Shoe Stores, Flower shops, Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, Pool Halls, Candy Stores, Pet Shops, and of course Pe Wee’s Lunch. “Downtown” Ellwood City has been home to almost every kind of store you can imagine. From large department stores like Dambach’s and Murphy’s to the little Ma & Pa shops that have thrived here for many years.
We can not list every single business in Ellwood City, but everyone that has ever lived here has fond memories of downtown. Whether they are memories of where you worked, shopped, or just “hung out”, there is always at least one place that you remember fondly. Whether the story you repeat the most happened at the Drug Store on the corner, or one of the multiple restaurants, maybe the flower shop where you bought your homecoming mum or the story about you and your friends at one of the movie theaters (Majestic, Manos, or the Liberty). If you are too young to remember the Majestic, ask someone a little older if they remember it. Not only will you get that story, but we will almost guarantee they can remember what was playing when it burnt down.
It is always quite enjoyable to talk to someone and see the look they get in their eye when the memories they haven’t thought about in years start flooding back. The diners and drug stores always seem to bring back memories like nothing else can. When someone mentions the Lemon Blendd drinks from Albert Your Druggist’s or the Soda Fountain at Young’s Drug Store or the Ice Cream Sunday’s at Acme Lunch, it is almost as if the person can still taste it and are suddenly taken back to their childhood. Memories of food seem to do that. Whether it was the world famous pies from Margaret’s, the roast beef sandwiches from the Jayhawk, or the sausage sandwiches from Nick’s over in the park. Of course, as soon as someone mentions Nick’s Snack Bar the stories start flowing but we will save those for another time.
The food isn’t the only memories people have of Ellwood City. Duck pin bowling alleys and pool halls have been everywhere in Ellwood. It seems that every other building in the “downtown” area has had one of these either in the basement or upstairs at one time or another. If it didn’t have one of these, it may have gotten people in the door by hosting weekend dances like the S.O.I. the Jaycees, and the Shuffle Shop. Of course you couldn’t miss the show at the Ellwood City Opera House, or one of the famous performers at one of the clubs, or the Saturday matinee at one of the movie theaters. Friday nights were spent at the local teen hangout like Willies, Winkys, or Johnny’s.
Ellwoodians have special memories of each and every business In Ellwood City. Even those that haven’t lived here in over twenty five years still love their hometown. Like the memories Bruce Brenneman from Houghton, New York shared with us of Blochers Jewelery Store and that black marble front. Or the memories of her dad’s Barber shop (Turners) at the end of Lawrence Avenue that Linda Tidemanson in California shared with us. Once you live in Ellwood City, you are an Ellwoodian. No matter where you may move to, folks always consider Ellwood City their hometown.
We would love to hear from you and about your favorite place to go downtown and the stories you have because of it. Please share your memories of downtown Ellwood City with us by sharing in the “comments” section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org