Lansdowne in 1968

A few more items in the 1968 booklet commemorating Lansdowne’s 75th anniversary that Nancy Musser lent me: There are brief histories on the Marlyn Coffee Shop that was in the Lansdowne Theater building and Lloyds of Lansdowne, a gift shop on Lansdowne Avenue.

Advertisers in the booklet that I remember are Brumbaugh’s Pontiac,  Holtby’s radio and TV shop (where we had a service contract on our first Dumont twelve-inch TV), Fred Werner’s Real Estate, Matlack trucking, whose headquarters was in Lansdowne, Kolman Harrison’s shoes and menswear, The Hurd Shop (that advertises “Women’s Lingerie  Bras–Girdles–Hosiery–Slips”), Holmes Colonial Flower Shop on Lansdowne Avenue, and a place I don’t remember with the intriguing name “Mershon Patent Shaking Grate Works,”  apparently a metal casting company in Fernwood.

An article on the Rotary Club is accompanied by a picture of Karen Anderson speaking at a microphone beside a sign saying, “Karen Anderson  50th Anniversary Project.”   It is not identified in the article.  What was that about?

There is a surprising article and photo on the history of Phil Herr’s 227-year-old house, “The Briers.”  It was sold to Fitzgerald-Mercy Hospital in 1966.

“The Leaky Bottom Yacht Club”  was a tongue-in-cheek businessmen’s luncheon group meeting at the Marlyn Coffee Shop for 35 years.  It had no constitution, no by-laws, no dues, no membership list, and no officers.  My kind of club—organized like our “LAHS Class of 1954 Annual Reunion Club.”

The Twentieth Century Club was started in 1897, three years before the twentieth century, as a “center for thought and action among women” that first met in Barker Hall on the NW corner of Lansdowne Avenue and Baltimore Pike.  Somehow they got enough money to build the present “Clubhouse” in 1911.

The Lansdowne Library was organized in a meeting at the same Barker Hall in 1898 and opened in a Highland Avenue School classroom the following year.  In 1905 they moved to a renovated baker’s shop that we remember as the old library.  (The new library is next door.)

In 1947 there were victory gardens on the vacant NW corner of Lansdowne and Greenwood.  There was another in Gladstone Manor.  They produced “tomatoes, beans, corn, lettuce, radishes, blisters, and backaches.”

A full-page article on Don Corbin,  music teacher at LAHS from 1931 to 1964, says he was still teaching music at the Tatnall school, a well-respected private school here in Wilmington, but he remained living on Greenwood Avenue.  Being musically-challenged myself, I only knew his name.

Ardmore Avenue School field was once part of Griffith Park, a pond with a boathouse, bridge, and picnic tables.  It was created by Horace Griffith in 1912.  It does not say if Horace was related to Richard Griffith who named Lansdowne (see June 22 blog), but it seems likely.

Essex Avenue was originally named Johnson Road after the Johnson farm it cut through.

Roger Walck


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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