Keith’s Corner

By Keith Gibson

There was a rather high curb on the upper side of main street for many years.  You can see the cars parked in front of it.

There was a section of dirt between the curb and the sidewalk.  There were two gas pumps in the dirt, one in front of Goodman’s and one in front of Cononolus store.  These pumps had a large glass top. There was a large handle that one pumped their gas up into the glass to see how much you wanted.  Then it drained into your tank.   The picture also shows the two entrances to Goodman’s, which is now Bradleys’.  There are three cars to the right  of the gas pump.  I think the dark one is the car that Jack VanCamp bought from the Frandsen family of McGill.  You can also see the awnings rolled up on the front of Goodman’s and the drug store. Notice the gas station on the corner across from the bank.  It was a Standard station and then a Beeline.  That area is now the site of the fire and ambulance building.

The curb ran from the bank down to the telephone office next to the Assuras Meat Market and just below the VFW Hall.

There were some steps and at one time a hand rail in front of the curb directly in front of the McGill Café and the Sheriff’s office.

The curb was about 16 inches tall, but everyone had no trouble stepping up and over it.  I am sure some of the modern tight dresses that gals wear would be a problem.  The ADA law would come into play also.

I drove the WPHS bus for the freshman and sophomore girls during the 1953-54 school years.  It was a long critter.  We kept the buses in the north side of the old Standard market building.  There was a small door that is now bricked up, that we had to navigate thru.  The entrance left about 3 inches on each side of the bus, so one had to be careful.

When backing out in the morning the curb across the street was quite a barrier.  My bus was very long , but the back end stuck out over the back wheels and was high enough to go over the curb, so I could back up until the back wheels touched the curb.

After unloading the last of the giggly girls, after school, I had to make quite a sharp turn to line up with the door into the garage.

The Standard Market was not there at the time.  There was a gas station  run by Ray and Mary O’Neil.  They had a coupe of gas pumps next to the street.  There was also a Nash car dealership office in the station.

I remember the old Nash cars that looked like an upside down bathtub on wheels.

The high curb allowed for the main street to be a bit more level than it is now.  I have a picture of the upper side of the street in 1919 and the curb is not there.  I believe it was taken out in the late 1950s or early 60s.  I do have a photo of the steps in front of the Sheriff’s office and will use it in a future column.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Get the latest news, alerts, and more from The Ely Times straight to your inbox.

Comments

  1. Dave Shaver (WPHS class if '51) says:

    I believe one of the reasons for the high curbs was because of the occasional floods that ran down main street when Robinson Creek and Murray Creek were filled with snow melt. I remember stepping out of the Ely Theater one evening and witnessing a torrent of brown water running down Main street like a river. Eventually it became very necessary to manage this problem because of the dangers inherit is this kind of situation.

Speak Your Mind

*

shares