McEwensville in 1911

Wedsnesday, January 4, 1911:  Missing entry: Diary resumes on January 12

 Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later: 

As I’ve prepared to post this diary I’ve discovered a lot of background information about McEwensville–the nearby town where Grandma attended high school. I’ll be posting some of what I’ve learned about McEwesnville’s history over the next several days. 

Today McEwensville is a sedate town where, according to a resident, “It’s a wonderful place to live, but nothing ever happens.”

The building in the foreground was a combination restaurant and boarding house in 1911. The building further down the street used to be Armstrong's Store.

I love to visit McEwensville and find it relaxing to dig into the local history books at the Montgomery House Library while quilters –or other meeting attendees–are busily at work in the library’s community room.   

According to the 2000 census McEwensville has a population of 314. A hundred years ago McEwensville had several stores, a pharmacy, a carriage factory, three churches, and a school. Today it has a diner, a chain saw repair shop, a bicycle shop, a beauty shop, and a church.

In 1911 Armstong’s General Store on Main Street was the center of activity. There was a combination restaurant and boarding house at the corner of Main Street and Watsontown Road. A transportation service using horse-drawn vehicles took residents from McEwensville to their jobs in Watsontown and Milton.

When Grandma was young there were large oil lamps on street posts in McEwensville that were lit each evening. The lamplighter got the job through a sealed bidding process, and the low bidder usually got the position. According George Wesner in his 1976 history of McEwensville, “Johny Phillips was one who filled this position for many years. He was short of stature and used a short ladder while performing his duties as a lamplighter.”

The white building was once Mauser's Carriage Shop.

In 1911 Mauser’s Carriage Shop was at the corner of Maple St. and Main Street. The company made horse-drawn carriages and employed about 12 people.

Advertisement in the January 4, 1911 issue of the Milton Evening Standard

At the corner of Main Street and Potash Road there was a blacksmith and horse shoeing shop. Somewhere along Main Street there was a foundry that manufactured  farm implements (including plows), water troughs, butcher stoves and other cast iron items.  

 Most food was locally produced in Grandma’s day. According to Wesner, “In the early days many families kept a cow to provide milk and butter for themselves and at times extra for neighbors.”

Grandma probably walked past Gold’s  Butcher Shop on her way to school each day.  Wesner wrote,  “Gold’s Butcher Shop was located along the south side of the old Watsontown road, the last building in the borough . . . Gold’s sausage was a favorite of the community. As there was no refrigeration at that time, it was a cold weather project.”

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