as county commissioner. In 1962 he came within 3,000 votes of being elected to Congress.

“Sharpsville: Hibernians tap Joyce for honor.” The (Sharon) Herald, March 22, 2001

Joyce was a member of many other boards throughout the years. He was a board member of Catholic Charities (for 50 years); the former McDowell Bank (now National City); the Buhl Trustees; Mercer County Board of Elections; and chairman of the board of the Mercer County Area Agency on Aging Inc. He was a member of the Catholic Social Service Club for many years and president of its advisory board. 

He initiated the formation of a pension fund for borough employees and donated his own salary to it. He led efforts that resulted in the establishment of the Mercer County Regional Council of Governments and the Shenango Valley Regional Planning Commission (now Mercer County Regional Planning Commission). He also belonged to the Pennsylvania Economy League. In 1973 he was appointed regional municipal services officer for PennDOT. 

His participation in many other philanthropic and service organizations included a 40-year membership with the Sharpsville Service Club and its past president, chair of the Community Chest (now United Way), as well as a member of the Pennsylvania Economic League. Mr. Joyce was a fundraiser for Kennedy Christian High School in Hermitage, PA, which was established in 1964 and since 2001 is known as Kennedy Catholic High School. 

He was a lifelong member of  St. Bartholomew Church in Sharpsville where he was a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher of young people. He eventually became the church’s oldest male parishioner. In addition, he served as president of the former Mercer County Holy Name Society.

As a member of the Mercer County Historical Society, Joyce was respected for his knowledge of Mercer County history and genealogy. According to his obituary in The Herald

He was fascinated by history, especially of the local area, Thomas Jefferson and the Civil War. He often acted as a source of information for others with similar interests.

“Pete Joyce” Obituary. The (Sharon) Herald, March 22, 2006

Pete Joyce was named “Man of the Year” by Shenango Valley Jaycees and Shenango Valley Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1977, he was named outstanding Democrat of the year by Reynolds Area 2 Democrats. The date of February 2, 1980, was declared “Peter J. Joyce Day” by local mayors. These and many other tributes show the high esteem that the community held for a man who had a vivid sense of duty to his church, community and country and an indefatigable love of work! 

Pete Joyce: FAMILY BACKGROUND

According to the U.S. Censuses, Joyce’s grandparents, Peter M. Joyce (c.1868-1940) and Nora Murray Joyce (c.1865-1950) immigrated from Ireland in c. 1893 and were among many who were attracted to Pennsylvania by opportunities for work in the steel mills and on the railroads. 

Pete Joyce was born in Sharpsville on April 11 1911, the youngest of six children: Bridget, Mary (1901-1981), Patrick J. (1903-1979), Norah (Nora? 1906-1918), Catharine F. (1909-2002), and Peter (1911-2006).

The 1920, 1930 and 1940 U.S. Censuses record the family as living on Walnut Street in Sharpsville, next door to the Biggins family whose recent ancestors were also from Ireland. James A., one of the Biggins children and close to Pete Joyce’s age, became one of Sharpsville’s well-known and fondly remembered medical doctors. Next door to the Biggins lived George F. Mahaney and his family. George F. was the son of George D. Mahaney, a longtime Sharpsville burgess who was succeeded by Joyce in 1961.

On May 5, 1943, Pete Joyce married Madeline Lucille (O’Connor). They had two daughters, Madeline and Patricia, and a son, Thomas P. Joyce.

Peter (“Pete”) J. Joyce died on March 17, 2006, at the age of 94, and was buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Heritage, PA, where he joined other deceased Joyce family members, including his wife Madeline who died in 2000 at the age of 88.

— Ann Angel Eberhardt (SHS 1958), Goodyear, AZ. 

See Also:
ISALY’S DAIRY
The RELUCTANT POLITICIAN
DR. BAILEY’S SHARPSVILLE 1920s, Part I & Part II

Sources

Butko, Brian. Klondikes, Chipped Ham & Skyscraper Cones: The Story of Isaly’s. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001. Print.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVL2-WH8Q : accessed 16 January 2020), Peter J. Joyce, ; Burial, Hermitage, Mercer, Pennsylvania, Saint Marys Cemetery; citing record ID 97764525, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com. Internet resource.

“PETE JOYCE (Peter J. Joyce 1911-2006).” Obituary in The (Sharon) Herald, Mar 22, 2006. 

“SHARPSVILLE: Hibernians tap Joyce for honor.” The (Sharon) Herald, March 22, 2001. 

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6YJ-T4Y : accessed 16 January 2020), Peter Joyce in household of Peter Joyce, Hickory, Mercer, Pennsylvania, United States; citing ED 88, sheet 14A, line 22, family 284, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992). Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RZX-977?cc=1810731&wc=QZFW-ZW7%3A649490601%2C649589501%2C650224201%2C1589282491 : accessed 16 January 2020), Pennsylvania > Mercer > Sharpsville > ED 72 > image 30 of 34; citing NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002). Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQCK-8CC : accessed 16 January 2020), Peter J Joyce in household of Peter M Joyce, Ward 2, Sharpsville, Sharpsville Borough, Mercer, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 43-83, sheet 4A, line 16, family 60 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration). Internet resource.


MAIN STREET MEMORIES

by Ann Angel Eberhardt

After the Civil War, General James Pierce created a new business district in the area of Mercer Avenue and Shenango Street. However, the town of Sharpsville was growing so rapidly that Pierce found it necessary to lay out additional lots to accommodate the need for new housing. According to Gail Nitch Hane’s PowerPoint presentation, “Sharpsville – Then & Now:” “Since it was assumed that the street lying at the foot of the hill would replace Mercer Avenue as the town’s major thoroughfare, it became Main Street.” This promising outlook for Main Street may be why a request for the street’s first concrete sidewalk was granted in 1882.

Indeed, Main Street was a busy place in the early years. The Sanborn Map Company’s insurance maps of Sharpsville from 1895 through 1912 (found here on the Sharpsville Area Historical Society’s site) show a variety of businesses. Depending on which year you choose, just between Walnut and Second streets you can see buildings for a General Store, Grocery, Chine’ (Chinese?) Laundry, Dentist, Music & Millinery, Insurance Office, Meat, Notions, Drugs, Tailor and/or Bakery.

By the 1950s when I lived in Sharpsville, Walnut Street had become Sharpsville’s concentration of businesses but there were still a number of enterprises along Main Street, intermixed with homes. The following are a few of the services, businesses and people that I recall, some still around, some lost to the ages.


The businesses I visited most often were Ritz Theater on the corner of Main and First streets and Isaly’s Dairy at Main and Third. (They’ve been covered in several other posts on this blog, such as here for the Ritz and here for Isaly’s.)

Also, my dad frequently took our car or truck to the Snyder & Freeman car dealership, auto body shop and gas station at 12 Main Street and we often bought our groceries at Johnson’s Market(For a photo of Johnson’s Market, go to the May 2016 Newsletter of the Sharpsville Area Historical Society.)

Dr. Nelson Bailey was our family doctor as well as the school doctor. My mother was good friends with Helen Belonax who owned Helen’s Beauty Shop in the same building as the theater. Also near the theater, at 111 Main Street, was Walder’s Tavern where we teenagers enjoyed pizza that we could purchase by the slice and my brother still recalls their delicious steak sandwiches here. None of these businesses nor their buildings exist today, except Dr. Bailey’s old residence at the northwest corner of N. Mercer and E. Main.

Click on image for enlarged view.

Sharpsville Municipal Building

“Hello, this is Mrs. Angel calling about a fire.” This telephone call greeted each of the Sharpsville firemen day or night in the 1950s, whenever there was a need for the volunteer firemen’s service. My mother’s voice, in her southern accent (she was born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky), was immediately recognizable by the firemen, who then drove themselves to the site of the conflagration, joining those whose turn it was to stay overnight at the station. My mother was a member of the “women’s auxiliary” of Veterans of Foreign Wars, one of the civic organizations that my father belonged to. This phone duty was no doubt was one of the auxiliary’s services.

A fire siren blaring in 1950s Sharpsville was a big occasion in our normally quiet town. The loud wail of the siren atop the Sharpsville Municipal Building and on the fire truck brought us kids running to Main Street to catch a glimpse of that red truck speeding by with firemen hanging on the sides. Our next stop was the fire station to read the truck’s destination scrawled on a blackboard, then we’d scurry back to our neighborhood with the news.

The Sharpsville Municipal building, known in the past as the Town Hall and to us in the 1950s as the Fire Station, still stands at 244 West Main Street, across North Third Street from the now vacant lot where Isaly’s Dairy used to stand.

shps_city_bldg

“City Building, Sharpsville, PA.,” c. 1930s. Image on postcard, courtesy of Mike and Fredi Angel.

Built in 1904, the rectangular two-story brick structure that featured a gabled roof and a chimney served as the center of the town, housing not only a fire station but the police station, meeting rooms and even jail cells.

Most recently it was the location of the Sharpsville Floral and Gift Shop. Peggy Marriotti and her brother, Gary “Butch” Linzenbold bought the building from the borough about 30 years ago to continue operating a flower shop that was started by their father, Art Linzenbold, in 1963.

As the space was remodeled to accommodate the flower shop, the family thoughtfully retained some of the building’s original flavor, such as keeping the jail cells and the fire pole. They also set aside an area to display historic photos, maps and vintage items from past businesses which became a popular visitor attraction. One can still see the ghost of the original sign over the front door that reads “Sharpsville Municipal Building.”

Unfortunately, in June of 2017, a fire that originated in the basement badly scarred the building and shut down the floral shop, at least for the time being. The historical artifacts were salvaged and the shell of the building is intact, so there is hope that the building, at one time so important to Sharpsville’s civic operations, will be one day restored.

The Robinsons

Not far away, in fact next door, the current Sharpsville Volunteer Fire Department is located in a modern one-story brick building with an attached garage for the fire trucks. However, in earlier years this lot held the home of the Robinsons. In his memoir, my dad describes how he knew Mr. Robinson: 

…I was told of an empty garage building with a five-room apartment above. The building was at 29 North Second Street in Sharpsville, only two blocks away from the business area. The owner was Mr. Robinson, who was a 65-year-old retired auto mechanic who specialized mainly in brake repairs and lived with two older sisters in a house adjacent to the Fire Department. When I contacted the gentleman and explained my need [for my growing printing business now on Walnut Street], he offered me the garage space for $10 per month and I accepted… Early spring of 1946, I talked with Mr. Robinson about buying the building. He was pleased to hear what I proposed and offered it to me on a land contract. As long as I paid the same as rent, I would be handed a deed to the place in time…

Consequently, my brother and I would visit the Robinsons once a month on a Saturday to deliver our dad’s payment on the garage building, which Dad had begun renovating for his relocated print shop and for our family’s future home upstairs. Even at a young age, I could sense that crossing the Robinsons’ front porch and entering their home was like stepping back into another time, so antiquated were the furnishings. I particularly remember a large Tiffany-style stained glass lamp in their front window and a floor model radio that was always playing a baseball game. Even the three siblings seemed quite ancient to me. But they always heartily welcomed us kids and sent us home with not only a receipt but the previous month’s supply of the weekly Saturday Evening Post magazine. We would pull them home in our little red Radio Flyer wagon we brought for that purpose and I would happily leaf through them until the new supply the following month. At Christmas, the Robinsons would call us over to pick up our gifts, one for each of us three Angel children. I liked to think that maybe we were “adopted” by them because they missed having children around.

*In a November 11, 2019, email, my brother Mike Angel wrote to me about his memories of the Robinsons:

The print shop building was purchased from the Robinsons. I remember old car repair equipment still on the premises when we first occupied it.  The tents and other camping equipment used on our Pymatuming trips was either purchased or given to us from/by the Robinsons who used the equipment on a trip they took out west during the 1920s or 30s (?). I remember a home movie they showed us about their trip. Do you remember the plum tree in their backyard? It always had the sweetest plums each season. Never saw a tree like that since.

(Memories of that plum tree did come back to me as I wrote about the Robinsons. Those plums were indeed as juicy sweet as Mike remembers.)

The Sanborn Map Company’s insurance maps of Sharpsville may carry a clue to Robinson family’s earlier history. During the years of the maps, 1895-1912, a “Robinson Brothers’ Table Factory” was located in the Second Street block behind the building that my dad purchased from the Robinsons. *Ralph Mehler of the Sharpsville Area Historical Society wrote the following comment in a November 6, 2019, email, about the Robinsons’ connection to the Table Factory:

Regarding the Robinson family, your dad’s friend, the 65-year old retired auto mechanic, most likely belongs to the furniture factory Robinsons.  

The Robinsons’ home no longer stands, but part of it can be seen to the right of the Municipal Building in the vintage photo of the fire truck above. 

Other families who lived on Main Street were known to us because they included children who were our playmates. For example, there were the Wasleys, whose house was, and still is, directly across the street from the old Municipal Building. Joe Wasley was my brother Mike’s best buddy. The two joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduation and continued to be friends ever since. There were the Lockes who lived on the corner of North Second and Main streets. Their daughter had the best birthday parties ever!

William Weldon Electric Shop

Former building for the William Weldon Electric Shop, early 2000s.

Across and down the street a bit from the Fire Station was a brick building, still standing, that holds a particular memory for me. An electrical supply business was located in a narrow two-story brick building at 213 West Main Street, probably constructed in the same era as the old Municipal Building. When the weather was good, a man in a wheelchair, possibly the owner, had a habit of sitting in front of the store watching the world of Sharpsville go by. We felt he was, in particular, watching us kids as we passed by, making sure we were behaving. This building later was the home of Saborsky TV & Electronics Sales and Service and, from 2012 until recently, Stitch & Dazzle Inc.

Donaldson’s Funeral Home

Donaldson’s Funeral Home, Main Street, Sharpsville, PA.

Moving east on West Main Street, the next building I remember is a large, handsome white home with a wrap-around porch, known as [Alexander P.] Donaldson’s Funeral Home in the 1950s. Those of us who lived nearby regularly saw cars parked end-to-end on the side streets when a funeral was in progress. Angel’s Casino created the same problem during the record hops and wedding receptions, often making this a very busy area. The congestion caused by the funeral home, now the Donaldson-Mohney Funeral Home, was eventually alleviated when parking lots replaced some of the surrounding old buildings. Established in 1880, the Donaldson-Mohney Funeral Home is the area’s oldest funeral service provider. You can read about its long history here.

A low concrete and cinder block wall still runs between the North Second Street sidewalk and the Home’s well-kept lawn. Many times we teenagers would sit on that wall waiting for our friends to arrive or for the bus to show up.

Piano Teacher

After many childhood years of piano lessons with Professor King, I changed to a teacher who lived in one of the houses close to the Ritz Theater. The interior of his house was another one that seemed frozen in an earlier decade. His wife had died some years before and it seemed that nothing had changed in his house since then. He was a quiet, serious teacher, often giving me one of his music magazines from earlier days titled “The Etude” that contained the pieces that he was teaching me to play. I was intrigued by the old-fashioned ads that filled the magazines. I stayed with him until I went away to college. I no longer remember his name, but his good teaching provided me the advancement I needed for piano classes in college. 


My recall abilities are not as keen as I wish they were, and resources, such as the Sharpsville Area Historical Society, Mercer County Historical Society and the Mercer County Office of the County Clerk, are far away from my current residence. If you would like to help out by contributing your memories of Main Street or any other Sharpsville subject, please feel free to send them as Comments. Or, even better, send a complete narrative to me at bissella9@hotmail.com and, if appropriate, I’ll see that it gets published.

See Also:
PYMATUNING: Camping in the 1950s
DR. BAILEY’S SHARPSVILLE 1920s, Part I and Part II
Return of THE SHARPSVILLE ADVERTISER

– Ann Angel Eberhardt (SHS 1958), Goodyear, AZ, December 2017,
with much appreciated help from “Sharpsville — Then & Now
by Gail Nitch Hanes (SHS 1964),
Sharpsville Area Historical Society Newsletters by Ralph C. Mehler (SHS 1980) and
“Trivia & Me” a memoir by August Angel.
*Updated November 11, 2019.


ANGEL’S CASINO: A Place to Party

by Ann Angel Eberhardt

This is the last installment of my memories of the Casino. Next week, we’ll take a look at a new subject and author. Keep those comments and submissions coming! What events do you remember attending at “Angel’s”?


Record hops and wedding celebrations weren’t the only types of gatherings at Angel’s Casino. In his memoir, Dad wrote:

Utilization of the former livery stable under my ownership evolved slowly and unevenly…. Soon after purchase, the building was rented for roller-skating on the fine maple floor, mostly for kids’ private birthday parties – at first to give some semblance of occupancy. This activity lasted only a short while, because rentals by adult groups such as wedding parties, civic and fraternal groups, and clubs were more in demand.

…[E]very evening of the week, except Sunday, the hall was used for some function or other. There were only two activities promoted by yours truly – a regular weekly dinner for the Kiwanis Club serving 15 to 20 members and Friday night dances. The rest of the rentals were privately sponsored.

Besides birthday parties and Kiwanis Club dinners, the hall was used for many other functions, such as square dancing by the Masons, a style show by the Foster Shoppe, card parties by the Women’s Auxiliary, a fur coat show by the Women’s Club, and banquets for the Degree of Honor Society, Sharpsville Service Club, and the Sharpsville Patrol boys. There were also skating parties for a variety of groups, including the Sharon Herald newspaper employees, Girl Scouts, and Shenango Furnace Company employees. An entry in my 1954 diary describes the day when we kids watched wide-eyed as Paige Palmer, the hostess of one of the earliest televised fitness-oriented television shows, “The Paige Palmer Show,” stepped from a luxurious black car to speak before a Women’s Club meeting.

Click on image to enlarge.

My hard-working mother, Susie Hall Angel, was in charge of preparing the meals served at club meetings and was often praised by the guests for her tasty home-style cooking. A typical plate would consist of a meat, a starch, and a vegetable, such as baked chicken, creamed potatoes, and green beans. The dinner would end with a simple dessert, such as ice cream or fresh-baked cake or cookies.

Dad would recruit family members and friends to assist my mother in the kitchen and with the other chores required to run a community meeting place. Dad paid us something like 50 cents an hour to sell tickets and pop at record hops, wait on tables, and help clean up after these events. As I wrote in my 1956 diary, “There must have been a million dishes to wash.” But earning some spending money usually offset any reluctance I had to do these chores.

After leaving Sharpsville, I was distracted by college, marriage, and career, and lost track of the hall activities. After my parents retired and relocated to my mother’s home state of Kentucky, they sold the hall to Donaldson’s Funeral Home located on the corner of North Second and West Main streets.

In 1992, I returned to visit the hometown of my youth, only to find the Casino, having apparently run its course, was razed and replaced by a parking lot for the funeral home. What an inauspicious ending for “Angel’s Casino,” a place that enabled numerous community gatherings, and thus held so many fond memories for those of us who lived in the Sharpsville area in the 1950s and ’60s!

— Ann Angel Eberhardt (SHS 1958), Goodyear, Arizona, April 2013.
— Excerpts are from “Trivia & Me,” (1996) by August D. Angel.


See Also:
ANGEL’S CASINO: The Early Years
ANGEL’S CASINO: Here Came the Bride
ANGEL’S CASINO: The Record Hops


WALNUT STREET BUSINESSES II

by Ann Angel Eberhardt

A look at ads in publications such as the Sharpsville High School yearbook, The Devil’s Log, (1956-1958), a 1955 directory, and The Sharpsville Advertiser (a small weekly newspaper published by August Angel) inspired the following list of old-time Sharpsville stores. Please feel free to enter any additional memories or corrections you may have in the Comment form at the end of this blog.

Typical store front on Walnut Street in the early 1900s through 1950s.

Lee Supply Company: Donna DeJulia remembers “…the old stores especially Lee’s Supply [with its] creaky hardwood floors and the three rooms: one was housewares, one was hardware and the last, my favorite, was toys and coloring books!”

McFarland Pharmacy, Prescriptions, Fountain Service, Hospital Supplies, 5 West Main Street.

Dr. Theophil Tyran, 121 West Main Street.

Burke’s Dairy (“Hurley’s”), corner of Main and Walnut streets, owned by Dick Hurley; One of the town’s few red lights was located at the conjunction of these cross streets.

Johnson’s Market, on the corner of Main and Walnut streets.

C. A. Shannon Hardware, Plumbing and Heating Supplies, 2 East Main Street (corner of Main and Walnut streets), owned by Clair A. Shannon.

sharpsville_image_mahaney_bldg

[Mahaney’s, a men’s clothing store on the corner of Main and Walnut streets. Torn down in the early 1970s. Source: Donna DeJulia.]

Mahaney’s Clothing Store, men’s wear, 5 North Walnut, owned by George D. Mahaney (1878-1966). The building was razed in 1971 and replaced by a car dealership, Jason Black Chevrolet Inc., later known as (M.Bruce) Hofius & (James) Black Chevrolet Inc. [Right: Mahaney’s Clothing Store, Sharpsville, PA. Photo courtesy of Donna DeJulia.]

Dentist. According to Irene Caldwell O’Neill: “I know we saw a dentist on Walnut Street, upstairs above one of the shops on the same side as Mahaney’s building, but can’t remember his name.”

Mehler Insurance, 5 Walnut Street (still in operation and located at Sharpsville Plaza on E. Shenango Street).

Phil’s Luncheonette, 7 North Walnut Street.

Foster Shoppe, 8 North Walnut (women’s wear); My 1955 diary mentions that Mrs. Foster presented a couple of style shows of clothing at Angel’s Casino. My four-year-old brother Patrick Angel and his younger pal were among those who modeled children’s outfits.

House of Time, 9 North Walnut Street, Fidelity First Lady Diamonds, Watches and Jewelry, Repair Work; owned by S. Pushcar.

C. D. Shaner Jewelry, 12 North Walnut Street, owned by Clinton D. Shaner; where many Sharpsville High School graduating students bought their class rings.

Ben Franklin Store, 14 North Walnut Street; Irene Caldwell O’Neill remembered “…its squeaky wooden floors.”

Gorel’s Gunshop, Hunting and Fishing supplies; Buy, Sell Trade; 18 North Walnut Street (Thanks to comments by John Kukuda and Mike Angel in the last post for this addition to the list.)

Charles L. McCracken News Agency, 21 North Walnut Street.

Varsity Barber Shop, 34 North Walnut Street.

Motorcycle shop, owned by Mr. Neeley. (Thanks to a comment from Mike Olsavsky in the last post for this addition to the list.)

The Sharpsville Advertiser printshop, owned by August Angel, was located at 8 North Walnut Street c. 1949-1950 before it was moved to 29 North Second Street.

Other Shopping Venues

For bigger shopping excursions, we would take a car trip to the more urban Youngstown, Ohio, just across the state line. And for most of our clothing, we visited downtown Sharon, the center of which was State Street, lined on both sides with many stores, including an upscale department store, the Sharon Store. I remember that we kids, if it was night time and my dad was driving past State Street on Irving Avenue, would beg him to slow down so that we could take in the glorious colors of the neon signs on the stores. As we got older, we often walked to Sharon or took a bus. (Then, as teenagers, State Street was the place to “see and be seen,” on weekend nights, but that’s another story.)

However, any of the stores in Sharpsville were only blocks away from home and were usually sufficient for our needs. And because we could walk wherever we wanted to in our small town of Sharpsville, we were probably the healthier for it.

— Ann Angel Eberhardt (SHS 1958), Goodyear, AZ

"Walnut Street," a detail from the Sharpsville centennial plate (currently listed on eBay).

“Walnut Street,” and other sites depicted on a souvenir plate celebrating Sharpsville’s centennial 1874-1974. (Source: Ebay, October 2014.)

To be continued…


See Also:

Return of THE SHARPSVILLE ADVERTISER
Walnut Street: Early Businesses
Walnut Street Businesses III
Welch Hotel: Early History


ISALY’S DAIRY

by Ann Angel Eberhardt

image_lsalys_icecream

Isaly’s advertising art in the mid-1960s featured the Swiss Lad, a skyscraper cone and the tag line “Peak of Quality” as an allusion to the family operated company’s Swiss heritage. Source: Wikipedia

On the Southwest corner of Fourth and Main streets was an Isaly’s Dairy, one of many in a chain throughout Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. This store, like most Isaly’s, had a gleaming art deco storefront, faced with white and black Carrara glass tiles and a spotlessly clean interior.

Isaly’s carried their own brand of milk, butter, eggs and even coffee, but also sold the creamiest and most delicious ice cream, in cartons or in their signature Skyscraper cones. When relatives came to visit, Dad would walk to Isaly’s and buy a half gallon of neapolitan [blocks of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream side by side in the same container]  which Mother would open and slice like pound cake. Or maybe she’d order plain vanilla which was scooped into glasses of root beer for frosty nose-tickling floats. Mom’s personal favorite flavor was an Isaly’s exclusive named White House, vanilla ice cream filled with maraschino cherries. It was okay, I guess, but who would want that when you could get CHOCOLATE?!

Isaly’s was then owned by the [Peter] Joyce family but a dairy store at the same location was operated by my father’s first cousin Frank Shannon and his family, according to the 1930 U.S. Census. I don’t know if it was called Isaly’s in 1930 or not. (Frank Shannon is visible in an easily found 1940 photo of Sharpsville volunteer firefighters. He’s kneeling in the front row between George Wasilko and John Joyce.)

That store is where we bought our comic books; I don’t think Stewart’s Market [on Seventh Street] had any. (Warren probably didn’t want a passel of kids hanging around trying to read them for free.) Every week my brother Jack and I would stop in and check for new editions of our favorites. Mine, Wonder Woman, and his, Superman, but we both liked and might settle for a Captain Marvel, Plastic Man or Straight Arrow.

Very rarely, a Sheena of the Jungle would show up, delighting this girl’s heart. I didn’t mind spending fifteen cents on a “Sheena” that couldn’t be traded to boys; they weren’t worthy of her anyway. Comic books were a valuable commodity, read through four or five times before being loaned or traded with friends. You were thought well of if you had a stack to barter, but reputations could be ruined if loaned comics were lost, mistreated or not returned.

sharpsville_image_isaly's bookAnyone interested in more information on the Isaly’s Dairy chain should read pop culture historian, Brian Butko’s book Klondikes, Chipped Ham & Skyscraper Cones: The Story of Isaly’s. [Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, PA, 2001. 112 pp.]

– Irene Caldwell O’Neill (SHS 1960), Escondido, California, March 2013.