BERWICK, PENNSYLVANIA 1942
A book of rare historic photographs detailing Berwick's downtown and neighborhood street scenes in 1942 has been published by Helen Leitzel Kelchner. Titled "Captured Moments in Time", it is now available to the public.
The book features 100 photographs in horizontal format (6 1/2 x 8 1/2) of sites recorded by a Berwick native before he left for military service in World War II.
The simple, straight forward documentary style of the photos is rich with details of store fronts, cars of the period and shoppers (some recognizable) -- everyday slices of life that have long since vanished.
The photos extensively detail every store front in the first block of West Front Street and beyond, parts of East Front Street, Mulberry Street, Market Street and assorted nearby sites on Route 11 -- even a shot of the trolley that once served Berwick and Nescopeck.
The cover photo is of the Third and Vine Street school that served as Berwick High School at that time. The company Store, the old Y. M. C. A., Bob's News Stand, (all on Market street and all gone now), are a few of the nostalgic scenes that stir up happy memories.
Cars of 1942 and earlier are very visible in the business district that was parked full -- right down to the river bridge. Sidewalks were busy with shoppers, and, remember the Berwick Creamery horse-drawn wagon that ambled through town allowing kids to buy an ice cream treat and housewives to stock up on dairy products?
Alley's candy store and Martha Kramer's candy store attracted customers who wanted a good box of chocolates. Rake's restaurant, according to many, had the best milk shakes in town. Russel's ice cream parlor, Seely's fountain service, and Rea and Dericks -- were just a few of the "hang outs" for young people with a sweet tooth .
The town had three 5 and 10 cent stores, a choice of men's and women's clothing stores, appliance stores and a nice selection of restaurants.
Do you remember Soberick's garage and service station right in the middle of town? There was a shoe shine and repair shop, beauty shops, the police station, furniture store, tailor, bus stop, J.P., three banks. a grocery (and much more) all in one block of downtown.
1942 was a time before Malls when people depended on a downtown to provide all their needs, as indeed it did.
This is just a glimpse of the area's history in pictures that is now no more than a pleasant memory.
Books can be purchased from:
Helen Kelchner, 310 East Second Street, Berwick, Pa. 18603.
$30.00 plus $1.80 tax. Mailings add $1.24.
Or phone 570-752-4619
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