Birkbeck Bros. Plumbers

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History of Freeland, Pa.
Contruction, heating, plumbing, hardware, masonry, home decor, lumber, hauling; also Furniture and appliances

[Thanks to Ed Merrick, John Braddock, George Feussner, Tish Kirk, Aileen Mattavi Evans, Antoinette Refowich for additions and corrections. All photos by Chuck and Steve Tancin except for Gauz Furniture, by Eddie Barna.]

Additions from Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924 come to us from Ed Merrick. Additions from the 1940 Federal Census come to us courtesy of Ed Merrick. In some instances, it's not clear whether the individual is the owner/proprietor of the store or an employee, but we'll list them here. Some of the addresses from the 1940 Census might be home addresses rather than business addresses. He adds: The handwriting was hard to decipher in many instances, and so corrections are welcome. Many of the businesses have been in the same family for years, and so the first names may differ in earlier or later years.

Joseph Balon - 434 Adams St., plumber, own business (age 42 in 1940 Census)

Ira Berger's
                Lumber Yard Ira Berger and Sons Lumber Yard - 803 Birkbeck St., Walnut and Birkbeck Sts. ('51 Minamek) (Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924) (From John Braddock: My uncle tells me when he returned home from Europe after WWII, Berger Construction Company had a training program for veterans,which he attended.)

Tom and Rosalie Bonomo Bonomo's Hardware - 419 Centre St. (Tom and Rose Bonomo, proprietors) ("Save time. Come here first." '64 Minamek) From Ed Merrick, this photo of Tom and Rosalie Bonomo appeared in one of the Hazleton papers when Bonomo's Hardware was getting ready to close. Below that clipping is a photo of Bonomo's Hardware Store.

J. T. Breznitsky General Hauling and Coal - 1010 Carbon St. (Jack Breznitsky, proprietor), "37 Years Dependable Prompt Service" (from 1986 St. Casimir's booklet)

Patrick Carr - 975 Walnut St., trucking (age 41 in 1940 Census)

Cashimer's Paint and Decorating Center - 737 Front St. (George Cashimer, proprietor) (Valspar Paints. ('52 Minamek))

George J. Chonko, Plumbing, Heating, Keystokers. ('53 Minamek)

Bonomo's Hardware
                Store Johnny Citro (tombstones)

James Deitos, Mason Contractor - 602 South St. (from 1986 St. Casimir's booklet)

DiFeo Brothers, Builders and Contractors - 404 Cedar St., Daniel DiFeo, carpenter, housing contractor (age 25 in 1940 Census) ('64 Minamek) (From Ed Merrick: One of these fellows was shop instructor at MMI when I was a student there. He was a handsome and talented man, I remember.)

Andrew Duda - 630 Cedar St., trucking (age 42 in 1940 Census)

Gordon Feissner - rear 521 Main St., truck driver, general hauling (age 23 in 1940 Census)

Feissner's Hardware - 628 Centre St. (Gordon Feissner, proprietor)

Charles Fisher - 525 Washington St., truck driver, general hauling (age 52 in 1940 Census)

Freeland Fence Co. - 404 Ridge St. (Vito Poleri, proprietor) (from 1986 St. Casimir's booklet)

Freeland Lumber Yard - Carbon St. (?)

Francis Gallagher - 315 Washington St., truck driver, general hauling (age 31 in 1940 Census)

Patrick Gallagher - 215 Alvin St., trucking and coal hauling, own place (age 39 in 1940 Census) (From Jim DiSpirito: Just for your info, my other Grandfather, Pat Gallagher, had a coal hauling business in Freeland and your family did all our tire work.)

Mike Gower Lumber Yard - office and yard Dewey and Johnson streets, contractor and building. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

Griffith's Lumber Company - 540 Carbon St. (Joseph Griffith, lumberman, lumber business) home 448 South St., Woodside (age 48 in 1940 Census)

James E. Griffith - yards and office, Carbon Street - Contracting and building. Building materials of all kinds. Real estate bought, sold and exchanged. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

Louis P. Guerriere - 725 Main St., painter, employer (age 29 in 1940 Census)

Herbener's Coal and Hauling J. Herbener - Coal delivery, general hauling. Ad from Ed Merrick.

Russell Horn - 222 Adams St., carpenter, contractor (age 49 in 1940 Census)

William Karpowich Construction - 1000 School St.

Howard Kay - 731 Ingham St., trucker, employer (age 34 in 1940 Census)

                Kobelka's business card George Kobelka - 940 North St., tombstones - "Memorial Art, Stones for All Purposes" ('54 Minamek) (Business card from Bob Celantano.)

Howard G. Lentz - 556 Walnut St., carpenter (age 37 in 1940 Census)

Lentz's Lumber Yard - Robert A. Lentz, 175 Washington St.

Lindsay's Hardware - 628 Front St., James Lindsay, plumber, store (age 59 in 1940 Census); J. Linday & Co., southeast corner Front and Washington streets - Hardware. plumbing, heating and house furnishings. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

Michael Lukac - 631 Centre Street. Electrical wiring and contracting. House work and fixtures a specialty. General electrical work and supplies. Radio Corporation of America. Radiolas and supplies. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

James Lutz - 922 Walnut St., truck driver, trailer (age 24 in 1940 Census)

Leo Marchetti - 446 Adams St., mason, own contractor (age 31 in 1940 Census)

Marchetti's Plumbing - 435 Centre St., William Marchetti, proprietor and salesman, hardware store (age 36 in 1940 Census)

Charles Maso & Sons, Kitchen & Bath Center - Freeland-Drums Highway (from 1986 St. Casimir's booklet)

Maso's Plumbing - (Charlie Maso, proprietor)

Johnny Mehan (tombstones)

John A. Mulhearn, Plumbing and Heating - 235 Centre St. ('51, '53 Minamek); (listed as Mulhearn Fuel Service, Fuel Oil and Kerosene in 1986 St. Casimir's booklet)

Pignatari's Wallpaper and Paint - 836 Main St., Arcangelo Pignatari, painter, building construction (age 53 in 1940 Census) ('64 Minamek) (From Ed Merrick: The owner was the artist who painted the large, voluptuous nude that hung over the counter at the back of the store. I remember sneaking looks at it as I and my friends came from shows at the Greek's Auditiorum.)

Poleri Construction Co. - 404 Ridge St. (Vito Poleri, proprietor) ('54 Minamek, 1986 St. Casimir's booklet)

Joe Ranieri - stonemason (info from Antoinette Refowich)

Linus Reiser - 818 Ridge St., stone cutter (age 56 in 1940 Census)

Harry Shanno and Emory Shanno - 925 Washington St., truckers, partnership (ages 48 and 44 in 1940 Census)

Andrew Soltis and Andrew Soltis, Jr. - 615 South St., general hauling, moving van (ages 66 and 30 in 1940 Census)

John J. Witchin, Plumbing and Heating - 1127 Chestnut St.

John Zrelock, General Contractor - Route 940 East of Freeland (From John Braddock: If possible, could you add  John Zrelock, general contractor to your list. He is my uncle,and his business was located on east 940,next to what is now Shelley's lumber.The building still stands today.He was in business from the 1950's, well into the 1980's. My uncle tells me when he returned home from Europe after WWII, Berger Construction Company had a training program for veterans,which he attended. At first he was partners with John"Bunny"Banyas.After they split he went on his own.At one time he also ran a poultry farm at the east 940 location.I don't ever remember that property having an address.)


[Thanks to Mike Bobby, Ed Merrick, Mary Gallagher Schiebmaier, Eddie Barna, Pete Horne, John J. Pitman for additions and corrections.]

ABC TV - Main St., between Centre and Washington Streets

Edgar Albert - Freeland. Furniture, carpets, drapery, stoves. Quality, service and values. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

William Bachman - 991 Walnut St., collector, furniture store (age 59 in 1940 Census)

Center Electric - Centre St., across from Doc Welsh's between Front and Walnut Streets (From Mary Gallagher Schiebmaier: My father, Bernard Gallagher and his partner, Peter Zarosky owned and operated a TV and electrical store on Center St. in the 40's & 50's.  The name of the Store was Center Electric, across from Doc Welsh's between Front & Walnut Streets.)

Freeland Furniture Company - 324 Centre Street, Freeland. Best value for your money. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

Gauz Furniture Store Gauz's Furniture Store - Centre St., between Luzerne & South Streets (Photo at left from Eddie Barna.)

Nicky Nocchi store
                and Horn's Appliance Horne's Appliances - 510 Centre Street (From Pete Horne: My dad Edgar Gilbert Horne operated a radio and TV sales and repair shop at that address between about '49 to '54.  The business was Horne's Appliances.  After the store closed, the name still stood on the face of the building until the late '60s when dad had the enameled metalwork removed.  He lived there until his passing in the early '90s. Prior to buying the 510 address, he occupied or was an occupant in the building at the corner of Main and Centre which later became the Western Auto store. I was told that my dad first opened his store at the Main and Centre location but elected to move and buy the 510 Centre St. location.  The family lived and I grew up in the second floor apartment. The apartment had a living room, 2 bedrooms, a full bath, a large dine-in kitchen and a breakfast nook at the rear of the kitchen.) (Photo at right, showing Nocchi's and Horn's Appliance, from Barbara Nocchi Adomshick)

Marchetti's Furniture - 439 Centre St.

Nemo's Radio and Television Shop - 449 Centre St. (John Nemish, proprietor), listed in Census at 502 Green St. (age 28 in 1940 Census)

Nemo's TV Repair - Main St., between Centre & Washington Streets

Michael Pecora - 1030 Birkbeck St., salesman, Hoover Co. (age 47 in 1940 Census)

Pitman's Furniture Store - 526 Centre St. ('51 Minamek) (Anthony E. Pitman, proprietor) (formerly Albert's Furniture Store)

Pitman's Furniture
                Store John Pitman & Sons Home Furnishings - Freeland/White Haven highway (John A. Pitman, proprietor)

Rosenberg's Furniture - 312 Centre St., merchant (age 41 in 1940 Census)

Sarosky's Radio Repair - Centre St., between Front & Walnut Streets

Schaub Brothers - 444 Centre St. (Formica, Cabinet Work - '54 Minamek)

Smith Electric Store - ('51 Minamek)

Stuntz's TV and Music - 827 Centre St. (John H. Stunz, proprietor) (John H. Stunz Music Store, Electrical appliances. ('51, '52 Minamek))

E.B. & Valleri's TV & Appliance Store - 726 Centre St. (Crosley Super Shelvador, '54 Minamek)

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