A Snowy Walk Through Green Ridge And West Hazleton: Part Two.

A Snowy Walk Through Green Ridge And West Hazleton: Part Two.

Green Ridge afternoon (40 of 49)
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After my morning walk through  the streets of Green Ridge and West Hazleton, , which was the subject of an earlier blog,  I spent the morning at my home.  My law office was closed because of the snow storm.  I was able to work from home.  I  made phone calls and checked e-mails until lunch.  The snow had stopped soon after my walk. After lunch I took my afternoon walk earlier than usual (I walk three miles every afternoon). It was still cloudy  as I walked up Plum Court, the alley between Green Street and Winters Avenue in Hazle Township.

As I had explained in my previous blog,  the Hazle Township section of Green Ridge ended when I crossed the 600 block.  I was now  in West Hazleton . The alley was now named Lincalis Street.  The alleys and side streets in West Hazleton  are  named for fallen war heroes.  As I walked ,  I heard the sound of snow plows, snow blowers and snow shovels as the residents dug themselves out from the foot of snow that fell overnight. The alleys and streets were already plowed and clear of the snow.

I walked  up to the 100 block and  on to Winters Avenue.  Here I  began to take photos were I left off on my morning walk. .. On the 100 block was former location of the Jake Planutis’ Cafe . This was my dad’s favorite bar. It later  became  a restaurant and served great food, I delivered papers to   Zola’s Italian House  and always got a large tip. After Zola’s closed it  finally  became a friendly  local bar, the Pour House. The local VFW Post is on the corner of the block.

On the next block Winters Avenue begins where it meets  Broad Street. Broad Street is  also know as State Route 93. It was once a Native American trail and then became the Berwick Turnpike  connecting  Much Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) to Berwick in the early 1800’s.  This is where Green Ridge section of West Hazleton ended. My friends and I  from the Ridge rarely crossed  Broad Street before we were  high school.

This intersection was once known as  McKenna’s Corner. A  Mummer’s Parade, once a big event in the area, started here in the 1940’s.

And for many years the Memorial Day Parade also starts and ends here with services at the War Memorial located next to Citizens  Bank.  I marched in this parade wearing a few different hats, as a Cub Scout, a  player in the West Hazleton Little League and as a student at the nearby Transfiguration Parochial School. And since 1990 I have been honored to take part in the Parade every year as the Mayor and former Mayor of West Hazleton. While a student at Transfiguration Citizen’s Bank was known as the Miner’s Bank,  and the Bernadine Sisters who taught us required us to all have a small savings account there.

Across the street from the Miners Bank was the Hersker Theatre ( also later  known as the Key ). I watched my first movie here  with my dad, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when I was five years old. I still remember him laughing when a short Three Stooges episode was shown before the movie. 

I walked east on Broad Street, trudging though some deep snow that wasn’t shoveled  yet.

The sun broke through the clouds as I continued on my walk.  At the end of the next block was   one of my favorite places in West Hazleton as a child, Steven’s Bakery. The long johns and other pastries  here were heavenly. My  mom and aunt Mary would get us these as  a treat on special occasions. It wasn’t very often but I will never forget those pastries.   The  bakery has been closed for many years. The location became an appliance store and is now a Hispanic market.

Across the street was the St. Paul’s Reformed United Church of Christ ,

and Moody’s Men’s Shop. I got my First Holy Communion suit here. 

I continued my walk up snowy memory lane and walked past the former Kaufman’s  Department Store,  which later became Jean’s  “N”J  Things. Take a close look at the photo in the link I shared and  you may see someone you know.

On this block is my dentist for almost 50 years Dr. Joseph Pelly, he and his staff are like my family.

Two former famous restaurants, George’s  Restaurant. and later Amore Pizza.  offered late night/early morning breakfasts after the many local bars closed down, and for many years I visited both of them. 

I turned down 4th Street and walked passed the old Borough building where the Council meetings were held, and the Police and Fire Departments were located. Now only the Fire Department occupies the building.

The Borough office and Council meetings are now housed in the new Borough building on Cranberry Avenue.

I walked down Cranberry Avenue, once the main road separated the culm banks from  the Hazleton coal breaker and West Hazleton .

I left Cranberry Avenue on 5th Street and walked up to the 5th Street Playground. There was  a wadding pool here  when I was  young and I spent many a Summer afternoons here.

I continued my walk to South Broad Street. This street was very familiar to me as a child since this was the road to Crystal Ridge where my grandmother lived and my dad grew up. We drove here on our way to look for mushrooms every Sunday morning in the late Summer and Fall and many an afternoon after my dad came home from work. There was always a bar on the corner, I think it was Angie’s but is now know as the Dog House. 

I walked down Clay Avenue and past this house at 118 Clay Avenue, I lived here for five years when I was Mayor of West Hazleton .

At the end of the block, 50 years ago, you would find the famous Cranberry Ball Park, My dad would tell stories how they would watch the game through cracks in the wood fence and wait for foul balls and home runs. You got into the ball park if you returned one. Babe Ruth played here in 1923. 

I walked back up to Broad Street as the skies continued to clear and I enjoyed the  brilliant sun. I walked past another former famous West Hazleton Restaurant, Brehm’s. It closed in the early 1970’s.  I still remember having a hamburger and  milkshake here with my Aunt Mary after she took me to see Sally Star who was appearing at I think the Grand Theater in Hazleton.  I also hung out here in high school when it was a pinball amusement house. It later became a pizza place and is now another Hispanic restaurant.

Across the street  is Pantry Quick, once the location of Justofin’s Pharmacy.

I walked down Green Street and past the Transfiguration Church, 



and Parochial School. This was my parish and I have so many wonderful memories from the years I attended the school, church service and picnics. I  have posted a few blogs with more information about  Transfiguration Church and they can be  found using the search tool on my blog below.

I continued on my walk down to North Street, the  location of my alma mater West Hazleton High School.

I have so many wonderful memories from these day. The school closed around 1990 and merged into the new Hazleton High School.  The building is now an elementary/junior high school.

There was once a playground next to the school but it is now a parking lot.

On the next block is the Mountain View Cemetery.   Both my parents and my sister Linda and her husband Charles are  interred here. I visit this  beautiful. well maintained  cemetery daily.

I walked up North Street, along the cemetery, my daily walk home when I attended high school here,  and I crossed into the Hazle Township section of Green Ridge at the 600 Block. Here, on the left , is another well known  social club, ,  the Pulaski Club . It has been here since 1915.

The skies became overcast as I was finishing  my three mile  hike. I walked   through the alley behind my parents home on Winters Avenue.

So many memories of happy days are evoked every time I walk past this house. My parents  are gone now but  this humble home they provided us and the many memories it gave me will always be my greatest treasure. Growing up here in Green Ridge was a  wonderful, almost magical time in my life. I walked back to North Street and finished my three mile hike. I am blessed to won my land and live in the same neighborhood I grew up in And I plan to remain here until I join my parents, which I hope won’t be for a few more decades. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my walk. Green Ride afternoon  hike February 13 2024.

“You never get away from that thing in your hometown that it has over you. You don’t outgrow where you come from”.  Brian Fallon



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