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History of Freeland, Pa.
Beer distributors

What's on this page:
  • Two long-ago beer distributors highlighted
  • More recent beer distributors
On related pages:

Yori beer distributors

Steve Yori beer delivery This photo came from John Zubach and shows Steve Yori standing next to his beer wagon, making a delivery in the 400 block of Centre Street, possibly to a saloon next to Frank O'Donnell's livery. If so, that may have been John Urenovich's saloon at 442 Centre (old numbering), when the livery was at 444 Centre. The livery building (later Schaub's) is still there and identifiably different looking from the other buildings nearby. When this photo appeared in the Freeland Penny Saver, the caption dated it to the late 19th century. Whether it's from then or the early 20th century, what a great photo this is! Look at how those kegs are piled up. This was how EVERYTHING got delivered back then. Think about it.

Ferrari / Bartel family with connections to hotel, saloon, beer distributorship

Trina Bartel sent this photo and the following information:

Ferrari family This is a photograph of Tyrolean immigrants taken in Freeland about 1907. The gentleman to the far right sitting at the table is my great grandfather Francesco Giovanni Ferrari. On the back of the original photo one of Francesco's children identified the others in the picture. First, the children are all of Francesco's sons; the other men at the table are, from left to right: Frank Petruzze, identified as Pop's Driver; John Corra and Fiore Albertini.  The gentleman playing the accordion is Loff Magagna; the one sitting on the chair is Francesco's father-in-law, Frank Salvaterra; the man on the banister with the boy on his shoulder is Toto Ravina; and the man sitting on the banister against the house is Cinto Magagna. The woman/girl in the background is identified as the housekeeper.

My great grandfather arrived in America in 1891 from the village of Revo. He lived in the Hazleton/Weston area where he met and married my great grandmother Sylvia in 1899. They moved to Freeland about 1902-1903. I have been told by family members that Francesco owned a bar room or saloon and boarding house or hotel with his brother in Freeland. Family members have told me he owned a beer distribution company in Freeland as well. In the 1907 listing of liquor license applicants Frank Ferrari is listed under Wholesale in the Fourth Ward of Freeland on Ridge Street. I believe this may be where he either owned or managed a beer distribution in Freeland. He is listed on his WWI draft card as a Driver for Bartels Brewing Company in Freeland. When my great uncle was alive he told stories of riding with my great grandfather in the beer wagon to make deliveries in White Haven. The trip took all day but it was a special treat to go along. I have found my great grandparents and their family in the 1910 census living on Carbon Street in Freeland and then in 1920 living on Adams Street. They left Freeland in the early 1920s. I'm thinking it is because prohibition came around and they were no longer able to continue with their liquor businesses.

As you can see in the photograph there is a corner of a sign visible in the top center of the photo. I am trying to find out more about my great grandparents' life in Freeland. I was hoping maybe one of your readers could identify the house or maybe someone may have a connection to one of the other people in the photo or information about Bartels Brewing Company in Freeland.

1912 Sanborm map detail Thank you to Tina for this history! I found Bartel's Brewing Co. Beer Depot on a 1912 Sanborn map, see detail at left. It was located just below the train tracks between Washington and Centre Streets. This was a great location near the tracks so that beer could easily be unloaded from train cars. Also, I shared with her some information that I received from Eddie Barna, who had written to the Yuengling company because they also had a beer depot in Freeland in the early years of the last century. Here's what they told him: "Beer depots were used as drop off points for the beer. They would deliver the beer by wagon and then drop them off at a beer depot for someone else to take it further. This way they wouldn't spoil. The beer depots kept them cold."] Thanks, Eddie.

** Note: The enlarged view of the Ferrari/Bartel photo has been digitally repaired by Jay Cawley of Harleigh. Thank you, Jay.

Belekanich's sign

More recent beer distributors

[Thanks to Charles Rudewick, Aileen Mattavi Evans, Ed Merrick, Cal Herring, Patricia Bzdil Paul, and Bert who worked at the State Store on Centre Street for 26 years, for additions and corrections.]

Belekanich's - 409 Ridge St. (Michael Belekanich) (From Cal Herring: Belekanich - behind the bar - I remember his delivery truck parked in that empty lot next to his building) ; in 1940 Census, distributor, beer company, listed at 353 Ridge Street (age 56 in 1940 Census)

Porter from Freeland Brewing Co. Freeland Brewing Company - Fern St., between South & Main Streets (closed 1933) (From Ed Merrick, citing CS)

Laputka's - 636 Fern St. (George Laputka), salesman, brewery (age 27 in 1940 Census) (From Cal Herring: Laputka's in the 600 block of Fern St. in the alley with Vine St. (used to distribute Schaeffer) (From Patricia Bzdil Paul: Laputka delivered beer and soda) (From Bert, retired from State Liquor Store: Laputka had Schaeffer, Miller, Pabst, etc.)

Mattavi Bros. - 901 Pine, at Pine and Chestnut Streets (Pete and Joe Mattavi) (they also delivered; in business until around 1965?) (From Bert, retired from State Liquor Store: Mattavi had Old Reading, Horlacher, Sunshine, Bartel, Kaier beers)

Frank Rudy - 531 Fern Street, distributor, brewery (age 47 in 1940 Census) (Mrs. Mary Rudy instead of Frank in 1940 city directory)

Paul Yori - Walnut St. (until around 1961?) (From Bert, retired from State Liquor Store: Yori had Budweiser, Schlitz, etc.)

D.G Yuengling & Son's Beer Depot - 615 South Street, a few doors east of Washington St., noted on maps from 1900, 1905 and 1912 (From Eddie Barna, who wrote to the Yuengling beer company to ask about this business and got this reply: Beer depots were used as drop off points for the beer. They would deliver the beer by wagon and then drop them off at a beer depot for someone else to take it further. This way they wouldn't spoil. The beer depots kept them cold.)

Also From Bert, retired from State Liquor Store: Upper Lehigh, Highland and Jeddo and a number of places in Freeland sold beer ... our very own "speakeasies".

And, although this wasn't a beer distributor, the State Liquor Store was where we usually bought the rest of our alcohol.

Pennsylvania Liquor Store - 249 Centre St., later at [606?] Centre St. just above Main St.

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