Front Street Above Walnut(700 Block)
Address: West Side of Front & Walnut
John Peter built a substantial stone home west of here near where the canal came throughl. The house later became the stable for the F. W. Wint Company and was razed when the site was bought by the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co. The barn remained into the 1900s. Peter was a weaver and, with the construction of the canal, became a locktender. This is now the site of Colonial Landscaping.
Address: 701-705 Front – NE Corner of Front & Walnut
Name: Quinn Property/Sacks Building/The Varsity
Built by: David Thomas
Year Built: 1850
John G. Sacks moved his cigar & ice cream business here from Church St. in the late 1800s. The 1914 history reports this as “the house of the Florimel” , a flower stem used to light a cigar.
In 1922 Wilson had a variety store here. Edgar C. Jones, a foreman, and his wife Jane lived at 701 Front in 1930.
Sacks cigar store was still/again here at 703 Front St in 1929-1930 with Sacks living at 705.
In 1924, Edwin O. Breisch had a barber shop in part of the building before moving his business to 607 Third St.
Hudsco Dry Cleaners moved here in 1927 and move out in 1933, to his last location on Second St. between Walnut and Chapel . Joe’s Shoe Service opened in 1950 at 705 Front, ran by Joseph Duracinsky. In early 1960, S&K Arms, a gun shop, was in the building on the corner until Mr. Kresge passed away in 1963.
Woodmen of the World, a non-profit life insurance company, had an office at 707 Front St circa 1930 as did the Catasauqua Patriotic Society.
Address: 709 Front St
Name: Odd Fellow’s Hall
Year built: 1857-1859
Built by: Grace Methodist Episcopal Congregation
The Catasauqua Lodge, No 269, fraternal order of Odd Fellows, I. O. O. F., was the first fraternal organization in town. Established in 1847 in Eberhart Hall (lower Front St), the lodge purchased 709 Front St in 1890 from the Grace Methodist Church.
Fraternity Encampment No 156 I. O. O. F. started in 1867 and met at the Esch Building, 146 Front St. Rebekah Lodge No 159 was established in 1887 and also met here. It was the first women’s lodge established in Lehigh County.
The congregation that built the church previously met at the home of Mr. Lorasch on Church St near the Town Hall, then at the school on lower Second St, before buying this lot from James Fuller, Sr. The cost to build the church exceeded what the congregation could support, and the church was sold at a sheriff’s sale in 1862. However, between the generosity of the Fullers and the Rev. Dr. Bartine’s connections in Philadelphia, the congregation regained ownership. They later moved the church to Walnut St.
Address: 713 Front St
Name: James W. Fuller
Year built: 1863
Built by: James W. Fuller
Fuller bought three lots at this location in 1856 upon which he built a two story brick house with five bays and two roof dormers, architecturally similar to other houses in the area. See Bridge St Residential District for more history on the Fuller family. He likely lived here before building his home at 131 Front St in 1865.
The next owner was likely William Hopkins, a Welshman who came here early on David Thomas’s invitation. He became sup’t of the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co in 1866 and a buyer/owner of the Union Foundry until 1891. In 1890, Wm Hopkins resigned from the CMC and created the Slatington Rolling Mill. His wife, Elizabeth Thomas Hopkins, also of Wales, died in 1888; Wm Hopkins died in 1901. Both are interred at Fairview Cemetary.
In the 1929/1930 directory, it was the residence of the Kuhar family. Alex Kuhar was a machinist.
(Residence was listed as 715 on in the 1890 Directory.)
Address: 724 Front, corner of Front & Chestnut
Year built: 1850
Information coming soon
Address: 725 Front
Name: Borowski Residence
Paul Borowski was a chemist who operated the Catasauqua Testing Lab out of the former office of the Crane Iron/Empire Steel & Iron Company. Previously chief chemist at the iron works, he and his wife Jean resided here.
Address: 727 Front
Name: Chestnut House/Borowski’s Cafe
Year Built: 1869
The building housed the Chestnut House, ran by William O’Brien until 1912. In 1912 Walter Borowski took ownership, renovated, and opened Borowski’s Café. He ran the business until his death in 1936, at which time his daughter and son-in-law, Blanch and John Klinikowski became the proprieters. The Borowskis also resided here.
Address: 735 Front St
Name: Farmer’s Hotel/Bucks Restaurant/McCarty’s Hotel
Year built: 1863
Built by: Charles Clauser
Owen McCarty purchased the business, renovated and created the name “the Farmer’s Hotel”. In 1897 John Fischer became the proprietor and the following year Frank McCarty took over. When he died in 1928, Charles McCarty took charge and operated the business for 46 years with the assistence of sons John and Charles (twins). In 1930, it was named Mack’s Café. The hotel remains in the family to this day, The picture at the lower right shows the Farmer’s Hotel, now McCarty’s, dressed up for Old Home Week 1914.
The photo below was taken inside the Farmer’s Hotel (date unknown).
Address: 737 Front St
In 1930, this was the confectionary and cigar shop of Wm. T. Keenan. In 1941, Keck’s Athletic Club was organized at 737 Front St. The club sponsored baseball and basketball teams. The Centennial history noted that 95% of the members served in WWII.
Address: 740 Front St
Name: Wint Family Residence
Year built: 1885
This was the home of Rufus M. & Mary Wint and Rufus W. G. & Dorothy Wint of the F. W. Wint Co.
Address: 742, 745 Front St
Name: Dr. C. J. Keim and Eliza C. Seider Keim; Dr. H.J.S. Keim and family
Year built: 1865, 1860
Built by: Elizabeth Faust Knaus
This was the office, home of Dr. C. J. Keim n 1882 and later that of his son Dr. Harry Keim. Charles J. Keim came from a long established family of Bethlehem (purchased land from Wm Penn), and worked at various general stores. In 1862, Charles Keim served in the Civil War with Bethlehem’s Company F of the Fifth Pennsylvania Home Guard. After the war, he opened a general store of his own at 8th and Hamilton in Allentown, before coming to Catasauqua where he began to read medicine with Dr. Hornbeck. He graduated medical school at Univ of Penn in 1873 and opened an office in Catasauqua in 1875. Dr. Keim served on the school board, served three terms on council, and two terms as Burgess. He retired in 1905.
His son Harry followed him into the practice. Dr. Harry J. S. attended Muhlenberg College for pharmacy, then Univ Penn for medicine. He started practice here in 1894 with his father, and assumed the business when his father retired. He lived across the street at 745 Front St. He married twice. His first wife Fannie Heller of Hellertown died of typhoid fever; they had two daughters. His second wife was Mabel Richardson of Allentown; they had one son Charles. He practiced into the 1940s. In 1910 he was the oldest practicing physician in Lehigh County.
Other Site History:
Originally part of Peter Farm.
Address: 763-765 Front St
Joseph Troxell, who operated a shoe shop likely out of this house, passed the residence on to his son and daughter. His son, Joseph, born in 1861, started out as a clerk in town, then became a moulder at the Davies and Thomas Foundry, built furnaces at the Bryden, running their furnace shop, and later built furnaces in Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut and Wilmington. Delaware. He was a member of the Order of the Red Men, the Odd Fellows, and Salem Reformed Church. His occupation was listed as a “heater” in the Williams Directory.
Address: 752-4 Front St
Name: Moose Lodge
Built by: Fatzinger
Organized in 1913, Catasauqua the Moose Lodge 1362 began meeting at eh Odd Fellows Hall on Front St until it purchased the Fatzinger property at 754 Front St in 1914 and equipped it for Lodge purposes. At this time, the group had 175 members. Frank Fatzinger, at the time, was one of the trustees of the organization.
Currently Cathy’s Creative Catering
Address: 758 Front St
Name: Catasauqua Merchantile Co
Year built: 1906
Built by: Bryden Horse Shoe Co group
The Bryden provided the building for a coop store that would serve their workers and the residents of the neighborhood.
Address: 762 Front St
William Storm operated a bakery business here before selling out to H. O. Hauser in 1889. Hauser continued to operate a bakery here, but moved the business to 740 Third St after 13 years. Heilman’s dry goods was here before the bakery; he lived next door (west side).
805 Front: Grocery operated out of the home of Balieston & Josephine Winisky circa 1930.
Address: 120 Arch St
Name: Mark’s Hotel/Arch St Hotel
Originally established by a Mrs. Malone, and continued by Stephen Czapp. Later owners were John Smajda and Thomas Hlatky. After being closed for six years, Mark purchased the property and opened Mark’s Hotel. The building became the Arch Street Hotel in XXXX.
Address: 1000 Block of Front St
Name: Puddler’s Row
Year built: 1865
Built by: David Thomas
As was done for the Crane Iron Works, David Thomas built homes along Front St for the workers of the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co (CMC) in conjunction with the plant’s construction. Thomas purchased 24 building lots from Paul Faust, a local farmer, facing Front St and Railroad Alley, between Arch Street and Almond Alley. As with the Church St area homes, the homes were modeled after the company homes in Wales and kitchens and bathrooms were eventually added.
In 1940, Willliam Schwenk opened a corner grocery at 1005 Front.
The name Puddler’s Row came from the operations of the CMC which took pig iron from the Crane and ran it through “puddling” furnaces: reheating the pig iron with additional air to release more impurities, creating a stronger grade of iron, before casting the material into iron forms. Puddling was a forerunner of the making of steel.
Other Site History:
The Faust farm was part of the Willaim Penn lands known as Chawton Manor. Puddlers Row is across Front St from what is now the Phoenix Forge.
Address: 1122 Front St
Address: 1151 Front St
Name: Unicorn Silk/Royal Swan Division of Burlington Mills
Year built: ~1880
Built by: Catasauqua Improvement Co
Local authorities went to Paterson NJ to entice a silk company to come to Catasauqua and provide employment for the large female population of the community. Negotiating with proprietors of the Unicorn Silk Manufacturing Company, they agreed to build a mill for the silk company; the latter to pay the interest on the investment and to buy the building at a stipulated price if it should at any time wish to do so. The venture was successful and the factory was expanded. However, in 1890 a large fire destroyed the building. While the workers were able to escape, an explosion caused an outside wall to collapse, killing firefighters and others standing close to the building.The Sanborn map section is from 1908.
The building was rebuilt and operations re-commenced by the Degner Brothers of NY, then living at the corner Bridge and Crane (actual house unknown).
The business was sold to Lund and Roth who continued the business until 1929, then sold the operation to the Stark Brothers of NYC, clothing manufacturers (Louis, Harry, Herman, 244 Bowery, NYC). Stark Bros became a Division of Burlington Mills, making Royal Swan woven edge ribbons.
The below information was taken from a news article printed May 2, 1890 in the Cranberry (NJ) Press. The article was transcribed by Stu Beitler and submitted tohttp://www.gendisasters.com.
Unicorn Silk Manufacturing Fire
May 2, 1890
Fatal Fire in a Silk Mill at Catasauqua, Penn.
An Explosion Kills a Number of Volunteer Firemen
Founder of mill and others crushed by falling wall after explosion
At 6 o’clock in the morning fire was discovered in the large new building at Catasauqua, Penn., owned and occupied by the Unicorn Silk Manufacturing Company, of New York, with offices at 33 and 35 Greene street. An alarm was quickly sounded, but owing to the hour, the fire companies, which are composed of volunteers, mainly workmen employed in the different furnaces, factories and mills, were under the impression that the whistles were, as usual, calling them to their day’s work, and did not respond until the fire had been burning about twenty minutes.
Upon their arrival at the scene of the conflagration considerable difficulty was experienced in securing water for the fire engines, as the mill was built on a bluff overlooking the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company’s canal and the Lehigh River, half a mile from the town. They ran their engines down a hill on the other side to the canal and soon had two streams of water on the building, which was by this time a mass of flames.
The mill employed 350 hands, mostly females. They were to have commenced work at 6:30. While they were assembling shortly before that hour fire was discovered in the dyeing-room. The place was without sufficient fire protection, and the flames spread rapidly. The employes [sic] rushed panic stricken from the mill and all got out safely. When it was seen that the mill was doomed the firemen and others devoted themselves toward saving goods, while another force got on top of a one story addition and on the roof.
Suddenly there was a terrific noise amid the flames, and it was at once known that a steam-pipe had exploded. The report caused the great crowd to retreat, but they had only gone a few steps when a section of the south wall of the mill nearly forty feet long and about four feet wide fell with a crash and landed on the roof of the new addition, thirty feet below. The fall of the wall is supposed to have been caused by the concussion of the explosion. A moment later the air was filled with smoke and steam and a cry of horror arose when it was discovered that thirty men had been buried in the ruins. The work of digging them out was at once commenced, and after hours of hard work the bodies were all taken out.
The killed were as follows:
ULYSSES EVERETT, aged twenty. Scalp cut, both hands and arms burned and internally injured. Died at St. Luke’s Hospital shortly after being taken there.
CHARLES A FRICK, founder, aged twenty-five years and having wife and three children, burned and crushed. Died three hours after being recovered.
JOHN GOOD, member of Phoenix Fire Company, head crushed, aged twenty-five years, has wife and child.
JOHN LOTTEJEANNI, boss dyer, aged forty, has wife and child. Instantly killed under falling walls.
Three other men were fatally wounded and about thirty were badly injured.
The fire is supposed to have been caused by spontaneous combustion in one of the packing rooms. At 11 o’clock the flames were under control. The loss on building is $50,000, on machinery $35,000, and on stock $25,000. The loss is partially covered by insurance.
The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1890-05-02