Days of Yore
as recounted by

Bill Day


Stuffing the chimney
Boys would be boys; even back then
Once the only public school building in Haddonfield was on the corner of Grove street and Lake street.  In its heyday that little one room school was the scene of proof that boys were boys back in that time.

Thomas Redman often told Stanley, his son, that many times during the winter the boys would climb onto the roof of the school to stuff rags and paper down the chimney.  When the teacher lit the wood fire in the morning the smoke soon filled the little room and it had to be vacated.

School often was dismissed for the day as often no adult was available to free the chimney.  When questioned no student ever knew how the chimney ever got blocked up.

Until after the armistice of World War I, Haddonfield's movie house was still known as the "Bright Spot."  It had 150 seats and stood near Haddon avenue on the highway adjacent to the two old buttonwood trees.

Charlie Peno, a Collingswood resident, was the manager, Stan Redman was in the ticket booth, and Tim, Stan's brother, was the ticket collector and tender of the coal furnace.

Mr Peno decided to promote a popularity contest with Haddonfield girls as the contestants.  He took motion pictures of the girls with a hand cranked movie camera.  The girls wore sports attire or dresses.  During the evening shows the pictures were shown several times.  Every ticket sold was accompanied by a blank slip attached, on which the holder could write the girl's name of his choice.  The slips were dropped into a box in the lobby.

This promoted business as the townsfolk could vote for their favorites as many times as they went to the movies.

The contest ended and the board posted in the lobby of the theater where the daily score had been written during the contest proclaimed the winner to be a pretty young lady, Jennie Cassario.

The Atlantic Beauty Pageant finished a distant second that year to the Bright Spot's Popularity Contest.

Remember when the trolley car tracks ended on east Kings highway at Potter street and how the cars were switched over there to the tracks for the return trip to Camden?  Occasionally there was a scene to be witnessed that attracted everyone.

A car would skid off the tracks onto the bricks with which the Highway was then paved.  There was a wait until the next car arrived and a long bar would be attached between the two trolleys.  The wayward car was then pulled back onto the tracks.  The street's bricks were never damaged, only cracked.  A patching job could be done before the next derailment.

In each car there were containers full of sand and pipes from them could be poured through pipes onto the rails for traction during icy, cold weather, or when sudden stops were required.

The system was not too successful as the cars were so long that the wheels did not reach enough sand in time. Homepage
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