2004-01-29 / Little Old Canarsie

The General Store Was Replaced By - General Stores

The General Store Was Replaced By - General Stores

In the early teens of the 20th century there were 5 or 6 grocery and general stores, which were all privately owned. There was Bullwinkell at E. 92nd St. & Canarsie Lane: Jos Krier at Flatlands Ave., cor. W. 92nd & Stillwell Lane; Henry W. Butecke at E. 95th St. & Ave L and Peter Wm. Fortmeyer at Ave L & E. 94th St. On the parkway were Chas. Weinhold at Truckelmans Lane & Bunce (later Pelockes) at Rockaway Pkway and Conklin Ave. of which I can’t recall the owner. Then we had down at the store, Quaritus’s general store and in back of that on E. 93rd St. near Schenck Ave. the grocery and butcher store of Erastus W. Seaman which was managed by Pat Guiler. The building in which this store was located is still there, now used as a private home.

Just about this time Canarsie got its first notice of a chain store coming when a young man by the name Al Madden used to come down with a horse and wagon from an A&P store located on Fulton St. (bet. Rockway & Stone Ave. in the Ocean Hill section) and he would call your home and take an order and deliver it a couple of days later. After a couple of years, they finally opened a store on Rockaway Parkway cross from the station next to the Flatlands Volunteer Firemen’s Headquaters which Al took care of for a while, Later he became one of the supers of this great chain.

At one time just around the First World War days, there were 6 A&P stores located here: one on the Parkway by the station; another on Ave L cor. E. 95th St. built after the gas station got out which was owned by the Catalnotta boys, sons of Louie the Barber, next door to it. Another store was on E. 92nd St. opposite Stillwell Place now used as a private home.

Another was on Flatlands Ave. & E. 92nd St. on the corner of the old building and managed by Howard Loesch, who was a star outfielder on the Farmers, a semi-pro team that played in Ridge-wood next to the Lutheran Cemetery (now occupied by a large high school). This store finally moved up in the middle of the block of E. 92nd and was managed by my brother Wm. (Wee) Denton. Another store was located at E. 92nd St. & Farragut Rd. which was managed by Howard Ridell and later by my brother who was transferred there. And the 6th store was on Rock-way Parkway near Seaview Ave. just about where the Bank is.

This store was used by most of the residents of Sands Bay which was a colony of homes built on Spiles or big sticks as they had no cellars or foundations to hold them up. Some of the Canarsie boys who worked and managed these stores at various times were Jackie Hand, Oliver Stoughton, Frank Downing, Baldy Bowers as well as my brother. They finally closed these stores and for quite a few years only one remained on Ave L & E. 95th St. until they opened a big supermarket on the Parkway around the early 1930s at a spot which was supposed to have been a movie house in 1927, and was never built as one of the main owners passed away and the hole was filled in and used as a parking lot for the store.

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