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History of Freeland, Pa.
A Main Street bar, late 19th or early 20th century

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  • A Main Street bar, late 19th- or early 20th-century
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Main Street bar Some time ago I bought this photo of an unidentified bar via eBay: This photo is glued to a mat board, on the back of which is written "Bar on Main St., Freeland, Pa." It doesn't say what bar it is. I love that the photographer or bar owner seems to have asked the other customers to move to the side so they're not in the picture, but you can see them all in the mirror (you can see this better in the crop, below).  I've conferred with Ed Merrick and Charlie Gallagher to get their thoughts on which bar this might have been. I also posted it on facebook and Joan Yersevich Hale sent a comment.

Main Street bar Ed wrote: "Compare it with the photo of Balon's, which you posted in Businesses. The tin ceiling is the same, but that doesn't surprise me. Remak's had the same ceiling. This could be an earlier photo of the same bar when it was much newer and less the worse for wear. The wooden supports under the arm railing are almost identical, although the decorative posts are missing. It would have been taken in the other direction, also. I guess we'll never know." Then he followed with this note: "Chuck, I just happened to remember the Italian Club on Main Street just west of Centre and right behind the store, which was a photo studio when I was a kid. I was never inside so I can't say this is a photo of the place, but it's a possibility."

Sanborn map detail 1895 Charlie wrote, about the calendar on the wall and about the photo in general: "Well, the best I can see is the date is Feb 11? 190_ something. What I can tell you is the building has a wallpaper ceiling. To the right is the front of the building and that must face south as there is the image of sunlight hitting the bar from the front window on the lower right. So if that is the case the building would be on the north side of Main. (Believe me sunlight never hits the front of the buildings on the south side of the east-west streets in Freeland.) I think that would leave out Dushak's (as that was later Genie Boyle's) on the southwest corner of Main and Washington. My best guess is it was the saloon on the northwest corner of Washington and Main on the 1895 Sanborn map. This is where the post office is today. Only a guess ..."

On Facebook, Joan Yersevich Hale wrote: "I remember the bar. Next to the post office and across the street from my aunt Elsie Peterssen's beauty shop. Her dad, my grandpa Adam Yersevich, would ask her for some coins to go for a drink. I could see him sitting at the bar while I sat on the porch swing. Great memories from the 40's."

[Later ... Charlie Gallagher still thinks this was at the NW corner of Main and Washington streets. Thank you, all.]

Here is the information that I had sent to Ed and Charlie, along with a copy of the photo:

There weren't all that many bars on Main Street in the early decades. Here's a list pulled from city directories, some of them located on a Main Street corner and fronting on the cross street. The address numbers (except for Remak's) are in the old numbering system.

Ferry, Morris Washington corner Main
Gallagher, Hugh Centre corner Main
Given, James Centre corner Main
Kennedy, William T. Centre near Main
Shigo, John Centre near Main

Carey, Patrick 27 E. Main
Ferry, Morris Washington near Main
Kennedy, William T. Centre near Main

Carey, Patrick 14 E. Main


Haas, Frederick - southeast corner Washington and Main
Murphy, Edward (or Edwin) - Centre corner Main
Snyder, Daniel - 17 Main

Dusheck, Charles - southwest corner Main and Washington

Zemany, Michael - 28 Main


Dusheck, Charles - southwest corner Main and Washington

Zemany, Michael 17 E. Main


Gross, Samuel, saloon, Main
Murphy, Edward, saloon, cor. Centre and Main
Dusheck, Charles, liquor dealer, cor. Main and Washington

1921-1922 and 1928-1929

Remak, Michael 709 Main (there from 1910)

Further thoughts on this bar are always welcome.

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