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Monday, September 12, 2011
Joe French's Variety Store
I was sitting on my recliner this afternoon still wondering what I was going to write about for the Blog when the phone rang. It was Victoria Eddy who just recently took over Sandy Bourguignon's hair parlor on Route 9 in New Gretna. The business, called "Magic Shears" under Sandy, is now called "Hair To Please". Sandy stayed on to help Victoria.
Magic Shears on May 27, 2006
(Photo by Pete Stemmer)
Victoria asked me if I had any information regarding past businesses at her new location. I checked my computer files and was able to come up with some information on the property in the 1940's. It seems that Joe French operated a Variety Store and, later, an antique store in the building.
The only photo I have of Joe French's Store is of Ann Downs who lived across the street. The store, with two tall gas pumps out front, is in the background. Ann was the daughter of Levi and Ella Downs. She later married Win Salmons, an accomplished local artist. Many people in the area have Win's paintings in their homes.
Ann Downs, circa 1940's
(Photo courtesy of Tom Williams)
I also came across two advertisements from the 1940's that show that Joe French operated a Variety Store and an Antique Store in the building across the street from the Downs family Route 9 home.
Ad from a 1940's New Gretna Minstrel Show program
Hummmm! I wonder what Gent's Furnishing are?
Tuckerton Beacon ad - March 14, 1947
The only other thing that I know about Joe French is that his wife, Geraldine, married a widowed Otto Kalm after Joe's death. That would make her Dave Kalm's step-mom. Dave occasionally posts messages here at the Blog.
Otto Kalm and Geraldine French Kalm cut their wedding cake.
(Photo courtesy of Alston & Claire Kalm Allen)
I sure would like to know more about Joe French's store. I'm hoping that some of our readers out in the Blog-O-Sphere can tell us a few stories about Joe French and his store. Surely, Donald Maxwell who lived next door to Joe French's Store and Dave Kalm should be able to recall some memories. Clif Brown, out in California, should also be able to help. Let's hear from you guys!