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To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Unexpected Disappearance of the Bass River Bakery

I got the following email from Barbara C. asking when the old bakery on Rt. 9 was torn down.
Is it possible that you know what year the old bakery was demolished? I thought in was sometime in the early 90's but someone said, no, it was in the 70's.    Barbara C.

Wow! That's a 20 year difference between the two estimates. How soon we forget!

Well, Barbara, you are correct. The bakery was torn down in the spring or early summer of 1994. Franklin W. Gray, who lived diagonally across the street from the old bakery, was "Johnny on the spot" with his camera and took the following two photos as the building was being demolished.

Can anyone identify the people in the photo?
I believe it may be Walt Roberts on the bicycle
and, perhaps, Steve Potter on the left.

Unfortunately, I don't know the exact date of Franklin's photos. 1994 was printed on the photos but the month and day was not included. Perhaps someone out in the Blog-O-Sphere remembers this historic incident and can be more specific concerning the date.

I took the following photo of the empty lot where the bakery had been about ten years after it had been demolished. It looks much the same today. 

July 21, 2004 photo by Pete Stemmer

My favorite story regarding the demolishing of the bakery involved Burrel Adams (photo on right), a good friend of mine and a photographer of historic sites in our area, who has since passed away. Burrel decided to take a photo of the old bakery building to preserve a record of its existence, as he had done with many area buildings. When he got home to examine the photo on his computer, he found that the sun was at an unfortunate angle which caused three bright spots to appear on the roof and top floor which, Burrel believed, ruined his shot. 

3 bright spots ruined Burrel's bakery photo

He returned to New Gretna the next day to retake the photo and was surprised to find that the building had vanished. Talk about bad timing!

Pete S


  1. Those "bad" spots can be easily eliminated with a little Photoshop magic.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

  2. That bakery was originally a Knights of Pythias hall that my father Gene Hornberger purchased and turned into E. Hornberger and Sons bakery. He sold it to the owners of the New Gretna house restaurant sometime around 1979 or 1980

  3. Sad news, people have memories with their buildings and demolishing them is really hurting.