A Snowy Green Ridge And West Hazleton Walk
The snow pack was still deep here in Hazle Township last Sunday. And it was snowing again! So, instead of my usual hikes in one of the nearby parks, I decided to hike on the streets of Green Ridge and West Hazleton, and to again share some of my memories on my walk.
It was cloudy, cold with about two inches of new snow on the ground when I left my home on North Street. As I had mentioned in my blog post from my hike on the previous day I grew up about a block from my current home in the Green Ridge section of Hazle Township. I live near the old playground that was built in the 1960’s and which was never completed. We played baseball here and called it the ‘rock pile’.
The streets were snow covered as walked to Winters Avenue and past my childhood home. It was a family store in the 1940’s and I remember the excitement of searching for, and finding old coins under the wooden steps before they were replaced with concrete. I spent many a day looking out from my attic window at the stirp mined areas to the south. That was our playground.
Again I walked past Kreshock’s Hill, where we spent countless hours sledding on snowy Winter days. Cold did not bother us then. In contrast to the previous day it was now covered in snow and reminded me of those fun days.
Walking up a block on Winters was the first barber shop I visited that I can remember . It was the first house on the north side of the 700 block on Winters Avenue. I forget the name of the barber but maybe someone will remember and comment.
On the next block is the famous Gertie’s store I mentioned in my previous post. As I noted in that post this is the boundary between Green Ridge and West Hazleton. Green Ridge was really just another “patch town”. When I was growing up we had no street lights, the alleys weren’t paved and we had no police force. Of course, West Hazleton had all of these modern luxuries. “Ridge Runners” as we were called , had a reputation and it wasn’t a good one. lol
When I was in grade school the woman who lived in the green house on the right on the 500 block of Winters Avenue would make home made brownies on Halloween, they were amazingly good, especially in the chilly October evening air. So many good memories growing up here.
At the end of the 400 block in West Hazleton were two more family run markets when I was young, . Dobrovnick’s and Vercusky’s. I bought many a comic book in the former.
I continued my walk through the streets of West Hazleton and came to two former corner bars at the end of the 400 block on West Green Street. On corner of the 500 block was Kusick’s Caffe , where before my time, one of the first television sets in the Borough was found. On a Saturday night it was packed with patrons eating the delicious bar pizza and watching the fights on this newfangled device called television.
Across the street was the former Mary K’s bar. Old timers say the owner was on of the prettiest woman in Hazleton in the 1940’s. Relatives took over in the 1980’s and it was a famous watering hole for local residents until a few years ago. Both of these bars are now apartment buildings.
I next walked to North Street and to the former West Hazleton High School, where I graduated in 1976. Across from the high school is the Mountain View Cemetery.
So many memories here. And it is now a stop on my daily morning walk where I visit my dad, mom, and departed sister Linda and her husband Charlie. They are so missed me and my family.
Not all of the roads in the cemetery were plowed so I didn’t get to photograph the famous Markle Mausoleum,
but I walked by some of the other, all important men in the history of our area.
After leaving the cemetery I again walked past former Transfiguration Church, School and Convent. So many wonderful memories on this block.
I walked to Broad Street, where, because of the snow, had little traffic. allowing me to get this photograph from the middle of the usually busy street.
Thanks to the diligence of the Borough,
and PennDot street crews this main highway was clear of snow.
I walked to Diamond Avenue where West Hazleton ends and then followed Boundary Street, which is apparent by it’s name, the boundary between West Hazleton and Hazleton.
Walking along Boundary Street I came to this tavern, once known as Malisko’s. I was only there a few times when I was in college but I was told it had some of the best lobster tails in town. The best, I heard, were at Shalomis’s (sorry not sure of the spelling) located across from the Miner’s Bank.
I walked the side streets back toward Green Ridge coming to the Triangle at the intersection of Oak, Green and Monroe Streets.
Here I made my way back toward Broad Street and past the old Miner’s Bank Building I mentioned in my previous post,
and past the famous old Brehm’s Restaurant. I had my first hamburger and milkshake her after my aunt Mary took me downtown to see Sally Star at the Grand Theater. I have heard their were many other activities going on here beside selling food, such as poker games, betting and a local lottery.
Next I walked by Pantry Quick or PQ . Justofin’s Pharmacy was located here for a short time before it moved to a new building next door.
I walked down Green Street and back to Green Ridge passing a few more old landmarks. such as the former Uchno Pool Hall. I remember being told in grade school not to hang out there. It was another wonderful walk down memory lane and I am glad so many of my former classmates enjoyed it as much as I did. I hope to do more of these blog posts in the future. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike through the streets of Green Ridge and West Hazleton. Morning Neighborhood hike February 7 2021.
“We grow up but we never grow old because we are tied to the beautiful memories of our past, especially our childhood.
Never loose the child in you.
For me, having a heart of a child is still beautiful.
It makes me feel alive.”