CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
THE TEMPLE SALOON
407-409 Market Street
The Temple Saloon stood at 407-409 Market Street in Camden, and drew its name from the adjacent Temple Theater Building. The Temple Theater opened in September of 1892, and many of America's greatest stage performers trod the boards there. The Temple Building later housed offices and was the home of the Camden Commercial College.
The bar at 409 Market was open prior to the opening of the Temple Theater. Camden City Directories for the years 1887 to 1891 show a Thomas O'Hara operating a saloon at the address.
Around the turn of the century Edward Gondolff acquired the bar at 409 Market Street. Ed Gondolff was born in Alsace-Lorraine about 1870. He came to the Camden from Philadelphia around 1898. He soon went into business, and within a few years had purchased the property at 407 Market Street. He had built a three story building on that site, the Temple Bar and Hotel. Edward Gondolff was active in fraternal affairs as a member of Camden Lodge No. 293, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks; Improved Order of Red Men; Mozart Lodge No. 121, Free and Associated Masons, and several other fraternal organizations clubs.
Edward Gondolff passed away on April 3, 1918 from pneumonia, leaving a wife and two children. Prohibition was enacted a year later. Jennie Gondolff continued residence at 407 Market Street through at least 1924, and held title to the property until 1930. Robert L. Krager operated a new business at 401 Market Street which traded as the Temple Hotel in the mid 1920s.
In November of 1931 a contract was awarded to raze all of the buildings from 401 to 415 Market Street including the Temple Theater and other buildings on the 400 block of Market Street, to make room for for a new post office and Federal building.
Edward Gondolff's brother Peter Gondolf (the family, except for Edward, all dropped the second "f") worked as a detective for the Camden Police Department, and in his later years became the proprietor of the Fairview Gardens at 3007 Fenwick Road in the Fairview section of Camden. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 he obtained a liquor licenses, one of only three liquor licenses to be issued in that part of Camden. Peter Gondolf passed away in 1940. His wife Marion and his son Richard Gondolf ran the bar after his death.
Another brother of Edward Gondolff was Frank Gondolf. He served briefly as a member of the Camden Fire Department in the 1910s, and for many years was an employee and in time superintendent of Camden's sewers and sewage treatment facilities.
Edward Gondolff's son, Augustus "Gus" Gondolf Sr. was the superintendent of the New Jersey motor vehicle inspection station in Camden for many years. Grandson, Gus Gondolf Jr., was the proprietor of Mickey's Grille in Magnolia NJ in the 1960s and 1970s. Another grandson, Edward R. Gondolf, was killed in action near Lemberg, France in December of 1944.
Jennie Gondolff was active in fraternal affairs as a member of Crescent Chapter No. 55, Order of the Eastern Star and other groups as ;ate as 1950. She passed away in Washington D.C. at the age of 86 in 1954.
|The Temple Bar & Hotel circa 1912|
|407 & 409 Market Street||Edward
(far left) standing in front of his bar
The Temple Theater as it appeared from 1892 though the 1920s. 409 Market Street, the old bar, is visible in the lower left hand corner of the pictures. Fire escapes on the theater are visible in the picture above of the "old" bar.
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Grandson Gus Gondolf Jr., sitting on the bar of the Temple Saloon.
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Post Office & Federal Building
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