Fifth Street Then

I might be a little weird but I enjoy pictures like this; more of a scene than a picture of something specific. I look at a picture like this and find all kind of things and notice things that are not there anymore.
For example I did not know that there was a Mobil Service Station on the corner of Fifth Street and Spring Avenue where the old trolley station once stood. I know a lot of you remember that station, but if it wasn’t for this one picture, I may have never known that. It took a magnifying glass, but when this picture was taken, a sign for Smith Drug Store is on the corner diagonal from St. Agatha.
When you look at the zoomed in picture of the former Veterans Memorial Bridge, it looks like you can make out the “dummy” at the far end of the bridge but I believe that was long gone by the time this picture was taken. Speaking of that particular zoomed in portion, it is still strange to not see McDonald’s and now Rite-Aid. Its funny how quickly we become accustomed to something.
fifth-street-bridge I have faith that many of you will be able to date this picture. There are one or two of you that might be able to look at the business that were open at this time and say, something like: “Abbaticchio and the hardware store two doors down were both open between 1962-71? and “the price of gas at Sinclair, makes this picture 1967?. But more likely, there are a few of you that can very easily give us a date of the picture by looking at the vehicles on the road.
Speaking of vehicles on the road, I need a little help with the blurry delivery truck on the left hand side. Are my eyes deceiving me or does that say Winky’s on the side or is that the old Park Pharmacy delivery van? The letters inside the circle on the front of the van are just blurry enough that I can not make it out. I know someone knows if this was a delivery van or if it was owned by the radio station that broadcasted from Ellwood City. If you know the answer to these questions, or notice something else I missed, please share below or email me at

6 thoughts on “Fifth Street Then”

  1. At one time on that corner of 5th and Spring cattycorner from St. Agathas was Smiths Dry Cleaners. My Mom Marion Frazier worked there. Eventually it moved right down from old Post office. Early 1960’s.

  2. The Mobil station was owned by the Tindall family, and was caught up in the first gasoline “crisis” in 1973. It closed shortly thereafter. St. Agatha bought the property for parking. The “Smith” sign was Smith’s Dry Cleaners. That’s where my parents took their cleaning. It was a branch of a New Castle store & the actual cleaning plant was also in New Castle.

    1. I’m not sure about the Tindall family tenure of ownership, but my father Paul Petrak owned and operated the Mobil station in the late 1960’s. My mother had to learn to drive the service truck! My dad sold the station to John Steilner when he went to work for Freeman Buick (which he later owned with Jack Montgomery) until he retired in 1983.

      1. Never knew your folks owned that site before your dad worked with my dad (John Freeman) at the “garage”, as we called it. We attended St. Agatha’s, so passed that corner regularly. Jack Montgomery was like an older brother to my dad, and we now miss both of them, and of course, our grandfather, Brice.

  3. Judging from the cars in the photos, the newest car I can identify is the lead car in the South bound lane and it appears to be a 1966 Chevy II. So I would date the pics at 1966 or 1967.

  4. Scott Petrak, I dated your cousin Janet and remember that she use to babysit you kids when you were little. Where is she these days? Don

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