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of Freeland, Pa.
Let us note the recent passing of Ed Sharp, and remember him not only for Sharp's Bakery but also for his huge efforts to bring industries to Freeland and to improve our business environment.
What's on this page:
Previous featured photos: Here are links to three pages containing previously posted photos and information from the Featured Photos section of the home page: earliest postings, more recent ones, and the most recent ones. They are credited to the sources. Some of these have also been integrated into other parts of the site, while others are still waiting for that. Meanwhile, these past Featured Photos are always available via these links.
Please also visit the WHAT'S NEW / News & announcements page (link at left) to see recent updates.
Featured photos: The Birkbeck building, early 20th centuryThis is the building on the northwest corner of Centre and Main Streets. In 2007, with Tom Landers’ permission and assistance, I scanned this photo along with a group of others that were stored in the YMCA basement. Joe Flanagan tells me that most of these photos have now been given to the Freeland Historical Society. We enjoy these views of the Birkbeck building here courtesy of Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan and the Freeland Historical Society.
This photo had previously been published in the Freeland Suburban PennySaver in 1963, but the quality of the image was poor (see top left corner of this page). Here is a fresh scan of a better original at a higher resolution.
I don't know what year this photo was taken or what the occasion was, but the building is really decked out with banners and flags. I'm guessing that it was taken in the first decade of the 20th century, perhaps around the time of the Pearl Jubilee or maybe even during that celebration, but I don't really know. Guesses are welcome!
Above, left to right: the first floor, the second floor, the second and third floors. The views of the upper floors shows that attorney Charles Orion Stroh had a second floor corner office, and at present I'm not sure what business(es) occupied the other space on that floor at the time of this photo. I can’t read the signs on the right-hand windows, but it looks like an insurance company, possibly the Prudential Insurance Company of America? I’ll try to confirm or correct that later. The third floor held Dr. Nixon Maley’s dental office and some club rooms; the Eagles met there.
A different photo courtesy of Charlie Gallagher showed the lettering on the top front of the building: “Birkbeck 1883”. That is hidden by a banner in the photo scanned at the YMCA. Later that evidence of when and for whom the building was made was removed, and “K of C” was put there in its place, for Knights of Columbus. The rest of this photo and a similar view will be part of a Birkbeck building webpage (in progress).
William Birkbeck’s hardware store held pride of place on the first floor on the corner. In 1895 he advertised hardware, paints, oils, glass, plumbing, heating and ventilating, roofing and spouting, stoves, heaters and ranges. It looks like he had a very eye-catching window display! In this photo you can also see a couple of the buildings across Main Street.
Between stores on either side of the first floor is a large door leading to the stairs for the upper floors. More of the hardware store window display is shown, and a welcome banner for the Fraternal Order of Eagles hangs over the central doorway. Signs to the right of the central doorway advertise Dr. Maley’s office, possibly Philadelphia One Price Clothing (Samuel Senie, manager), and other tenants. For a time Michael Merkt had his confectionery here in a storefront of the first floor, including when the photo was taken.
Here we see Michael Merkt’s confectionery. The sign in the left-hand window advertises ice cream, which he made on the premises, along with a wide variety of candies. The banner across the front advertises Ice Cream & Soda Water. There is a “Welcome” banner over the door, and in front is parked his horse-drawn wagon, on the side of which is an advertisement (faint in this photo) for Bressler’s Bank Roll cigars. Notice that even the horse is dressed up for the occasion!
Past Featured Photos: Here are links to three pages containing previously posted photos and information from the Featured Photos section of the home page: earliest postings, more recent ones, and the most recent ones. They are credited to the sources. Some of these have also been integrated into other parts of the site, while others are still waiting for that. Meanwhile, these past Featured Photos are always available via these links.
Note: Photo at top left of this page came from J. Zubach; identification from Gretchen Collins says that the business on the right in that photo was Merkt Confectionery, run by Charles and Lena Merkt. It was located in the Birkbeck Block on Centre and Main streets, and reputedly sold fabulous ice cream.