1993 History Corner Articles
Answer to Last Month
The Beavertown Mutual Fire Insurance Company began in the Opera House. The Beavertown American Legion Post was housed on the second floor. At one time it was the site to vote in all elections. The graduation exercises of the Beavertown High School were held here. Other uses include boxing matches, fund raising suppers, and it also was used as a haunted house by the Girl Scouts, plus many other activities.
The buildings in the background are the subject of this photo. The one on the left was Amanda Specht’s Hat Shop. The one on the right was built in 1869 as the Beavertown Opera House. It had a full proscenium stage, an orchestra pit, dressing rooms, a green room and sloped and aisled seating. It was used for traveling professional and home productions.
Later it became the POS of A hall (in the 1890s) and they had two big meeting rooms upstairs and a kitchen in the basement. They kept the theater and added a projection booth and screen so movies could be shown as well as having vaudeville, plays and musicals from time to time.
In the 1940s the theater was removed and the building was renovated to become the Rescue Hose Company firehall. After the new (present) firehall was completed, it was sold, was condemned, and torn down. Today it is a vacant lot on Center Street to the north of where Tim Moyer lived.
(Can you name at least two other uses this building had it its time? See next month’s issue for the answer.)
Answer to Last Month
After the Cara Farms Dairy Bar was sold, it became the restaurant of Carl and Shirley Deppen Young; then it was sold to Elmer and Grace Saylor Benfer; Mrs. John Smith then took it over and enlarged the establishment; finally, Toner’s Market was located here. After this, Mr. Smith used it for his private residence until Bilger’s bought it and turned it into a convenience store, today known as the Best Mart.
Back in August the Best Mart celebrated its “Customer Appreciation Month”. More than 44 years earlier, on Saturday June 11, 1949 to be exact, the first business built on the site was opened, the Cara Farms Dairy Bar, on land bought by Carl and Reno Thomas from Jacob Hetrick who had been saving this land for an eating place to serve the Silk Mill and the general public too. Originally the Dairy Bar, shown above, was a fruit stand down at Carl’s home, and was taken on skids and fixed up at its new site. Vera Thomas ran it during the day, and Carl and Reno took turns running it at night. They sold ice cream, milkshakes, potato chips, candy bars, and chewing gum.
Later a permanent eating place was built, so the stand was closed and moved to the ball diamond where it became the concession stand.
(Can you name at least three business places that later used this site? See next month’s issue!)