Sharp's Bakery, Front Street

News & announcements
Saving your history
Early accounts
Nearby towns
The mines
Ethnic groups

Home -:- Site map -:- Links -:- Print resources -:- Contact
History of Freeland, Pa.

What's on this page:
  • 20th-century bakeries
  • Fox Bakery
  • Sharp's Bakery
  • Bakeries listed in directories, 1900-1940
On related pages:

Early photo of Sharp's at top left came from John Zubach.
[If anyone has photos of any of these bakeries and would be willing to share them here, I would be grateful for copies. I also welcome additions and corrections.]

Donut World - Centre St., between Luzerne and South Streets (From Mike Bobby: Sophie's Restaurant was occupied by a donut shop called "Donut World" in the early 1980s. My Mom briefly worked there. It is now the site of Northside Restaurant.)

Fox & Sons Bakery - 612 Centre St. (Julius Fox, proprietor) - see further below for details and comments.

Sharp's Bakery - 719 Front St., and another location on 940 across from the Foster Twp schools, where Citterio's is now (Ed Sharp, proprietor) Sharp’s Bakery, Freeland (from Billy Kuklis, 1932 FPD Ball program) - "Delicious pies, cakes, bread and pastries made from the highest grade ingredients by first class bakers under strictly sanitary conditions" (1924 and 1926 ads) - see further below for details and comments.

Viola's (bakery? confectionary?) - Centre St., between South & Luzerne Streets

Ye Olde Bake Shop - Centre & Main Streets (From Mike Bobby: My uncle briefly ran a bake shop formerly occupied by Bertha's Gift Shop, at the corner of Main and Centre across from the Refowich, called "Ye Olde Bake Shop." It was there for about one year, in 1981.)


John B. Laubach's bakery location, 1900 Fox bakery location, 1912 Fox bakery location, 1923 Fox bakery, second location, 1923

Left to right: Map crop of the 1900 Sanborn map showing the John B. Laubach bakery; map crops showing the Fox Bakery in 1912 (600 block) and 1923 (the 600 and 400 block locations).

former Fox Bakery building former Fox Bakery building Photos of 612 Centre Street taken by Charlie Gallagher after the old Seitzinger's drug store building was torn down. Compare the view of the whole side of the building to the layout shown in the two map crops above for that site.

J. Fox & Sons, Bakers and Confectioners, 1923 ad From Carolyn Moering, a descendent of the Fox, Seitzinger and Krouse families:

As so many in Freeland, the Foxes came from Germany and were able to build their businesses after doing their turn as miners. (1923 ad at right from Ed Merrick)

1) Julius Fox bought the bakery/ice cream business of "Mr. Laubach" ~ approx 1910 ["Dog, Deer, & the Foxes" by Mary Fox Meyers, 1980, self-published memoirs] and located on 612 Centre St.

2) J. B. Laubach is listed in the Freeland directories under "Bakeries & Confectioners": 1901-1902, listed at "Front cor Ridge" [Freeland Directory]; but, J. C. Laubach listed in 1897 directory as "Baker, 22 N. Centre, home, ditto". [CT note: that 1897 address should be 22 S. Centre, later renumbered to 612]

3) "J. B. Laubach was the proprietor of the Vienna Bakery on Centre St. ... included a confectionery & ice cream parlor" ["Freeland", Charles Stumpf, p. 15].

4) An addition at the back of the bakery was built by my great-grandfather, John Lapp, Jr., at the direction of my grandfather, Irving Julius Fox. (The addition blocked the window view of the Seitzinger's living/or dining room.)

"The Julius A. Fox & Sons business expanded with the general prosperity of the country. A large new bakeshop was built at the rear of our property on Centre Street. It was considered to be very modern with larger ovens and bins." [Meyers, p. 48]

5) The ice cream was made at their other location at 612 Centre St.

6) J. Fox & Sons purchased another building, 435 Centre, about 1918-1920, an outlet for additional sales. "The large display room was equipped with glass cases for our bakery products and tables and chairs for yet another ice cream parlor." [Meyers, p. 48] 

7) The business dwindled in the 1930's, the 435 Centre location closed - not familiar with details, I assume this building sold by end of 1930's.

8) The Irving Fox family moved to 612 in 1932 and were still living upstair s until before WWII. (Recollection of Bob Seitzinger)

9) Partners in J. Fox & Sons:  Julius A. Fox, Irving J. Fox, William G. Fox

10) A 1998 photo of the building where J. Fox & Sons was located shows it was then Whippet Pizza.

Thanks to Carolyn Moering for all of that information!

Here are directory and map listings for 612 Centre St., formerly numbered 22 S. Centre:
Mrs. W. Sneddon, milliner (1884-1886 city dir.)
Albert H. Jacobs, baker and confectioner (1886-1888 city dir.)
Bakery, candy factory in rear (1895)
Laubach, J. C., baker, 22 N. Centre, h, w (1897 city cir., should be S. Centre - CT)
Bakery at 22 S. Centre (1900 Sanborn) and (1905 Sanborn)
Bakery at 23 S. Centre, formerly 22; Bake house and candy factory at rear (1912 Sanborn)
J. Fox & Sons (Julius A., Irving J., William G.) Bakery (1921 city directory, listed at both 435 and 612 Centre St.)
J. Fox and Sons, bakery (1928 city dir.)
Helen-Beth Shoppe - Apparel for Women, Misses and Juniors (my yearbooks, 1960s)
Whippets Pizza (early 1990s?)

Here are directory and map listings for 435 Centre St., formerly numbered 85 S. Centre:
Peter Burns’ saloon (1886-1888 city dir.)
Watch maker at 85 S. Centre (1895 Sanborn)
Watch maker at 85 S. Centre (1900 Sanborn)
William Wehrman, jewelry (1901-1902 city dir.)
Bakery at 83-85 (1905 Sanborn)
Bakery at 112, formerly 83-85 (1912 Sanborn)
J. Fox & Sons (Julius A., Irving J., William G.)
Bakery (1921 city directory, listed at both 435 and 612 Centre St.)
Marchetti's (from WWII on?)


Christian Scholler bakery location, 1912 Sharp's Bakery, an early image 1922 Industrial directory Freeland listings

Sharp's Bakery location, 1923 Sharp's Bakery ad, 1926

Left to right: Sanborn map detail showing Scholler bakery, 1912; early image of Sharp's bakery, from John Zubach; 1922 Industrial directory listings showing 2 bakeries; [next row] Sanborn map detail showing Sharp's bakery, 1923; 1926 ad.

The earliest listing I've seen so far for Christian Scholler's (Schoeller's) bakery is in the 1897 city directory, when it was at 83 S. Centre St. He later moved to 719 Front St. as listed in the 1917 telephone directory, and was still listed there in the 1921-1922 directory, although he had recently sold his bakery to Allen Sharp. The 1922 Fourth Industrial Directory of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shows that the Sharp's bakery purchase was not listed there yet either. The old postcard image came from John Zubach. The photo of Allen Sharp (1891-1962) appeared in Jewell's history of Wilkes-Barre. [From Allen Sharp's obituary I learned that he had also served variously as a board member, vice-president and president of Citizens Bank for 28 years, as well as serving on the board of the Freeland YMCA.]

Ed's father, Allen Michael Sharp, bought Scholler's Bakery on Front Street in 1920. Ed's aunt had a bakery in Pittsburgh and this could have been the inspiration for his father. There was a first-class baker in Pittsburgh named Joe Ridzin; he was willing to relocate and lived with the Sharps on Front Street. (He's buried in St. Casimir's Cemetery now.) Joe made a high-class line of bakery products never seen in this area before, including puff pastry, danish pastries, Charlotte russe. Sharp's Bakery took Freeland by storm in the early 1920s.

Sharp's Bakery expanded to Woodside Park in 1962. Ed bought Woodside Park, a defunct recreation park, from Danny Coxe who managed Coxe properties at the time. This new bakery site had a coffee shop in it, and would catch traffic on 940 en route to the Poconos. The fleet grew to 16 trucks and deliveries expanded to Wilkes-Barre, Shickshinny, Berwick, and the valley.

Please visit the page about Allen Sharp, Ed Sharp and Sharp's Bakery to read more about the history of this bakery from an interview with Ed in 2006.

And, a few memories of Sharp's from Freelanders:

From Joe Zoshak: they had a luncheonette and retail bakery outlet; also, they had an outlet store on Front St., between Centre & Washington Streets.

From Pat Ferko Miller: Sharp's original bakery was on Front Street behind the store prior to relocation in Foster Twp. In the 50s and 60s they used to hand out a cookie and a nickle to every "Halloweener" that sang a song . That was quite generous.

And my own memory: My mom would occasionally take me and my brother down to the Woodside Sharp's bakery and coffee shop. We walked there as it was near our house. I remember sitting at a counter, and sitting by the window, enjoying whatever pastries we were having. There was some nice natural light in that coffee shop, making it a pleasant place to visit.

Bakeries listed in directories, 1900-1940

1900-1901 city directory
Boos, Lor, bakery, Centre
Rippel, J., baker and confectionery, Centre

1912 telephone directory
Fox Julius, Baker – 31 N Centre
Horlacher Bros, Bakery – 110 Centre
Schoeller Christ, Baker – Front

1917 telephone directory
Bakers in general listings:
Fox, J. & Sons, Bakery & Confectioners - 612 Centre
Fox, J. & Sons, Wholesale Bakery & Confectioners - 435 Centre
Schoeller, Christ., Baker - 719 Front

1921-22 city directory
Bakers in business listings:
Fox, J. & Sons, bakers, 435-612 Centre
Schoeller, Christian, baker, 719 Front

1928-29 city directory
Bakers in business listings:

Bakers: Bread and Rolls
Sharp's Bakery - 719 Front

Bakers: Cakes and Pies
Sharp's Bakery - 719 Front

Bakers: Retail
Fox, J. & Sons - 435 and 612 Center
Pecora, Michael - 1030 Birkbeck
Sharp's Bakery - 719 Front

1940 city directory
Bakers in business listings
Fox, Irving J. - 612 Centre
Sharp's Bakery - 719 Front

--- TOP OF PAGE ---

Site contructed by C. Tancin.
The URL for this page is: