200 Block Of Front Street
The 200 Block of Front Street runs between Mullberry & Wood Streets This was a busy business block. In the 1880s, there were three bakeries on the east side of the street, a meat market, a cigar factory, tin/hardware shop and grocery, a jewelry store and a barber shop.
Address: 201-3 Front St (Built 1850) Hassler’s Store
The right side of this building seems to have always been a dwelling, while the left side was a business. It went by 203-205 until 1895/6 at which time it was renumbered as 201-203.
When the Peter J. Eberhard family lived here in the early 1860s, the storeroom in front was operated as a tailor shop by James Holly. The proprietorship and trade changed repeatedly: ice cream, notions, confectionery, bric-s-brac, produce, etc. The Sanborn map of 1885 shows a millinery shop at 203. It was run by Mrs Snyder, whose husband Charles ran an undertaker business on the premises. Leter they moved to the south side of the intersection. In 1908, Mrs. Annie McCloskey ran a notions business on the street level of 203 Front, residing on the premises with her husband John E, a boilermaker. Also living in the building in 1908, was the Peter Eberhart family (Peter was a ticket agent) and Mrs. Ellen J. Jenkins. In 1911 Mrs and Mrs John Wehrle moved here from West Catty opening a green grocery. In 1912, Peter Geiger, former proprietor of the American Hotel, opened a store here selling green groceries, candy and notions, also serving food; he and his wife Mary lived on the premises. Ephraim & Susan Breder and family moved into the Eberhard property from their 415 Race St residence in 1917, opening a confectionary here. Andrew Smith ran a confectionery here according to the 1929/30 city directory, living on the premises. Smith’s Barber Shop was also located in here at one time, but also operated further up the block and also at Second and Mulberry.
Eugene Deily picked up the building/store, likely during the depression. The LV Twilight baseball league met here at Deily’s store as did many local Democrats. Mrs Ada Deily Deily ran the store from 1929 to 1964. She died in 1983, a widow of Eugene Deily and before that, Harry Wolfe, (Before 1929, she worked at the General Ribbon Mill in town.) Mr. Elroy Hassler purchased the store from E. W. Deily, which he operated here before moving to 143 Front St. However, he continued to run the 203 Front St store, under the management of Edward Messinger.
Address: 205-207 Front St
Built by: Frederick Eberhard
Year Built: 1839
Frederick Eberhard came to Catasauqua to quarry stone for the construction of the Crane furnaces. Almost all the stone came from a quarry pit above where the Hokendauqua Bridge would later be built. The stone was floated down the canal on barges. Prior to that he worked as a blacksmith at Mauch Chunk and earlier ran arks down the rivers to Philadelphia before the canal was built. He then opened a quarry pit on the Biery farm for limestone to be used in the smelting furnaces at the Crane. He also opened a quarry along the river which would become the site of the LV RR depot. The stone from this quarry was hauled in small narrow-gauge mule-drawn cars over a bridge to the furnaces. During this time, Eberhard built his home here along Front St by Mulberry. He retired in 1864 and moved to Allentown. His son Ferdinand carried on the business.
His son John was seriously burned from blasting powder during quarry operations in 1857. His son William was killed in a quarry at the Iron Bridge. He had two daughters and two more sons. The Jonas Biery quarry was eventually abandoned as the town people objected to the blasts. In 1867, Ferdinand Eberhard grew up working with his father in the quarries, drilling into rock and setting off the blast. Ferdinand took over his father’s business and contracted with the Thomas Iron to quarry at the Iron Bridge for both the Crane and Thomas Iron furnaces at Hokendauqua, and in 1871, quarried at the Jordan Bridge quarry for the Hockendauqua furnaces built in 1871. Ferdinand brought the first case of dynamite to the valley.
205 Front: Bakery
In 1861, Mr. Albright started a bakery at 205 Front St. O. M. Fuller and Ferdinand Eberhard (one of Frederick Eberhard’s sons) succeeded Albright with the bakery, followed by August G. Eagle, and James Dilcher in 1874. In 1882 Dilcher moved the bakery to 217-219 Front St. In 1885, the bakery was listed as Peter Eberhard & Bro (Peter and George). In 1890, George Eberhart was listed as a baker here; he and his wife Sarah living above the bakery. In 1900 The Catasauqua Bakery was here, Morrow and Stuhan proprietors. In 1908, John B. Dold, was baker here, living on the premises with his wife Caroline.
Franklin H. Frickert operated here later (the ad dates from a time of different street numbers). The 1930 Directory lists Carl VanGreaves residing here: his occupation was shipping clerk, along with the Skeath family: Albert (car inspector) and wife Lucy, Edward (clerk) and Robert (helper).
The Moose Lodge rooms were located on the second floor of 205 Front around the time of Old Home Week, 1914.
There were dwellings at 202, 204, 206, and 209 on the 1885 Sanborn map.
In 1895, 202 (then 204) Front was the home of newly-weds, John and Lizzie Williams Moat. They lived here until 1903, when the family moved to 342 Church St. John was a machinist, and later foreman, at the Bryden.
After the Moats, moved out, Clyde Walp, a well known and popular coronet player, moved here with his family from their home at Front and Linden.
An ad in a Brown & White c.1920 places J. L. Matchette’s corner store here, carrying groceries, confectionery, cigars and tobacco. J Logan Matchette married Mabel Leickel in 1909 and they took up residence here, living here into the 1940s.
204 Front: This was the home of Cornelius F. Roth, a prolific photographer: many old photographs from town bear his name. His studio was on Bridge St just above Second, next to the Pennsylvania Hotel (no longer exists). He later became Justice of the Peace, residing with his wife Cora at 511 2nd. He let the Pioneer Band for a time, resigning in 1896, but being reelected business manager in 1898.
Afterward, 204 Front was the home of William & Euphemia Ritter. Willliam (Sr) was a moulder at the McKee, Fuller and Co/Lehigh Car Wheel & Axle foundry in Fullerton for 43 years. He also played coronet in the Catasauqua Band for 30 years. He was the son of Daniel & Catherine Newhard Ritter of East Catasauqua. The family moved to 139 Howertown Road in late 1908. Mr. Ritter died suddenly in 1911. The next owners were Mr. & Mrs Arthur Davies, who rented the property to.(TBA).
In 1856, the Lawall Brothers established their pharmacy here before moving to 409 Front St.
CDW Bower Meats. CDW Bower’s father, George Bower, was born in Lehighton and came to Catasauqua in 1858. He started the meat business at 209 Front St. After being elected Sheriff of Lehigh County, his son took over the business. George Bower also served as burgess for a term, councilman and school director. CDW Bower went to work with his father after graduating HS in 1873, and then ran the business starting in 1878. He was the first butcher to also run a meat market. Bower meats also had a location on Bridge (listed in the 1890 directory) which he discontinued sometime after 1903, at which time he also dropped the slaughter house operation, focusing on the retail business on the Front St property. They lived on the premises at 209 Front. The business was still here in the 1918 directory. The 1908 directory lists Kate Ammend living here as a domestic.
Also in early Jan 1918, George E. Venn opened a watch, clock, sewing machine, etc. repair shop in the “Bower Store Room” of 209 Front St, according to a blurb in the Allentown Leader. In 1947, this was George’s Lunch.
The building later housed Scherer & Burkholder Funeral Services. The Scherer and Burkholder partnership succeeded the Frederick Scherer partnership, and preceded the Burkholder Funeral Home that was established in the Peckit Residence on Walnut St in 1932. The Burkholder Funeral Home was the first in town to provide embalming and viewings outside of a residence.
The Elks met here c 1950s.
In 1921 Edward and Pauling Stutz resided here. The 1930 directory lists George (clerk) & Edna Bartholomew residing at 209 Front St. In 1937 Geo H Bartholomew passed away here at age 63, hehad been a bookkeeper for Lehnerts Brewery. In 1943, Mr and Mrs Carl Dornblaser lived here
209 Front’s street number remained the same after the renumbering circa 1896. The Kostenbader brewery later expanded their bottling and distribution into this space.
208 Front St: Frederick and Scherer Funeral Home
Owen Frederick (oldest son of George Frederick) lived in a home behind the funeral business while operating a furniture/cabinet making and an undertaking business in partnership with Wm. H. Scherer. He died early and his daughter and son-in-law, Mary Alice and Henry Steward succeeded him in the business, followed by Owen’s son Ogden E, who followed the Stewards in the business, all still in partnership with Scherer.
Tax records show all the buildings on this side of the block dating back to 1850. A 1929 article on the modern funeral home states that it had operated here for 75 years, putting it’s start at 1854.
The band hall was in the rear of 208 c1938. The Union Gospel Mission also met here around that time and there were upstairs apartments.
210 Front: H. A. Steward Undertaker and Cabinet maker
Henry Steward was the son-in-law of Owen Frederick, who established the business at 207 Front St, and brother-in-law of Ogden Frederick, who picked up the business from Steward and his father. So it appears the family had their funeral business at 207&209 and at 208&210 Front St (at different times).
The 1908 Sanborn map shows the funeral and cabinetry business on the west side of the street. Note that behind it on Canal was the slaughter house of CDW Bower who had meat markets in Catty and Allentown.
Address: Front St (west side) below Willow 216-218 Front
Name: 2nd Borough School/Temperance Hall
Year Built: 1868
Built as an elementary school, the school housed the administration for the school district. This school was used between 1868 and 1898, at which time it became the Temperance Society Hall. The Catasauqua Pioneer band practiced here from to 1901.
A newspaper clipping regarding the construction of the Dery silk mill in 1897 stated that manufacturing would start up in the Front Street school while pending completion of the building on Race St. In 1898, a cigar manufacturing plant was looking to locate here, and was negotiating for the purchase of the school building for that purpose. In the 1914 directory, it was listed as the St Lawerence T.A.B. Society Hall. Temperance Hall featured a basketball court and sponsored a team that competed against others in the valley. It also staged boxing matches.
In the late 1920s, 216 Front was listed as the office of the Domestic Silk Mills, manufacturers of broad silks, Mrs Rose Salzberg, president. In the early 20’s, Abraham Salzberg was president. The Salzbergs lived at 608 Pine. In t\933, the Rakow Shirt Co opened here. Par Manufacturing and the Catasauqua Dress Co, both dress manufacturers, were here in the 1940s. M Martin Dress Co opened herre in 1957.
The property was later purchased by the Fuller Company and the building razed.
Three small dwellings, 220-224 Front, above the school/hall on the SW corner of Willow were also razed. The 1876 map lists these homes as owned by the Crane Iron. The 1908 directory lists the following at these residences. 220 was Mrs. Sarah Coleman and four children: Miles (office boy) and Richard A., Bernard, and Saddie, all students, Also at 220 was Ida Mehrbrey. At 222 was the Desmond family (Margaret, widow of Patrick with sons(?) James and Philip), Also at 222 was Frances Donavan, a silkworker, and Catherine Brown, a student). Andro and Pauline Mamrok lived in 224 Front.
211 Front St: Frederick W. Eagle
Eagle built his residence at 211 Front St in 1860 and operated a bakery out of the store front. (Address at that time was 215 Front St.). Articles in the local paper in 1891 noted that Mrs. Eagle had handed over the country route for her bakery to Corney Semmels and later was painting the shop with plans to rent it out to Peters, Jacoby and Peters of Allentown, who wished to do a restaurant there. In 1894, C L Peters of this partnership opened an ice cream and confectionery store here.
However, in 1989, M Coleman moved his clothing store from teh Esch Building to the Eagle Bakery property. M. Coleman and his wife Hannah, lived on the premises. In 1904 the building was purchased by Kostenbader – rumors werre that he would create a new bank there – didn’t happen. In 1908, the Colemans moved, along with their clothing store, to Allentown, and Kena Andres opened a laundry here, living on the third floor.
In the 1930s, Democratic Hall was located at 211 Front St, which was the site of many silk industry employee meetings regarding work conditions, wages, and strikes.
Gillespie Jewelers was here in the mid 1960s
213 Front St:
This was the home of James C. Beitel, who ran a jewelry store next door at 215 Front St. By 1930, Beitel was the president of the bank on the corner of Front & Bridge, and his son Robert ran the jewelry business; it was then located in the bank building facing Front St. (Red brick, 3 story, white trim)
215 Front St: Beitel’s Jewelers
When James Beitel returned from the Civil War, having served in the Union army, he opened his first jewelry store here in 1863. Beitel’s residence was behind the store. Before Beitel’s shop, if one was fortunate enough to possess a watch, you would have to go to Massey’s in Allentown for repairs. Beitel became one of the most respected and influential men in Catasauqua by 1906 when he created the Lehigh National Bank. In 1910, he relocated his jewelry store to the new bank located at the corner of Front and Bridge. The business also specialized in repairing clocks, watches and jewelry. The Kurtz bros of Bethlehem opened a barber shop here in 1909. Smith, who had the barber shop at 223 Front before the Kurtz bros bought the business, came with them in their employ. After the Kurtz bros upgraded the shop, Smith bought them out and continued the business, joined by his two sons.
217-219 Front St: Dilcher’s Bakery – Kuehner Bakery
In 1882, Dilcher moved his bakery to 217-219 Front St from 205 Front St, adding a new oven with a capacity of 400 loaves of bread. His son George entered the business with his father in 1893, running one of the delivery teams and purchasing the business from his father’s estate, after his father’s death in 1897. Tax records show this building being built in 1870, before Dilcher moved here.
In 1907 William F. Kuehner bought the building and business from George H. Dilcher, growing the business to 5700 loaves of bread and 2700 dozen cakes per week, under head baker Morris Moyer. The ad was from a 1918 CHS Brown & White. In 1925, this was Quality Bakery, Frank Green proprietor, and later John J Schuster, proprietor.
221 Front St: Mrs. Catherine Leibert
Year Built: 1845
John Leibert was an early millwright from around Koehler’s Lock, and the first operator of the water power machinery for the Crane blowing engines. He and his family moved here in 1841 into one of the company homes on Wood St. When he died in 1845, his widow Catherine built this brick dwelling, third door below Willow. Her daughter Ann married James Nevins (see corner of Bridge and Howertown). Her son William Henry was master mechanic of the Bethlehem Iron Works, and son Owen was superintendent of the Bethlehem Iron Works. The Allentown Democrat reported on July 16, 1879 that Mrs. Leibert was building an addition to her house here on Front St. Catherine was born in NYC and was 90 years old when she died in her home on Front St in 1898.
By 1908, this had been converted into the bottling plant for H. Kostenbader & Son brewers on Mulberry and RailRoad.
223 Front St: Schunk’s Hotel/Wm. A. Sacks Cigars (burned down 2016)
In the 1870s, this was the tin shop of Jacob Souders. That property was seized and sold in 1879.
In 1896 This was the bakery run by Charles Brown
One of the oldest of the existing “Brooks High Licences”, Shrunks owned the original liquor license from the Penna Hotel. Quintus H. Smith apprenticed to Joe Norton who ran a barbershop here. Smith moved on to Hokendauqua then set up business at Second & Mulberry before ending up back here. In the meantime, Moats occupied the shop here. In 1908, Smith ran the shop, and he and his wife Sallie resided on the premises. The Kurtz bros of Bethlehem bought him out, and in 1909, moved the shop to 215 Front St (after Beitel’s moved further up the street). Smith stayed on as a barber.
In 1913, William A. Sacks moved his cigar factory and store here from 144 Front St. In 1929/1930. The Artistic Beauty Shop was here in 1932. In 1938, the local Democratic .Headquarters was located here. In 1956 The Nix Cocktail Bar opened here: their logo was “Meet Your Friends at the Switch”. It was renamed Nick’s Bar the following year and closed shortly afterward. In 1948 Jim Shunk opened Shunk’s Hotel, later, the Little Brown Jug, and then sold it to Joe Barczy, who sold it to Joe and Ida Kroboth.
Frederick Link operated a service station out of this address, where he also resided.
225 Front St: John Black’s Drug store and Express Office – corner of Front & Willow (burned down 2016)
With the coming of the railroads, it became easy to mail packages (called expressage) in and out of Catasauqua. The early freight agent and station master for the LV depot was David Kline; he hauled many shipments across the bridge on a wheelbarrow. In the 1860’s Giering was in charge of the office. John Black succeeded him and moved the office into “the drug store next door below the Catasauqua Hotel”. An early invoice from Blacks lists the address of his drug store as 160 Front: In 1879, the property was owned by Dr. W.A. Hassler. In 1880, the property was sold as part of the Joel Keck (Salisbury Twp) estate at public auction: the sale notice states that E. B. Boyer occupied a Drug Store in the building at the rear of the lot at that time – though he appears to have moved to 231 Front St about that time. The 1885 directory lists F Medlar running the Medicine Depot here.
The 1896 Sanborn map shows this building housing a tin shop and grocery. In 1898, Harry Guth and Milton C. Koons opened a steam laundry here; it is shown on the 1902 Sanborn map. In 1908 Morris F. Huff, a cigar mfr and tobacconist, lived here and ran a business with his wife Kate and daughter Ruth E (clerk). In 1914, Milton S. and Cora C. Breder lived here and ran a cigar and confectionary. In 1924, John F. & Edna Trine opened a restaurant here. Circa 1930, it was the residence of Jacob & Sadie Sachs, who ran a junk business.
Front St Between Willow & Wood
227-231 Front St: NE Corner of Front & Willow
Name: Catasauqua House
Year Built: c. 1850
Built By: Jesse Knauss
The Catasauqua House came in with much fanfare as it was the first hotel to apply for a license to serve liquor. Serving liquor was at odds with the strong sentiment in this Welsh community toward temperance. Eventually the court in Allentown granted licenses to the Catasauqua House and the Eagle Hotel (corner of Bridge & Front), which opened around the same time. It had many proprietors over the years, as did the majority of the bars in town. Frederick Schwegler was the proprietor noted in the 1914 histories, having bought the hotel in 1906.
232 Front St: Early post masters were political appointments, and office locations moved as new post masters were appointed. This was a post office at one time.
231 Front St: Edward D. Boyer Wholesale and Retail Druggist
This drug store was started around 1863 and run by Boyer from 1878 into the 1900s. Boyers were early residents of Catasauqua. Edward grew up in the drug business and graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1877. He married one of John William’s daughters and lived in one of the large homes on Fourth between Bridge & Pine. In the 1885 directory, R F App is listed as living and running a general store here (it was then 241 Front). In 1907,8, Elwin J. Bachman ran a boots, shoes and gents furnishings business here (the family resided at 28 Front) until 1909 when he moved the business to 427 Front.
In 1910, it became a pool hall and shooting gallery, with tobacco added later. In 1916, Clemens Suppan ran a tire store here, selling and repairing auto and bicycle tires, later selling it to Jos Dillinger. When Dillinger left for the war in 1917, Nichola Jacko took over the business.
Clark Bros opened here after the war, selling high quality aluminum ware. But by late1922, the store front and rear store room were again available for rent.
There was a tailor shop next door at 233 Front St circa 1885. It was likely a successor to Simon Kemp who opened a clothing business on lower Front in 1866 before being joined by his brother Charles from Germany and moving further up the street in 1880.
In 1908 it was also the home and store (groceries, dry goods and notions) of Bernard & Sarah Sachs and the home of Jacob Sachs (peddler). The 1929/1930 directory continues to list 235 as the Sachs home – Bernard, Minnie, Victoria and Benjamin Sachs – and the store now expanded to 233-235 Front, In 1929/1930, 233 Front was also listed as the residence of Carl and Maggie Babbitt – Carl was a machinist.
235 Front St: Dilcher Bakery
Year Built 1861
The 1914 History of Catasauqua by Lambert and Reinhard reference the Albright Bakery with regard to this bakery, operated by Klinger in 1914, noting that there was a bakery at this address (in 1914) for 55 years.. Dilcher was here in 1882 through 1887+, by 1890 he had moved his bakery to 217-219 Front. The establishment changed hands many times, always remaining a bakery. In 1914 the proprietor was Frank Klinger. In 1930, Stanley Spengler ran a meat market here, apparently sharing store space with Berrnie Sachs, who had establIished a grocery, dry goods, and notions store here.
The residences on the upper end of Front below Wood, 237-243, were built in 1850.
The 1860 business directory of Lehigh County lists F F Giering operating a jewelry store on Front near Wood. The Der Lecha County Patriot (German Lehigh paper in Lehigh County) lists him with a general store in Catasauqua in 1856 and jewelry buisness in 1864. In 1864, Catasauqua had 2 jewelry stores: Giering’s and James G. Beitel’s
237 and 239 Front St
This was the home of the Trine family. John and his wife Polly lived at 237 in 1890 with Meda Trine and son John, Jr. John Jr., at the age of 12 (1893), was injured while working at the Crane – his foot was crushed. He later was a silk weaver, and by 1920 was listed as a boiler tender, living at 239 Front with his wife Edna N. John and Edna later moved to Allentown where he worked for O K Products Co c1940. John Sr woked as a railroader as early as 1885: was a fireman (1887) and train engineer at the Crane (1890), and later ran a store – pictured at the top of this page. The store was described as on Front St near Mulberry, so it may have been in the first floor of their home. They had a son Edward who served in the US Calvery during WWI, married Tachel Stone of Wood St in 1916, and became a fireman for the LNE RR after the war. They also had a son William T, who left here in 1910 for Denver where he worked for a railroad company.
A picture from HCPA’s collection labeled Trine’s Store: Front above Mulberry, is shown above. Actual location is unknown. John F & Edna Trine operated a restaurant for a few years in the 1920s first at 225, then 201 Front, but no record can be found of where there store was located. But its a pretty cool picture.
241 Front St
This was the home of the Griffith family, Rev David and his wife Anna, along with many children. David R. Griffith was a pattern maker at the Crane Iron and head of the Carpentry shop shop. In 1881 he was also ordained a Congregational clergyman, having been previously licensed in Wales before emigrating here in 1869.. His son Joseph became foreman of the machine shop there. Sons George and Oliver were shipping clerks (residing at home here). Son David was also a machinist (Phoenix). Son John was supt of an iron furnace in Canada. Daughter Elizabeth was married to Elbert Green, a contractor living in North Catasauqua. Another daughter was married to J H Van Middlesworth.
243 Front St – SE corner of Front and Wood
This was the residence of Thomas Hopkins, an employee of the Crane Iron. Listed in the directory of 1890 as a founder living here with his wife Gwennie, he was a bit of a hero as per this attached clipping from the Allentown Democrat, April 1890. Genealogy records indicate Thomas and Gwennie emigrated to Pennsylvania c1852. He doesn’t show up in a town directory until after 1873; in 1877, he was living in company housing on Church St.