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Elmira Country is a collection of sites that feature stories and photos about some favorite places in Upstate New York

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Adam Knight -

Hello. While I don't have an Elmira memory to share, I'm posting in hope that someone will share their memories with me. My name is Adam Knight, and I am a writer and teacher in New Jersey. I grew up in Vestal.

I am currently working on a book about the life of one of Elmira's oldest residents, Dina Jacobson. She is a survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp and has lived a remarkable life. I am searching for impressions and memories of people in the community. Specifically, I'm looking for stories about: Dina, if you know her husband, Kalman "Jake" Jacobson.

Jake's Glass Shop was a fixture of the community for many years. He also worked for Southern Tier Glass and Mirror for almost twenty years, so any memories about that place would help, as well.

Any other information about the glass shop, including stories about Hoppe, who owned the shop before. Sam and Rose Stemmerman owned Stemmerman's Grocery. They were Dina's aunt and uncle that took the young couple in when they first arrived from Europe. Any memory, no matter how minor it might seem, would help give me more perspective about their role in Elmira.

And even if you don't have a specific memory, but remember any of these people and want to share your impressions, I'd love to hear. Please email me and share your story!

On a related note, there is another aspect of Dina's life story that remains a mystery to me (and to her). When she was living in a Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Germany, by chance she ran into an American soldier from Horseheads. This man helped Dina connect with her relatives (the Stemmermans) in Elmira. If you happen to know of any American soldiers who served at Feldafing DP Camp in Germany after the war, any time from 1946-1950, please let me know. We're trying to "connect the dots" and find that soldier, whose name has long been forgotten, or some surviving member of his family. Thank you so much for any help you can provide me!

Jim Wescott, EFA 55 -
City Now: St Louis MO

Found this great site purely by accident while doing genealogy research. I guess we do this when we get too old to do other things that we used to do. I recall with great fondness sliding down Reformatory Hill, across the road and down Kingsbury Avenue to my house. Cars would normally slow down and watch out for us kids. Not like today.

Fishing in the Chemung River, Catherine Creek and hunting in the hills in back of the prison are great memories. Also Lib's Supper Club where I took my future wife on our first date. Eldridge Park was an all day affair - playing ball, fishing for oil soaked bull heads, riding Jasper for a few pennies a day and never had any problems there. More often than not we were given a lot of free rides on the coaster and merry go round when things were slow. We were there alot. All the places mentioned bring back great memories. The world was alot simpler then.

Doug Johnson - SHS 79 -
Located now: Frederick MD

Lived on the corner of Hudson & Chestnut till 72, then Coldbrook Drive till 79. St. Mary's Church & School, Rahall's. Brand Park Pool - 10 cents included a look through the small window into the deep end as you entered. Clay's Store for penny candy after school. Karam's Market. I went to school with Sammy. Pudgies Pizza right across the street. M&M Red Hots - it has been a 50-year family tradition. My best friend's uncle owned it (where r u KOSCO?).

The best for last, no one had this one (Editor's note: A wonderful memory, but sorry, Doug - Angelina Coletta Payne beat you to it - see her entry on our Remembering Elmira Page 5 ). You could hear his bell from 2 blocks away - MISTER SOFTIE!!! Thank you for the memories - ELMIRA was our Field of Dreams!!!!

Allen Sadler, SHS 48 -
SHS 48

Does any one remember the name of the restaurant at the Southport Shopping Center in the 1950-1960s?

Bob Southee, Annandale VA
School SHS 40

We first lived on Home Street off Maple Avenue on the Southside. Remember going to Dunn Field with the Knot Hole Gang from the YMCA. Dad managed Glider Meets at Harris Hill, so spent a lot of time there. First hero was sailplane champion Dick DuPont (killed in WWII). Moved to Church Street. Went to Hoffman Street Grammar School (no longer there). Had ice cream from nearby Elcor Dairy. Went to Saturday double-feature movies downtown, including a cowboy flick. There were five theaters. Can only remember the Keeney, which featured first-run films. Saw the "Human Fly" climb up the side of the Mark Twain Hotel. Iszard's and Gorton Coy were high class department stores. Moved away in 1940, but have always had a place in my heart for Elmira, where "Everything was up to date."

Bonnie Baker-Duff, No. Owego -
School: Thomas K Beecher School 1950 -1957

The dike behind our house at 600 Sullivan Street...we used to use waxed cardboard boxes and slide down the bank in the summertime. I've told my kids about this and they think I'm weird. It was great fun all summer!

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usFanny Farmer Candy Store, Mark Twain Hotel, Capitol Theater. I took dancing lessons nearby (forgot the name). My pals were the Givens Twins and Michelle Enright. We lived right next to the railroad underpass. The Crowns were our neighbors.

I remember the men who rode the rails, getting off the train as it slowed and my mom would give them sandwiches and coffee and told them to stay on the back porch. She told us not to go down to their camp either. We ignored that warning. They shared their beans and whatever food and taught us great songs! (shhhhh). Newtown Creek was on the other side of the dike. Rope swing was a favorite.

My happiest childhood years were spent in Elmira. I loved Eldridge Park and Harris Hill. Rhode's Gas Station on the corner. Even have fond memories of the Brimmer kids. Thanks for this great site!

George Moran. SHS 64 -
Hangouts: Pitt's Goodie Shoppe, Sam's, Dixie Barbecue
Located Now: Massachusetts

Werdenbergs, Harolds Army and Navy, Iszards, Turks, M & M Red Hots, Seeley Creek - Maple Ave's Swimming Hole, hiking on South Mountain, Friday Nite Dances at the church on Pennsylvania Ave.The 13th Ward Barbershop, Reinhart's Grocery on Erie Street, Maple Farms Dairy, Scurvy Ervs, Bessie's Grocery Store on South Main St. Bait Shop on Shannon Avenue, The Willow Grove Bar, Rustic Gardens.

Does anyone remember the 25 mile hike we walked in Alpha Zeta for charity? Was it 1963? Does anyone have photos, or newspaper article from Star Gazette?

Does anyone remember the senior class party at Keuka Lake cottage we rented for the class of 1964? What a weekend that was, if anyone can remember?

Does anyone remember going to boot camp on the train from Elmira to Great Lakes Ill.with me on Dec.22,1963, what a wild ride with a car load of recruits. I vaguely remember the stops along the way to pick up refreshments of the liquid kind. I was 17,and a junior at SHS. The days of innocence were fading fast. Good memories of those days continue on.


Karin Lewis, Jacksonville FL -

Elmira had amazing places for ice cream! Lovell's lucky Mondays, Cappy's Mexican Sundaes - and hot fudge sundaes after the movies with my grown up cousin, Molly, at the Mark Twain Hotel. I didn't see mention of Moretti's, famous for amazing steaks slathered in butter. What about The Lovely Shop, which I remember as a fancy dress shop I went to with my mother and grandmother. I remember getting my Junior Prom dress there, even though by that time we lived in Fairport.

I remember a store called Elmira Arms, which, though I think it was a gun store, had a terrific toy section. I was a nut for Ginny Dolls, and I remember entering that dark place and feeling the thrill of knowing I'd soon be adding to my collection.

I remember a food store on Fifth Street near my grandmother's, called Leesi's which had huge rounds of upstate white cheddar so sharp it burned your tongue. I remember the Creighton Dairy, also near my grandmother's, which had a glass-doored cooler outside, where you could get milk any hour of the day or night. My brother and I went back a couple of years ago, had an M&M Hot Dog (amazing still), a cookie at Light's Bakery.

Elmira would be a perfect setting for a movie taking place in the 1950's. Preserved in amber. Thanks for your great site!

James Bruner -

Bill, I am sitting in McDonalds in Big Flats talking to a former Southsider who remembers going to Scurvy Erv's. He mentioned that Erv had a charge system for penny candy for the kids. He extended credit to the kids and at the end of the week they would pay. Do you remember this?

No where today can kids enjoy someone like Scurvy Erv! This is a great web site you created. Thanks for the memories!

Ray Quackenbush, SHS 77 -
City Now: Rochester

Wow! What a great site, folks. I think everybody that contributed to this site pretty much said it all with their contributions. I remember most of these places. What a trip down memory lane. Go SHS Green Hornets! God bless the late Coach Tom Hurley.

click here to visit Coach Hurley's Home Page

Bob Fort, EFA 58 -

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usOK, how about some East Side memories from the late Forties and the Fifties? Do you remember Hoppe, the Glass Man at the corner of Dewitt and John Streets? How about Shulman's Junk Yard and turning in collected papers and magazines to earn enough money to go to the Capitol on Saturday afternoon? Did you ever see the row houses along John Street just east of Madison Avenue, Gary's Candy Store across the street? How about Fanny's Grocery on Madison just across from John Street, or Lovitch's Bakery on John Street? Ever go roller skating on the slate sidewalk outside St. Peter and Paul's Church; have a soda at Benedict's Drug Store at the corner of Church and Sullivan Streets? Ever buy a live chicken from Max on Saturday at the Market near Fox Street? Ever eat at the New England Kitchen on Lake Street? Remember the elm trees that lined Madison Avenue before the blight?

Gary Pellor, Hopkins Street School -
City Now: Galt CA

Loved Schmick's Ice Cream in the summer and ice skating in the winter. One year it was so cold my sister Mary and brother Roger and I skated across the frozen Chemung River from Bonaview Avenue to DownTown, changed into shoes, climbed the dike ladder and went to the Capitol Theatre. We left the movies and ice skated home and never did tell our parents how the ice cracked and moaned and groaned under our weight. We didn't do that again. Loved Elmira - left in 1956

Diana Seymour, SHS 72 -
Location now: Northeast TN

Thank you so much for the memories. sitting here with happy tears on my cheeks reading thru here. Lower Eastside was my neighborhood! Lived between the Viaduct and Rt 17 until I was 17 and the 72 flood. I miss Beecher, Janowski's Grocery, Gary's Penny Candy just around the corner from where my mom's husband lived with his mother. Roy's Restaurant on Water Street where my mom worked as short order cook and waitress off and on for years, and where I used to help out cleaning off tables when I was little. I couldn't sit on the steps of Benedict's eating a cone afraid that someone would call my mom to tattle on me! To this day ,I still swear that every adult in town knew my mother, whose name was Midge.

T& J Market, Cary's Drug Store, Loblaws, Gorton Coy where I bought my wedding dress just before the Flood of 72 - during the flood, my then boyfriend and I were the very last ones allowed to cross over Fitch's Bridge. It was shortly after we crossed that a house struck the bridge and knocked it down.

Kresge's, Newberry's lunch counter, Pete's Central Hots, Armen's Hots, M & M Red Hots, George's Sandwich Shop with the huge hunk of beef slow roasting in the front window. Patsy's Rigatoni on a rainy day. Block dances that I was too young for but got to go anyway because my older brother Larry was babysitting me and wanted to go. Joycrest, Brick Pond, Brand Park Pool, swimming in Newtown Creek at "B.A.B", how many eastsiders remember that? Swimming and picnics at Seeley Creek by the bridge, finally getting brave enough to jump off the 'rock', then getting ice cream at Maple Lawn Dairy. Lilo's, Lena's, Al's where I was more or less adopted. Southside Sub Shop. Harold's where I used to buy my jeans. All 3 movie theaters.

Neil Fogarty, Mt. Vision (near Cooperstown)-

Hangouts: Branch Office, OP, Michael's, Depot, The Pub, Brass Ring, Patrick's, Good Times, Bernie Murray's, Jean's Beans, HillTop Inn, Bus Horrigan's, Driscolls - and then there's Corning, Sayer, Wellsburg, Horseheads

Mentioned most of them in my hangouts, but although I didn't graduate from EFA, SHS or ND, my four kids did: Chris, Tara and Sean from EFA; Matthew from ND. St. Anthony's Church and the CYO basketball and baseball games; Football, baseball players & cheerleaders staying over at our house on Grove Street near Arnot Ogden Hospital. What a neighborhood we had back then from the early 70's thru the early 90's. Morrell's, McNamara's, Abrunzo's - so many great folks. Block Parties and get togethers all summer long. Thank you, Mr Cook, for a march down Memory Lane. Elmira was quite the place in antedeluvian days (pre-'72). but you can't wash the memories or drown our spirits. Maybe next time I write I'll reminisce about my "callout" on Thurs. June 21st, 1972 at 6pm. (I was a lineman for NYSEG for 40+ years) PS, many of the aforementioned families STILL stay in touch regularly although blown by the winds of job searches.

Steve Christofaro, EFA 74 -

Lowell Pharmacy - Dick Lowell was Mayor when I was a kid. My dad would go there every week for medicine and my brother and I would always tag along for comic books. Lowell's was on the corner of Washington and Davis. I grew up on Hoffman Street and loved Hoffman business district. There was Westside Wine and Spirits, Doc's Candies - kids got a free piece of candy for every 'A' on their report card (you had to bring your card). Lou 's Variety - nicest man in town and had everything you could ever need in his store and knew where to find it in all the clutter.

Patty Cake Bakery still had a 10 ounce soda bottle machine when eveybody else was going with cans. Something about opening the door and pulling out a bottle by the neck was cool to us. Plus soda tastes better in a glass bottle. They had the best chocolate covered custard filled doughnuts ever. Next came the laundromat, then the Rexall Drug Store. They still had a soda fountain and lunch counter.

There was a pay phone on the block and one day my friend and I put our fingers in the change slot and it was like we had hit the jackpot on a slot machine. We spent like a couple of drunken sailors up and down the block that day.

Let's also remember Jim DeNunzio's Italian Grocery on Second and Grove. Best sausage ever! My mom would send me on my bike to get 5 lbs of sweet sausage, then up to Rossi's Bakery on Washington Ave. for their Vienna bread. I remember those loaves of bread hanging of my handle bars and me trying in vain to keep them out of the spokes of my front tire. But it was worth it. I could eat a million of those little sausage sandwiches on that crusty bread with my mom's peppers and onions. Holy cow! We ate like kings. I continued to buy my sausage from Jimmy D's for the next 40 years or so, till he passed away.

Most of those wonderful places are gone now. I have fond memories of knowing all the people behind the counter that made their small busnesses so unique and special.

Mike Birdsall, SHS 67 -
Schools: CCC '72, EC '75

Now living in Kentucky - a pure Southside boy from Franklin Street, St Mary's, Broadway & SHS. I remember Winnick's and Karam's Grocery. The Sub Shop on South Main was run by three SHS/Broadway teachers. Mike Palmeiri's Restaurant. Turk's and Gerald's Pharmacy. The Cake Box (giant half moon chocolate cookies for 4 cents!. "Scurvy Erv's" on Broadway (great plastic models and comic books), Proms at Mark Twain Ballroom. Sam's for 25 cent Genesee beers! No locked doors.

Maureen Agan Kay, SHS 61 -
City Now: Gilbert AZ

Does anyone know the bbq sauce recipe that was used on the chicken bbq sandwiches at Dixie BBQ? Best ever!!

Jim Woughter, TAE 56 -
City Now: Harlingen TX

Spud-nut Shop on 14th St. Ray's Soda Bar at 14th and Oakwood, worked at Erway's on 14th St. How about the 2 bakery's on Horseheads Blvd. Bought gas at Copp's Rotary at Lake Rd and McCanns. Lived at corner of Franklin and Jefferson streets on the Southside. Played pool in Bahanka's Garage. Fawn Beverage cream soda and orange were the best. How about the talent shows at Eldridge Park.

Bill Fulkerson, SHS 64 -
City Now: Kalamazoo MI

Great site! What a terrific trip down memory lane. Turcks, Pitts, Pioneer Restaurant, Chuck's, Sanitary Barber Shop, Brand Park Pool, Miller Pond.

Left Elmira in 1966 for the Air Force and moved to Michigan after discharge. So many great memories of the "old home town" football games at Parker Field, countless hours at Brand Park, learned to swim at the pool, the creepy tunnel by the LaFrance when walking to SHS & Parley Coburn - great sodas at Lovell's, Turck's, White's Drug Store. I tended bar at Sam's & made friends with a few of the ball players that hung out there- Lou Pinella & Andy Etchebarren to name a couple. Played catch in the alley off Magnolia St with Ed Watt & Jim Palmer. Wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

Ron Tunison, EFA 73 -
City Now: Horseheads

Who remembers Suke's Kitchen located at the Bulkhead Plaza in Southport, back in the 60's? Owned and operated by my mom, Edna Tunison, and my Aunt Vera Knowles...More recently the site of Steed's Pharmacy.

Bev Pearson, Colorado Springs
School: went to Beecher School - then to Elmira Free Academy

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usUsed to lay on bed and watch EFA football games..Used to ride my bike to Royal Dairy on Lake Street. I don't know if anyone remembers Walnut Food on Walnut St? But our dad, Casmir, made the best polish sausage around. He died at 55 and the recipe went with him.

Didn't any one ever go to the Neighborhood House on Fifth St? It was the best place to hang out.They had roller skating, games & crafts. But the best was the Christmas parties for us kids with presents. No one went home empty handed.

What ever happened to the bowling alleys or the big one on Southside by Notre Dame High School. We bowled for the Westinghouse team. We sure had a lot of fun. We use to go to A&W on the Lake Road. And how about the pumpernickel bread we would get in the Heights. It only was 25¢. It was by the Ukrainian Church. What about all the church bazaars and food every summer. We will be back.

Tiffany Barron, Austin TX -

I grew up on Grove Street in the 70's and 80's. My dad went to Elmira College. I remember going to the Drive in Theater, skating at Joycrest Roller Rink and watching the gliders at Harris Hill. My dad would take us to Lovell's Ice Cream Parlor for banana splits. I am so glad I found this page. I really miss those days.

Elizabeth (Betty Wilson) Banks
City Now: Back home in Elmira after being in NJ for 36 years
School: EFA 74

I grew up in the 70's and Elmira had some great hangout spots. My favorite hangout was Eldridge Park, Brand Pool, eating at Woolworths, and going to the Elmira Drive-In with family. Walking to EFA from where we lived John Street, Sullivan Street(the area was known as the Hollow), we would stop in Rossi's every morning for those yummy half moon cookies. I loved shopping at Newberry's, and Kresge's, eating at M&M Hots, going to the Neighboorhood House across from Ernie Davis Jr. every weekend and participating in talent shows, skating, arts & crafts and watch my brothers box.

John Ryan, Canandaigua -

In the early 70's, I worked at WT Grant Dept.Store as an asst manager. Went with a great girl Pat Negri. Always wondered what happened to her. If anyone knows please e-mail me.

Butch Hetherton, SHS 71-
City Now: Melbourne FL

What a trip down memory lane. I could comment on every post. I lived by Turk's on Henry Street. My aunt worked at X-Cel Dairy. My dad worked at Parley Coburn and Broadway. I remember all the places on your site. Thanks for the memories.

George M Diven -

I was born at Arnot Ogden in 1929 and am currently iving in a retirement community in Fl. I grew up in Corning and Dundee, but my grandparents lived on Hoffman Street next to the Hoffman Homestead. In the early 90's we became aware of a resident of our tiny vacation community in NH named Bill Hoffman. Turns out our fathers were good friends and classmates in high school. Small world. This is a great site. I see a contributor has memories of the Diven Mansion on Lake Street, now long gone. I could probably contribute some info, as it was built by my grandfather's grandfather. Thanks for this site.

James Pierce, Elmira -
Hangouts: Brand Park & all five movie houses

Jim Pierce's Barber Shop was in the same place for 50 years - corner Maple Ave. & Luce St. on the Southside

Kathy Kittle McGee, Clemson SC -
School: Elmira SHS class of 1961

WOW, reading this is going WAY back in time. Thanks to Bill Cook for this award-winning site. My first job at 16 was selling costume jewelry at ISZARD'S; ROSENBAUM'S was next, actually worked both jobs for awhile. Then was cashier at the REGENT THEATRE (that was scary but I was locked in a box), heard there were rats inside. I could do my homework while there were no customers. My dad owned AL'S MOBIL at the corner of Madison and Church - golly I didn't even have a car where gas would have been free!! Imagine that at nearly $4/gallon today. Loved the GORTON COY, ELDRIDGE PARK, M&M HOTS, BRADLEY FARMS, and to go way back when I was at PENNA AVE SCHOOL it would have to be X-CEL DAIRY. Many times today my friends and I discuss how for a quarter we could go to the movie, have popcorn, a drink, candy and have change left. OK, I know I am old, but these were truly the GOOD OLE DAYS. Growing up in Elmira in the 50's was THE best!

Beverly Loveless, Horseheads -

Dances at the YMCA on Friday Nights. Lunch at Dooher's Drug Store

Diane Swarthout, Pine City & EFA 61 -

I remember Carey's Drug Store on East Church, spent a lot of time there. The Pine Bar on Lake Street as well as the Dahlia on Lackawana Ave. Armen's Texas Hots ( of course, since it was my grandfather's place).

What I remember the most is being able to walk around at night & feel safe.

Elaine (Stedge) Rosekrans, Elmira -
Schools: Beecher , Ernie Davis, EFA 1972

Still here after 58 years. I grew up on East Ave. at the foot of East Hill. There was Johnny's Bar right on the corner of East Ave and Sullivan Streets and Vanetta's Store (we used to call it Freddie's cause that was the owner's first name) right across the street. I remember the Dandy Food Market next to Cary's Drugstore and stopping in Cary's on Sunday for a Cherry Coke or Vanilla Phosphate(my favorite). My mom sending us to Benedict's for click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usCoke syrup to use when we had a stomach ache. Someone mentioned Dog-n-Burger there was one on the point by Ernie Davis when I went there. I was in one of the first Junior High classes to go to Ernie Davis when they turned it into a junior high school, the basement floor wasn't even finished being remodeled yet. There was a Dairy Queen just across the street from the point where Dog-n-Burger was too. Also remember the Mohawk Market, they had one of the best bakeries in town there. And i came back and bought a house in that this neighborhood 18 years ago and I'm still here. I guess what they say is true, the short term memory goes and the long term memory gets stronger.

Jo VanDemark, State of Montana -

Phillips Bakery and Lincoln Elementary School both in Elmira Heights.

Melanie Bathluk Murguia, SHS 73 -
City Now: Culpeper VA

Loved the hot dog place on Water Street, just down from Woolworth's. It was great. I was able to get the recipe before he closed. Now we eat at M&M when we go home.

Duane Bauman -
City Now: Himrod

Maple Farms Dairy on Erie Street, Yenger Cole Co. on Church, The Horseradish Factory on Second Street, Rubin's Auto Salvage on Tuttle Ave., Vern's Bar on East Water, Tastee Freez on Lake Road, Harry the Ice Man, Houck's Dairy, Brockway Motors on East Water, the Arena Lunch, 11th Ward on South Main.

Mary Ackerman, Elmira -

Burns Grocery on the corner of Main & Franklin. My home - Jenkins Farms on Lower Maple Ave.

Roxanne Card-Bailey, SHS72 -
City Now: Sidney, MT

My great uncle Clayton Curren, owned Clay's Variety and Craft Store at the corner of Fulton and Mt. Zoar Streets. Had tons of craft items of all sorts, penny candy. he looked like a hermit. In reality, he was kind person with a big giving heart. Once a month on Sunday evening, I would go with my dad to bring home pizza from Zarro's Pizza. I remember the big silver looking pizza oven. My Nana always did her grocery shopping at Acme in Southport. My grandmother always bought her groceries at Grand Union on Penn Ave. For short shopping list, like bread, she would send one of grand kids around the corner to Karam's Market on Mt. Zoar. She lived on Jefferson Street. Kasper Dairy delivered our milk to our house. My grandmother and my Nana had their milk delivered to their house by Bower Dairy. Nana's came in a brown glass bottle. It was Pasturized Homogenized. My grandmother's came in a clear glass bottle was Pasturized. Skating at Joy Crest on Lake Road. Dancing and racing on roller skates. A close childhood friend Carol Stocum had a play house in the back yard. Lived across from Broadway School. Walk 3+ miles to school every school day to SHS. Worked for Dr. Cook at Broadway Animal Hospital. My aunt was the administrator. Senior year of high school, my best friend's (Cindy Allen from Wellsburg) grandmother owned a Rest Home on Lower Maple Ave. Worked there as an aide. I was working there the night that the Flood of '72 hit Elmira. Was stranded there with two other employees and the patients for five nights, six days. My first nursing job was at Arnot Ogden Hospital. Found a couple of the security guards to be entertaining. Always a sucker for a guy in a uniform.

Marty Strong, EFA 66 -
City Now: Elmira (moved back in 1989)

Great reading about all these places I remember. How about the original Sears near where Weiss Market is now. Had first escalator in Elmira at the time. Also The Recreation on State Street owned by my grandfather Joe Brownlow. He and Doc Carey were the two top bowlers in Elmira at the time, talking late 30's, 40's and 50's. The Recreation had 8 bowling alleys and 4 or 5 pool tables. Used to set pins on Sat. and Sundays. Illegal card and craps games upstairs. I have 10 of the original bowling pins which were made out of kiln maple. We used to burn the chipped pins in our fireplace. Also have a bowling shirt from 1950 with Langwell Hotel on the back. Locker room of place later became The Rec where we hung out in High School. Dairy Queen down by old EFA. Ban-Field Baker store with green parrot in cage was near old Greyhound Bus Station close to corner of State and Church. Clemons Parkway is old State Street. What was the name of soda shop on Water Street in West Elmira, now a hair salon place?

Roxanne Card-Bailey, SHS72 -
City Now: Sidney MT

I remember every Friday my Nana and I would take the city bus from Partridge Street to Remington Rand where my grandpa worked. Friday was payday and Grandpa was always at the same window. He would put his hand out the window, and give his paycheck to Nana. Then, she and I would get on the city bus and go Overtown. We would go to Elmira Savings Bank. Then to the Gas and Electric and the Elmira Water Board to pay bills.

On special occassions,she would take me to Planter Peanut Shop on Water Street. I recall a "Mr.Peanut Man" walking around in front of the shop. Sometimes we would to Iszard's Dept Store. One of my aunts worked in the office. We would have lunch with her in the Tea Room. Always had a vanilla phosphate and egg salad sandwich. The elevators with the attendants were so facinating. They were dressed so well. Nothing was out of place. I often have wondered how those women's feet felt after standing all day with high heels on. They wore white gloves. There were male attendants also. l remember "going up" "going down."

There was the city cop who always stood in the intersection of Water and Main Streets directing traffic. The Ladies' Exchange on Railroad Avenue. The lunch counter at Kresge's, Woolworth's, and JJ Newberry department stores. At the age of five, my mom took me to the Gorton Coy for my first hair cut. The Record Shop found me spending my hard earned baby sitting money. Peoples' Place had the best wore out jeans in the city. Who would have ever guessed that Tommy would be famous some day. Vanilla fountain cokes at Turck's on Main Street. My birthday cakes came from the Cake Box. I still have a ceramic ballarenia from my 6th birthday cake.

Church every Sunday at Centinary Methodist. Iszard's Christmas Day Parade the day after Thanksgiving. My aunt would take all of us to the Mark Twain Hotel for lunch after the parade. Bowling at EBC, summer swimming lessons at Brand Park Pool, family Picnics and summer Bible Camp at Harris Hill, Parades with the Southport Fire Department (my sister and I were baton twirlers for them).

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with us

Marge MacPherson -

My husband Walt "Bunny" MacPherson (now deceased) often spoke of the Community Wagon. It went around to all the city parks during the summer. At Grove Park it pulled up on 4th Street, the side came down to form a stage. Inside there was a screen with words to all the songs, a piano, a piano player and a song leader. Did he tell me the song leader was Evan R. Evans? I'm not sure. Everyone would bring chairs and benches. Those in the audience could get on stage and perform. He liked this so much that his dad helped him make his own Community Wagon. He lived across from the park on Grove Street. He and the wagon would go all around his yard with him singing at the top of his voice. He often spoke of this and for years looked for pictures he knew he had but couldn't find. He would be very happy to know that someone else remembered this.

Personally I taught music in the schools and loved every minute of it. In 1955 I subbed for a term at SHS. Class of '58, did I have any of you? Over the years I was also at Beecher, Wellsburg, Coldbrook, Mountain View, Webb Mills, Pine City, Broadway, Coburn, Hopkins St., Riverside, Washington, Hendy, Fassett, Diven, Edgeworth... whew, I could go on and on. Now I'm with a group of retired teachers who are part of the Arnot Ogden Auxiliary and go into schools to teach poison prevention to Pre-K and kindergarten children ... "If you don't know what it is, stay away and ask a grown-up before touching it." It's fun to be back in the classroom and delivering a very important message.

Ann Maloney Padgett -

Carr's Cozy Corner with penny candies galore! The "T" Store on Washington Avenue near Walnut Street with Mr. Reed and Vi. Rossi's Bakery with the best half moon cookies ever! I'm still trying to make some that taste as good.

Peg Reed Fossaceca, EFA 58 -
Favorite hangouts: Mayfair, Carr's Cozy Corner and Iszard's

Still in Elmira. This is incredible! I recognize most places and people. Loved the five and tens, shopping on Saturdays after doing my chores. Saw GONE WITH THE WIND for the first time at the Colonial Theater. Remember, The Friday Nighters and Earl & Jerry's with their homemade french fries. Sleigh riding on Strathmont, ice skating on the Elmira College pond. WOW! Wish we could go back to good times!

Stephanie, SHS 1990s -
City Now: Palm Bay FL

I know it wasn't exactly the good ol' days but does anyone remember the mural that was painted on the entire side wall of the building as you crossed the Main Street Bridge? I remember looking at it every day as a kid in the 80s and early 90s. It was on the corner bldg at Main & Water Streets. It was vandalized (paintball gun I think) when I was younger and painted over. I wouild like to see this mural again but cannot find it. Please email me with any hints. Thanks!!

Duane Bauman, Sr., Himrod -

Eldridge Park, Blackie's on Water Street, The Aster where you could get the best chocolate in town, and they made many different Easter Bunnies. It was run by the John Diveris family. Dixie Bar BQ from which I have a menu with the highest price being 50 cents for chicken and waffles. Colletta's Subs and Central Hots, which I still go to - that's three with everything and two chocolate milks.

Diane Mac Whorter Rodabaugh, TAE 69 -
City Now: still in Horseheads

Most have already been mentioned.Mohawk, Lovell's, Donut Shop that used to be across the street from Lovell's. Hang outs were The Red Barn on the Southside. Then grew up to bars (not much of a drinker) so many great times at Sam's & Myhalyk's (homes away from home). Then along came the Bull 'n Heifer after Myhalyk's. What great times & great people I met & memories I have.

Dan Kliegel, Big Flats -

Allen's Toy Store south side of Water Street, about right where Clemens Center Parkway Bridge is today. What a place for a kid to visit. Lionel Trains, Aurora HO slot cars, Eldon slot cars, all sorts of cool stuff. The Science Center Hobby Shop, south east corner of Main & Water. Up on the third floor? Model airplanes and chemistry supplies I remember the nearby deli called 'Have a Nosh' - Farmer's Model Train Shop in Southport. Cool place to visit. JPB Mini Bike & Go-Cart Shop also on Water St, just east of the Viaduct. I remember these places well, but I can't recall what I had for lunch yesterday!

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Paul Gizzi, Notre Dame '64 -
City Now: Fairport (just outside Rochester)

Grew up on College Avenue near the old General Electric Foundry. Used to walk to Jean's Beans every Friday night to pick up a fish fry and fixins'. Remember the night the old Artistic Card Company (across the street from Jean's) went up in flames. Biggest fire I ever saw. As a youngster my dad and I went to the Capitol Theater on State Street to see westerns with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Would park by the old county jail on William Street and stop at the Mohican Market (later renamed the Mohawk) on the way to the movies and buy six fried krullers. How 'bout going to church at St. Anthony's which was the basement of the school. I doubt there was a better place to be a kid than in Elmira in 50's and early 60's!

Pat (Conklin) French, SHS 60 -
City Now: Elmira - I was gone for 30 some years, but I am back.

How about my family's business, Conklin & Rorick Religious Shop, opened by my mother, father and grandmother in 1952 and we closed it in 2009. It was open for 57 years but we had no next generation to run it.

Also there was Pitt's Goodie Shoppe, Masia's Restaurant , Scurvy Erv's Variety Store, Dooher's Drug Store, Big Pond. We have all these pictures on our 45th class reunion cover. You have sure done a great job with all the on- line things you have done. I think I might have gotten some of the pictures for our cover from one of your sites. Keep up the good work. One more thing that should be included is (Ernie Davis School) the old EFA before they close it. I hate to see history gone.

Bob Moran, SHS 60 -
Hangout: Pitt's Goodie Shop
City Now: Elmira - still here

Slim Hendershott's, TwinView, Jerusalem Hill, Rustic Gardens, The Original Pioneer with Mike Palmieri, Rybak's, Park View Tavern - best pizza and fish fry ever. Willow Grove Tavern - now South Town Plaza, Keefe's, Coppola's S. Main Street, Carmen Dean's Tavern - now Lou's, Merriam's Market - later Renko's, Schanackers Diner. Paul's Restaurant, Brook's Clothing, Noah's Ark. Richards Fashions For Men , Morrell's Clothing, Jesse Green Furriers, Ideal Hots, Central Hots, The Hatt's, Royal Dairy.

Dave Wainwright, San Diego CA -
School: Southside High School

Moretti's Italian Restaurant, The Downtown YMCA where I learned to swim and later to be a lifeguard at Camp Iroquois on Keuka Lake. The Town Tavern was my favorite haunt when I turned 18. Parmero's Pizza, Dunn Field, Brand Park, and Eldridge Park. Ostrander's Market was across the street when I lived off Hoffman Street. The Langwell Hotel used to have college Dixieland Band concerts. Perry's Ice Cream had White House cherry vanilla and Mexican Sundae flavors. I do remember the flood in 1946 when canoes were going in and out of Rosenbaum's and Gorton Coy. Whatever happened to the Peanut Man on the corner of Main and Water Streets? Houck's Dairy? Thompson's in Waverly? Sullivan's Monument? The Holding Point in Horseheads? The Erie and Pennsylvania Railroads? The Newtown Inn? Dixie Bowling? Pete's Hots? The Keeney Theater? It's fun to dredge up old memories and share them. Great site

Jeanette Lawrence Titus, SHS67 -

I really miss the "pre-flood" Elmira. My dad's business - Lawrence's Mobil - was ruined and he moved to Maple and Penna. Ave. I bought a '66 Mustang conv. in 1968 for $1,350! Took it to my dad's station and filled it up for $5.00!

I'd give anything for a piece of Zarro's pizza. I loved going downtown to Kresge's 5 & 10 to buy Beatles albums. Two girlfriends and I camped out overnight in front of the Colonial Theatre to be first in line to see A Hard Days Night! It was great going to ice skate at Miller's Pond and swimming at Brand Park Pool.

Loved Iszard's and eating at the Tea Room. Met my husband at good ol' Sam's Grill - had some great times there. - After the bars closed - it was off to Dixie Barbeque to have a cheesburger and french fries and gravy - yum! I had the best roast beef dinner ever at the Polenesian Room on Main and Water Sts. And great food also, at Syke's Grill on Lake St. The best spaghetti and meatballs ever - Manzari's Grill (still there on Miller St.).

I was the school secretary at Riverside Elementary for 27 years. (Went through eight principals)!- in the retired ranks now. Yeah - Elmira was quite a town back in the day.

Anna Bixby Schultz, Elmira -
Hangouts: Lovell"s across from the A & P

I lived on Hall Street and went to
George M. Diven - a great school, and
then on to EFA on Lake Street. We
had to walk there but we were used to walking to get around. Fond memories
of that time in my life.

Art in Tennessee -
Subject: Myhalyk's

I played in a band that worked Myhalyk's way back in the summer of 1969. The band was called "A Fifth of Soul" and was a rock act out of NJ. I was a young guy at the time and had a blast working there. The drinking age was 18 then in NY and I can remember seeing people who were "younger" so to say in there having a blast. All I can say is the people there knew how to party !! Does anyone remember that bar?

Patricia Granger Hopkins Perry, SHS 63 -

I have enjoyed this page...thank you.

My Mom, Mina Granger worked at Schanackers Diner. My dad, Jim Granger, and his brothers drove cab for the old O'Neil Taxi. My sister, Barbara worked at the Langwell Hotel and both Barb and my sister Louise worked at the Regent Theatre remember Alperts Jewelers next to the theater?

Phyllis Cicora Duffy, EFA 68 -
City Now: Fort Plain NY

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usI could never forget the wonderful Steele Memorial Library building. I can picture the beautiful marble, brass and rambling staircase. We used to go every Saturday to borrow a week's worth of books and I worked there all through high school. I would often take a detour through the old Post Office building and stop to buy a candy bar at the little stand inside that sold newspapers, bum and candy. I tell my friends now that I grew up in "Pleasantville" and that's still the way I feel. Loved every moment of it.

Andrea, Wellsboro PA -,

I am younger than the rest who have posted but, I remember Elmira as a great town in the 80s, as well. I grew up by Dunn Field going to baseball games all the time. Swimming at Brand Park and summer days at Harris Hill. Seneca Lake for a week of vacation. And walking downtown to go to the movie theater and look at the shops. Oh, and best of all - the Arts in the Park Festival held downtown. Growing up there was a great time!

Judith Browne, EFA 40 -
City Now: Marlborough MA

Iszard's had great hot fudge sundaes and vanilla ice cream with brownies, but the Mark Twain also had a soda bar where you could sit and watch the shoppers. If you wanted to go out for dinner a sort of special place was the Iron Kettle on Route17 not far from Elmira in Waverly. It had a big swing in the back yard that you could pump up until it seemed you could float out into the valley.

I remember the first Watkins Glen Races. People came with tents and camped out overnight in the front lawns of the large houses which faced Seneca Lake. The race cars came down the road along the edge of the lake and continued through downtown Watkins. There were strategic bales of hay here and there just in case. I'm not sure how long this race course endured because I recall there was a bad accident which necessitated re-designing it.

One other thing I remember is the trolleys. Buses were not used yet. The trolleys ran by electricity and were powered by a long pole which attached the trolley to the overhead wires so that the current moved them along.They had different fixed routes throughout the city and a conductor who was usually a pleasant man - that is unless it was Halloween when kids liked nothing better than to disengage the pole and the wires which caused a lot of sparks, disconnected the power, and nobody went anywhere until some one re-connected the pole to the wires.

Joy (Spirawk) Mueskes, Pittsburg PA -

T.A.E. (the old school), Ray's Drug Store, Elmira Heights great BBQ's. I left Elmira in 1959, married & moved to Pittsburgh. Dixie Barbeque - Popcorn Truck in Wisner Park. Town Tavern, Fanny Farmer Candy Store, Rossi's Bakery - Loved Wisner Park. The Mark Twain Hotel for sundaes, Mahalik's, Liberatore's and Gulka's for dancing. Loved 14th St. in Elmira Heights.

Arthur Shattuck, Florida -

Saturday nights at the Old Barn on Grand Central Avenue by the Chemung County Fair Grounds.

In 1948, I went to see the new Kaiser-Frazer cars corner of South Main and Allen Streets by the Remington Rand. That was where they unoladed the circus off the trains. The track ended at Main Street. My parents belonged to the Indian Motor Cycle Club on 14th Street in the Heights. A Mr. Wasburn in the club had a sidecar, and I rode to races and hillclimbs with him.

Long time since I've had a tear my eye, but finding these pages has given me some.

Don Deane, Friend of SHS class of 1956 -

In the early 1950's my parents owned the Telephone Answering Service at the Kelly Building 133 W. Gray Street. The Gray Street Liquor Store, Siote's Furriers & Julia B. Murphy Dress Shoppe were on the first floor. Steiner Studios, Bates Lindenmuth Food Brokers & Universal CIT Corp. were on the second floor. Later on Elmira Rug & the Winifred Beauty Shoppe moved into the building.

Barry's Gas Station was next door. The Town Tavern was across the Street on West Gray Street. Sonny's Lunch was on RR Ave. Marty Ford's Bar & Grill was on the corner of East Market and RR Ave. Chapin Owens Automotive was on the corner of West Market Street & RR Ave. Sears Roebuck was on State Street. Mark Twain Food Market was next to Iszard's on N.Main Street.

Paul Sturdevant, SHS 50 -
City Now: Penn Yan

Camping at Roricks Glen and hiking the Indian Trail high above Chemung River. Square dancing at The Barn in Pine City. Swimming in Seeley Creek with the Gypsies.

John O'Dell, Wellsburg -

I graduated from EFA in 1964, the last class to graduate from the old EFA. Grew up playing baseball from sunup til sundown at McKinnon Park. I remember going to Nichols Discount to purchase 45rpm records. Still have WELM's version of Elmira I Love That Town. Great times ice skating on the Brick Pond hanging out at the Pigeon Point's Scotch Brand Gas Station. Gas then was 19 cents a gallon. Went to games at Dunn Field, stopping at Gary's Candy Store on John Street on the way. I remember hanging out at Lovell's Soda Bar and Dave Fulton's store. WHAT GREAT TIMES IN ELMIRA IN THE SIXTIES.

Charles Ott, EFA 47 -
City Now: Greensboro NC since 1971

Among my favorite places to hang out were Kelly's Drug Store across from Number 11 School and the park across the street where I played on the swings and teeter totters - and played baseball. My fondest memories are of the winters, when the snow was sometimes 5 feet deep. I remember when the milkman and his horse delivered milk and, after he had continued on his rounds the kids in the neighborhood would have frozen horse turd fights.

As I recall nobody got hurt. And it was a lot of fun

Ricky J. Cornish -
City Now: Plattsburgh

Hung out at Brand Park Pool. My Uncle owned the Merle Muffler Shop on Water St. I went to Broadway Jr High moved to Alpine and graduated from Odessa Montour HS in 72. My father built the boxes for the shoes at Rossi's Bowling Lanes. I went to Chemung Speedrome often. I loved the Dog Pound - a little steak sandwich place in front of what was Nichols. I went to work for Hogg Nichols Plumbing contractor right after High School and tore a lot of boilers out of cellars after the flood. I left the area in Dec 72 and went in the USAF for seven years got out and went to work at Thatcher Glass for awhile and decided to go back in the Air Force and finish my 20 and retired in 94. Most of my siblings still live in or near Elmira. My folks have passed away, but I go back when ever I can.

Judith Browne, EFA 40 -
City Now: Marlborough MA

I'm definitely a senior citizen - EFA 1940. Really enjoyed reading the memories. I was beginning to think no one remembered the Red Pop Corn Wagon that was always at the corner of Main and Church then it cropped up. Some other places are Hazel Murphy's Dress Shop - upstairs across from Werdenberg's on Water St., the concerts at the Keeney Theatre with "stars"like Nelson Eddy and Victor Borge.

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usOne of the best was when the circus, Barnum and Bailey, came to town. They unloaded at the railroad station at the foot of Clinton St. and then paraded thru town on their way to set up on Caton Ave. It was wonderful to see the elephants, horses and giraffes walking so close you could almost touch them - along with the lion cages and the monkeys and the bright red and gold wagons.

The railroad station was also where many people went to get fresh oranges and grapefruit. You would order it by the crate and would be notified when it arrived . The Glider meet at Harris Hill was a great summer's entertainment. I never got tired of watching the small planes towing the gliders, roaring into the air and the gliders soaring free just before the brow of the hill.

I don't know if anyone mentioned Hill Top Inn, but it was a favorite place all year round for a beer and a great bartender named Art who kept an eye on everybody. And last but not least, Tommy Hilfiger's dad went by the name of "Hippo" and was very popular both at the Academy and Southside.

Does anyone remember the Community Sings that used to be held every summer at the playground opposite No.11 school at Church and Hoffman St. A sort of caravan would arrive, chairs would be set up and the words to all the good old songs would be shown on a screen so everyone could sing.

There would usually be another feature like Beatrice Kittle, who was a contortionist and could lie on her stomach and bring her feet over her head until she could tap dance in front of her nose! The "Sings" were evening entertainment so Beatrice would be spotlighted and when we were kids we all thought she was really colored blue.

And a special note to Regina Angell-Ericson who was trying to remember the name of a dairy near Wheeler's Grocery. I think the dairy you're asking about was Schorensteimer's. I used to live at the corner of W. Third and Edgewood Dr. and made many a trip to Wheeler's. Cigarettes for my father were 18 cents a pack. The Dairy was a block or so farther up Church Street - corner of Church and Wall St. Not sure of the spelling but if you say it out loud it sounds right.

Janet Goss Myers, Riverside 56-61 -
City Now: Lilburn GA

Brand Park Pool. I would go swimming as much as I could. My friends Susie Utter and Carol Tanner would go too. Carol liked to sun bath on the top level. I liked to swim.

The Colonial (downtown theater), I would go with my brothers or friends. Saw many Disney movies there. My brother Dwight thought it funny one time that he spilled pop corn from the balcony onto people below.

The Steele Memorial Library with the section for readers that was hidden away and was round or shaped different.

I remember the snow and making snowmen. How cold it was and how much fun we had. My brothers had a friend, Bucky Level, not sure of spelling. He lived across from us and was a comic.

The 2 barns that were behind our house and my brothers would have me crawl through the hay, I did not know at the time they were checking for rats. Nice brothers.

I had fun in Elmira. It was a town that was small and fun to live in. Not like today where no one knows their neighbors.

Marcia Jessup Boor, SHS 72 -

Grew up in Pine City on Crestview Drive. Great neighborhood with a ton of kids! Remember Christmas caroling, ice skating on "the pond", Halloween parades, riding our bikes around "the circle", neighborhood summer picnics! Kindergarten and 1st grade at the 2-room school house on Mountain View Drive. Mrs. Price was our teacher. Started 2nd grade at Broadway Elementary School when it was opened. Rode our bikes to Ben Franklin near the old Acme for the latest knock-off 45's and candy. My father owned Benson, Jessup & Knapp. He started it out as Elmira Photo and eventually added all kinds of sporting goods, boats, snowmobiles, fishing, guns. Spent a lot of time at The Foundry with their lighted dance floor! After the flood, the hot spot was The Pub. Good times and a great place to grow up!

Donna Ellison-Rocks, SHS 76 -
City Now: Philadelphia, PA

I can remember as a little girl my dad taking our family to eat at the Colonial Diner. That goes way back.


Bob Locke, EFA 66 -

I grew up on Admiral Place, lived at the Center Street Pool most summer's. Was a life guard at Brand Pool. Loved Pudgie"s subs, had a beer or 2 at Sam's.....Still remember Rossi's half-moon cookies

Homer Treat, Notre Dame 67 -
City Now: Rochester

Zarro's Pizza, the Frostie Stein for root beer floats, swimming at Brand Park and Seeley Creek, Joycrest, Maisa's, Sam's Bar, HI Bar, Regent Theatre, M & M, Peckham's, Coletta's Pizza



Dick Peterson, EFA-65 -
City Now: Denton MD

Reading these pages is a blast. Phil Woolf and I delivered flowers from his parent's shop - Woolf's Flower Shop on Church Street every holiday. Some exciting car driving all over Harris Hill roads! M&M Hot Dogs the best. Remembering when the big A&P processing plant opened - I think my Dad examined all employees as plant physician, amoung many other medical roles in town. Antique car shows at Nichol's Discount parking lot. Opening Clemens Center as a early career "opportunity". Elmira Little Theatre productions galor...all great. Schornsteimer's Dairy, Elmira Drive-In, Smithome Farms, Frieda's Horseback Lessons, all good! I go back a few times a year while "at Seneca Lake - in the summer!

Tom Bennett, EFA 68 -

Cappy's with the "Joe Boys", Carr's with the "Lip Boys", Center Street Pool, Eldridge Park, Block dances in Midtown Square with Steve Christy & Stan Douglas spinning the discs, Little Red Wagon (best popcorn ever and Red Hot Dollars), Southside Sub Shop, original Pudgie's on N. Main St., The Rec Pool Hall with "Erie".


Bob Buck, EFA '63 -
click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usCity Now: Naples, FL

Diven School, Lovell's, Dave Kaplan's, Pigeon Point Laundromat, Mapes' Grocery Store, Frank's Barber Shop. Elmira was a great place to grow up.

Mike Spallone, Notre Dame & TAE 69-72 -
City Now: Placida FL

Does any one remember the Plaza Grill Bar near the Main Street Bridge across from the Southside Moose - 1948-1975? Catherine Creek every April 1st? Those wonderful parades down Roe Ave. on Memorial Day and July 4th? Dom's Flowers...both locations? Jack's Bar & Grill?

Lincoln Ave. School in the Heights, a classic public school design that I have seen in other communities across America. Friday's were special - we were allowed to go to St. Nick's Ukrainian Church for pierogies. I believe they were 5 cents.

Big Top on Miracle Mile when it was serving A&W root beer in various sizes. Our big family got every size delivered to the window of our station wagon. The once-a-year sports banquets sponsored by various businesses and meeting Earl Weaver and others from the Pioneers. Being 10 and celebrating your birthday at Moretti's. End of school year field days at Eldridge Park and going for the brass ring on merry go round. Getting 3 English muffin halves at Howard Johnson's in Horseheads and staring at the juice machine. Sledding on the back nine of the Mark Twain Golf Course in the winter.

Childhood memories of Lovell's are the best! And how the trees have grown on the Mark Twain GC. As a child, I can remember every tree being planted. Pierce's Restaurant, simply the best back then!


Charlotte Roe Annis, HHS '71 -

Stayed in the area all my life. Went to Coldbrook, Edgeworth and Broadway Junior High.

I am seeing some people on here that I have not seen or thought of for a long time. This site is bringing back a lot of memories. Ferguson's Dance Academy and our recitals in the old Elmira Theater. The place downstairs where we used to grab something to eat between dance classes (on north side of Water St. on the NE corner of Railroad Ave).

There also was a hat cleaning and shoe shine place in the same area. I can remember going with my Dad to get his shoes shined on Saturdays and sitting in the chairs against the wall that sat up almost to the ceiling (or so it felt like it). Also remember a dry cleaners near Park Church where my mom saved receipts from the dry cleaning to get me a stuffed purple poodle dog. I remember going to the City Market with my grandmother to buy the fresh brown eggs and stopping at Mohawk Bakery to get the rest of her meats cut by the butcher and those oh-so-good half moon cookies and donuts.

Last stop was either at Newberry's for a sandwich and my grandma's favorite strawberry soda or to Schanaker's Diner (owned by one of my classmate's grandparents).

Steve Marino, SHS 68 -
City Now: Port Charlotte, FL

Block dances and "Y" dances, the Hullabaloo in Pine City skating at Miller's Pond. Lived on Morrow Street in 60's. Colonial Theater. Saw "Goldfinger" there when it came out. Also Funny Girl with Barbara Striesand in 1967 or 68. Red Barn on Main Street.




Lannie Hilboldt, TAE 78 -
City Now:Austin, Texas

I grew up in Elmira Heights on Glenwood Ave. My Mom and Dad owned Bob & Jean's House of Champions Restaurant in Elmira back in the early 70's and my Mom was a waitress at Newberry's on Water Street for many years. As a kid I spent every Saturday morning at Joycrest skating and every afternoon at either Paramount Lanes, Rossi Lanes or Dixie Bowling. I also spent a lot of time (and money) at Ryder's Music in the Heights. And my friends and I used to play baseball in the park across from Pierce's Restaurant. And in the winter we would sled on the hill at the top of 13th street where Cohen Middle School was. Growing up there was a lot of fun.

Linda Stradley Staiger, TAE 66 -
City Now: Almond NY

I loved all the REAL movie theaters in Elmira. Most of them were made for theater shows as well as films. Clemens Center, renovated from the old Elmira Theater still has some of its original detail....The Heights Theater is the last one remaining in the area, I believe. I miss all the stores downtown..not happy with malls. Does anyone remember the New York State Hotel in Elmira? I'm sure that was the name. In 8th grade the mother of one of my friends took us to lunch there...I remember murals on the wall of NYS, but that's all. Editor's Note: We'd not heard of the NYS Hotel.


Mark Rohde, Corning -

Winnick's Laundry, Turck's Smoke Shop - Al made the best sundaes. Lived all over the Southside and I remember my older sisters walking me to the candy store on Fulton and Mt. Zoar. My friends and I used to go to Brown's and Harold's Army Navy almost every weekend.. A lot of good memories.

Christina (Hellem) Howard, SHS 86 -
City Now: Daytona Beach until Spring 2012

Mohawk Bakery on Lake St - delicious donuts, Newberry's on Water St - loved the downstairs children's section and the pop a balloon 1 penny to 99 cent. Banana splits Iszard's Tea Room and breakfast with Santa. Oh and of course the elevator. People's Place - corner of Main and Columbia - awesome groovy clothes. Fanny Farmer -awesome chocolates at Easter time especially. Lib's Supper Club - our mom toook us there 2 times a year for a special dinner. We felt very ritzy when we went there. Colonial Theater - best movies. Harold's Army & Navy - interesting stuff always. Arts in the Park every summer downtown. OMG what fun it used to be at Eldridge Park when it was an Amusement Park (and it has come back to all of that). Walking downtown with a super huge boombox listening to cassette tapes. The A&P - I remember going there with food stamps that were in a booklet - paper denominations and getting the change back in plastic or wooden coins. Lovell's - biggest jawbreakers ever.


Mary Gilbert Updike, SHS -
City Now: back in my husband's childhood home

Dixie Bar-B-Q and Big Bobs. Was a car hop...attended SHS til' they transferred freshmen to Broadway...
Block dances at Eldridge and Center-Town Square with Matt Matteo as our D.J. Grove Street Park. The Capitol Theater, Rossi's Bakery Choco chip cookies, ice skating on Miller's Pond, Roxy Drive-In, swimming at Johnson"s Bridge out on Rt.14, roller skating at the Neighborhood House, shopping Elmira at Christmas,hanging out downtown all day Saturday...Hanging out and swimming in the river down by the power plant....



Dixie, Gush's Thirsty Bear, 11th Ward Hotel, The Old Pioneer, Tiny Tavern

Ellen (Daniels) Rose, SHS 75 -
City Now: Chittenango, NY

Great, great site!!! I didn't see The Cake Box (Main St.) or Allen's Toy Store (Water St.) mentioned!!! Keep up the good work.


John Darrow, Troy PA & Elmira -
City Now: Mt. Airy NC

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usI lived in Troy and Elmira from 1963 to 1984 and remember the Elmira Arms Co. Worked at Bendix for 19 years, American La France as quality manager for 4 years. Opened new facility on South Main. In charge of 150 year open house. Scout master of Troop 134 on Maple Ave, 8 years. Left when La France closed down. Fishing in the Chemung River. Chemung Speedrome. Many, many great memories. Was back this last April. Sure has changed.


Judith O. Browne, EFA 40 -
City Now: Marlborough MA

Keuka Lake and Derb Young's restaurant and skating rink area, Iszard's Tea Room, Elmira Pioneers ball club (farm team for the Yankees), International Glider Meets at Harris Hill, Barnum and Bailey Circus Parade thru down town after un-loading at the RR station and on their way to set up on Caton Ave., standing over a big hot air register in Snyder's on Hoffman St. when it was about 18 deg. outside and 3 feet of snow.



Wendy Teems, SHS 80 -
City Now: Palm Bay FL

Wow! What memories you all brought back. Went to Hopkins St. School, Broadway, and graduated in the first graduating class at new Southside. Mom graduated from Southside and Dad at EFA.

Pop Tate's on Mt. Zoar, shopping at Woolworth's and yes, Light's Bakery, with the half moon cookies, Harris Hill playing Putt Putt. Worked at George's Sandwich Shop for a short time, Jean's Beans, I miss Eldridge Park and the roller coaster (it was the best).

Left town right after I graduated from high school. I wish my daughter had the chance to grow up in a wonderful place like we did. Really miss Elmira!


Dave Teeter, EFA 67 -
City Now: Plant City FL

Center Street Pool. On Eastside was Cary's Drug Store for phosphates. Bosley Buick. A & W on the Miracle Mile.

Randy Green -

Does anyone in the area remember a Jerram's Beauty Shop from back in the 50s? If so, PLEASE email me. Thanks.

Marcy Nix, Fishers IN -

Good memories of Half-Moon cookies from Light's Bakery. We still get them sent to us for special occasions from family in Elmira. Remember walking to Kelly's Corner on the Southside for ice cream in the summer. Those seemed like the biggest, best ice cream cones ever! And Pudgie's after football games. Good times, happy memories!

Max Mayer, Waverly HS 67 -
City Now: Lake Wales FL

Armen's Hot Dogs, Dozack Jewelers, Markson's Menswear, Chemung Raceway

Kathy Benjamin Bell, SHS 76 -

Does anyone remember George's Sandwich Shop on State Street? Used to go there after seeing a movie at the Capitol or Colonial Theater. Hamburgers that had a meat/b-b-q sauce on them - haven't had a burger like that since.

Natalie McKerrow Janeski, SHS 77 -

Still in Elmira - a few friends and I were reminiscing about old places after coming across this website. I remember a Dairy/Ice Cream Store on Cedar St/Caton Ave near the corner of Robert St but none of us can remember the name. We are hoping you can help.

Eric Seeley, Charlotte NC -
Favorite Hangout: the Jewelry Clinic

My dad would take me to Pete's Hots for the best hot dogs and would meet some of his friends at his friend Vito's Bar. Best pizza in town was Pudgies. Spent time watching my dad make jewelry in his store - some of the best times in my life.

Missy Brownback Koppels, Sarasota FL -

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usI left Elmira in 1957. I always have had very fond memories. It was really a piece of Americana. I attended EFA for a year. We used to hang out at Schanaker's Diner after school. After that, I returned and found Sam's and Johnny's. We do come back once a year since my parents and grandparents are buried there. I remember how vibrant the downtown was in the Fifties.

Chuck Kennedy, EFA 58 -
City Now: Newburyport MA

Johnny's Tavern, formerly Andy's Venetian Palace, great jazz at Green Pastures, Pete Callas' Shoeshine Shop on Water St. The Regent Theatre, Uncle Tom's next to Bus Horigan's, Fawn Beverages, The Upsetters R&B Band, Ideal Hots, watching baseball at Dunn Field, Snyders Food Market on Hoffman (they delivered!), Marty's near Grove Park. Thanks for the memories.



John Benedict, Gillette WY -
Hangouts: Pitts Goodie Shoppe across from SHS

First job I had was Kids Stuff Toy Store on Water Street, really a fun place to work especially at Christmas time. Built a lot of Little Red Wagons and Schwinn bicycles. Worked for Sam Zatcoff and his wife. After that worked for Stack Electronics for quite a while for Jack Titus with Jimmy Powell & Bob Bleeker. Had quite a few friends that I met through Stacks like Dean Dunham, Little Joe's TV, Frank Bober, Gary Dewey and his dad the original "Mad Man Dewey." Many fun times and excitement. Cannot ever forget Pitts Goodie Shoppe, Alfa Zeta Fraternity and all the "fun had" at the Seeley Creek Bridge. Never to admit any thing to anyone. How's the cow? What time is it?

Then there was always Sam's on Washington St. Dixie Bowling Alley and BBQ, Woolworth Lunch Counter where Joan Lions Ayers' mother worked and always gave you a little extra to eat. The Peanut Man around the corner on Main Street where you could get all the peanuts you could ever eat. And near there was Ray's Jewelers and the record shop upstairs where we always went to buy the 45RPM records that were popular during that time. (Wish I still had some of them). Remember "It's OK to Owe Ray" where you could get a credit card to establish your credit. Had a $100.00 line of credit which was lots in 50 & 60's.

Also remember going out Maple Ave to Bradley's to get 13 ears of corn for a dollar and all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruit. How about the white milk wagon that used to be pulled by a horse on the Southside delivering milk year round. Oh to relive those times when things were very peaceful, friendly, honest and life was good. God Bless our parents and friends that helped us survive as well as the teachers that put up with us and tried to teach us everything they new. We owe everything to them............

William Dailey, near Hartford CT -
School: Mansfield HS '50

I met and married Rita Layton from Elmira .She graduated from SHS in 1952. We went to square dances in Pine City and at The Barn in Elmira Heights. We lived there from 1954-1961. I remember the first McDonald's on Lake Street, and when Curly's Chicken House first opened. Ice cream sodas at Lovell's just to watch the waiter, who was an artist at his job! My wife worked at Peterson's Furniture Store while I worked at French Oldsmobile. We started our family there .

Bob -

Hi. I recently found a small double-sided, hand-painted tin sign for Little's Bicycles at 1074 South Main in Elmira, N.Y. I was told this sign is from the 1920's-1930's.

Can you please tell me if this bicycle store was in business in the 1920's, and how far back it goes?

Many thanks for your patience and very kind attention.

Note: several persons familiar with this shop have logged in here before and mentioned it. Perhaps they will log back in and answer your question or contact you directly via e-mail.

Joyce June, Geneva -
School: Nazareth Academy 64, Rochester

My grandmother took me to Joycrest Roller Skating when I was a kid - and to Brown's Soda Fountain in Hanover Square in Horseheads - and to Iszard's Tea Room. What a nice grandmother she was! Does anyone know anything about Journey's End in Millport?

click here to visit Elmira College onlineBill Gannon, Weymouth MA -
School: Elmira College 74

Attended EC from 1970-74. Favorite places included Morretti's Restaurant, Rybak's Bar, the Cozy Corner, Roy Russell's, Pierce's 1894 (technically in Elmira Heights), and last, but not least, Bus Horigan's.

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with us
Sharon Colbath Carl, North Carolina -
School: Parley Coburn

Miller's Pond, the dam on the Chemung River when I was a kid, King Kone

Patricia Baker, Elmira Westside -
click here to visit Elmira College onlineSchool: Elmira College 76

From 1972-1976 I attended Elmira College. Even though the town was tiny, the people were friendly, and it was nice to be able to walk just about anywhere and back in no time. The very best times were at Christmas, when the lights and stores were exactly what small-town America used to do best. My favorites were Rosenbaum's and Marvin's, although I frequented Iszard's and Gorton Coy, too. When I returned in the mid 1980's the stores disappeared one by one, included my beloved Snoopy's Dog House. Fortunately, the best chili and cheese dogs in the world can still be gotten from the Old Pioneer.

walk down memory lane at Iszard's

click here to visit Elmira College onlne

Bruce Krider, San Diego CA -
School: Elmira College 72
City Now: San Diego

Always liked Pudgies Pizza. Sam's Bar was always a happening place and then down on Water Street there was a bar called The Office which was a hot spot.

Don Duryee, Rochester -
School: SHS 1951

I worked at Steele Memorial Library for 4 years during high school. I have many great memories from the days frrom my Elmira dance band "Don Duryee and his Orchestra". We played for dances at the "Y", "VOA" and school dances from 1948-1952. The band members included Jack Carpenter on trumpet, Ron Hamlin, Larry Lovell and Lon Matoon on saxes, Ray Rauscher on piano, Bill Fogarty on drums and myself on trombone.

Linda Kerr (Sheive) Hjelle

I just ran across this website and wow what a memory rush.

My dad (Charles Kerr) and grand dad (John "Scotty" Kerr) owned Scotty's Sheet Metal in the 1950-60's on Railroad Avenue and my Grandma Elizabeth Kerr owned "The Coppershop" next door. My grandpa was big in the Eagle Scouts and "The Order of the Arrow" and it was so much fun to see a back yard full of boys when I had 3 sisters! I worked at Gorton Coy in 1969, Remington Rand 1969-70 and JC Penney's at the Mall in the 1970 and my first job in 1968 was at Estabrooks Adjustors. Hard to remember back 40 years. My fond memories of the Southside was of Karam's Corner Market and Puggie's Pizza. My favorite food was french fries and gravy at the Dixie in Southport, M&M Red Hots, and Curley's Chicken. Then of course Sam's Bar was the in place after high school. Eeeeek my brain hurts..

Jeffrey Cohen, EFA 1975 -
City Now: Boston MA

Picnic Pizza on Water Street (lost to the flood). Vick's Barber Shop across from Rossi Lanes. Spent some time at Rubin's Auto Salvage in Southport, among the twisted metal wrecks - still remember how Mr Berman said "don't end up with your car like that"

Today, January 26, 2011, I just heard Brian Williams on the weather channel speak about the blizzard about to hit the east coast. He was asked what it was like to grow up in Elmira and he indicated the time Elmira had 37 inches of snow in 24 hours. It brought back great memories. Editor's Note: So, again, how many Flood of 72 Stories do we know?

Tom Morris, SHS 1965 -
Hangouts: Pitt's across street by the church that is gone
CityNow: Montour Falls area

Saturday night dances at the old YMCA AND BLOCK DANCES IN MIDTOWN PARKING LOT when Jimmy DePaul's Band would play. The Whip, Bumper Cars, Shooting Gallery and Roller Coaster at Eldridge Park. Being able to actually buy something usuable in Downtown Elmira. I think the Flood of 72 marked the beginning of the end. Really showed wisdom of Elmira officials when they tore all the buildings down along Water and State, etc., and wondered why everybody wanted to go to the Mall to shop!! GOOD CALL !!! It was FREE MONEY !! NOW LOOK... Editor's Note: Well, okay, let's stay positive about our heritage, sports fans - so how many Flood of 72 Stories do we know? The church referred to above, by the way, was Centenary Methodist, parts of which were donated by parishoners to restore the Whip Building at Eldridge Park (now called the Dance Hall).

Jack Carpenter, SHS 53 -
City Now: Morgantown IN

I recall the days at the Sly Street Tennis Courts which were across the street from the Maple Farms Dairy where you could get a great milk shake for 15 cents and a lot of good conversation from Mary Weaver who worked there. Also remember playing trumpet in Tom Sheeder's Band for YMCA and school dances. Other fond memories include swimming in Seeley Creek at Webb Mills, days at the Brand Park Pool, going to hear big bands that came through town at the Strand, getting car fixed at Roger Zeliff's, pizza and beer at the Pioneer, pitching horseshoes with George Faulkner, the fun times in the click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usFairfield Ave. neighborhood, enjoyable evenings on the Dunne twins' front porch on Herrick Street, Spring Hope Shows and other fun times at Southside. Some places that come to mind are White's Drug Store, Dunn Field, Rustic Gardens, Ideal Hot Dogs, Mustico's and Pat's and the Depot at Pine City.

Bonnie McEwan, SHS 69 -
City Now: New York City

OK, I think I have three places that haven't been mentioned yet.

1) When I went to Broadway School around 1965-66 we hung out at a greasy spoon in the old Acme Shopping Center at Bulkhead. The name on the sign was Suke's Kitchen, but we always called it "the coffee shop." It was run by two women, Vera and Edna, who would let us smoke and even run a tab. We felt very sophisticated at 13 years old.

2) When I was in elementary school, I stayed with my grandmother a lot and she lived on Harcourt Drive in what was then called Hillside Village, right off Maple Ave. We always went to a nearby florist on Miller St. called Raymond's. They had a green house off the back of this little storefront and it always smelled divine -- a mixture of fresh earth and natural greenery.

3) Also on Miller Street was Sally's Beauty Shop, where we all had our hair styled. Many's the time I had huge curls piled on the top of my head there, as I prepped for a big prom night at the Mark Twain Hotel's Ball Room.

Jim Kearney, SHS65 -
City Now: Lake Hickory NC

First - I enjoy your site! Great work and a real service. On a preceding page, someone wrote about remembering ordering from the Dixie BBQ speakers. You indicated their memory might be faulty. About 1959 - 60 the Dixie closed for renovations which included the installation of speakers for each car slot. I was the dedicated Carhop just before and after that renovation. Believe me that job got a lot easier after the speakers were put in. Just thought I'd clarify the record. Keep up the great work! Thanks.
Editor's Note: Jim, I stand corrected. Thanks for clearing this up - appears it's my memory that's faulty here - Bill Cook.

Joe Cavallaro, ND 58 -

Mayfair and Clinton Diner, Soapy Sullivan's Hot Dogs, Schmidt's Food Market, Ernie Miller's Drug Store on 3rd and Main. After that it was Elmira Video which is Time Warner today. Cappy's, Jack's Grill, Ryall's Drug store, The CandleLight Restaurant on Main St. The American Hotel Oh Boy, Erie Station. Matt's Bar on N. Main St. Freddy Vanderg Bar on N. Main St. Earl and Jerry's in Landon Plaza, Brusso's Bar on Sullivan St. I could go on forever. Great Memories

Kat Cady Hafler, HHS 73 -
City Now: Tucson, AZ

Everyone keeps mentioning M&M Red Hots, but what about Armen's? To me, there were the best that ever was....was on lower Water St. until the flood, then moved to Lake St. after.

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usLisa, Elmira -

How about the X-Cel Dairy on Penna Ave.? Blueberry Hill was my favorite for Bubblegum Ice Cream and Slush Pupps Slurpies and Lovell's on Sunday afternoons was a must with the family!

Bob Howland, SHS '62 -
City Now: Retired from Philadelphia area back to Elmira this past May, 2010.

Eldridge Park, Chuck's "fine foods" on the Southside, Myhalyk's, Sgro's, Dixie Barbecue. How about "MEN'S NIGHT" every Christmas, no women allowed so men could shop for the women in their life - Iszard's, Rosenbaum's, Gorton Coy, all had freebies for the men. Mom had all the free perfume samples she could handle. Dad was a full time mailman but worked part time as a salesman at Fletcher's Pianos and Organs (now Spott's Blind Shop) on Lake Road next to Van Brunt Cadillac. I remember Dick Whitenhall would play the Organs and Pianos for demonstration. He soothed many a savage beast with his music. I remember going to the Lawerence Diner after Dad and I delivered a piano.They had the best coffee around, but I could never tell Mom because I was only 15 or 16 and coffee would stunt my growth. She was right. Now I'm only 6'3".

There was Oppenhiem's Grocery Store, next to the Coachmen Motel on Penna.Ave, on the Southside, now a carwash.They always had the best cold meat in town. I've been all over the world, but The M&M and Central Hots have the best hot dogs, worldwide. The memories never end of my growing up in Elmira. I'm just glad to be home again, after being away 40+ years.

Sylvia (Soper) Buckley, HHS 58
City Now: Melbourne Beach, FL

I remember JoyCrest Skating Rink. What fun we'd have there especially on Saturday nites. And of course, Friday Niters at the YMCA. Nobody can compete with Lovell's sundaes and sodas. Saturday afternoon movies at the Keeney, Colonial or Capitol theaters. Iszard's was a great place to shop and have lunch at the Tea Room. I went to Edgeworth Elementary School on the Southside. Had great teachers. Especially our principal, Mrs. Petzke. Picnics at Harris Hill or Sullivan's Monument and also Seneca Lake - such wonderful years in Chemung County, Elmira, NY

JoAnn, EFA 67 -
City Now: Horseheads

The old Cohen Grade School had a summer program run by Mr. Erickson, and Mrs. Brown taught me how to make boondoggle keychains and bracelets. It was my first craft project!

I would like to connect with Margie, my 14th street neighbor. Loved the hopscotch and rolly polly that we played along with trips to the 5 and 10 cent store. Bachman's Hardware, The Sweet Shoppe and Ray's Cut Rate were far better than Walmart, Lowe's or Wilson Farms! Many good memories here.

Richard (Rick) Moore, EFA 66 -
Hangouts: played at local gyms and rectories as a member of the "Kassels"
City Now: I've retired to Florida, left Elmira Nov. 2005

Growing up in the fifties there (as a north-sider) I spent a great deal of time at Center Street Pool and, of course, Eldridge Park. I lived in Hathorn Ct. from 1954-1965, and am thankful to this day that I did. There were so many other kids around that, during summer, we could choose up teams and play baseball on any given day at the Fasset schoolyard right across the street. Mostly, I remember the pre-flood of '72 era of downtown. We'd go Christmas shopping at Kresges, Newberry's, Woolworth's, Iszards, and the god, none have had it better than that generation of Elmirans. I could go on and on about those years, but I'd love to hear from you who've experienced your own time in that fair city. One of my four sons works at a well-established business in Elmira. He is, in fact, whereby that enterprise is enjoying such profitability.

Phyllis (Paul) McKlevis, EFA 59 -

Wow!! What a great site. I usually don't have a lot of time to read things like this but today, I did and I am so happy for it. Growing up in the 50's was the best time. We had the best friends and the best music ever. If you didn't grow up in the 50's, you missed so much. Remember the "Y" dances with Bob Michaels? Also, calling the radio station at 11:00 pm to dedicate a song to a couple that were sooooo in love. I have seen everything that I remember on this site. Thank you so much for having it.

Joe Munn, SHS 65 -
City Now: Still an Elmira Southsider

The best pizza I ever had was from Zarro's Pizza on South Main St. Their son, Val Zarro graduated with me from SHS. The City has changed soooooo much since the sixties. Your site brings back a lot of fond memories.

Ricky Wright, SHS 78 -
City Now: Norfolk VA

My first job was at Kresge's Downtown on Water St by Newberry's (and by the way that's what the K in K-mart stands for). I always had a good time at the Ice Cream Socials at Parley Coburn back when the school went from K thru 9th grade. Walking home from school and stopping at Rahall's on the corner of Mt Zoar and Fulton. Joy Crest roller skating rink was fun on the weekends when boys wore black skates and girls wore white ones, I guess so you could tell the boys from the girls. Putt Putt Golf and Skee Ball at Eldridge Park were some of my favorites. The Red Barn and the Southside Sub Shop were great places to eat. Riding the elevator in Iszard's was fun when I was a kid too. During the summer in the 60's I remember asking my Mom for a dime to go swimming at Brand Park Pool. The People's Place and Harold's Army and Navy had great clothes - remember the Elephant Ear bell bottoms and platform shoes? I guess some things could be forgotten : ) It was fun reading what others remembered about Elmira, thanks for the memories.

Lori, HHS 74 -

My very first job at sixteen was working at Robert Hall Clothes as a bagger - 1972.

Dan Steadle, HHS 71 -
City Now: NYC Tri-State Area

Hoo-Boy...The memories this site evokes. Downtown Elmira - Iszards, Panosians, Harold's Army/Navy. Danny Discount and Nichols were first discount stores with great toy sections. The Christmas Parade on the day after Thanksgiving ending up at Sears...everyone knew THAT was the 'real' Santa. The Popcorn Truck. (I can still feel my arteries hardening from all the dripping butter which soaked through the box) Dixie BBQ, Curly's Chicken - had THE best cole slaw in America. Colonial, Elmira and Capitol Theaters after which we'd go to M&M Hotdogs for one(or two) with meat sauce. Rossi's Bakery had scrumptious half-moon cookies. Eldridge Park - remember you had to beep your horn before going under old stone train overpass/tunnel to enter park. Dragon Boat and planes flew over lake. The Rollercoaster seems tame by today's standards, but scared the beJeezuz out of me then. The myths of bottomless Eldridge Lake. Harris Hill with Miniature Golf and Driving Range. Anyone remember Carroll's on 'Miracle Mile'? - first fast-food place before McDonald's or Burger King. 15¢ burgers, 12¢ fries. Original People's Place when Tommy Hilfiger and then partner Larry Stemmerman opened a 'head-shop' in basement. Had pipes/rolling papers/incense and military surplus bellbottoms and tie-dyed Henley T's. Then in Horseheads - Hanover Square - How about Rohan's Pizza - TWO square pieces of pizza for 25¢. Rudy Baer's Corner. Frosties - later became and remains Beefeater's. Rosar's & Nick's. Then, of course, Thorne Street Pool and dances in summertime. Cundy's Barbershop. Lewis Bros. Market and Broad Street School. I remember living for the day that I'd get out of what then seemed a sleepy, even boring little town in the middle of nowhere. Now after 30 years in NYC area, I can't wait to return.





Carl Falletta (Jr), EFA 77 -
City Now: Las Vegas, NV since 1977

Just the other day I was thinking about howmuch Hoffman Street had changed. When I attended Hoffman School (was on NW corner of Church & Hoffman), I would walk home toward Water Street (I lived on Winsor Ave). As I walked I would pass: Kelly's Rexall Rx, Bill Henry's Patty Cake Bakery (1/2 Moon cookies!!!), Castle Cleaners, Cliff'sCoffee Shop & of course, Lou's Variety! I could spend hours poking around at Lou's...he was such a nice man! Crossing Gray Street I would pass the Super Duper (looking down Gray Street I would see Al Mallette's Barber Shop), then the Holiday House Gift Shop, then the Post Office.

Hangouts? I remember the Rossi Lanes, Dixie Lanes & BBQ, The Boathouse, The Branch Office & Sam's Bar. Remember leaving Sam's & smelling the fresh bread from the bakery up the street? National Brands, I believe? Sledding at Reformatory Hill, Brand Park, 'making out' on Harris Hill, SO many more!!!!

Mike Wurtzman, EFA 63 -
City Now: Hollywood FL

Firstly, my parents' businesses. I didn't see them mentioned in these pages! Campus Corner and Wurtzman's RX Pharmacy, where my Dad, Al spent many late nights filling emergency RX for folks who got sick after regular store hours. My mother, Sally and my aunt Rhea Shulman at the Campus Corner and a soda fountain in the early Sixties that I'm sure many of you remember. Thanks and I miss Elmira.

Judith Mowry Kastrick, EFA58 -
City Now: Omaha, NE (1959-present)

The Grotto (roller skating); Mayfair Diner (teenage years); Eldridge Park (younger days & teenage years) Younger years spent at day camp..(Elmira Neighborhood House & Saturday afternoons at "the movies").

I treasure these memories & my best friend emailing, all things Elmira!!

Debra K Bly Tordoff, Wellsburg Elementary -

I live in Western NY, near Jamestown, but I grew up on Lower Maple Avenue. My parents built the Maple Lawn Diary Bar, and we raised registered Jerseys. I remember going to Eldridge Park on Pepsi-Cola Bottle Cap Day, swimming lesson at Brand Pool, eating chicken at Curly's (complete with finger bowl), making breakfast at Sullivan's Monument, Coletta's Sub Shop, Moretti's Spaghetti House, skating at the Joy Crest, and showing cows at the Chemung County Fair...those were the days :)

Robert Cau, Erin -

Went to Penna Ave 54, SHS, HHS, graduated from Odessa 1958

Remember Kasco Feedmill at Bulkhead, Andy's Gas Station, Wheeler's Garage. Thanks for such a nostalgic web page.

Mickey Wandell, SHS71 -
City Now: Charlotte NC

Brand Park Pool - I remember walking there just about every day from South Ave. South Side Subs - the best. The Capitol Theater on Sunday's - 25 cents to watch three horror films. St Anthony's dances. Broadway School - The smoking lounge as we called it. Chuck's next door from the Hi Bar.

Sharon Bradley Vary, EFA66 -
City Now: Columbus OH

Are there ANY other small towns that hold such fond memories for the people who grew up there? Such wonderful nostalgia and comfort. We could walk around at 11pm and no one worried. Take off on a summer day with a bag lunch and catch tadpoles and build dams..I think I'm old! But both my mom and dad spent their adult lives teaching in Elmira--some loved 'em , some not so much, and that was our life--attending games at Parker Field, watching Ernie Davis play basketball in the old EFA gym, playoffs in the Armory. Wow--I think we were incredibly lucky.

Pam Huffner, SHS71 -

I remember ice skating on Miller's Pond, walking home from school thru the American LaFrance plant because there was more than one building, playing football down in the fields off Milton Street, listening to the two different bands from the neighborhood: Cher Smith & the Falletta Boys were one, and then Don Montgomery, Pete Powers and Alan Gay - I forget their names. How about Reynold's Grocery down on Maple Avenue, good old Ed. Does anyone remember the Frosty Stein? Great rootbeer. The Red Barn on South Main, and Job & Drake on Maple Ave.

Jackie Wilson -
Hangouts: Old P, Brass Ring, Top's Tavern, The Shanty

Hullabaloo Club in Pine City, Brand Park swimming pool and buying a fudgesicle after for a nickel. My dad playing softball at Eldridge Park and my mom would take me to the rides after. The Dog 'n Burger ordering 15 cent burgers on a phone. Robert Hall and Danny Discount for clothes

Cheri Smith, SHS71 -
City Now: Wyoming County, NY

The Old Pioneer - when we could drink at 18!!! Pudgies on North Main - Oh, God, roast beef with butter and BBQ sauce, and 16-ounce Buds, and taking the guitars and making a campfire on Seeley Creek.... and playing football on the river bottom at the end of Milton Street...and skating on Miller Pond... And playing with my band, Journey's End, with Jerry and Carl Falletta and Donnie Montgomery... oh yes, THOSE were the days...

Mary Spencer Sullivan, Sayre HS 1969 -
City Now: Seattle WA

When I was a child my parents would take me to Eldridge Park where I loved to see the dragon boat! The park seemed so HUGE to me back then! I would go with my mother to Iszards and that was such a treat! I felt really special when we went in there and had lunch in the Tea Room. In high school, my friends and I would go to The People's Place to buy jeans and all the latest fashions. I saw Tommy Hilfiger in there once. I still have one of their purple plastic bags with The People's Place logo on it! We used to go! to the Arnot Mall a lot too! I went to Corning Community College as well so I would frequent many of the stores from Elmira to Corning. I loved the Twin Tiers!

Harold Boyd -
Hangouts: Rosar's, Nick's, Rustic's, Paul's
City Now: Tye, TX

What a site and all those places mentioned brought back plenty of memories. I lived on Westside Ave a few blocks from Eldridge Park. I roamed the park for several years, East Hill where Mark Twain's study was for years. I remember the Reformatory and the years of riding down the hill on sleds and ice skating. West Hill was where we went swimming in the Reservoir and we roamed nearby Woodlawn Cemetary.

I remember the Center Street Swimming Pool, now gone. Skating at Joycrest, Millers Pond, Elmira College pond, fishing at the lake in Eldridge Park and the many softball games there. I remember Ward LaFrance, and also the American LaFrance, on the Southside a block away from where my grandparents had a corner store that catered to the men who made the firetrucks. I lived across the street from Number 10 School and then we got a new one, J. Sloan Fassett where I went til the sixth grade. We then moved to Millport that summer.

Mom and Dad bought a restaurant and motel there. In April every year we had hundreds of fishermen that fished Catherine Creek across the road (Route14) there. I went to school in Horseheads til I graduated.

To everyone who wrote of their favorite places, I remember many of them. I was home in 2001 and how many of these memorable places are history. Horseheads has changed, now gone is Frostie's, Bell's Grocery, Grand Union, Rosar's, Paul's on Grand Central, the A&P off Route 17. Westinghouse, the Rand, the Eclipse and Ward La France.

Thank you to all that have posted the memories, places. What a site. My dad worked at the Reformatory for 27 years, Mom worked at Artistic Card, Rosenbuam's and other stores in Elmira. Again, thank you all for the memories.

Joseph Potter, SHS 60 -
City Now: Horseheads

I remember the Keeney Theater, free passes in the popcorn. also who can forget Woody Woodhull & his accordian sing alongs. Stage shows at Eldridge Park, The Peanut Man, Popcorn Truck, Dunn Field Knot Hole Gang, girl softball with Mighty Mouse - playing hide & seek, kick the can - THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!

Lee, EFA 72 -
City Now: I'm now in suburban Philadelphia

The Record Shop on Water St. where you could buy 45 rpm's, Rose, Kimball and Baxter, where my aunt used to work, Mark Twain's Study, Loblaw's Market, A & P food processing plant, Arnot Mall was just "The Mall." Mohawk Market had the best Half-Moon Cookies.

Victor Webb, EFA 77 -

I grew up on the Southside, and I remember pizza and subs at Pudgie's Pizza before it became a chain. The Southside Sub Shop, Turk's that had the greatest soda fountain, Ann and Walt's Restaurant, but, the greatest of all my childhood memories and of Elmira is Karem's Giant Market, because they were such good solid friends of my family - Sam, Carl, Kadeen, Albert, Mable, and Rita. I wish to thank them (even though most of them are gone now) and their families for their friendship and kindness and their influence in helping to make me the person I am today. I will never forget them.

Marjorie (Phelan) Erion-Johnson, Leeds ND -
School: Horseheads High School 1968

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usThe A&P Grocery Store on Main Street in Elmira. My dad, Martin Phelan, was the manager there for many years. He started working there when he was 23 yrs old and had to retire at 65 due to a back problem. He opened many A&P stores in Ithaca, Painted Post, Horseheads Plaza. I sure miss so many places in the area Harris Hill, Curley's Chicken House - went there on Sundays after church - M&M Hot Dogs. Oh yeah, memory lane.

Suzanne Opdyke Ray -
School: HHS 58

We lived on College Ave. at the entrance to Center St. Pool. My best friend Patty Tamara lived across the street. We would either walk or take the bus, in front of my house, and go to the Colonial or Keeney theater every Sunday. I remember walking by the Langdon home, now Langdon Plaza, and thought it to be dark and scary. We loved the Popcorn Truck before the movie. I loved the Iszard's Tea Room, lunching with my grandmother every week. I miss the stores, Rosenbaum's, Gorton Coy, Iszard's, The hat dept. at Iszard's. Loved the'big' Steele Memorial Library.Thought my church, Trinity, was so beautiful! inside. I took the Pheobe Snow to visit my aunt in NJ. Such an elegant train compared to the old passenger train we took earlier. Joined KE Sorority. Went to Friday Nighters at the YMCA. Went to a wedding reception in the Mark Twain ballroom. Loved the M&M Red Hots and banana splits at Woolworths. In the '40's the family days at Harris Hill for a good game of baseball, quates and picnic all day. Grove Park for class picnics from GWS. Carr's Cozy Corner for candy.Rossi's Bakery had the best jelly donuts and half moon cookies. I roller-skated to school and all over. I could tell you where all the 'slate' walks were in town. Ice-skating at Elmira College pond and snow sledding at the Reformatory hill.Skating at the Grotto now Joycrest.Going to Bolla's soda fountain where Chuck and Junker's was. Going to Parker Field to football games. I remember what a gentleman Ernie Davis was in school. No racism back then. I walked 2 mi. everyday to EFA on Lake Street. No school buses then. Pork barbque at the PigPen, where Wernicks is now. Also, Hat's Tavern neon lights on the roof, back of what is now Hill's Plaza. I loved 'Green Spot' beverage in the Heights. Nothing could come close to Lovell's Ice Cream. Well those were the days and the happiest of my life.

Jim Chely

Does anyone remember Ace Horsey. He was a photographer by trade and was a regular on the bar scene especially during the 70's. Does anyone remember the saying he had on his business card...something to the effect: ------- "hair in place - smile at the birdie - photo by ACE."

Myron Finch, Elmira Heights -
School: SHS Class of '50

Schmick's Ice Cream on Broadway, Cole's Lunch (great hots), Pitt's

Tina Scrip, Salisbury NC -
School: Troy High '75

I grew up on RT 14 just over the NY border past Shedden's and near the Country Cupboard. My father worked at Kennedy Valve for 38 years. My mother worked at some of the oldies, SS Kresgee's, Water St. My grandmother was the cook, my aunt, the deli and fountain manager and mom, a waitress and I was a cashier on my first job. Mom later went to the Endicott Johnson Shoe Store next to Furman's, Harold's and Noah's Ark. I remember Arthur Murray's Dance above the flower shop on Water Street. And watching Christmas parades from my grandmother's hair dresser's shop in a building on Water Street where the River Front Park is now. How about the Grant's Store on what is now P & C Plaza and used to be Hesselson's 2nd store. EBC Bowling Alley - that was a regular for my family. The Great American Grocery Store on Erie Plaza and Diven Plaza, Barker's Department Store, Nichol's Discount, Danny Discount, Pete's Central Hots, Chef Italia.

I so miss ELmira and all it has to offer. My 3 grown sons and their sons live there. I get home once a year to take my daughter to Rochester Strong Memorial for her cancer check ups. Our first stop when we get into town is always Pudgie's Pizza, her favorite. M & M Red Hots, Curly's Chicken House, Bernie Murray's, OCB. My husband and I owned a house on Brand Street until 2003, next door to Mr B's, or old Friendly Tavern. I remember most of the places mentioned and this is a wonderful trip down memory lane. Elmira is a great place and there are so many wonderful people there. I miss it so much. Thanks so much for this site. It's always ! fun to stroll down memory lane and reminise and remember years gone by . Thanks, everyone!

Carol Spaziani Edward, Attica -
School: Notre Dame

Whenever I visit Elmira I think about so many places and things - Iszard's, Rosebaum's, the Gorton Coy, the Peanut Man, the Popcorn Truck (the best popcorn ever, Harold's Army and Navy, and Rossi's Bakery for the best fruit tarts.

SuSam Cary Channell -
Schools: Horseheads, Elmira Southside
City Now: Panama City Beach FL

When I was real little, my parents would drop me off with grandpa (Harry Cary) at Cary's Pharmacy on E.Church Street while they would shop at Iszard's downtown. Uncle Art gave me my first matchbox, a yellow dump truck. Afterwards we all would go to Banfield Baker's Pet Shop to see the monkey. When I was grown, I hung out downstairs of People's Place (Tommy Hilfiger's) with my then boyfriend, Blair Savercool, the luthier who created guitars for the stars that came to Elmira College to play.

The parties at Seeley Creek were amazing, but none rivaled the ones off Maple Ave. with the beer trucks and live music! Charlie Langdon (Mark Twain's grandson) may remember when Rush came out with his theme song, Today's Tom Sawyer...., yep, we had to do it!! Fitzben's 25th Reunion was a smash with the Fitzben National Band playing.

Other memories include walking the rollercoaster after close at Eldridge Park. Old Frank the farmer up on Veteran Hill in Horesheads probably the last pioneer. Horseheads town square was paved all in red brick and remained that way for quite some time. My other grandfather, Harold Chamberlain, was the steward of the Elmira Correctional Facility and his wife, Ethel, used to make corsets for the ladies that partied at Rorick's Glen.

Debbie Bement -

The Red Barn was a favorite hang out during lunch and after school . Went to school at Parley Coburn and Southside. Remember Newberry's "Pop the Balloon for Ice Cream."

Tina Brand, Elmira -
School: Thomas A Edison High School

I really enjoyed going through all the different places all the people have shared. Some I remembered & others I didn't. Was great going back in time! Now I have a question with hopes of someone out there remembering. Years ago there was a dairy store next to Curly's Chicken House on Lake Rd. anyone know the name of the dairy store? In the Fifties it was called Tastee Freeze.

click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usDiven Plaza years back had a few stores that were in the same building as Barker's Department Store, anyone know what stores went into the former Barker's after it went out? I do remember Cavaluzzi's Pizza as I was growing up. Oh boy, that was awesome! I also remember getting a slice of pepperoni pizza from Pudgies on 14th St in Elmira Heights for 21 cents & that was including tax. I remember a pack of cigarettes in the machines was 55 cents wow!! Postage stamp 6 cents. Gas 39 cents a gallon.

Jim Samuels -
School: HH Highschool Class of '71
City Now: Rochester, NY

The annual autumn ping-pong ball drop, sometimes from a helicopter, sometimes a small plane, in the Grand Union Shopping Plaza. WELM radio on Upper Lake Road with their contest of Who Took The L Out Of WELM, which it turned out was HHDs High School's own Music Director, Joe Crupi. During the contest a group of individual's known as Murphy's Marauders went about replacing the 'L's throughout the region driving the radio station frantic as listeners called in saying the had found the 'L.'

Frances (Scheid) Osteen, Elmira -
Hangouts: Pitt's by SHS and Carey's Drugstore with the wonderful phospates and cherry cokes.

The Capitol Theater and the Strand on Market St. Swimming in Seeley Creek down Maple Ave.The old Rubin's News Store on the river side and a book store and office store combined on East Water St. Does anyone remember the name? We believe that was MacGreevey's at 313-315 E. Water. Elmira was a great place with lots to do and a wonderful downtown. One of my best memories is of all the foot traffic downtown. We walked everywhere. Don't forget Brand Park Pool, another great place to swim.

Jimmer Donovan, HHds -
School: EFA 66

Every place on this site I remember. I grew up in the Sixties - had more fun on North Side 8th Ward. We did so much without any money - still had a great time - baseball, football, basketball, swimming in Newton Creek. Showing off for the girls at Center St. Pool, meeting all our friends at Eldridge Park, making out, watching free movies, block dances. So much to do. We fished Brick Pond all day. High school between 62 and 66 was a blast. Wouldn't want to be a teenager anywhere else. Hike up on East Hill. Slide down The Quarry. So many good times. Downtown on Saturday. Dances at night. Fire works on July 4th. And great baseball at Dunn Field. Can go on and on. Elmira was the place to be in the Sixties.

Jane Bailey Pyszczynski, EFA 69 -
City Now: Overland Park KS

I moved often during my childhood, but I was lucky enough to be in Elmira during junior high (Booth) and high school years! Will always remember St. Anthony's dances, Harris Hill, H. Strauss, Rosenbaum's, the Gorton Coy, the Popcorn Wagon downtown, Keuka Lake, Elmira Country Club, New Year's Eve at the Mark Twain and learning to drive at Dunn Field!


Foy June Lusk Wimer -
School: SHS
City Now: Palmyra VA

First real job --Christmas time at Markson's Men's Store on Water Street. First perm at The Gorton Coy Beauty Salon in 1954. "It's OK to owe Ray" Ray's Jewelers, Ferguson's Dancing School upstairs They put on a big show every year at the Keeney next to the Regent Theater - watched a lot of Roy Rogers at the Regent. First Thanksgiving Dinner out at the Langwell Hotel. They had a nice piano player in the lounge. Did anyone recall the Strand?

June Van Wormer -
School: Horseheads High School
City Now: Born in Elmira... moved to Fl. and N.C.

Rosenbaum's, of course; Planters Peanut, M & M hot dogs, Mohican Market, Schanacker's Diner.

Ted Johnston, Elmira -
School: SHS 1978

Martin's Hardware Store on South Main Street - the small store that had everything you needed. Chemung Electronics - I remember spending hours in that store to find the perfect stereo needle click here to share your Elmira Favorites with usto listen to albums and 45 records. Down the street was Josephson's Plumbing - if they didn't have it nobody did. Going into Mad Man Dewey's, pouring yourself a beer and buying an appliance. What a great site, good memories here.

Mike Tuccinardi, ND -

I'm not from Elmira but I got around. My favorite places were the Maple Lawn Dairy Bar with fantastic black cherry ice cream cones; and a root beer stand every year at the Chemung County Fair. But it's not so much the places as the names - "Crash" Lucarelli, how did he get that name? Stosh - who was Stosh, everybody talked about Stosh. I caddied with Ernie Davis at the Elmira Country Club, along with the Cardamone Brothers and a halfback named Charlie who used to pay me to take half my doubles so he could stay in shape. Then there was this gas station in Elmira Heights that had a sign in the men's room, "Please flush the toilet. Elmira needs the water." Great website

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