Days of Yore
 Haddon Ave (37K)
Haddon Avenue
as recounted by

Bill Day


Around the Library
When Tillie Clement called and asked me to come down here to the library some time and have a tape made to file in the historical section, I immediately thought of how much fun it would be to reminisce about the area where this library is standing.  The section is close to some of my earliest memories in life.  I was born in one of the little double houses down on Lake Street, and when I was very young my mother would frequently take me up to Tanner Street to see my Grandmom and Grandpop Davis who lived in one of the little board yard houses, as they were called, that stood on Tanner Street adjacent to Willits Coal and Lumber Yard.  They were called thus because originally they had been built for the lumberyard employees.  My grandparents, according to Ben Wood who owned them, paid $6.00 a month rent.  This was paid out of the $30 Civil War pension that they received every month.  Coming up Lake Street, on the corner was the beautiful white home of old Mr. and Ms. Elkington.  Opposite, on the other side of Haddon Avenue, was the big framed wooden house of Mr. and Mrs Rhoads, which later became know as the Estaugh, a home for elderly Quakers.  Between the lawn of the Rhoads home and a little vine covered cottage that stood on the triangle where Tanner Street and Haddon Avenue meet, there was a foot path that connected Haddon and Tanner.  This triangle was owned by the Nicholson family, and a Mr. and Mrs. Smiley and their son Paul lived in the cottage.  They were servants of Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads.  Mr. Smiley kept a fine flower garden in a raised garden which was surrounded by a low round topped brick wall.  His geraniums were beautiful every spring.  At the point of the triangle was a large hollowed out piece o f granite which a pipe supplied with water where the teams of horses traveling on Haddon Avenue could be watered.  Another brick footpath crossed over, making a short cut for the two streets.  Tem years ago I met Paul Smiley wher he was living in a section of Pennsauken know as Jordantown.  This is a district predominately colored that is on the Haddonfield Road near the Iron Rock Country Club.  We had a grand time reminiscing about the old days.  Evan Rhoads' mother and father lived in what is now Gene Hinski's funeral home.  The athletic field was to the rear of the present YMCA building and the old baseball backstop was still standing.

All of this has been an endeavor to paint a picture of what the area surrounding this library was like approximately fifty five to sixty years ago.  The library is marked with the date 1917. But it seems that it actually was not really built until after the war, a year or so later, and the 1917 date had already been purchased and was used.  Miss Cawley was the librarian who moved down to this building form the chestnut Street library building which stood at the bend of Chestnut Street in the first block.  Mrs.. Walker, a nice old English lady, was her assistant for many years.  Adjacent to the library on the other side of Tanner Street was a section that was known as the Thousand Islands.  The streets Wilkins Avenue, Allen Avenue and Rosedale Avenue have been practically eliminated, replaced by parking lots for the high speed line.

Thinking of the Elkingtons recalls that when Pop Ernest was their chauffeur his pipe odor which accompanied him whenever he got in the car was very noticeable.  Mrs. Elkington told him if he would stop smoking his pip she would give him a dime for each package of Granger tobacco that he didn't buy.  Pop agreed, but unknown to here he bought boxes of snuff with which he lined one side of his mouth.  It didn't smell, and the Henry D. Moore family declared another dividend as they owned the snuff.

Also thinking of that granite water trough reminds one of the story often told of how the kids in the neighborhood would in the summer when the open trolleys would come up Haddon Avenue full of passengers, would put their finger on the pipe hat supplied the water and squirt the water into the open cars at the riders.  How the conductor would chase them, then report them to the police.  Then Ted Hough, the chief of police, would be seen riding his bicycle down Haddon Avenue to get after the boys.  Ted knew who the culprits were, and the main one later became a town official.  To mention his name would be a little embarrassing, don't you think?  If memory serves us right, we can remember that the trough wen no longer in use mistaken out to Joe Brigg's farm where it was used to water the horses.

This just about completes my remembrances of the area, but one still recalls a tragedy that occurred right at the point of the triangle when Sam Wood's wagon was struck by a public service bus, killing Sam, who was the president of the Haddonfield National Bank.  The horse, freed from the wagon by the crash, ran home, and when Mrs. Wood saw him braying and prancing nervously in the barnyard said to the horse, "Lady horse, what is the matter?"  And said to Ben Peyton, the hired man who lived over in Saddlertown, "Follow Mr. Wood's trail up town and see what has happened to him."  Ben did, and soon found out what had happened. Homepage
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