Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lost Irvington--The Neighborhood Grocery

Prior to the 1950s, most Irvington residents obtained their grocery products from small neighborhood stores within walking distance of their homes. Larger grocery chains like Standard Grocery put many of the smaller shops out of business by the mid-twenieth century although a few remained longer.

In this wonderful photo, neighborhood girlfriends gather along Beechwood Avenue for a photo in 1953. Behind the kids, you can see the former Wuest Grocery Store at 5902 Beechwood Avenue. William J. Wuest, the child of German immigrants, and his wife Anna opened the business in the new building in 1920. The family lived next door at 385 Good Avenue.

By the 1950s, the structure was used as a beauty shop and as an apartment. Sadly, by 2010, it sat derelict and vacant. On the night of April 20, 2010, a teenaged arsonist entered the building and destroyed the historic structure.

Pictured in the top photo taken in 1953 are: Linda Bevis, Debbie St. John, Claudia St. John, Donna Bevis, and Jean Ferling. This image is courtesy of Bill Ferling.

The bottom photo, taken in April of 2010, by a WISHTV reporter, shows the structure on fire and before it was demolished.

More research is needed on this grocery and on others that served residents along East Washington Street, Audubon Road, Arlington Avenue, and Dewey Avenue.

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